Village administrator’s job at stake.

March 20, 2018

Village administrator’s job at stake.

#OceanaCountyNews

By Allison Scarbrough. Editor.

SHELBY — A female administrator’s job is hanging in the balance of an all-male council that took “no recommendation or action” following a special council meeting that went into closed session Tuesday afternoon, March 20.

Chelsea Stratil is the first woman to ever hold the administrator position in village history.

About a dozen business owners and residents attended the meeting that was called by Village President Paul Inglis after personnel committee chairman Bill Harris requested it Sunday, Inglis said.

Councilman Steve Crothers said there had been complaints from village employees about Stratil’s performance.

Stratil

“The purpose of the special meeting is for the consideration of the employee evaluations of the village administrator and to consider the discipline, suspension or dismissal of the same,” states the village posting of the meeting.

There was reference to questionnaires filled out by employees about Stratil’s performance. Village Treasurer Randy Mahoney recently submitted his resignation.

Village Planning Commission member Tara Kelley opened the public comment portion of the meeting stating that Stratil is being used as a “scape goat” for Department of Public Works issues (which have led to boil water advisories) that she inherited after taking the job in August of 2015.

Kelley also referred to the scandal of the firing of Police Chief Bob Wilson in January of 2016 that Stratil also inherited after her hiring. “She had to do a very hard thing off the get-go.”

Wilson was sentenced to 150 days in jail and $70,000 in restitution for an embezzlement conviction.

“How many of you here could have taken his gun and badge?” asked resident and business owner Mary Lulich.

“Some issues catapulted because she’s young and a woman,” Kelley said.

“People are micromanaging her and spying on her comings and goings,” she told the council. “This environment is very hostile. It needs to stop.”

Inglis read letters from long-time business professionals, including one that described Stratil as “The Shelby village cheerleader” due to her enthusiasm, hard work and passion for the community.

“I was skeptical,” said Pete Ross due to her lack of experience in the position, but “she’s pro-community. I’ve seen the things she’s done.”

“This isn’t the good ol’ boys club anymore. It’s the 21st Century,” said Village Planning Commission Chairman Rich Setlak.

Attorney Will Meyer (filling in for Village Attorney John Schrier) was given the responsibility of taking the minutes instead of Village Clerk Crystal Budde.

“This is my life, this is my career,” said a visibly-shaken Stratil.

The closed session portion of the meeting lasted over an hour.

This story is copyrighted © 2018, all rights reserved by Media Group 31, LLC, PO Box 21, Scottville, MI 49454. No portion of this story or images may be reproduced in any way, including print or broadcast, without expressed written consent.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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