Eleanor Felix 1921-2003
Eleanor Felix, 82, of Beaver Island, died Saturday, November 1, 2003, at her home on Beaver Island. She was born August 17, 1921, in Smagerbachen, Sweden, the daughter of Albert and Clara (Alexanderson) Johnson. She grew up in Chicago and married Carl Felix there on January 6, 1941. They moved to Beaver Island in 1950, then lived in Wisconsin, Chicago, and Maine before returning to Beaver Island in 1986. Eleanor was an avid gardener and a true Viking at heart. She is survived by her husband Carl of Beaver Island; sons, Kurt of Portland, Maine; Glen of Beaver Island, and Leif (Debbie) of Milbridge, Maine; seven grandchildren; fifteen great-grandchildren. Eleanor's ashes will be interred in the Beaver Island Cemetery in the spring.
Prosecuting Attorney Kur's Response to the BIRHC Board and the CCG Concerning the Open Meetings Act
Please click on the thumbnails to read the full sized page
Letter to the Editor
The CCG recognizes the motive for the BIRHC Board to go public with the letter from Mary Beth Kur. We also appreciate the advisory opinions that County Prosecutor rendered at the request of the BIRHC and the CCG. Of the eight opinions, the CCG agrees with four of them. It is important to understand that the remaining four are subject to appeal with the Prosecutor. The opinions subject to appeal are as follows:
Under OMA can a Board require those desiring to address it to identify themselves?
OPINION: Yes, the Board may not require people who are simply attending it's meeting to identify themselves but they may require those who wish to speak to identify themselves and give notice that they wish to speak [See MCLA 15.263 (4)(5) and OAG 5183 and 5332]
APPEAL: The CCG agrees with the opinion as stated. Our appeal is based on MCLA 15.263 (5) which reads: A person shall be permitted at address a meeting of a public body under rules established and recorded by the public body. The CCG contents that when the BIRHC Board imposed its 2 minute limit on public comment, it did so without having the "rules established and recorded by the public body'. When the board was questioned at the time, the president stated that "other Island board meetings use that rule so we are going to". The BIRHC Board imposed the restriction without having it as an "established and recorded" rule. The CCG does not object to the BIRHC establishing and recording rules in accordance with the above opinion.
What are the Board's responsibilities in the event of an over crowded meeting?
OPINION: If a large organized group such as the CCG knows in advance it will attend a public meeting and a regular meeting place will not accommodate such a group, the group is required to give advance notice to the public body. The Board is then required to exercise sincere efforts to accommodate the number of people who may reasonable expected to attend [See OAG 5183, p. 33]
APPEAL: The CCG contends that this is an incorrect Attorney General Opinion to cite. The July 15th BIRHC Board meeting to discuss the Susan Meis non renewal of contract was the over crowded meeting of the public. The CCG was organized on July 18th, three days after that meeting. Therefore, there was no organized group to give advance notice to the board. The Attorney General Opinion that should have been cited is No. 5614 which reads: Where a larger than anticipated group wishes to attend a public meeting, the Open Meetings Act does not require the public body to adjourn the meeting to a larger meeting room, but the public body should exercise reasonable efforts to accommodate interested members of the public, including reconvening the meeting in a larger room where practicable. At the July 15th meeting, the public repeatedly asked the president to move the meeting to another location in order to accommodate all interested individuals waiting outside the township hall. The request was refused and people were excluded from attending this important meeting and expressing their views. As a result the CCG contends that the Open Meetings Act was violated and the public disenfranchised.
What are the Board's responsibilities regarding discussion of materials exempt from public disclosure?
OPINION: The Board may meet in closed session for the purpose stated in MCLA 15.268 (a-j). Subsection (h) allows for closed session to discuss material exempt from discussion by state or federal statute.
APPEAL: The CCG fully agrees with the Prosecutor's opinion. However, the board made the decision to not renew Susan Meis' contract outside of an open meeting or a closed session that is required under MCLA 15.268 (a-j). Nor did the board go from the required open meeting into a closed session or take a vote by the members to call a closed session. By process of elimination, the meeting on Meis's contract must have been made in a secret forum of the board members which constitutes a clear violation of the Open Meetings Act, regardless of the board's stated intentions.
May Board members participate in meetings and vote via speaker telephone?
OPINION: The Board is free to make rules regarding meeting procedures so long as the rules do not conflict with the OMA which is silent on this subject. If the Board establishes rules allowing such a procedure, it is my opinion that it would not violate the OMA.
APPEAL: The CCG agrees that the OMA is silent on this subject but not the Attorney General as cited in 2410.02 Open Meetings Act where the Attorney General's opinion was: In general, all meetings of a public body are to be open to the public and held in a place available to the public. Decisions of the public body are to be made in open meetings and with rare exceptions, all deliberations are to be made in open meetings. Under the Act, phone call conference meetings generally are not allowed. The CCG encourages individuals who accept the responsibility of serving on the BIRHC Board, to make every attempt to be present at its regular meetings. Contrary to the Attorney General Opinion above, we are not opposed to the use of teleconferencing on a rare exception basis.
The CCG fully agrees with the Prosecuting Attorney's opinion that even if violations of the Open Meetings Act by the BIRHC are determined to have happened, there should be no punitive action taken. The only purpose the CCG has is bringing these issues to the attention of the BIRHC Board is for the board to:
The CCG does not wish to pursue punitive action. Our only intent is to have the BIRHC Board appropriately conduct business under the Open Meetings Act. We are ready to move on with the healing process and resolve our differences. It's time to get behind OUR Health Center in the best interest of ALL.
Kirk McBride, CCG
Concerned Citizens Group
Submitted by Kirk McBride, CCG
The Concerned Citizens Group of Beaver Island (CCG) constitutes a registered Political Action Group that advocates for accountability and responsibility in the actions of officials and official bodies pledged to serve the public interests of the Beaver Island community.
Beaver Island made it into the new issue of Michigan History. Click on the magazine cover above and check it out.
Due to having been off-island having a bit of surgery I wasn't able to cover the party at Jerry and Marie's this weekend so if anyone who attended would like to write something up and submit it, I'd be happy to put it up here. Since I wasn't up to going out and doing cartwheels, I talked my youngest, Andrea, into taking my camera out and getting her view of the island this time of year. She did a pretty good job I think. I don't plan on spending any more time on the mainland except for the annual "Oh dang, I have to go Christmas Shopping venture" and I'll avoid that one if one of you want to volunteer instead. Here's a 14 year olds' view of the island in early November:
Tim and I would like to extend our gratitude to all that helped us out in our time of need. Your generosity is humbling, and your kindness has given us faith that there are still Angels among us! We feel honored to be included as part of the Beaver Island family. God bless you all!
Tim, Shelley, Brandon, Justin and Savhana McCullough
The BIRHC and the CCG have agreed to mediation with services provided by Northern Community Mediation Center of Charlevoix. The first session is scheduled for Tuesday November 11th, 9:30 a.m. at Peaine Township Hall. The meeting is open to the public and the public is cordially invited to attend.
Kirk D. McBride, Chair
Concerned Citizens Group
a registered political action group
This Weeks' Pictorial Views of the
New Rural Health Center