ZBA appointments challenged

BY PHIL CUSTODIO
Clarkston News Editor
A motion to reappoint members to the city Zoning Board of Appeals met with resistance at the Jan. 9 City Council meeting.
ZBA member Steve Arkwright noted Mayor Steve Percival’s list of reappointments to the zoning board did not include Council member Sharron Catallo, which he considered a removal from the ZBA.
“Not to renew Mrs. Catallo’s term is simply a vendetta – she is the most valuable asset we have on the ZBA and council,” Arkwright said. “Her contributions to the ZBA are invaluable.”
City ordinances require written charges of malfeasance and a public hearing before removal, he said.
“What charges are there against Mrs. Catallo,” he asked.
Arkwright, a former mayor of Clarkston, said Derek Werner was treated similarly when he was not reappointed to the Planning Commission, due to a lack of training.
“The treatment of Mr. Werner was shameful. Mr. Werner has done nothing but serve this community diligently and faithfully,” Arkwright said. “Is this a nice city? I don’t think so – my opinion is this train is dramatically off track.”
Catallo’s term on the ZBA expired in 2016, along with Scott Meyland and Margaret DeCosta. The terms for Arkwright, William Basinger, and Doug Roeser expire this year.
Board members are permitted to serve until replaced, city attorney Thomas Ryan told the council.
Percival’s list of appointments to the ZBA included Arkwright, Basinger, DeCosta, and Meyland, with himself as the newest member.
Percival said he sent an email to Catallo about it, but she didn’t respond.
“I’m fine with it,” Catallo said.
Percival said his job as mayor includes making appointments, which the council votes for or against.
“They’re not set in stone,” he said.
The mayor made a motion to reappoint DeCosta and Meyland. The council voted 6-1 to approve the appointments.
Council member David Marsh voted “no.”
“Not necessarily the people,” Marsh said. “There’s a lot of discussion I’d like to understand before I vote to appoint people.”
The next ZBA meeting is scheduled for Feb. 7.