OSCODA – Oscoda Downtown Development Authority (DDA) member Pat Schiflet, Treasurer Jolene Senn and Chair Joe Maxwell, on Dec. 11, all announced their resignations from the DDA.
This comes after the resignation of Gary Price on Nov. 27, and Imse Ockey on July 18, leaving just four remaining representatives – Aaron Weed, Martin Gayeski, Dave Iler and secretary Rhonda Cope.
The DDA was set to carry out their regular meeting on Dec. 11 when, after a few moments of calling the meeting to order, Weed arrived to inform them that the meeting could not take place.
He advised that the agenda sent to the township executive secretary to post for the meeting was different than what was on the agenda DDA members had received that day.
The Oscoda Press received an agenda where the township had the new information for the regular meeting but contained the incorrect date, time and location. It read that the meeting would take place at the Huron Shores Artisan Hall, at 4 p.m. on Dec. 6, which was the date of a recent special DDA meeting. The packet then sent by Cope to this reporter and DDA members on the day of the regular meeting was corrected.
“Did I not change the header when I sent it?” asked Cope, to which Township Treasurer Jaimie McGuire, who was also in attendance, said that the information was correct when she received Cope’s e-mail that day.
“Today. But the one that was given to post, the 18 hours prior, was different,” Weed pointed out.
“This meeting can’t happen,” he continued, adding that any actions which were taken are not valid, and that the DDA would have to re-post and reschedule.
The meeting was ultimately moved to Tuesday, Dec. 18, after this publication already went to print for the current week.
The only action carried out by the DDA, prior to learning that the meeting could not go on, was roll call and approval of the minutes from the last regular meeting and the last special meeting.
Before exiting the meeting room, both Senn and Maxwell shared their letters of resignation with group, with Senn noting that she will serve through the end of the month, to help with the transition.
“I’m one of the other resignations,” said Schiflet, who also offered to help the DDA with whatever she can, through at least the end of the year.
Senn wrote in her letter that, effective Dec. 31, she would be resigning from the DDA after serving on the board for more than 10 years.
“During that time, I have been proud of all of the DDA’s accomplishments. The board has strived to serve the downtown and the Oscoda community. I have the utmost respect for those on the DDA who have served and committed their time and efforts to improve our downtown and support our businesses. It has been my honor to serve,” she stated.
“My decision to resign did not come lightly,” Senn went on. “I have struggled with the lack of support, collaboration and respect the DDA has received in the past 10 months. I have decided that my time will be better served more directly in helping the community. I wish the DDA Board the best as you move forward.”
Maxwell began his letter by writing that it has been a pleasure working with a majority of the DDA members.
“The spirit and work ethic of the board has made the efforts of the DDA board’s broad undertakings to enhance the downtown community appear seamless,” he expressed.
Maxwell gave a special thanks to former DDA Director Ann Richards and former township Superintendent Robert Stalker, stating that their relentless devotion and commitment to the betterment of the Oscoda community is something which needs to be recognized.
“However, with the current apparent lack of cooperation and what seems to be false accusations voiced by members of the township board, it is impossible for me to continue,” he stated, noting that his resignation would be effective that day.
In Price’s letter to Maxwell on Nov. 27, he also noted that his resignation was to be effective immediately.
“Please advise the Oscoda Township supervisor and the Oscoda Township Board of Trustees right away so that they can search for a new volunteer to be a part of the new corporation being formed,” he wrote.
When Ockey resigned, she cited an increased workload at her business as the reason she would no longer be able to volunteer as a DDA member.