There’s a shake-up at Ishpeming City Hall.
City Manager Alan Bakalarski has unexpectedly resigned.
He’ll be leaving the job on October 6th.
City Councilor Pat Bureau provided us with Bakalarski’s resignation letter, dated last Thursday.
The letter says he’s quitting because of what he called “unprofessional and dishonorable public behavior” from a council member during last week’s meeting.
Bureau says that council member is John Stone.
The city paid Bureau’s $400 registration fee for attending the Michigan Municipal League annual convention.
She covered other costs of the trip herself.
Stone claimed other city councilors weren’t offered the chance to go and that the fee was not handled in an open manner.
Bakalarski, Bureau and Mayor Gary Nelson all say that all 5 councilors received written invitations.
Bureau was the only one who had time to go to the convention.
The 3 say she followed city procedures and received written approval to have the registration paid for.
Bakalarski says that like all of the council members, Stone often comes to his office to ask him about various items of city business, and if he can’t sufficiently address an issue a council member brings to him, it’ll go to the full council for discussion.
But Bakalarski says Stone chose not to do that this time, and he says if even one of the 5 council members will throw the established procedure out of the window, he would rather not be around.
Bureau didn’t wish to be interviewed on camera, but she did answer some questions off-camera.
She told us the city government has made tremendous strides since Bakalarski started in the job in June 2006.
She says she’ll be sorry to see him go.
When we contacted John Stone, he declined to answer any questions.
But he did give a statement over the phone.
He said, “I was sorry to receive the letter of resignation from Mr. Bakalarski.
No one on the council asked for his resignation.
I do not think it’s unprofessional, or dishonorable, to question the spending of taxpayer dollars, especially in this economy.
The council will have to start actively looking for a replacement.”
There’s a special City Council meeting next Monday at 4:30pm at City Hall to discuss the situation further.