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City Commission highlights Indigenous Peoples' Day; passes snow ordinance and coronavirus resolution


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The sun sets on City Hall August 25 in downtown Mount Pleasant.

Mount Pleasant City Commission recognized Indigenous Peoples' Day, approved a snow emergency ordinance and approved a resolution supporting an emergency order at the Oct. 12 meeting. 

Resolution Supporting Michigan Department of Health and Human Services Emergency Order

MDHHS issued an emergency order earlier this month after Gov. Gretchen Whitmer's executive orders were struck down by the Michigan Supreme Court. This order aims to slow the spread of COVID-19 by requiring face coverings in public places and certain outdoor situations. 

The commissioners voted unanimously to support a resolution that would reinforce the MDHHS emergency order.

"It's a very important effort and vital to many people's livelihoods," Mayor Will Joseph said. "I'm just as excited for the day when we don't have any new cases and we can move on, but until then it's important for us to stay the course."

Indigenous Peoples' Day

Normally this day would be celebrated with the Saginaw Chippewa Indian Tribe drum ceremony. However, with city commission meetings being held virtually, it was decided that this ceremony will possibly be scheduled when face-to-face meetings resume.

Joseph read a proclamation highlighting the city's relationship with the Saginaw Chippewa Tribal Council. 

Treasurer Maia Spotted Tail accepted the proclamation on behalf of the Saginaw Chippewa Tribal Council. 

"We commend the city of Mount Pleasant for recognizing the original Indigenous people of this land," Spotted Tail said. "We ask that this day be used as an opportunity to recognize the Indigenous community and use it as a tool to educate and inform the community on who we, the Indigenous people of the Saginaw Chippewa Tribe and other Indigenous communities, are." 

Snow emergency ordinance

After multiple meetings, a snow emergency ordinance was approved that would allow parking for non-downtown streets at all times except for when the city declares a snow emergency. Overnight parking from 2 a.m. to 5 a.m. was previously prohibited between December and the end of March. 

City officials intend to give residents an advanced notice through press releases, web postings, social media and the city's telephone information line. 

With the approval of this ordinance, a report of its effectiveness must be provided to the city commission on or before Aug. 31. 

Regardless of the ordinance being passed, some commissioners continue to express concern with this decision. 

"I don't see a need to change it. I think you are going to acquire more break downs, more safety hazards - you're going to have to use more salt," Commissioner Petro Tolas said. "It just doesn't make any sense. This is not going to be cost-effective."

Despite concerns that the ordinance will increase on-street parking, Joseph said he is ready to take the chance. 

"I don't think you're going to see a major influx of cars parking in front of your houses or things like that. You might see some differences around the student neighborhoods or some of our high-density neighborhoods, but I can't imagine that it's going to be a major change," Joseph said. "I'm willing to see what happens in a year and the commission at that point can make a more informed choice." 

Other City Updates

  • Update on cyber attack - City Hall and Department of Public Safety offices will be closed for face to face services today, October 13, 2020. City email and phone services are currently unavailable. If there is a public safety emergency, call 911 or Central Dispatch at (989) 773-1000. All other City services are still available and there is no delay in trash or recycling services. (From a 6 p.m. press release sent on Oct. 12). 

The entire city commission meeting can be viewed on the city's Youtube channel.

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