Recreation millage, UPSET funding, and Housing Commission changes
Hancock City Council, July 21, 2021
The meeting started with a moment of silence and some comments of respect for the late Sheriff Brian McLean.
Councilman Rick Freeman Jr. thanked the city on behalf of the National Guard for the use of the Hancock Beach for some training exercises.
During City Manager Mary Babcock’s report, she updated the board on progress toward the crowdfunding toward a grant for the new dog park, the search for a CEDAM fellow for economic development, rental building inspections and registrations, the progress of the new draft zoning ordinance, the importance of renewing the recreation millage on Aug. 3, and the tentative planning of an end of summer event with Houghton and other summer events.
At the end of the meeting, Councilor John Haeussler —a member of the recreation commission— also spoke in support of the recreation millage. It supports projects in the city like the dog park, trail work, and park improvements.
After paying the bills, the council accepted the resignation of one of the Hancock Housing Commission’s members, Ron Antila, and appointed a new member, Joe Bianucci, that was requested by the commission’s director, Sherry Hughes.
The board also briefly considered a lease agreement for the use of the property for the city’s dog park with Thornton Construction, but the city manager said there were some small details she wanted to correct before the board made the agreement official. The board moved to table the agreement until the first meeting in August.
The council spent some time on a discussion about the possibility of giving UPSET West $25,000 over the next five years and other pledge options. While some members were generally supportive of the donation, some also expressed concern over the length of the pledge and the impact, origin, and oversight of UPSET’s budget. Others were concerned about the cyclical results of waging a “war on drugs”. They ultimately tabled the discussion (with one councilor dissenting), until they could get some questions answered. (I highly recommend listening to this fairly nuanced discussion about funding, oversight and drug enforcement. I’m interested to see where it goes once their concerns are addressed.)