Saugatuck Township Supervisor Wester's Actions Over Attorney Issue "Improper" If Not "Illegal", Says Clerk
Saugatuck Township does not have ordinances on the books to regulate house rentals, a situation that’s not good for some homeowners that have to deal with late night noise coming from neighboring tenants, according to some residents who’ve been impacted by the problem.
The issue came to the forefront at last week’s Saugatuck Township Board meeting.
Also, the meeting got a little heated over another issue when Saugatuck Township Supervisor Bill Wester said he wanted to go on record saying he “didn’t care for what happen” at the special meeting on April 13 in which he was not present and in which the board voted to discontinue the services of now-former Township Attorney Ronald Bultje, who had been representing the township in legal matters for 20 years.
Wester wrote a memo to his colleagues relating his concerns, and in response, Saugatuck Township Clerk Brad Rudich wrote one to Wester.
Rudich defended the actions of the board and told Wester: “Your subsequent actions (following the board’s vote) by talking to Ron Bultje and declaring him ‘not fired,’ are at the least improper, and at the most illegal.”
The board parted ways with Bultje over conflict of interest issues—he was representing both Saugatuck Township and Laketown Township over ongoing Kalamazoo Lake Sewer and Water Authority agreement negotiations and that dual role prompted concerns by township officials other than Wester.
With regards to the house rental issues, particularly short-term rentals, the township board recommended Saugatuck Township resident Ray Eggert go before the township Planning Commission to relate his concerns and see about possible future regulations.
“We’ve got five (homes being rented out in my neighborhood), and a sixth one coming and who knows how many more in the future—it’s a gold mine for them (landlords), hell for us (the neighbors),” shared Eggert, who lives at Silver Lake on Lorrimar Lane.
Eggert said he doesn’t blame the landlords and doesn’t mind tenants, but every now and then some tenants get rowdy and disorderly, with issues including some renters setting off late night fireworks, getting drunk, naked, being intoxicated while out on boats, etc.
“There are about 20 houses in my neighborhood with access to the lake; the people are upset and the people from the other side are having the same issues,” said Eggert.
Township board members said they too have had issues, and admitted that regulation was definitely called for.
“As in all the state (of Michigan), rentals are allowed, but the township does need more restrictions,” said Rudich.