Commissioner recommends Scottville hire former controversial treasurer.

August 17, 2015

By Rob Alway, Editor-in-Chief.

SCOTTVILLE — The City Commission held a conversation about hiring a treasurer during its regular meeting Monday. The conversation was a follow-up to the city’s financial committee meeting that was held last week. At that time, the finance committee was unable to find money in the current budget to finance a part-time treasurer for $15,000.

Commissioner Ed Hahn said, during Monday’s meeting, that David Halberg had submitted a resume for the position and that he was willing to do the job for $3,600 a year. Hahn said the committee should have asked Halberg what his salary requirements were. Halberg served as city treasurer in the 1980s and 1990s and was fired in April 1997, amongst controversy. 

Williams said hiring anyone for $3,600 a year would equate to just over $2 per hour, which is actually illegal, based on minimum wage laws.

During his tenure, Halberg made several accusations against two different city managers that they had mis-handled money. At one point, the city commission requested the state’s attorney general’s office investigate Halberg’s claims. The AG’s office found no mishandling of funds by the city managers.

Halberg also had accused then-Police Chief Larry Nichols of corruption; those claims were deemed groundless by a Michigan State Police investigation. The Mason County Prosecuting Attorney’s office had also investigated Halberg’s claims and also concluded that there was no wrong-doing.

While serving as treasurer, Halberg also ran, and was elected to the city commission, as did his wife. He resigned from that post shortly after taking the position. 

Hahn would not respond when asked by MCP if he was aware that Halberg had been fired by the city.

The city charter states that the city manager has full authority to hire and fire city employees.

The commission agreed that the finance committee would continue to look into the treasurer position.

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