THREE OAKS — The new Three Oaks Village Manager is beginning to meet members of the community’s boards and commissions remotely via the Zoom app.
Dan Faulkner participated in a May 4 Parks and Recreation meeting and a May 5 Planning Commission session.
During the Planning Commission meeting he thanked “everyone for welcoming me to your community.”
“I’ve loved it since I started,” he added.
Faulkner’s first Village Council session (conducted remotely) took place Wednesday, May 13.
He said on May 8 that he began working in Three Oaks three weeks earlier – a time when Village Hall was closed to the public (except for phone calls) and the village held no public meetings.
Faulkner served as village manager in Lawrence for the past five years (he worked for the Department of Public Works there for a year and a half prior). His last day in Lawrence was April 17 (30 days after he gave his notice).
Faulkner said Three Oaks Village President Dave Grosse has been introducing him to the downtown district, village residents, office staff and other village workers.
“I’ve been asking a bunch of questions,” he said, noting that the situation in Three Oaks is similar to his experience in Lawrence, but “there are little things that are different.”
Before the pandemic Faulkner said he rarely used programs like Zoom or Facetime.
Faulkner said he is disappointed that he won’t get to experience the Flag Day Parade during his first year in Three Oaks.
During its May 5 meeting, the Three Oaks Planning Commission it was announced that a proposed Marihuana Subcommittee would be tasked with dealing with the issue of what a zoning ordinance would look like if the village approved a marijuana-related business. Another issue to be discussed would involve where such a business would be located.
Planning Commission Chairman Gene Svebakken said the Marihuana Committee has already addressed what the reaction of local business people would be and how other municipalities are doing.
It was suggested to check in with communities such as Niles and Bangor that now have businesses selling recreational marijuana (currently via drive-up service).
Faulkner said Lawrence got much of its marijuana ordinance from Buchanan after taking a field trip there.
Svebakken said Rob Woerdehoff has agreed to chair the subcommittee, with other members slated to be Darlene Heemstra and Colleen Newquist from the Planning Commission and Steve Graziano and Troy Zebell from the Village Council.
The Planning Commission also went over proposed changes to regulations covering the storage of recreational vehicles.