Councillor Dawn Krause, Absent Monday, Will Not Serve in Her Final Meeting

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Saline City Councillor Dawn Krause was absent from Monday's meeting and will not participate in the final meeting of her term, Dec. 19.

Krause, elected in 2018, moved to the Pinckney area several weeks or months ago.

Questions about her residency status and eligibility to serve have been asked for weeks. Last night, Krause was absent from the meeting. At the end of the meeting, Councillor Dean Girbach explained that Krause emailed Girbach and other city officials explaining that she was "99.9 percent moved out of the city." Girbach said Krause still believed she had residential status in the city. Girbach said Mayor Brian Marl also supported Krause's stance on her status as a resident.

Krause's belief in her residency does not appear to be aligned with Michigan election law

Michigan Election Law, Act 116 of 1954, defines residence. 

"Residence", as used in this act, for registration and voting purposes means that place at which a person habitually sleeps, keeps his or her personal effects, and has a regular place of lodging. If a person has more than 1 residence, or if a person has a residence separate from that of his or her spouse, that place at which the person resides the greater part of the time shall be his or her official residence for the purposes of this act. This section does not affect existing judicial interpretation of the term residence.

The city, based on the advice of its lawyers, ultimately agreed  that Krause, while still maintaining an address in the city, is no longer a resident who can hold office.

"Residency is identified as basically where you sleep, not where you hold an address. And as a result, our attorneys have given us the advice," Girbach said.

Nicole Rice was elected in the November election and will take office in January, unless she's sworn in ahead of the Dec. 19 meeting.

The Saline Post pressed Krause on residence in November after Krause said during a council meeting that she was moved into her new residence.

"There are two meetings left. We just recently closed on our house and we still have a residence in Saline. We still have personal belongings in the Saline house. I go there almost every day. I discussed this at length with Brian (Marl) and Council is aware," Krause said. "Finishing the job I was elected to do is very important to me, especially the healthcare Taskforce."

Krause led the new Saline health care task force, which worked for nearly two years to collect local information and try to attract health providers to the city.

The task force was renewed  Monday night with Katelyn Schaible as the new chair.

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