Saline City Council Passes Unusual Motion in Support of Marl, Dillon on Saline Fire Board


Saline City Council approved a strangely-worded proclamation of the continued appointment of Mayor Brian Marl and Councillor Janet Dillon to the Saline Area Fire Board.

At the July 1 meeting, the council voted 6-0 to adopt the proclamation. Councillor Chuck Lesch was absent.

Recently, the city and Saline, York and Lodi townships agreed to amend the fire services agreement. Each government is represented by two representatives. Before this change, both representatives were required to be elected officials. The new agreement allows non-elected officials to be appointed to the board.

Saline City Council opted to maintain Marl and Dillon as its representatives. 

What's strange about the new Saline City Council proclamation is that it's a ringing endorsement of Marl and Dillon. Here are some excerpts:

  • "... both Mayor Brian Marl and Mayor Pro-Tem Janet Dillon have effectively represented the interests of the City of Saline in the performance of their duties as appointed members of the Saline Area Fire Board..."
  •  "... the Saline City Council is united in its full confidence of representation on the Saline Area Fire Board.."

In addition, the council also calls for a comprehensive assessment of fire services to be conducted in 2025-26.

Why is that strange? When council appointed Marl and Dillon in January, they were simply listed among councillors appointed to various boards and commissions. There were no statements about being united behind Jack Ceo on the Environment Commission, for example.

The new proclamation reads like a vote of confidence in Marl and Dillon.

And it could be seen as an endorsement of Marl's efforts to have the Saline Area Fire Board fire Jason Sperle, Chief of the Saline Area Fire Department.

On May 16, the Saline Area Fire Board held a special meeting at Marl's request. At the outset of the meeting, firefighters and other Sperle supporters urged the board not to fire Sperle. The board entered closed session and took no action when it reopened the meeting to the public.

Fire board officials reached by The Saline Post said Marl had previously been lobbying to fire Sperle. Since then, officials have confirmed that Sperle was the subject of the meeting.

At the moment, the city representatives want Sperle replaced, but the public showing of support for Sperle has impacted other fire board members.

To date, members of Saline City Council, other than Councillor Dean Girbach, have refused to comment on questions about the matter.

"Decisions regarding oversight, adequate redundancies, EEOC (Equal Employment Opportunity Commission) compliance, financial controls, and overall operational management have raised many alarms as to whether the current operation is headed in the right direction," Girbach said.

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It’s almost comical. Of course council rallies around their own. To expect current council to look at the facts regarding Marl’s shady attempt to oust the fire chief is like expecting SCOTUS to go against TRUMP.  
Lost all respect for Saline City Council!

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