village Council

VIllage Council

The first meeting of the Village Council was held on the 8th day of May, 1907, and was held at the Szatkowski Hall. Officers were: August H. Adams, President; John Szatkowski, Clerk; Charles Stevens, Treasurer; John Bruske, Assessor; and Council Members V. D. Vincent, Martin Crawford, Xavier Busza, Joseph Smith, Horace Robinson, and Peter Kasprzyk. At this first meeting it was resolved that the Treasurer's bond for the ensuing year be $1,500. A committee on liquor bonds was appointed. A committee on ways and means was appointed. A committee on streets was appointed and a committee on claims and accounts was appointed.

The Liquor Committee approved liquor bonds for John Smolinnski and Frank Bronikowski.

Future problems included Marshall's salary, drainage tile in the village (it is interesting to note that the tile was finally purchased from Besser Company in Alpena), building of streets, finances and most important at that time, fire protection.

At a December, 1907 meeting it was decided that wells should be dug in the village to be used for fire protection. In August of the year 1908, it was decided to dig two fire wells, on 12 x 12 to be dug in the highway between the properties of Theophil Kowalski and Mrs. Peter Gabryskiak; the other to be dug some feet north from Kostek Lewandowski's house. Both wells were to be either stoned or planked and to be dug deep enough to supply sufficient water for fire protection.

In June the Council had approved the purchase of a LaFrance fire engine and an order placed. However, when it was delivered in July they were presented with the problem of removing this large and extremely heavy piece of equipment from the D & M car which delivered it. It was decided that laborers would be hired to help move the engine and that the old store room by Joseph Lewandowski's would be rented for the storage of the engine and that this building could also serve as a Council Room and be used for other village purposes. The rent was set at $1.00 per month.

Walter Lewandowski was appointed to be the first Chief of the Fire Department and it was decided that a fire alarm bell should be purchased. With the organization of a Fire Department, unforeseen problems arose concerning how much to pay fire watchers and fire fighters.

The people of the Posen area, though hard-working, did enjoy some relaxation and friendly conversation in the village saloons. The Village Council passed a resolution which appears to have been aimed at keeping both the saloon keeper and the waiting wife happy. It was ruled that all saloons were to be closed at 10:00 p.m. but could be opened at 6:00 a.m. (not before). They were to be kept closed all day Sunday and at all times the window shades were to be left UP so that anyone could see the bar room at any time from the outside. In May of 1912 modern times took over and the opening time was changed to 5:30 a.m. and in September of 1913, John Muszynski was given special permission to remain open on weekdays, except Saturday, until 11:00 p.m.

In later years, the question of selling liquor became a problem. In April of 1940 at a special election regarding the sale of liquor by the glass, the proposal was turned down by a vote of 65 to 28. In April of 1947, at another special election, this decision was reversed by a vote of 50 to 37.

In the years between then and now many things have changed, but we still find similar problems. In May of 1910, the Village Council was faced with the problem of litter much the same as our problem of today. May 16, 1910, was officially set aside as Cleaning Day in Posen and notices were posted in all public buildings instructing the people that this was an official cleaning day and that the health officers would be notified of an inspection following the cleanup.

The discipline of the youngsters was also a problem. In June of 1911, the Council found it necessary to set a curfew. All minors were to be off the streets by 8:30 p.m. standard time and notice would be given of the time by ringing the bell at the village hall. The Village Marshall was given the responsibility of ringing the bell and was paid $2.00 per month for the job.

In June of 1912, the sophistication of the city dwellers was felt when the Council found it necessary to pass a resolution that no cattle, horses, sheep or goats would be allowed to run at large within the village limits. That in December of that year the question of street lights was brought out. In May of 1913, the purchase of six cuspidors for the village hall was at the top of the agenda.

With the coming of automotive power it was necessary to set up speed limits within the village. The limit was set at 15 m.p.h. with a fine of from $5 to $25 for breaking the law.