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Township pulls Malcomson from project

ALPENA — The Alpena Township Board of Trustees has removed building inspector Kirk Malcomson from an ongoing construction project and authorized township Supervisor Nathan Skibbe to demand Malcomson hand over all correspondence regarding the project.

The board’s Tuesday decision came a month after trustees disciplined Malcomson for insubordination. After being disciplined, Malcomson filed to run as a write-in candidate against Skibbe — who is Malcomson’s boss — in the November election.

“The Board of Trustees have been made aware of a couple of instances of questionable behavior, and we are looking into all issues that come to us,” Skibbe, who voted yea on both Tuesday motions regarding removing Malcomson from the project, said. “I think we, as an entire board, find it disheartening that any township employee may poorly represent us as a municipality.”

The board did not provide any further details about why it removed Malcomson from the project on Bear Point Road and discussed the issue in closed session. Malcomson did not attend Tuesday’s meeting.

Malcomson told The News Wednesday he couldn’t go into details about the project.

State law limits the matters elected boards can discuss behind closed doors. Closed session is allowed for personnel matters only if the employee being discussed requests it. The board can also go into closed session to discuss litigation or contract negotiations.

The board on Tuesday also authorized Skibbe to ask Alpena Building Official Don Gilmet to oversee the construction project.

The Bear Point Road project is apparently not the first project on which Malcomson’s had trouble.

During public comment at Tuesday’s board meeting, Ben Misiak, owner of Benjamin Builders in Alpena — which is not involved on Bear Point Road — said Malcomson was difficult to work with and on several instances went to customers of Misiak’s and talked negatively about him and his work. He said he was leary about coming to the trustees because he was concerned Malcomson may make conducting business with the township more difficult, especially in getting needed permits approved.

“I have seen his lack of professionalism, slander, bullying, and I could go on and on about his behavior,” Misiak said. “The last two jobs I have done here have been very difficult because of him and his attitude. He looks down on everyone around him. I really didn’t want to do this, but I had too and I’m not alone, there are other contractors that I speak for.”

“I’m the most professional building official you’ll ever meet,” Malcomson told The News on Wednesday. “I get letters and emails thanking me all the time. All you have to do is ask the other contractors and they will tell you. I’m fair and I enforce the regulations.”

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