Benton Harbor commissioners' office emptied

Harris sends order for relocation

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By Ryan Klund - rklund@abc57.com

 

BENTON HARBOR, Mich. - City commissioners no longer have an office a working office. The previous office in the Benton Harbor City Hall has been emptied.
In a direct, written order to commissioners dated December 22nd, the city’s emergency manager, Joe Harris, told elected officials to gather their personal things because the office was being relocated. No replacement office has been identified.
“What used to be my desk is gone,” said city commissioner Dennis Knowles. “All my items are gone.” Empty desks, one telephone and strewn items now fill the first floor office. The ‘Commissioner’s Office’ sign that once was posted on the door has been taken down.
Knowles says now he doesn’t have a place to work or check emails. “Now that we don’t have an office, don’t know where that office is, (we) don’t know what that next move is.”
The notice received by Knowles and other commissioners indicated that personal items were to be removed by December 29th. According to Knowles the office was locked Monday. Thursday it was empty.
Knowles thinks there might not be a new location at all. “To get rid of any representation, any access to representatives in a central location,” he said. He’s still waiting for an answer on where the new offices will be located.
Deputy City Manager Darwin Watson said Thursday that the only people that can answer questions about the relocation are Harris and Mayor James Hightower. As of Thursday night, neither had returned calls to ABC 57 News.
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