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Ex-official convicted in blight effort holding cleanup

Associated Press

Bay City — A former Bay City commissioner who was convicted of a misdemeanor for putting a neighbor’s lawn mower, grill and fire pit on the curb as part of an anti-blight effort is again seeking volunteers to help clean up the city.

Chad Sibley told The Bay City Times he’s organizing the second-annual cleanup day on April 23 to remove trash and rake yards of foreclosed properties that are usually off limits.

“We need to keep cleaning up Bay City,” Sibley said. “I know there are going to be naysayers about me, but that’s not going to stop me from doing good things in our city.”

In April 2015, weeks before last year’s cleanup day, Sibley said he moved his neighbor’s items to the curb for pickup because of safety concerns. The previous owner of the home lost the property because of unpaid taxes but still had permission to recover her possessions.

Sibley said it was a mistake. He ended up being charged, was sentenced to probation for larceny less than $200 and lost his re-election bid in November. Sibley, who had been a commissioner since 2011, was active in tackling blight in the city, helping the city secure grant dollars.

Bay County Treasurer Rick Brzezinski said he has identified 40 properties that he is inspecting to make sure people are no longer living in those homes. He said volunteers are allowed to clean up the yards and anything outside of the foreclosed home as part of the event.

Sibley’s cleanup coincides with a citywide cleanup day. Sponsored by the Bay City mayor and the city’s Citizens District Councils, residents are encouraged to bring all kinds of old junk to two different sites. And volunteers will clean up the Bay Area Riverwalk and Rail Trail.