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Buchanan's city manager resigns at a tense commission meeting

A white sign for Buchanan City Hall sits on the manila brick building of the same name. The sign has a light blue trim around it, with the text reading "Welcome to Buchanan, Life is better here" finish with the label of the building.
Michael Symonds
Buchanan's Wednesday meeting was not one of cordial debate, with one commissioner using several swear words to express his disapproval with the city's leadership.

A special meeting of the Buchanan City Commission took an unruly turn Wednesday evening.

After less than a year in the position, Buchanan City Manager Ben Eldridge was placed on paid suspension in early November.

That’s after employees of the small Berrien County city lodged more than 40 complaints against him.

At Wednesday’s meeting, Eldridge talked for more than an hour, defending his record.

He then submitted his letter of resignation.

Commissioner Daniel Vigansky, a staunch ally of Eldridge, urged the board not to accept his resignation.

He said Eldridge was being railroaded.

“We followed mutineers. We didn't hang the mutineers, we hung the, we hung the captain,” Vigansky said.

Commissioner Vigansky swore so much during his comments that the mayor threatened to have him removed.

The board voted to accept City Manager Eldridge’s resignation.

Michael Symonds reports for WMUK through the Report for America national service program.

Report for America national service program corps member Michael Symonds joined WMUK’s staff in 2023. He covers the “rural meets metro” beat, reporting stories that link seemingly disparate parts of Southwest Michigan.