Seven Parkman Residents Apply For Vacant Trustee Position
Thursday, January 17, 2013
All but two of seven applicants for Parkman Township’s vacant trustee position attended the trustees meeting Tuesday and introduced themselves, but the board made no decision as to their choice.
A decision is expected to be made during the board’s special meeting at 7 p.m. tonight in response to Chairman Kevin O’Reilly’s recommendation to have a meeting before the end of the month to discuss the possible choices and seek a decision.
The position became vacant when trustee Pat Joyce tendered his resignation without explanation effective Dec. 31.
The remaining trustees, O’Reilly and Nancy Ferguson, have until Jan. 31 to appoint a replacement.
Trustees had six resumes by the time of the meeting Tuesday, but some had been handed in that evening.
O’Reilly said he wanted time to study them before making a decision.
“We have seven people who have stepped up to the challenge of working with Kevin and me,” Ferguson said.
She said the five who came to the meeting should have a chance to speak.
When O’Reilly said the two trustees could go through the applications together in executive session, resident John Augustine said it would be in violation of the Sunshine Laws to do so.
Ferguson said she favored deciding in open session, as other townships have done.
Freeman Miller, a member of the Old Order Amish, was first to stand up.
Parkman has a growing population of Amish families, he said, adding his input on the board of trustees could get the Amish community more involved in the township.
“However you decide is fine with me,” Miller said.
Dennis Ikeler said he has been in the township since 1987 and served on the board of zoning appeals.
“I’d like to get involved with the community and hope to keep it going,” he said.
Ernie Conover said he is a long-time resident and believes in non-partisan politics, fiscal responsibility and maximizing the township’s services to the community.
Alan Preston said he has lived in Parkman more than 20 years, is a former member of the Cardinal Schools Board of Education, wants to continue to ensure safety and health in the community, keep the township rural and encourage development along Route 422.
Roger Anderson, a 15-year resident, said he has worked lots of pancake breakfasts and his daughter is an emergency medical technician on the fire department.
“I just think it’s too bad Pat decided to leave so fast here,” Anderson said.
O’Reilly said two other people have told him they are interested.
Paul Eaton, who works for Burton Village, was unable to attend the meeting, but left his resume, he said.
Former Trustee Lucinda Sharpe Gates, who was not present at the meeting, told him she’s interested but she didn’t submit a resume, O’Reilly said.
If O’Reilly and Ferguson can’t agree on a candidate to fill the post, the matter devolves to Joyce’s election committee made up of his wife, Mike and Candy Peters, Scott Simms and Sharpe Gates, O’Reilly said.
“It’s not a conflict of interest for Lucinda to be appointed. Lucinda is only one of five people. She can’t appoint herself,” he said.
Augustine said if the two sitting trustees can’t agree on one of the seven candidates, they should be able to find a qualified resident of the township upon whom they concur.
“We didn’t vote for that (election) committee. It would be really inappropriate for those people to decide on who a trustee is,” he said.
O’Reilly said one of the first criteria for consideration is the candidate needs to be willing to serve and should have come forward by now.
He and Ferguson agreed to have a special open meeting tonight to discuss the matter.
O’Reilly said they will study the resumes and talk to the candidates. Residents may each ask a question but he won’t allow personal questions or attacks.
“I’ve been a trustee for 12 years. It’s not like being president of the United States,” he said, adding trustees are responsible for the township roads, fire protection and cemeteries.
“We’re not doing things that are critical to our lives,” he added.