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You are Viewing an Archived IssuePosted: 10/24/12
Bruce debates elected
by CHRIS GRAYThe Bruce Township Board of Trustees determined the upcoming election won't cause a need to re-appoint officials.
Observer Staff Writer
Officials decided on Oct. 17 by a vote of 2-3 not to rescind the appointment of Clerk Susan Brockmann to the Parks and Recreation Commission with Supervisor Jim Tignanelli, Trustee Paul Okoniewski and Brockmann dissenting.
On Sept. 19, the board voted 5-0 to re-appoint Brockmann to the commission for another four years. The current term expires in November along with other appointed terms.
A motion to appoint Treasurer Deborah Obrecht as the alternate failed 2-3 during the same meeting.
Obrecht said she asked the Michigan Townships Association (MTA), a non-profit governmental association, about the appointments. She was advised that elected officials cannot accept appointments nor approve elected officials outside of term limits.
She said the appointment, along with others, should be done by the new board after all candidates following the November election are certified and are sworn into office on Nov. 20.
"Regardless of if candidates are unopposed in the general election, the election process needs to be respected and recognized," Obrecht said.
Republican candidate Richard Cory collected the most votes during the Primary meaning he will take up the supervisor position barring a successful write-in campaign.
Supervisor Jim Tignanelli said board action cannot simply be nullified and that a motion to rescind the previous appointment would be required.
"We can't just say `forget it,'" he said.
Both he and Brockmann wondered if Obrecht looked into the issue because she hadn't been appointed as the alternate last month.
"I'm sure that most of you would know that had she not lost 3-2 when she recommended herself this wouldn't be going on," Tignanelli said.
He added that the MTA doesn't offer legal advice on matters.
"(Brockmann) can't serve if she's not elected," he said outside of the meeting. "If someone else is sworn in as clerk, the appointment is over."
Obrecht initially made a motion for all positions filled by elected officials to be done after the election, but later modified it to only rescind the Parks and Recreation appointment based on the MTA information.
"It's nothing to do with the people (being) qualified candidates, it's the process," she said.
Tignanelli said that despite the motion being voted down, another motion can be made to rescind the appointment at a later date.
Obrecht also had issue with the board chairperson making motions, though Tignanelli said that rule only applies in charter townships.
The current Parks and Recreation Commission is made up of Brockmann and Washington Township Clerk Kathy Bosheers, with Tignanelli and Washington Township Supervisor Dan O'Leary serving as alternates.
Other township appointments include positions like the Planning Commission board representative, ordinance enforcement officer and Community Media Center ombudsman.