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Updated Wednesday, May 22, 2013 at 3 PM EST
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You are Viewing an Archived IssuePosted: 12/05/12
Residents unhappy about
deputy supervisor plans
by CHRIS GRAYA group of Bruce Township residents made it known they do not wish to see a deputy supervisor appointed.
Observer Staff Writer
During the Nov. 28 special meeting of the Board of Trustees, Supervisor Richard Cory decided against having discussions about his plans to appoint Village of Romeo Planning Commissioner Dennis Jokinen as the deputy supervisor.
Residents voiced their opinions on the matter<even after Cory decided to remove the item from the agenda<citing financial concerns or alleging Cory was unqualified for the position.
The supervisor has the ability to appoint someone to the position, but needs the rest of the board's approval on how to fund such a position.
Regarding the financial side of the position, he said it would not cost additional dollars to appoint Jokinen. He said a part-time worker who handles janitorial duties was willing to give up their pay to fund the position, and in turn Cory and Jokinen would help with the janitorial work.
Cory said he removed the item from the agenda in the "best interest of the township" after hearing comments from people about the subject.
"I listened to the people<a lot of people got a hold of me, people in the office<and that's why I took it off the agenda," he said.
Cory didn't indicate, though, as to whether or not he would bring the item back for discussion.
Residents expressed their displeasure in Cory's decision to consider a deputy supervisor position. David Eichbrecht said he was "embarrassed" to say he lives in Bruce Township because of it, and asked the board to not act upon it.
"I quite frankly think it's unconscionable eight days after you took office to basically say that you're incapable of running this township," he said. "I hope that this doesn't come back up on the agenda again."
His wife, Deborah Eichbrecht, said Cory should've known the supervisor's duties during the voting process, and suggested Cory resign and let the board appoint someone or hold another election.
"If you think you cannot do the job, do not put this township in these times through the ordeal of sitting and pacing it," she said.
She asked him multiple times to stand up, but Cory refused. She then asked him to look to his left and right, indicating the board members to his sides.
"Those are also people you can go to for your transitioning . . . they're very competent, capable people," she said.
Trese Servitto-Smith, who ran unsuccessfully for clerk, said she was concerned about the money side of it, but said an employee had already been promoted to full time to be an assistant to the supervisor.
"Why wouldn't it be Richard's choice to pick that person," she said.
Outside of the meeting, Clerk Susan Brockmann said this was moving the deputy clerk to full time status and offering additional duties to serve the supervisor.
"Their main job is general office manager, but they assist with the supervisor," Brockmann said.
Jim Tignanelli, the former supervisor, said he understood Cory wanting a friend to help him in an unfamiliar setting, but believes withdrawing the item from the agenda was a good decision.
"For all the reasons you thought it might be good<comfort, help, talent, whatever it might be<I still think you did the right thing, and I hope that you stick with it, but it is your choice," he said.
He, too, suggested gaining assistance from staff and board members. He questioned, though, how Treasurer Deborah Obrecht could support appointing a deputy supervisor that could cost the township money when she was against raises for employees.
"It's just colossal hypocrisy to come in here and say we should be paying somebody to do jobs that are already here after all these years you have told our people no raises," he said.
After the meeting, Cory said he will continue to listen to the public's opinion as their supervisor.
"People have the right to stand up at a public meeting and express their views, and that's what makes our country great," he said. "This was small-town Americana today."