State Rep. Kurt Heise, who has announced his interest in the supervisor’s post, listens to the discussion at the meeting Saturday. Photo by Don Howard
Mar. 28, 2015 PLYMOUTH EAGLE.
Plymouth Michigan News
Residents of Plymouth Township willing to become the municipal supervisor have until 7 p.m. tomorrow to notify the board of trustees of their interest in the job vacated by Richard Reaume last week.
Candidates need only be a township resident and a registered voter, according to a legal opinion rendered to the board of trustees. Included with a letter of interest should be a resume and any other qualification documentation appropriate to the position.
Reaume, who sent a formal letter of resignation to the board and Township Clerk Nancy Conzelman from one of his Florida homes last Sunday, will officially retire April 6. State law allows the board of trustees 45 days from that date to fill the vacancy by appointment. After that time, the Wayne County Clerk would call a special election to fill the top job in the township.
Following township charter procedures, the board met in a special session last Saturday and unanimously elected first-term clerk Conzelman as the interim president pro-tem of the board. In that capacity, she chaired the standing-room-only meeting and facilitated the discussion of the procedures and process to name a new township superintendent, which was somewhat contentious.
Kurt Heise, the current Republican state representative has publicly declared his interest in the job, while former township and city police chief and Republican Party activist Carl Berry told the 11th Republican District representatives at a meeting last week that he “would be willing to serve” and said he has had “many phone calls” urging him to take the job. Heise has said that the township “is in crisis” and needs leadership. Berry told his party members that he would “stabilize the township” but would not seek re-election to the job. Berry was accompanied at the Saturday meeting by three party delegates.
Also long-rumored to be interested in the position is current Wayne County Commissioner Shannon Price, who has not yet made any formal declaration about his candidacy for the job at press time.
A hesitant Conzelman was convinced to allow public comment by Trustee Chuck Curmi, the single no vote on her appointment as interim board president, at the Saturday meeting. Trustee Bob Doroshewitz made it clear that he would support a candidate from the current elected board and is not in favor of an out- side person being named to the job. Doroshewitz has also been rumored to be interested in the supervisor’s position. He said that an outside candidate could not understand the significant problems the board faces and that this was a chance for the current elected officials to start anew and correct problems in the township. Doroshewitz indicated he would make a decision about seeking the appointment this week. Curmi has also been suggested as a candidate for the supervisor’s position.
Obviously concerned about decorum, there was a significant police presence at the 2 1⁄2 hour meeting including five officers and Police Chief Tom Tiderington. The board members officially voted to accept Reaume’s resignation without comment.
During discussion of qualifications and the time frame for the appointment to the job, Treasurer Ron Edwards, who along with Reaume, Trustee Kay Arnold and Conzelman is facing a recall effort, said, “I need someone I can work with.”
Reaume, and the other recall targets, faced strong criticism for approval of a controversial $2 million recreational plan proposed by Edwards for the township and approving other covert projects, along with several lawsuits and an ongoing federal investigation. Residents have been protesting the recreation plan and the expenses during public meetings for months.
Members of the committee gathering signatures on the recall petitions were not surprised by Reaume’s resignation.
Organizer Sandy Groth said that the group would continue to hold the board accountable and continue to solicit signatures on the recall petitions.
“We think Richard’s (Reaume) departure is good for the township…he was seriously lacking in leadership ability and public service skills as evidenced by his erratic behavior at board of trustee meetings in the past years,” Groth said. She also suggested that it was inappropriate for the board to allow Reaume to continue to receive his salary until April 6 while he remains in Florida.
“We deserve better,” she said.
Attorney and recall committee organizer Chris Hunter agreed that the effort to oust the other members of the board would continue.
“Mr. Reaume’s resignation comes as no surprise. We feel the recall effort was very influential in the timing of this decision, and we plan to continue our efforts. This is a real testament to the township residents who came out to voice their concerns about the actions of certain trustees, and especially to those who volunteered their time seeking signatures in order to have their voices heard.
“It is our sincere hope the remaining trustees under recall will listen to the township citizens and start working with us, instead of for their own personal interest,” he said.
The board members are expected to name a new supervisor at the March 31 meeting after a review of applicants and interviews. The new supervisor will serve until November of 2016, when Reaume’s current term expires.