Plymouth Township board names supervisor
Attorney Kevin Bennett and Fire Chief Dan Phillips tabulate the point scores of each of the final eight candidates
Apr. 9, 2014 PLYMOUTH EAGLE.
Plymouth Michigan News
“Tonight, four members of the township board put politics ahead of people.”
During a raucous meeting peppered with fiery comments from the audience
Price’s appointment had been rumored for months as the choice of Township Treasurer Ron Edwards and the members of the local Republican Party Committee, many of whom were in the audience.
Price will replace beleaguered former Supervisor Richard Reaume who submitted his resignation last month. Reaume, under threat of recall, sent his resignation from Florida where he purchased two homes recently as speculation grew he would leave his $111,000 job.
During the meeting, chaired for the second time in a week by Township Clerk Nancy Conzelman, audience members made fervent requests and pleas to the board for public input into the selection. Several expressed outrage about what they called “a sick mockery of the democratic process.”
Conzelman asked township attorney Kevin Bennett and Fire Chief Dan Phillips to tabulate the point scores of each of the final eight candidates. The rating methodology was agreed to during an emotional meeting Tuesday. Each of the six remaining board members was instructed to choose their top three candidates, awarding three points to the candidate they felt most qualified, two to their second choice and a single point to their third choice.
Edwards, who reportedly brokered Price as Reaume’s replacement months ago with local Republican committee leader Mike Mitchell, gave Price three points, as did Conzelman and Trustee Kay Arnold. Mike Kelly, a trustee who many viewed as a possible swing voter, gave Price two points.
Bennett announced the point totals, asking each trustee to confirm their vote. Price was first with 11 points followed by Ray Byers and Mark Cord for second. Byers, a former Wayne County official, Cord a banking and finance manager, each received six points.
“I’m humbled…there’s a lot of work to do and I’m going to have to prove myself,” Price said after the meeting.
Byers said that the results were not surprising. “The results were predictable,” Byers said with a smile right after the meeting. Byers who celebrated his 72nd birthday earlier that day said other than the meeting on March 31 he hadn’t been to board meeting since the 70s.
State Rep. Kurt Heise, the first candidate to declare his interest in the job, and the obvious favorite of the audience, was obviously disappointed in the selection and the process.
“Tonight, four members of the township board put politics ahead of people. They appointed someone who moved here two months ago, with no relevant education, and very little experience,” Heise said. “There were clearly other candidates with superior public and private sector backgrounds.
“Apparently, it’s not a matter of what you know, but who you know. No wonder people are so cynical about politics nowadays,” he added.
Trustee Bob Doroshewitz, who also expressed his interest in the job, was also visibly upset at the choice of the board. He said that Reaume’s resignation to make room for Price was openly discussed throughout the township and on the internet for months. Arnold attempted to rebut Doroshewitz’ claims which prompted criticism from Conzelman. Doroshewitz said he had a right to express his opinion despite Conzelman’s attempts to quiet him. After loudly casting his no vote on Price’s appointment, Doroshewitz took off his microphone, put on his hat and abruptly left the meeting.
“I arrived hopeful that there would be open discussion and we would come together to reach a consensus. It was clear to me that it was fixed when Price was appointed without a single word from any who sup- ported him,” Doroshewitz said after the meeting.
The voting tally followed the usual pattern with Arnold, Conzelman and Edwards, who are all facing a recall effort, voting as a block. Kelly also voted yes on Price’s appointment while Doroshewitz and Trustee Chuck Curmi, also a candidate for the supervisor’s position, voted no.