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by David Gordon

Northfield Township residents on Nov. 8 elected an all-Republican Board of Trustees that will take control of local government on Nov. 20, including a completely new administration comprised of Supervisor Marlene Chockley, Clerk Kathy Manley and Treasurer Lenore Zelenock .

They will take on the task of running the township along with re-elected Trustees Jacki Otto, Janet Chick and Wayne Dockett and newcomer Tawn Beliger.

Vote Tally

Northfield Trustee  Votes Percent
  Jacqueline R. Otto (R) 2238 14.57%
  Janet M. Chick (R) 2219 14.45%
  Tawn Beliger (R) 2194 14.29%
  Wayne F. Dockett (R) 2128 13.86%
  Susan E. Shink (D) 1791 11.66%
  Margaret Riddell (D) 1659 10.80%
  Udo O. J. Huff (D) 1587 10.33%
  Patrick Tetreau (D) 1528 9.95%
  Kathleen Manley (R) 2202 60.43%
  Michele K. Manning (I) 1429 39.22%
  Lenore M. Zelenock (R) 2968 97.92%
  Marlene Chockley (R) 2493 58.43%
  John C. Zarzecki (D) 1765 41.36%

The new Board will face some major decisions immediately upon taking office.

Three openings will occur on the Planning Commission by Dec. 31, as Ms. Chockley cannot continue to serve on the PC and also as Supervisor.  The terms of PC Chair Ken Dignan and member Mark Stanalajczo expire as well.    

In addition, the Board must weigh whether to renew the township manager’s contract.  The cost is substantial - about $150,000/year.

The Nov. 8 winners all ran on a platform of respecting residents, transparency and fiscal responsibility, three things that were in short supply these last four years.

In addition, candidates Chockley, Manley, Chick and Otto outlined their goals as:

  • Fostering residential development in accordance with the Master Plan.
  • Revitalizing downtown Whitmore Lake.
  • Helping Whitmore Lake schools attract new families.
  • Aggressively recruiting new businesses to expand the tax base and
  • Protecting natural areas and farmland.

Although their goals were listed in that order, both Otto and Chockley said all the items were equally important, and that farmland preservation would be a priority.

“I am passionate about farmland preservation,” said Chockley.

Let’s hope the new Board will be more open to differing viewpoints, more transparent in their behavior, more inclusive with all residents, and more prudent with our tax dollars.

Northfield Neighbors will continue to watchdog the Board’s behavior, report their actions on this website, and alert you to anything we feel doesn’t live up to the promises our elected officials made.