Editorial by Jim Nelson

Coming up is the six month anniversary of the election which fired the Board which hired the Township's first Township Manager.

Nevertheless, our new Township Board, bullied by Trustee Jacki Otto, and her narrow constituency, Chick, Dockett, and Beliger, is again jamming an unwanted Township Manager down the throats of Township Taxpayers.  On Thursday May 4 the Board held a special taxpayer dollar wasting special meeting to cull the resumes of those would-be Howard Finks willing to work for the low salary proposed by our Board.  

This will be the six month anniversary as well of the Township being run "just fine" by the elected management team of Supervisor Chockley, Clerk Kathy Manley, and Treasurer Lenore Zelenock. 

They're being horribly underpaid for this.  Underpaying the elected representatives is a creepy idea dating back to the Trusteeship of Mark Stanalajczo, a 2008-2012 era appointed replacement Trustee who was thrown out of office in 2012.   The objective on its face: that underpaying elected representatives would balance out the money paid to a manager and his staff.  It was never even close to truth.  Only a few innumerate rubes actually believed in the premise. 

The real reason was to make it impossible for an ordinary citizen to aspire to run the township.  No one could afford to do the Supervisor's, Clerk's, or Treasurer's duties for $12,000 per year.  Instead an outside hireling, one beholden to and easily controlled by a few Board members or worse, non elected outsiders, would control access to power and services and planning in the township.  This is a standard political scam for stealing power from taxpayers and their chosen elected officials.

We saw what happened with deposed Manager Howard Fink.  The 2012-2016 Board did nothing to control him.  They were invested in pretending that he was doing a good job.   In return, he stroked their precious egos.  Every chance he got, Fink told them how wonderful they were, what a joy they were to work with.  Trustees Otto and Chick backed his distortions, mendacity, and self serving all the way to the end.  They paid lip service to citizen complaints, "shared" and tut-tutted their concerns - but they did nothing.

The same thing will happen with any new hire.  What's ironic is that this bullying, manipulation, self serving, and twisting of facts is the defining characteristic of the swamp that so many of you voted to drain in Washington.  Well, it isn't working there.  Maybe you should look a little closer to home, where you've got some influence, or did. 

The Swamp is in Northfield Township. 

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