by David Gordon, reporting on the 1-23-2018 Board of Trustees meeting

For the first time since Marlene Chockley became Supervisor more than a year ago, the Board of Trustees meeting ended before 9pm, no thanks to Trustees Wayne Dockett or Tawn Beliger. Typically these meetings go until 10-11pm.

With a dramatically reduced Agenda (no Department Head reports or presentations, only two Agenda Items and three Discussion Items), the Board managed to conclude at 8:30 pm to a round of applause from the audience (just me, actually).

The meeting could have ended a half-hour sooner had Dockett and Beliger gotten answers to their general information questions before the meeting. The Board has all information delivered five days prior to the meeting.   Chockley has asked repeatedly for this to happen out of respect for the public and the rest of the Board, to no avail.

Typically, it seems Dockett and Beliger ask questions only to burnish their political image as “anti-tax crusaders” and “opponents of big, expensive government”. However, their actions don’t match their rhetoric.

Both voted in favor of spending $100,000/year to hire a township manager which many consider unnecessary. Only 3% of all Michigan townships employ a manager. The Supervisor, Clerk and Treasurer voted against the expense. Trustees Jacki Otto and Janet Chick also voted to hire a manager. It was the Trustees against the Administration, 4-3.

Our manager, Stephen Aynes, who is highly qualified and has 40 years of experience, has no authority over the Police or Fire Departments, nor the Clerk’s or Treasurer’s deputies nor the Supervisor or the Assessor, who reports to the Supervisor. He manages only the Waste Water Treatment Plant and the Community Center, both of which have their own director, and three office employees.

In other action, the Board directed Aynes to complete negotiations with LAWNET to rent the second floor of the Public Safety Building (aka Township Hall).   Dockett spent five minutes insisting the contract include costs for air conditioning and bathroom use.

In other news, Aynes requested the Board consider using some of the LAWNET rent to help redesign office space downstairs and possibly build a conference room upstairs.

The Board directed Aynes to come back with a more detailed and priced-out proposal.


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1-23-2018, 7:00pm Northfield Township Board of Trustees meeting LiveAgenda

1-23-2018, 6:30pm Northfield Township Board of Trustees Special meeting LiveAgenda