Wednesday, October 12, 2011

More To The Story: Township Government Appointees

Hi All,

My last post informed you of the appointees chosen by the Township Board of Trustees for the vacant positions on the Zoning Board of Appeals and the Planning Commission.  On Oct. 11, 2011, those appointees were sworn in at the ZBA meeting. (for photos and article see:

Here is what I didn't tell you then...but you should know now.

1. The Board of Trustees did not interview any candidates in person, to my knowledge. One Board member actually suggested interviews.  The positions are generally for 3 years.

2. Even though the criteria for the positions said: 18 yrs., registered voter, 30 days living in Township, the Township Board seemed to have a rather more specific criteria in mind.  The Township leaders repeatedly mentioned wanting people who have already been involved with the Township in one way or another.  I don't think some applicants had a chance.

3. The Board seemed to be looking for people who will support the upcoming renewal of the 2.5 mills for public safety and actively endorse/work for that renewal.  For some reason, knowing the person and their millage positions seemed important.  What does that have to do with being on the ZBA and Planning Commission?  Knowledge of the law, ability to read site/building plans along with the confidence to make reasonable decisions should be more important.

4. The Township attorney gave an opinion that elected officials are not usually appointed to other Boards with the same general constituency, but that there is no statute that prohibits the Board from appointing Ms. Pam Williams, an elected Library Board Trustee, as alternate to the ZBA.  So, they appointed her. 

5. Since Ms. Stefanes resigned from both the ZBA and the Planning Commission (because employees may not also be board members), it was discussed at a Township meeting that perhaps Mr. Taylor should not be on the ZBA.  He is also a paid employee of the Township with the Board of Review that meets every March to hear taxpayer requests to adjust their tax assessments.  The Township budget lists as a line item:  salary and wages for those positions.  However, no decision was made by the Township Board of Trustees as to his status as employee or not.  As a result of the non-action,  Mr. Taylor was nominated by a Trustee to be the new Chairperson of the ZBA.  Apparently only Ms. Stefanes was asked to resign.  Why?

6. During public comment of an earlier meeting, I asked the Board what will be the procedure for appointment for those positions on the ZBA and Planning Commission that will expire Jan/2012?   Traditionally, the Board of Trustees appoint new members in December (2011).  Will the positions be posted and new applications be reviewed? Answer, I don't know.  According to Township tradition...the members of the Board do NOT need to respond to the questions asked during public comment.  They chose not to answer this question. 

7. Bottom line:  if you want to be in Bloomfield Township government..know the leaders and agree with their game plan.    My opinion.

8. Open and transparent government....that is what should be tradition.

9. If you are interested in being a CANDIDATE for Supervisor, Clerk, Treasurer or one of the four Trustee positions that expire in must meet filing deadlines in early May 2012 for the primary election to be held in early August 2012.   All 7 positions expire in Nov. 2012.


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