After extensive debate at the Nov. 1 meeting, the Delhi Township Board of Trustees decided to continue ahead with its original plan in appointing a new township treasurer.
In wake of the retirement of current township treasurer Harry Ammon, which will be effective at the end of the year, the board is tasked with appointing a replacement until the general elections in 2012.
But Trustee Derek Bajema voiced concerns during last Tuesday’s meeting about whether the decision should instead be left up to the voting public, suggesting the candidates for treasurer be placed on the ballot in the upcoming primary.
“I just think this is a decision that should be left up to the people to decide,” Bajema said during the meeting.
Current state law dictates a vacancy must be filled within 45 days. If the board does not make an appointment within that time period the decision moves to a public ballot.
Trustee Evan Hope said the 45-day window would close two weeks before the election in February essentially rendering it impossible to place the treasurer position on the ballot.
“This confirmed my original thinking that I voiced during the meeting Tuesday,” Hope said. “It just wouldn’t be feasible to wait the 45 days and then make a motion to say to place it on the February ballot.”
Hope said the board could still decide to take no action and subsequently hold an election, but the election wouldn’t be in February.
“At that point it would be a completely different process if the county had to step in and handle the election and ultimately the township would have to pay for it,” he said.
Outgoing treasurer Harry Ammon said it would be foolish to have an election in February and then another again the following November.
“Why spend the money when you’re going to have another (election) in nine months,” Ammon said. “It just doesn’t make any sense.”
Ammon said it has been precedent for the board to appoint someone into the position, citing that he was appointed as treasurer two years before an election was held.
“In response to Bajema, we are elected to represent the people’s voice,” Ammon said. “Our job is to make those appointments and those decisions and that’s why we’re elected to begin with.”
Although the board is currently accepting outside applications for the position, Ammon said he recommends current Trustee Roy Sweet to take over the position.
“Sweet has an accounting background, he’s worked in the accounting field and for Holt High School doing payroll—he’s the one most interested in accounting-type questions when we have auditors (at the meeting),” Ammon said.
“He’s a logical choice and I thought he was a good fit and he’s been a great trustee.”
Sweet has served on the board since 2005.
The entire Board of Trustees is up for re-election in 2012.