Delhi Township Board discusses EPA recognition and gets 2011 annual report

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Editor’s note: Two facts were changed on Feb. 27 from the original story. They are marked.

By Zach Smith
Holt Journal staff writer

The Delhi Charter Township Department of Public Services has been recognized by the EPA for its development of a new way to use sludge.

The Delhi Township Board met on Tuesday, Feb. 7, 2012, at the Community Cervices Center and discussed this honor.

The Delhi Township Department of Public Services created a way to use sludge as fuel without needing regulation from the EPA.

Sandra Diorka, director of Public Services, spoke on behalf of the department.

“We are proposing to replace coal with sludge,” Diorka said.

Diorka said that the township was the first in the nation to institute this.

The National Association of Clean Water Agencies will recognize the Township Department of Public Services in Washington, D.C.

The board also discussed the 2011 Annual Report by the township clerk’s office.

Township Clerk Evan Hope began the meeting by presenting statistics that his office recoded from 2011.

The responsibilities of the clerk’s office include taking care of Freedom of Information Act requests, keeping up the township website, conducting voter registration, keeping a database of township records and taking care of cemeteries.

A few different statistics stood out.

The sale of plots and funerals set a record with $71,871.16 in total cemetery revenue.

Also, there were 26 FOIA requests, down from previous years. There were 37 requests in 2010, and there was a high of 122 requests in 2004.

The surprise of the year was the 9.12 percent turnout for an uncontested school board election. There were 1,377 votes in the election and $12,015.87 in revenue.

The board welcomed a new member after the retirement of the township treasurer Harry Ammon.

DiAnne Warfield was on the Downtown Development Authority and the Planning Commission for Delhi Township before being elected appointed from 19 candidates as a township trustee.

“I want diversity,” Warfield said. “When you look up there what do you see? Older, white men.”

Warfield has been living in Delhi Township her whole life since 1993 and works at the library.

During the approval of the minutes, Trustee Derek Bajema spoke up with an addition to the minutes from the previous meeting.

He said he was worried that the public was not informed as much as they should have been about the election of Trustee Warfield. He wanted there to be more information added to the minutes about the process of electing a new trustee.

“Transparency,” he said. “I want more people to see what’s going on.”

Bajema also said he felt the election was fixed. When Warfield was being interviewed by the trustees, she said she contacted them all, but Bajema says he was never contacted.

“It was greased,” Bajema said. “I just want all 19 people to have a chance.”

2 thoughts on “Delhi Township Board discusses EPA recognition and gets 2011 annual report

  1. I read the following in your article….”DiAnne Warfield was on the Downtown Development Authority and the Planning Commission for Delhi Township before being elected from 19 candidates as a township trustee.”

    I just want to correct this. Warfield was not elected to the board. She was appointed to the board. I would feel better if you could change the parts in the article that say Warfield was elected to the board when in reality she was appointed by the current Delhi Township board. Thanks! Greg Guikema

  2. Hi Zach. I appreciate your article, but must correct a few inaccuracies.

    I haven’t lived in Holt all my life. I moved to Delhi Township in 1993, and have lived here since.

    I never “campaigned” to be Trustee. I applied for the position, and was interviewed on two consecutive nights.

    Regarding Mr. Bajema saying I never contacted him: The question I was answering from the Board was “Do you see the Township Board as being “accessible” or “user friendly” to the residents?” My answer was, “I do. My experience with both the Planning Commission and DDA has shown me the transparency the township demands via open meetings, public agendas, time allowed and encouraged for public comment. I have communicated with this Board via email and letters to the editor.” After I had answered all the questions asked by the Board, Mr. Goodrich asked if anyone on the Board had any further questions. Mr. Bajema then asked me when I had contacted the Board via email. I clarified that I didn’t contact ALL the Board members, only that I had communicated with some of the Board members.

    Finally, I think if you are going to print an accusation like “it was greased” you should speak to the Supervisor and other Board members for a reply or chance to rebut such an inflammatory remark. His statement certainly casts aspersions on my character, my qualifications, and my position as duly appointed Trustee. Perhaps Mr. Bajema could have told you why he voted for my appointment, if the process and appointment was so objectionable to him.

    Thank you for your time and best of luck with your studies at MSU.