April 04, 2012 - Opportunities abound these days for folks interested in getting involved in Oxford village and township governments.
Due to last week's resignation of Councilman Kevin Stephison, the village is seeking someone to fill the seat until the September 2013 election.
Applicants must be at least 21 years old, a registered voter and a village resident for at least six months.
Council is expected to formally accept Stephison's resignation at its Tuesday, April 10 meeting after which, based on the village charter, it will have 30 days to appoint someone to fill the vacant seat.
Village Manager Joe Young noted that so far only one person, Elgin Nichols, has applied for the seat. Nichols currently serves on the village planning commission and ZBA.
Applications for the seat can be obtained from the village office at 22 W. Burdick St. For their services, which include two regular meetings each month, council members receive $15 for every meeting they attend. A councilperson's compensation cannot exceed $500 per year with the exception of the village president, who receives an extra $200.
For those who don't feel ready to serve on council, Young noted there are two vacancies on the planning commission and there will be one opening on the Downtown Development Authority (DDA) once Stephison's resignation from that board takes effect ths month.
Village residency is the only requirement to serve on the planning commission.
However, in order to fill Stephison's seat on the DDA, applicants must live within the district's boundaries.
Both state law and the DDA's bylaws require that at least one of the board's nine members must reside in the downtown district. Stephison filled that requirement given he lives above Huntoon Funeral Home.
Village planning commissioners and DDA members receive no compensation.
Township residents who are looking to make a difference in their government will have seven opportunities to serve.
That's because all seven seats on the township board are up for grabs in the August primary and November general elections.
Oxford's township board consists of three full-time elected officials – supervisor, clerk and treasurer – and four trustee positions.
All posts carry four-year terms.
The supervisor earns $62,872 annually, plus benefits, while the clerk and treasurer are each paid $53,106 per year, plus benefits. Trustees earn $110 for each regular and special meeting they attend and $95 for committee meetings. Regular meetings are held once a month.
Those interested in running for township board as either a Republican or Democrat have until 4 p.m. Tuesday, May 15 to file an affidavit of identity and nominating petitions signed by at least 20, but no more than 50, registered Oxford voters.
Because village residents are also township residents, they too are eligible to run for any of the seven positions.
All of the necessary candidate paperwork can be obtained in one convenient packet from the township clerk's department located at 300 Dunlap Rd., just north of Seymour Lake Rd.
CJ Carnacchio is editor for The Oxford Leader. He lives in the Village of Oxford with his wife Connie and daughter Larissa. When he's not busy working on the newspaper, he enjoys cigars/pipes, Martinis/Scotch, hunting and fishing.