September 26, 2012 - It appears that Lori Fisher could be the next treasurer of Addison Township – at least until November.
Lori Fisher (click for larger version)
Supervisor Bruce Pearson has called a special township board meeting for 5:30 p.m. Wednesday, Sept. 26 at the municipal complex (1440 Rochester Rd.) in Lakeville.
At this meeting, Pearson will recommend that the board appoint Fisher to the treasurer's position, which was vacated when Dan Alberty passed away Aug. 28 after a long and valiant battle with cancer. He was 68.
"That's the option I'm giving the board," he said. "There's nobody else who's applied, nobody else who's filed as a write-in (candidate for treasurer in the Nov. 6 election). We've had inquiries on the phone asking about how to be a write-in, but nobody's ever gone any farther than that. The only person that's officially filed as a write-in is Lori Fisher."
Pearson said Fisher is "the person that showed the interest, the person that's qualified, the person who wanted the job."
"So, I have no qualms whatsoever about appointing her," he noted. "We do need help in our treasurer's office."
Fisher, a Republican, ran against Alberty, who had been treasurer since 2000, back in the August primary election, but lost by a margin of 535 to 314.
After Alberty's death, Fisher filed as a write-in candidate for the Nov. 6 general election. No names will appear on the ballot in the treasurer's spot. All candidates must be write-ins and they must officially file as such by 4 p.m. Friday, Oct. 26.
In addition to having a business degree and strong financial/management background in the private sector, Fisher has a history of community involvement ranging from the Leonard Elementary PTO to the Friends of the Addison Township Public Library.
When asked if he believes the board will approve his recommendation of Fisher, Pearson replied, "I think that would be a good horse to bet on. That's my indication. Actually, the board members are the ones demanding that something be done."
Originally, Pearson was opposed to the idea of the board appointing anyone because he didn't wish for there to be any perception or accusations of favoritism. And with the Nov. 6 election so very close, he preferred to simply let the voters choose the new treasurer.
However, the township attorney advised Addison officials they cannot just leave the position vacant for more than two months. "We have an opinion from our township attorney and the law is real specific," Pearson said. "It says you 'shall' appoint a replacement within 45 days."
The law states, "If a vacancy occurs in an elective or appointive township office, the vacancy shall be filled by appointment by the township board, and the person appointed shall hold the office for the remainder of the unexpired term."
The township board must do this "within 45 days after the beginning of the vacancy."
"Our attorney, Bob Davis, he's adamant that it says you 'shall," and he says if you don't, you're in violation (of state law)," Pearson said. "He says it's not a 'will' or a 'may' or whatever, it's a 'shall' and that's specific."
"That's the law," Pearson continued. "We're sworn to uphold the Constitution and the laws of the State of Michigan and that's one of them. If we don't want to do it, that, to me, would be wrong.
"We're going to follow the law because that's what we're supposed to do. We're sworn to uphold the law and the law is very clear on what our action is supposed to be."
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.