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Aliaga out for 30 days, will waive pay



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December 12, 2012 - Township Trustee Jose Aliaga plans to spend the holidays in Peru. He flew South on Monday and will not be back to Independence Township until Jan. 11.

Aliaga, who hasn't seen his family for a year and a half, said he is most excited about spending the 30 days with his mother and 90-year-old grandmother. It isn't just for pleasure that he's traveling, however.

As the founder of the Aliaga Foundation, he intends to throw a Christmas party for under privileged children in Lima, Peru's capital city.

"The kids will be really happy to see me," he said.

At the event, children will receive donated presents and school supplies. Aliaga will also award scholarships to high school students from his alma mater.

Doctors and students from Michigan State University Medical School are making the trip to Peru too, said Aliaga.

"They're going to the Children's Hospital of Lima to help the kids for free," he explained.

Aliaga hopes to explore the possibility of opening a medical clinic connected to MSU while in Peru as well. He said, he would like to see the medical clinic host MSU students who can gain experience while offering health care services to needy children in his home country.

"I think it's good for both sides, for [MSU] and for Peru," Aliaga said.

Although Aliaga is looking forward to traveling back home, he realizes that he'll be missing two Township Board meetings while he's gone. As a result, he has agreed to opt out of his pay for the month.

Trustees are paid $4,868 annually, $405 each month. They are compensated $106 for attending special meetings.

"He'll be missed," said Supervisor Pat Kittle who feels Aliaga's agreement to waive his pay shows integrity. "He asked to be kept informed, and if I know Jose, he'll be on the phone."

Check www.aliagafoundation.org.

Clarkston News reporter
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