September 05, 2012 - I can't tell you how sad I was when I heard the news last week that Addison Twp. Treasurer Dan Alberty had passed away after his long battle with cancer.
I always liked Dan because he wasn't like many of those who hold public office. Basically, he wasn't a stuffed shirt who took himself way too seriously and expected others to worship at his feet.
Quite the opposite.
Dan loved to joke around and had the type of wicked sense of humor I've always admired and enjoyed. That's what drew me to him. Some of my fondest memories are of him and I "picking on" township Clerk Pauline Bennett. Like me, Dan only "picked on" the people he liked.
I'll always remember how he loved a juicy tidbit of information the way small town folks usually do.
I can't tell you how many conversations we had that started with the words, "You didn't hear it from me, but . . ." Sometimes it was funny, sometimes it led to a news story, sometimes it gave me a better understanding of a situation or a person.
Talking to Dan was never dull.
I'll also remember how much he loved to have lunch at Louie's Food & Spirits in Lakeville. For a long time, I used to joke that it was easier for me to track him down there than in his office. I actually called the restaurant one time looking for him. He got a big kick out of that.
Don't get me wrong. Dan took his job very seriously and was extremely good at it. He brought the tenacity and expertise of a federal auditor to a rural township government and Addison was better off because of it. He's one of the best bargains Addison ever got.
Whenever I needed a number or an answer, he either knew it or got it for me right away. As a journalist, I always appreciate it when government folks get me the information I need that day instead of a week or two later.
Dan was a good man and I'll miss him.
He left some big shoes to fill.
Which brings me to my next point.
To me, there's only one logical person to replace Dan as treasurer and that's Lori Fisher.
Her financial experience, her community involvement, her desire to serve the township and the honorable way in which she conducted her campaign against Dan during the August primary make her the woman for the job.
On top of all that, Fisher was the only one who had the guts to run against Dan and give it her best shot. She put her money where her mouth is and now that Dan's gone, she deserves a chance to prove herself.
I'm sure there will be other write-in candidates for the treasurer's position, but to me, they'll all be Johnny-come-latelies who see this as just another job opportunity as opposed to what it really is Ė a way to serve your community and protect the taxpayers' interests.
From what I've seen, Fisher wants this job because she wants to help make Addison a better place, not because she's looking for a steady paycheck and some job security in a bad economy.
Lori Fisher is the real deal and Addison voters would be very wise to make her Dan's successor in November.
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.