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Letter to the Editor

Writer sees example set by clerk

May 19, 2010 - Dear Editor,

On April 14, reporter Trevor Keiser authored a column title "Who's slaughtering who?" Although I think Mr. Keiser's calling Independence Township Clerk Shelagh VanderVeen "Little Bo Peep" is a sophomoric remark or characterization, I think public officials are fair game and properly subject to criticism if it is based on a fair review of the facts.

It appears Mr. Keiser forgot Clerk VanderVeen's suggestion that the clerk's office and other offices could operate at half pay, proffered by Ms. VanderVeen when she and others were investigating and considering whether or not the time had come for Independence Township to hire a professional manager.

In my opinion, Ms. VanderVeen is a hard working and outstanding township clerk who is providing real benefits to the township. I am informed that she is the only full time elected official who has voluntarily given up her car allowance, refused to accept a pay increase a few years ago, does not accept or utilize township health insurance, and turned in her township-provided cell phone.

It appears to this writer that Ms. VanderVeen has, in fact, led by example and although properly subject to criticism as a public official, I believe the criticism should be based on a fair, total, and complete review of Mr. VanderVeen's record, efforts, leadership, and work ethic, and not taken out of context, as it appears Mr. Keiser has done.

I look forward to reading the usually excellent and zealous reporting of Mr. Keiser.

Respectfully submitted,

Robert E. Kostin

Independence Township

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