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Treasurer's attendance questioned by clerk



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January 26, 2011 - Orion Township residents who have ever had difficulty contacting township officials may take bittersweet solace in the fact that they are not alone in this regard.

During a discussion on the township's purchasing policy at the Orion Township Board of Trustees meeting on Jan. 18, Orion Township Clerk Penny Shults defended her action to purchase filing equipment without board approval, which is legal as long as the total purchased does not exceed $5,000. During her explanation, she mentioned a problem that she had encountered when attempting to follow etiquette for purchasing new equipment.

"If I was to bring this [purchase] back to the board at some point I am remiss in doing that, I did not know I needed to," said Shults. "I know that [Orion Township Treasurer Alice Young] raised the issue, but it's really difficult to meet with Alice because she's not here."

The accusation uttered, the mood in the room became heated, and Township Supervisor Matthew Gibb quickly moderated the incident by moving to continue the discussion at a later date with a revised copy of the purchasing policy.

"Matt was trying to skirt the issue, and he was right to do that, he's a very good moderator," said Young. "It was a ridiculous thing to say, when I've had a hip replacement in the Spring, and heart surgery in the Fall.

"I follow the rules, and I don't need anyone to be the boss of me, because the people of the township are already the boss of me."

Shults mentioned later that the statement came about because the caliber of the board meant that issues such as this are usually settled before actions such as her purchase are taken, and that the sudden disagreement caught her off guard.

She added that she would not expect to tell Young "how to do her job," and that she understands Young has had medical problems.

The two have met to work out the problem and Shults said that she apologized for her comment during the board meeting.

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