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Three applicants vie for township trustee seat

April 13, 2011 - Brandon Twp.- Three residents have applied to be appointed to a vacant trustee seat.

Dana DePalma, Michael Hamlett, and Jim Tottingham all turned in applications by the April 12 deadline to be considered for appointment to the seat left vacant by Bob DeWitt, who has moved from the township. The term ends in November 2012.

Dana DePalma is a certified public accountant and a resident of the township since 2003. DePalma previously applied for appointment to the board in 2010, following the death of Charlene Carlson. Cheryl Gault was appointed instead, with DePalma the runner-up candidate out of 10 applicants. DePalma then ran for election to the seat in the August primary, losing a close race to Gault.

In her most recent application, DePalma listed the top three issues in the township as the budget, the loss of residents, and 'the township being the best in the class.'

"I feel the township needs to compare every aspect of its finances and operations to other townships to see where it can improve on its finances and gain knowledge for operational issues," she said.

Michael Hamlett, a senior technical systems specialist for a security alarm company and township resident since 1998, is a former U.S. Marine Corps sergeant who served during the Persian Gulf War. In his application, Hamlett listed his top township concerns as funding for police and fire services, the special assessment district policy and procedure ordinance, and township maintenance of secondary roads.

Hamlett wrote in his application that if he were appointed he would "engage the currently acknowledged problems and confront all of the unacknowledged/new issues as noone's lap dog."

Jim Tottingham, a township resident since 2001, is pursuing a master's degree in business administration and is currently a business owner, builder, and commercial real estate investment broker. He listed his top three issues as: "current financial analysis, pro forma financial analysis, how do we maintain existing services for less money and what is essential to the operation of a local government."

"After speaking to many of our citizens, I have concluded that our citizens want a lean and efficient local government— they want less taxes, less government and more opportunity to spend their money the way they individually choose," said Tottingham. "I am convinced that I could broadly represent this vast majority of citizens in our great community."

Candidates will be interviewed during a special board meeting planned for 6:30 p.m., April 18, at the township offices.

Susan covers Brandon Township and Ortonville
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