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Hunt for new trustee begins

From left, Mike Flood, Donni Steele, Ross Ensign, and Chris Barnett are the final four candidates. Photo by Gabriel Ouzounian (click for larger version)
June 15, 2011 - In the wake of JoAnn VanTassel's resignation from trustee and subsequent appointment to Orion Township Supervisor, the board once again finds themselves with a selection to make.

The trustee spot left vacant by VanTassel must be filled.

Just like the selection of Supervisor by the board, the position of trustee has to be filled within 45 days (July 21) of the departure of a seat holder. If the board does not install a new trustee, via their popular vote, the decision will turn to registered voters in Orion Township.

Township Treasurer Alice Young said going to a public vote would be too expensive an option. She added the decision will be just as difficult, as six of the candidates from the run for supervisor have rejoined the race for trustee.

"The process is pretty much the same as when we did the supervisor, in that we'll have timed questions, but now we have at least 13 candidates," said Young. "It will be difficult -- there are so many good candidates to choose from."

Township Clerk Penny Shults agreed, and added some of her requirements for the trustee.

"We need someone who knows the history of the community, knows the board's accomplishments, and someone who is available besides just at the board meeting," said Shults. "I also think it would be encouraging to choose someone who would be bringing a different perspective and a unique background.

"This will make sure the board is represented overall."

The thirteen candidates were Standard Casing Territory Manager Chris Barnett, Attorney Joseph Bird, Cummin's Group Architect James Cummins, Valkerie Group Investor Gene Carlson, First Data Corp. Account Executive Justin Dunaskiss, Ross Ensign, Michael Flood, David Kepsel, Lucy Koscierzynski, Donni Steele, Hantz Bank CFO Michael Luna, ZMDI-Dresden Sales Engineer John Michalik, and ARC Corporation Account Executive Ken VanPortfliet.

In order to qualify for the position of trustee, applicants must be registered voters in Orion Township.

The interviewing process began Monday, June 13 at Orion Township offices. Of the 13, Donni Steele, Chris Barnett, Ross Ensign, and Mike Flood were chosen for the final round of decisions which will take place June 17 at 6 p.m.

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