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Supervisor hands duties over to deputy

June 22, 2011 - Dave Wagner is effectively out as Independence Township supervisor.

Wagner sent a letter to Township Board, June 13, officially transferring operational duties to Deputy Supervisor Rick Yeager.

"As you know, Mr. Yaeger was sworn in with all responsibilities and authorities the statute allows for a supervisor's deputy. He and I have met and discussed my situation," Wagner wrote. "Mr. Yaeger is comfortable in handling the duties required of me if I am unreachable or unavailable."

Trustee David Lohmeier said it "wasn't a big announcement."

"The budget is the big thing the supervisor has and he (Yaeger) already had that," Lohmeier said.

Also, Director Carol Gabris handles human resources, he said.

"There isn't much else to give him other than for him to sign papers in Wagner's place," Lohmeier said.

With 15 months left in all seven board members' terms, he would like board members to be "as effective as they can," he said.

"We've done some good things despite the drama," Lohmeier said.

However, the board would have a greater chance of success if Wagner resigns from office, he said.

"I hope he gets better and the surgery was helpful. I really wish him the best, but he really should resign. He's not effective and he doesn't have anybody's trust or confidence, I don't think," Lohmeier said. "We have to work in the best interest of the township and I don't think he's going to continue to do that in his role."

Treasurer Curt Carson said he didn't think Wagner had to send a letter because statute states the deputy automatically takes over in the supervisor's absence, just like the deputy treasurer and deputy clerk do for treasurer and clerk.

"If the two of them got together and feel comfortable, hopefully it will take pressure off the clerk and treasurer," Carson said.

Trustee Larry Rosso said he had no problem with it as long as Yaeger can handle it all.

"I just have to talk with Rick to see if he's up to handling it within his time frame," Rosso said. "Until I have that conversation with him, I'm going to leave it with him as to what he thinks he can handle."

Clerk Barbara Pallotta said she also wanted to talk to Yaeger first and see if he was "capable of doing it in terms of time."

Trustee Mark Petterson said he is willing to give Yaeger a try as long as it's not an extra expense to taxpayers.

"I don't want to do this as an extra expense. I've been on and on about how much things cost and apparently everything is falling on deaf ears," he said. "If we can keep Rick on here for the next year and half or whatever, I'm OK with that, all for the reasons we're not incurring this huge extra cost."

Looking at how much Wagner wasn't in the office over the past year, Petterson believes they will be OK with what they have right now. Yeager currently works three days a week. He was hired at $30 an hour for 20-23 hours a week.

"Right now we have more than what we had before," he said.

As far as any resignation from Wagner, Petterson said if Wagner doesn't believe he is coming back, then "it's not really going to matter."

"We're moving along with or without him," he said.

Trevor graduated with degrees in English and communications from Rochester College. He wrote for his college and LA View newspapers before joining The Clarkston News in May 2007.
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