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He's back


Trustees appoint Walls Springfield supervisor



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Collin Walls wasted no time swearing in as Springfield Township supervisor, getting it done immediately after he was appointed. Photo by Phil Custodio (click for larger version)
August 03, 2011 - Collin Walls' brief life of retirement is over. He's back in Springfield Township's supervisor seat, appointed to serve out Mike Trout's term.

Told he could start anytime until Aug. 11, the township's deadline to appoint a new supervisor, Walls said he was ready immediately – Clerk Laura Moreau swore him into office that night, at the end of the July 28 special meeting.

"I'm starting tomorrow (July 29) – meet with people in the departments and get up and running," Walls said.

Township Board voted 7-0 to appoint Walls as supervisor, a post he served for 32 years.

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Trustee Dennis Vallad said Walls has the experience to put township administration back on track.

"He knows the job," Vallad said. "That's what the township needs right now."

"His care and commitment to the community is unlike anything I've ever seen," said Treasurer Jamie Dubre. "I believe he is the person to step in and fill the spot."

Walls' leadership was key to the preservation of the township's rural atmosphere, named by several candidates as a reason they moved to the area, said Trustee David Hopper.

"That happened under his watch," Hopper said.

Starting the evening's discussion, board members presented their top two choices:

Vallad and Hopper both named Walls and Paul Zelenak, Lake Orion village manager; Clerk Laura Moreau presented only her top choice, Zelenak;

Trustee Judy Hensler said her top picks were Zelenak, and, tying for her second choice, candidate Virginia Fischbach and Planning Commissioner Neil Willson;

Treasurer Jamie Dubre said her top choices were Walls and current Trustee Roger Lamont; and

Lamont named himself and Walls.

He checked with township attorney Greg Need about his participation in the appointment as candidate as well as selector, and found state law permits it.

During discussion, Moreau said Zelenak could provide long-term leadership to the township – in his interview, he said he would run in next year's regular election. Walls said he doesn't know yet if he will run next year.

"Paul would have 15 months to prove what he could offer, then go to residents in the election," Moreau said. "I'd like to give Paul the opportunity to prove what he can do."

"I think the township would only benefit from his (Zelenak's) extensive contacts with other municipalities," Hensler said. "I talked to many residents who said they feel he (Walls) has done his job. They feel the need to have a new face in the supervisor position."

A motion by Moreau to appoint Zelenak failed 2-4. Moreau and Hensler voted in favor. When Vallad made a motion to appoint Walls, Zelenak made a public comment urging a unanimous vote.

"It's extremely important the board be fully behind the decision," he said.

Candidates also include former Trustee Marc J. Cooper, Planning Commissioner William Leddy, and developer George Mansour.

Vallad encouraged the candidates to volunteer for appointment to the township's Planning Commission, Zoning Board of Appeals, and other boards.

"We're always looking for people," he said.

For information, call Springfield Township at 248-846-6500.

Phil is editor for The Clarkston News. He is a veteran of the first Iraq war, having served in the U.S. Army.
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