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New council member nearly takes presidency

September 28, 2011 - The Lake Orion Village Council has a new councilmember, and it nearly got a new president.

Monday's Council Meeting, during the section of the agenda slated for appointing a president, councilman David Churchill nominated newcomer Shauna Brown to be the new Village President, which would replace incumbent Ken Van Protfliet.

Councilman Micheal Toth quickly voiced his disagreement with the nomination and said he felt putting a new councilmember into the president position was unwise.

"I appreciate Ms. Brown being on the Council," said Toth. "But seeing as this is the first meeting she's been at as far as I know, I think Mr. Van Portfliet, being the senior member of the council has shown his excellent leadership. I don't think it's a good idea for someone who is brand new to be the president.

"I think it would be overly ambitious to be president at this point for her."

Defending their positions, Van Portfliet and Brown gave brief speeches.

"I know I'm new, but I'm not new to the village and I'm not new to the issues that surround our village," said Brown. "I'm familiar with how to run a meeting and I don't think it would be fair to assume I'm being overzealous without knowing my schedule."

Van Portfliet, meanwhile, highlighted his experience as the president and as a moderator.

"I've been around the council a long time," said Van Protfliet. "We have an opportunity to do some good things for their village. Besides being president I sit on the planning commission and the DDA board, and I think I've been very effective. I've helped make relationships that are working, and I'd like to continue with those."

"We've had many women on the council but never one leading it, and I think it would be good to have a female perspective," replied Churchill.

Toth again spoke in defense of Van Portfliet, citing a previous president who had gained the position under similar circumstances and struggled early to moderate conversations.

The problem eventually came down to a vote, with Churchill, Brown, and John Ranville voting Brown president. Toth, Douglas Hobbs and Van Portfliet voted for Van Portfliet.

Since Stumkat was absent, the official decision was held until the next full council meeting.

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