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Brandon Township Trustee Bob DeWitt resigns

by Susan Bromley

March 16, 2011

By Susan Bromley

Staff Writer

Brandon Twp.- Bob DeWitt has resigned from the township board after more than six years as a trustee.

DeWitt, 53, submitted a letter of resignation dated March 10, explaining that he had purchased a horse farm in Addison Township and as of March 15, would have rented and moved out of his Brandon home.

"The board is faced with a lot of work and difficult decisions in the coming months," wrote DeWitt in his letter. "I wish I could fulfill my term and duties as I do not like leaving a job undone or the challenges the board faces, but that is not possible."

DeWitt, who has a law practice in the township, was elected to the township board in November 2004. He was reelected in 2008 for a term that ends in 2012.

The development of the Brandon Township Community Park, which is universally accessible, is the accomplishment DeWitt is most proud of during the time he served. He was joined on a park committee by Trustee Tom Stowell, and the late Charlene Carlson, who was also a trustee.

"Setting aside the controversial side of it, the park has given kids a place to play soccer and there is space for future expansion with baseball fields," said DeWitt. "It will be a place for the community to watch kids play sports and have picnics, and a place for us all to get together." Brandon Trustee DeWitt resigns

By Susan Bromley

Staff Writer

Brandon Twp.- Bob DeWitt has resigned from the township board after more than six years as a trustee.

DeWitt, 53, submitted a letter of resignation dated March 10, explaining that he had purchased a horse farm in Addison Township and as of March 15, would have rented and moved out of his Brandon home.

"The board is face with a lot of work and difficult decisions in the coming months," wrote DeWitt in his letter. "I wish I could fulfill my term and duties as I do not like leaving a job undone or the challenges the board faces, but that is not possible."

DeWitt, who also has a law practice in the township, was elected to the township board in November 2004. He was reelected in 2008 for a term that ends in 2012.

The development of the Brandon Township Community Park, which is universally accessible, is the accomplishment DeWitt is most proud of during the time he served. He was joined on a park committee by Trustee Tom Stowell, and the late Charlene Carlson, who was also a trustee.

"Setting aside the controversial side of it, the park has given kids a place to play soccer and there is space for future expansion with baseball fields," said DeWitt. "It will be a place for the community to watch kids play sports and have picnics, and a place for us all to get together."

Controversy surrounding the park has risen sharply in the past few years due to budget issues, which DeWitt called the biggest challenge during his time on the board.

"The first term was easy by comparison, because we didn't have to deal with the budget," he said. "The one and only reason this term has been a challenge is because of the shrinking budget. Terminating employees is never fun— they have families and lives and it impacts all of us. Completing the park was much more difficult because of the budget and deciding whether we have cleanup days and chloriding for the roads or not."

DeWitt is thankful to the people of the township for letting him represent them and said it was an honor and a privilege to do so.

"I hope I left the township a better place," he said. "It is truly a great place to live, work, and raise a family."

Supervisor Kathy Thurman said the board will vote at their March 21 board meeting to accept DeWitt's resignation.

"I'm sorry to see him go," she said. "I appreciate the work Bob has done for the township in his years as a trustee. This will be the second time the makeup of the board has shifted and we had to endure a change in officials between elections."

The township board appointed Cheryl Gault as a trustee to fulfill the term of Charlene Carlson after Carlson's death in December 2009. Gault was one of 10 candidates to apply for the trustee seat. The runner-up for the seat (boardmembers used a point system to score candidates) was Dana DePalma, the only opposition to Gault in the August primary. Gault defeated DePalma and ran unopposed in November to fill the remaining two years of Carlson's term.

Thurman said the board will discuss at the March 21 meeting how they will replace DeWitt, including whether they want to take applications as they did the last time, or if they want to explore using the old applications.

"Dana (DePalma) has made considerable effort to be a trustee and I think that should be taken into consideration, but I don't know how the board will attempt to go about finding a replacement. We have to be in agreement to appoint someone."