Source: Sherman Publications

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Keiserís Role A column by Trevor Keiser
Township manager

by Trevor Keiser

November 02, 2011

I find it interesting the topic of a township superintendent, also known as "township manager," which was greatly debated during the 2008 Independence Township election season is coming around full circle and now possibly come to fruition.

(Unfortunately I won't know the results of Tuesday's meeting until after this paper's deadline, so hold onto your hats until next week.) For those of you who may not have been paying attention, let me try and catch you up.

Nearly seven months now, the township has been operating without Supervisor Dave Wagner because he's been out on disability due to severe sickness. The last doctor's note received stated Wagner would not return until Jan 1, 2012.

Trustee David Lohmeier has said the township has gone long enough with out a supervisor, so a little over a month ago he introduced his proposal to hire a part-time acting supervisor, who would get them to the end of their term in 2012 if Wagner did not return.

After discussions at the board table concerning it, Lohmeier realized bringing in an acting supervisor would not be a smooth process with all the board members, so "with no appetite for a fight." he has changed his game plan to hire a part-time township manager to fill the day-to-day operational duties of the supervisor.

Lohmeier announced at the Oct. 25 special meeting his pick for superintendent was either Trustee Larry Rosso or Trustee Neil Wallace. Both have been resistant, up until this point, according to Lohmeier.

My question is to whether or not this is a good idea? I was not a fan of the manager idea when it was proposed in 2008. I think with the uncertainty of the supervisor Wagner's return, something has to be done.

However, I do have two concerns. The first being who is picked for the position. As Uncle Ben said to Spider-man, "with great power comes great responsibility." The second concern is if the supervisor comes back will he have any power and duties left, or will they all have been stripped away from him?