Source: Sherman Publications

Supervisor calls in sick for rest of year
Trustee calls for replacement

by Trevor Keiser

September 28, 2011

Half a year without a supervisor is enough for Trustee David Lohmeier.

"We’ve only got another 12 months until another board is elected,” Lohmeier said. “It’s been long enough and now I think it’s at the point where it’s our duty to bring on some support.”

Independence Township Supervisor Dave Wagner's most recent doctor’s note states he won’t be back until after the first of the year.

Lohmeier will bring a proposal to the Oct. 4 meeting to appoint an “acting supervisor” to take on Wagner's administrative duties.

“I’m hoping we can put somebody in a role that’s just a workhorse,” he said. “That’s what I’m looking for, somebody who can come in and do the administrative role and make things last until the next election.”

Lohmeier said there would be no added cost. Wagner is on disability pay from the state, freeing up part of his salary for the acting supervisor.

Treasurer Curt Carson doesn’t see a need for an acting supervisor when there is a deputy supervisor.

“We could use some assistance, but at this point we have a deputy that is there and by statute can do whatever the responsibilities are for the supervisor,” Carson said. “Otherwise the clerk and I are filling in as needed.”

In Wagner's absence, Deputy Supervisor Rick Yeager has focused on the budget, Lohmeier said.

“That’s what he was hired to do,” the trustee said. “He just has the authority to sign in Dave’s absence, but he’s not administrating, he’s not having people report to him, he’s not doing anything else in the supervisor’s job responsibilities.”

With three elections set next year, Clerk Barbara Pallotta said she could use the extra help.

“We need someone in that seat to take on more than what Rick is able to do in his regular hours,” Pallotta said. “If Mr. Wagner is well enough to come back, that person would step down and Dave would step right into it, so it’s not jeopardizing his position in any way. It’s just giving us the help we need on a part-time basis, which we could use.”

Department of Public Works Director Linda Richardson, a department head, said the township needs a supervisor because “it will make everybody’s life simpler,” but she has learn to work without one.

“We’ve been able to work around it, but normally the supervisor is my direct boss,” she said. “I usually go through the supervisor about projects we’re doing and things to take to the board.”

Trustee Larry Rosso said they should have at least an acting supervisor.

“I think we should definitely pursue that, but I got to see what he (Lohmeier) has in mind,” Rosso said. “I certainly want to see whatever he has suggested.”

Trustee Mark Petterson said he’s not buying it.

“What do you need a supervisor for at this point? The supervisor has been gone for seven to eight months. Does somebody need some special hand holding? What’s going on,” Petterson asked. “If we have an opportunity to save money, we should always do it. After all, we work for the taxpayers.”

The meeting starts at 7:30 p.m. at Independence Township Hall, 6483 Waldon Center Drive.