Source: Sherman Publications

Van Portfliet maintains village presidency

by Gabriel L. Ouzounian

October 19, 2011

Ken VanPortfliet has retained his position as village council president, despite nearly losing it to newcomer Shauna Brown last month.

The revote, which was approved at the September meeting where council members David Churchill, John Ranville and Brown voted to elect the first-time member to the chair, was unanimous. Ranville, was absent from the Oct. 11 meeting.

The nomination to elect Brown, according to Churchill, arose because of a miscommunication between VanPortfliet and the other council members.

“At the (Sept. 26) meeting I did not know VanPortfliet wanted to be president again,” said Churchill. “I spoke to him afterwards and he clarified it for me. VanPortfliet is a great guy and he does a really good job, and I certainly wanted to see him do it again.”

While he still was unaware of VanPortfliet’s intention to retain his position, Churchill added he originally considered Brown because of her experience running meetings during college. He ultimately changed his vote to VanPortfliet last week for several reasons, including VanPortfliet’s reasonability, reliability, activity in the community and trustworthiness among village residents, he said.

Ranville, who was elected president pro tem at the Oct. 11 meeting, had a similar view on the subject and compared the miscommunication to an experience on the council earlier in his career.

“The previous time VanPortfliet had been appointed, he had the desire to be the council president and had made it known,” said Ranville. “The majority of the council wanted me to president, but I didn’t want the job. VanPortfliet showed interest so he became president.”

Ranville defended the September move by the council because he said nobody saw any interest from VanPortfliet.

“He had just run for township trustee and supervisor, so we didn’t know if he was still interested,” Ranville said. “Brown had been positioning to do it, so Churchill made the motion.”

Ranville echoed Churchill in saying VanPortfliet had the knowledge to continue as president. He added the president’s ability to run a meeting was valuable, as well.

As far as VanPortfliet is concerned, he’s simply looking forward to addressing the large issues currently confronting the council - most of them business oriented.

“It’s an exciting time right now for the council,” VanPortfliet said. “We’re working with the county on the DDA level on a checklist to improve the business atmosphere of the village. There is a tremendous opportunity for our community right now.

“We’ve seen a heightened interest, and we haven’t even begun yet.”