Linwood issue headed for ballot

Residents to decide whether clerk and treasurer remain elected positions

 

Alice Pickering
Linwood Reporter

Should Linwood Township’s town clerk and treasurer be filled through appointment or election? Township residents will likely be faced with that question on November’s ballot.

Both are currently elected positions. If the measure passes, those holding the positions would be allowed to finish their terms.

If switched to appointment positions, the hiring process would include a search for applicants with specific qualifications and demonstrated skills. Those hired would not have to be township residents.

The topic stirred discussion at the township’s annual meeting on March 11, with speakers taking both sides.

Allen Hurtley spoke in support of residents filling these positions through election. Others also supported having someone in each position with “skin in the game” and a vested interest in the township.

Former Town Board Member Mel Pfaffendorf spoke more emotionally about the governance of the township remaining in residents’ hands. Otherwise, he fears that other aspects of township government may be lost in short order.

Planning and Zoning Chair Joe Dolphy, also a former Town Board member, spoke in support of hiring individuals to fill the positions. He spoke more specifically about the clerk’s position and cited the need for timely, accurate agendas and minutes. Dolphy said that the board and Planning and Zoning members should not be relying on oral recollections of discussions and decisions.

Ted Engen, a retired business executive and longtime township resident, also spoke in support of hiring township staff. He said that with the township budget of more than $1.5 million dollars, it is like running a company.

Others in the audience requested that the township website have current meeting minutes.

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