Thursday, February 18, 2021

Planning commission expected to expand to 9

The Sumpter Township Planning Commission will be expanded from seven to nine members pending an official vote of the board of trustees.

During a workshop session recently, board members discussed expanding the number of members on the commission and setting exact terms of service for the volunteers appointed to the body.

The change was proposed during the Feb. 9 board workshop session by Trustee Don La Porte who said he was suggesting it in response to some discussion by Supervisor Tim Bowman and Trustee Matt Oddy. 

“I'd like to suggest that the attorney draw up a resolution and that the terms have definite expiration dates. We need to let individuals know what they are signing up for,” he said. “The more people on the board, the more viewpoints we will have and the more diversity in the community.”

In response to a question from Oddy, township attorney Rob Young said that the township can have five, seven, nine or 11 members and that the commission could certainly return to nine members. He added, however,  that there could be some difficulty establishing expiration dates for current members.

Trustee Peggy Morgan said that she felt this was an effort to override the decision of Bowman to appoint Eric Partridge to the commission and she felt that appointment should be made that night.

“I've never seen a board overrule a supervisor,” she said.

LaPorte said he understood that Morgan “wanted him on there tonight” but that in his opinion the “more members we have we'll be better off. Maybe we haven't done this before but maybe it is time to think out of the box and start doing what is best for the community.”

He said he would prefer have a plan for the length of commissioners terms.

 Bowman agreed with LaPorte and said that having a plan for the terms of each commissioner would be the best way to handle the appointments.   

During the regular meeting which followed the workshop the trustees voted unanimously to have the attorney prepare a resolution expanding the planning planning commission from seven to nine members.