During a contentious session last week, members of the Plymouth Township Board of Trustees named Jennifer Buckley to fill the vacant term on the board.
The term has been vacant since May 10 when former Trustee Bob Doroshewitz was named as the new township treasurer, replacing Mark Clinton, who resigned his position due to health concerns. Since that time, board members have accepted letters of interest from potential candidates and met to discuss the appointment to Doroshewitz' incomplete term which will expire in 2024. Three candidates, Buckley, Gail Grieger and Dan Callahan, all Republicans, each were favored by separate members of the board who previously failed to come to a majority vote on a candidate for the appointment.
During a special meeting called by Supervisor Kurt Heise June 21, board members were reminded that the 45-day state-imposed deadline for the appointment was set to expire June 24 and that if they did not come to a consensus, the state could require an election for the seat. In that situation, members of each state district political committee would nominate a candidate, one Republican and one Democrat, to vie for the term during a general election.
The impending deadline did not immediately move the current trustees' votes, however, with two board members solidly supporting each of the three candidates as they had during a previous meeting.
Some contentious and divisive rhetoric accompanied the hour-long discussion with Heise telling the trustees that the meeting would continue until they came to an agreement on a candidate.
Board members addressed conflict of interest concerns regarding Trustee Chuck Curmi's involvement with the Wayne 11th Republican D.district Committee, claiming that he could be influential in naming a party candidate should the issue be part of an election. Township Clerk Jerry Vorva was adamant that Curmi's participation in the district committee was a conflict, a claim that Curmi vehemently denied.
Repeated votes continued to see no clear majority for the appointment with Curmi continuing to support Callahan. Following extensive and sometimes heated discussion, the trustees eventually voted 4-2 to appoint Buckley to the term. Trustees John Stewart and Doroshewitz continued their support for Geiger casting the two negative votes.
Buckley was immediately sworn into office and took a seat at the board table.