By Scott Bolthouse
The Huron Township Board of Trustees appointed Michael Glaab to fill the vacant trustee position during a special meeting Thursday morning at Township Hall.
His seat on the board will last until the November general election.
The position was left vacant after the April 12 death of former Trustee Michael Stach.
Michael Glaab, who is the brother of Supervisor David Glaab, currently sits on the Local Development Finance Authority and is also a candidate running for trustee in the fall election.
“I’ve been in the community my entire life, and started officially representing the community at the school board level back 25 years ago,” he said during his presentation to the board.
“I’ve served on several boards and commissions within the community, so I’m current on the different issues that you guys are dealing with today.”
Michael Glaab works as a Certified Financial Planner with Individual Financial Planning based in New Boston.
Four other candidates who put their names in to be appointed also made presentations to the board during Thursday’s meeting. Those candidates were James Gallagher, Chrsitine Gamber-Mc Lenon, Walter Irodenko and Theodore Pappas.
Philip Smalley, who was on the list of possible candidates, did not attend Thursday’s meeting.
Process to appoint a new trustee questioned
The appointment of Michael Glaab, however, did not come without a fair amount of controversy.
There was confusion amongst the board as to what the process would be appoint the new trustee.
Laid out in the board packet document was a proposed process that would allow each board member to pick a top selection candidate and a second selection candidate.
The document said that the board would then tally all of the selections and announce the top two candidates, and then a motion would be made to vote.
However, this process was not used during the meeting.
At about 40 minutes into the meeting, following all candidate presentations and questions, Supervisor Glaab made a motion to appoint Michael Glaab as trustee.
Supervisor Glaab, Trustee Donna Mendrysa, Treasurer Linda Spangler and Clerk Kathlene Van Wasshnova voted to approve the appointment of Michael Glaab.
Trustee Marlene Krause voted against, and Trustee R.P. Lilly abstained from voting, choosing not to vote for or against the appointment.
“We needed to change the process slightly, in the abundance of being totally transparent and open,” Supervisor Glaab said.
“That’s why we are approaching it this way, as opposed to tallying up and having numbers assigned to any candidates and whittling it down — that was not the preferred way to go about it in terms of complying with our public meetings requirements,” he said.
“It was a proposed process that could be carried out; it was not set in stone,” said Clerk Van Wasshnova.
Van Wasshnova said that, per Kevin Foley, township attorney, who was not present at the meeting, the board could propose the method listed in the packet, but there is nothing set how the appointment should be handled.
She said that if there there was a set of rules how to handle the process, then they would follow it, however, the current board does not have any set rules for filling a vacant trustee seat.
“We’re going based on what our township attorney advised us to do,” said Supervisor Glaab.
“The township attorney was consulted by the clerk, the clerk got her directions, the clerk followed those directions,” said Glaab.
Still, some of the board members arrived Thursday morning thinking that they would be following the process listed in the board packet.
“As I recall, some of the instructions we received in our packets said that you would tally these votes and then we would discuss the top two candidates — those are the instructions I got in my packet,” said Lilly.
“In the future, maybe we should have things made more clear to the board,” said Krause.
“I wasn’t aware that we could make motions right away, I thought we were following that process,” she said.
Krause and Lilly both agreed that they don’t have any personal problems with Michael Glaab, and that they actually think he is very qualified to be a trustee, but that the process given to them going into the meeting wasn’t followed.
“If we knew that this procedure was not in accordance with the Freedom of Information Act, why did it take so long to let us know?” Lilly said.
At the end of the meeting, Treasurer Spangler noted that the board should look at approving a specific procedure for filling vacant seats in the future.
The board was required to nominate someone within 45 days to fill the vacant seat.