The Commerce Township Board of Trustees has elevated one of its own to serve as the new township clerk, opening the door for another resident to step forward and fill the shoes of Dan Munro as a township trustee.
At their Tuesday, Jan. 11 meeting, Commerce Township board members accepted Munro’s resignation as a trustee and then voted to appoint him as a replacement for Clerk Sandra Abrams, who recently resigned.
Munro said he’d been talking to Supervisor Tom Zoner about the future of the board as early as last summer. For fiscal reasons, Zoner wasn’t going to take on a deputy supervisor, but the conversation stood out in Zoner’s mind when Abrams’ husband’s health took a turn and she announced her intention, albeit privately at that point, to retire.
Munro said his 18 years of experience on the township board make him a good choice to take on the clerk’s position.
“I’ve done 10 years on the Planning Commission and recently started out as a member of the Parks and Recreation Commission,” he said. “I’ve done salary and compensation work for the township when I sat on the board that negotiated with the firefighters and AFSCME (American Federation of State, County and Municipal Employees).”
He said his greatest strength in taking the clerk’s position is that his job in an area credit union is just the same as working for a municipality.
“I’ve spent 30 years in a credit union and they’ve got a business model set up for a cooperative company serving its own members,” he said. “That’s the same as working for a township, owned by the residents, in a business that they’ve set up to serve their needs.”
In order to fill the time remaining in Munro’s trustee term — a little less than two years — the Board of Trustees will accept letters of interest from township residents wishing to replace him as a trustee for the remainder of his unexpired term. The clerk’s office will accept applications ending at 5 p.m. Tuesday, Jan. 25.
The board will then consider applications from interested residents at a special meeting slated for Feb. 1.
Abrams had announced her resignation at the Dec. 14 meeting of the board. A few years ago, she and her husband bought the family property, 40 acres and a farmhouse in Ubly in Sanilac County, and will retire there as soon as possible. Abrams said she and her husband plan to spend their summers in Michigan and their winters either on the road or with family in Virginia.
The job of township clerk is a full-time position that pays $74,855 per year, while the trustee position pays $125 per meeting. Munro’s trustee term ends Dec. 31, 2012, when all of the current board members’ terms end. Both township trustees and the township clerk typically serve four-year terms.