White Lake Township Board of Trustees members have narrowed down their choice of candidates for a vacant trustee position from 11 to three people.
Rik Kowall, Bill Pierson, and David Lewsley have all been invited to interview for the trustee position left empty by Greg Baroni’s appointment to supervisor. Interviews will take place tomorrow, Thursday, Feb. 24 at 4, 4:30, and 5 p.m.
Pierson also applied and interviewed for the supervisor position and gained the support of Treasurer Jay Brendel, Trustee Mike Powell, and Trustee Todd Birkle. However, after a deadlocked vote at a Jan. 24 board meeting, Pierson withdrew his application for the supervisor post, stating he was still interested in any vacant trustee position.
Now it seems Kowall has received the support of Birkle, as Birkle made a motion to appoint Kowall to the position at a Tuesday, Feb. 15 meeting. The motion was supported by Brendel and Powell, yet was defeated when Baroni, Trustee Carol Burkard, and Clerk Terry Lilley voted against the appointment, setting up another 3-3 stalemate.
The board then opted to proceed with the interview process. After reviewing the applications, all board members compiled and submitted a short list of their top candidates on Friday, Feb. 18.
The board has 45 days from when the position became vacant to fill it through an appointment. If the board is unable to or chooses not to make a decision, it then must notify the state of Michigan and hold a special election for voters to decide who the new trustee will be.
There has been a shuffling of seats on the board over the past five months. First, former Treasurer Beverly Spoor resigned in September and was replaced by Brendel. Baroni then filled Brendel’s trustee position.
With the election of former supervisor Mike Kowall to the state Senate in November, another vacancy needed to be filled.
All the board member terms expire on Dec. 31, 2012. Township trustees typically serve four-year terms. They currently earn $8,175 annually.