Orange Twp. board appointments debated

By D. Anthony Botkin - [email protected]

After regular business was concluded Monday evening, Orange Township trustees began closing out business in 2017 by appointing members of township boards, but not without some friction.

Trustees approved the re-appointments of Marla Gilreath and Barrett Ault to the Orange Township Community Park Board. Both were appointed for a two-year term that runs from Jan. 1, 2018 to Dec. 31, 2019.

Trustees then moved on to appointments to the Zoning Commission. It was proposed that Kevin Culp be appointed as a board member with Barrett Ault and Dennis McNulty as alternates. For the Board of Zoning Appeals, Rick Oster was nominated to the board with Victoria Jordan and Kevin Culp as alternates.

The friction occurred when Trustee Lisa Knapp inquired about the number of resumes received for the zoning appointments and if the board had seen all of the resumes submitted for the appointments.

“Who do we have here that is not currently on the board?” she asked. “I would like to know if we received any resumes for the position and to be able to consider those in open session prior to appointing.”

Knapp said the board usually receives sets of resumes to discuss in open meetings and then appoint the most appropriate candidate. She asked that the appointments be delayed until it was determined if there were other resumes that had not been considered.

Communications Manager Amanda Sheterom said the Zoning Board position had been posted on the website since June.

Trustee Debbie Taranto said resumes are sent to the board as they are received.

“So I’m going to say that we didn’t get any applications,” Taranto said.

Taranto pointed out that Ault was the only new applicant to the Zoning Board and that “it’s not an actual seat, it’s an alternate seat.”

“I know that Ms. Ault did supply a resume and I know that she was interviewed by Ms. Boni for the position,” said Township Administrator Lee Bodnar. “I also know that she attended a Lean Training Sigma Six two weeks ago.”

Planning and Zoning Director Michele Boni was not present at the meeting to answer questions.

Trustee Rob Quigley said that Ault’s resume was on file with the township since she’s been a member of the Orange Township Community Park Board for the last three years.

“She does not serve on the Zoning Commission right now,” Knapp said. “I’ve never heard of us appointing anyone without a resume and seeing who was available.”

Ault, who was sitting in the audience, offered to email her resume to Knapp that moment, but Knapp said she would like to talk with Boni about the matter.

“It’s a shame that you are letting personal issues block this decision,” Ault said. “This is why people don’t want to volunteer.”

Township resident Patrick Ruby addressed the board by questioning if they had seen every resume or if they were they worried about only one.

“We’ve seen resumes for every single position,” Knapp told Ruby. “Yep, sure have, every single one because they’re current members of the boards.”

But Knapp denied ever seeing Ault’s resume.

Ruby asked that the record show that Ault’s resume was on file with the township to which Knapp added it wasn’t on file with the Zoning Commission.

Quigley made the motion to approve Ault as an alternate for the Zoning Commission.

“I’m going to move forward with Ms. Ault,” Quigley said. “I’ve seen your resume and I think you’ve done a great job for the community.”

The motion was seconded by Taranto. Quigley and Taranto voted yes. Knapp voted no.

Trustees unanimously approved the other appointments.

By D. Anthony Botkin

[email protected]

D. Anthony Botkin may be reached at 740-413-0902 or on Twitter @dabotkin.

D. Anthony Botkin may be reached at 740-413-0902 or on Twitter @dabotkin.