CLAY TOWNSHIP — Township residents have two new trustees.
The two new trustees are Angela Howell and Kevin Wrightsman.
Howell received the oath of office on Thursday, Jan. 18, after being selected by a five-member committee to replace Duane Heuker.
Heuker selected the five-member panel when he filed with the Montgomery County Board of Elections to run for the position.
Ohio law states a candidate can name a five-person committee who will select a replacement if the candidate, after being elected, doesn’t complete the term.
Howell and remaining trustee Kyle Groh selected Kevin Wrightsman during a public meeting on Monday, Jan. 22, to fill the position left vacant by Dale Winner.
Winner did not select a five-person committee.
Heuker and Winner submitted letters of resignation to township fiscal officer Mark Brownfield on Jan. 11.
Neither Heuker or Winner gave a reason for their resignations.
Prior to selecting Wrightsman, Howell was named trustee chairperson after being nominated by Groh.
At the Jan. 22 meeting, township resident and former Clay Township trustee Steve Denlinger asked why Winner and Heuker resigned and township zoning officer Kevin Garlitz quit.
Garlitz also submitted a letter to Brownfield on Jan. 11, indicating he is quitting in two weeks as part-time zoning officer.
Garlitz didn’t give a reason why he is quitting.
“Is there a problem here that somebody in this room isn’t saying what it is? Why all of a sudden did the zoning guy quit and two trustees quit? Is there a personnel problem?” Denlinger asked.
“I’m concerned. There is a problem here that we’re not seeing and I’m not hearing what I want to hear,’ Denlinger continued.
“I understand and we know that. There’s some thing’s that I haven’t been let in on yet, but that will change very soon,” Howell replied.
“I’m not just going to say we’re going to start fresh. I will be reviewing everything, but I’ve had one business day and then today, so I will get to the bottom of what’s going on and I can assure you it has nothing to do with the township’s money. It has nothing to do with the township’s procedures,” Howell continued.
Howell also pointed out before she was appointed on Thursday, Jan. 18, no township business could be conducted while there was only one trustee.
“Now that I’ve been appointed, tonight’s hope is to get the third trustee. That way we can begin to move forward, finish the agenda, approve meeting minutes that you don’t have access to right now so we can try to untangle what has happened,” Howell said.
Howell said the reason she accepted the trustee position was to make sure all decisions affecting the township were made by trustees comprised of township residents.
“When I heard what was happening and if somebody wasn’t chosen by us in the township, a probate judge would be assigning people here,” Howell said.
“That did not sit well with me,” Howell said.
Howell, who has served as a township board of zoning member for nearly one year, said she has “no experience on how to do this.”
“I am in the medical billing field. I’ve ran medical billing offices. I’m great with people. I’m a great researcher. I follow the rules. I’m a law follower,” Howell said.
“I am completely committed to keeping this area rural,” Howell added.
Howell, a 2000 Northmont High School graduate, said she and her husband have lived in the township for 20 years. The couple have two children.
Wrightsman also indicated he favors a rural township.
“I’m not politically minded, but I would like to see the township stay rural,” Wrightsman said.
Howell said after the meeting he has a farming background having grown up on a dairy farm.
Wrightsman said he likes living in the township because he prefers the small town atmosphere.
“I grew up in a small town. I like the small town atmosphere. I grew up knowing people’s names. I feel that same community feeling here and I would really like to see that stay. It’s important,” Wrightsman said.
Wrightsman said he has lived in the township with his wife, Kaitlin, for 20 years.
The couple own and operate AVCO Enterprises, a small business located at 8451 National Road in the township.
“We do excavating and concrete work,” Wrightsman said.
The next regularly scheduled trustee meeting is Monday, Feb. 5, at 5 p.m. at the township administration building, located at 8207 Arlington Road.
Reach Terry Baver at [email protected].