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Ogden officials defend appointments

OGDEN – Last Tuesday evening the Ogden Township board held a regular monthly meeting, at which it defended its interim board appointments, reviewed its legal fees relating to industrial wind energy regulation, discontinued rental of the municipal building, approved maintenance of the Ogden cemetery and changed its policy on public comment. Representatives of developer Exelon Wind also announced a potential added benefit of the proposed Blissfield Wind Energy Project.
While reading the board’s written correspondences, interim supervisor Richard Marks addressed a concern that the selection of interim board members had been “railroaded.” During the meeting following the recall of former supervisor James Goetz and former clerk Phyllis Gentz, the board promptly appointed then trustee Marks to the position of interim supervisor. Alice Clark was named interim clerk, and Russ Mead filled Marks’ trustee vacancy. Clark and Mead are both members of the Ogden citizens committee, which has been researching wind energy and presenting its findings to the board.
“Mark (Vandenbusche) and I started on this back in May, early June,” said Marks. “The procedures are pretty well spelled out as to what needs to be done if there’s a recall of a board member. … Do we bring someone from outside the board in for supervisor? We did not believe that was the right thing to do. … I volunteered by not stepping back. We also discussed … the position of the clerk. Our feeling was Alice had run in the prior election, and after the recall election we asked her if she was still interested. Obviously, she said yes. Then we had my position as a trustee to fill. … Mark and I both feel that Russ has done an exemplary performance of chairing the citizens committee, so he was our choice. And if anyone still feels this was a railroad, well, I guess that’s unfortunate that you do feel that way. We did what we felt was best for Ogden Township under the circumstances.”
Marks went on to say the board will not consider industrial wind energy regulation until the new board has been established in the Nov. 8 election, when voters will elect a supervisor and clerk.

Copyright 2011 River Raisin Publications, Inc.: For the complete story from Ogden Township, please see James McClenathen’s story in the Sept. 21, 2011, edition of The ADVANCE.