Sylvan Township's Citizen of the Year devoted time and effort to help his township and others


Chris Scharrer, holding his Citizen of the Year honor, stands with Sylvan Township Supervisor Kathleen Kennedy. photo by Sylvan Township Treasurer Rod Branham

The Citizen of the Year nomination form said it all when it comes to describing why Sylvan Township resident Chris Scharrer was more than worthy of this annual honor.

The nomination form states: “Chris has invested a lot of time and talent to ensure that Washtenaw County is the first County in Michigan to have complete broadband internet coverage. He and his company DCS Technology Design spent hours driving roads in western Washtenaw County and communicating with Communities to determine where infrastructure is needed to maximize grant opportunities and funding.”

Under the form’s section, describe the amount of personal effort and sacrifice the nominee has given and the results, it said of Scharrer:

“Over the past few years, Chris has been highly involved with the Broadband Task Force. He has spent hours of his personal time devoted to the betterment of rural Townships like Sylvan, where his home is. Through his efforts, all the residents of Sylvan, and the entire County, will benefit by being able to access internet speeds our modern life demands, and we have been lacking. Few people have given so much so that others may benefit, and Chris should be commended for his work.”

As part of policy, Sylvan Township keeps the person who submitted the form confidential.

The township board presented Scharrer with the Citizen of the Year 2022 honor at their Feb. 7 meeting. The Sun Times News (STN) followed up with township supervisor Kathleen Kennedy about Scharrer.

“We are so proud that he is a Sylvan Township resident and proud of his commitment to bridge the digital divide in our county and others,” Kennedy told STN.

Scharrer is currently expanding upon his work in Washtenaw County with other counties in Michigan, such as Van Buren and Lenawee counties. He told the township board these counties see what Washtenaw is doing and want to provide the same service for their communities.

“Chris is able to bring his experience from here to assist other communities, although he said each county presents their own specific challenges,” Kennedy said.

In accepting the honor, Scharrer thanked his family. His wife and daughter were present at the meeting. He especially cited his wife, who he said assisted him and “rode shotgun” with him on all of those rides throughout the county.

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