More questions for the applicants of the Scio Township Board vacancy

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The Scio Township Board had four applicants go before it at the August 23 board meeting. Each was seeking to fill the vacancy on the board.

However, after four presentations and some deliberation, the township board has not yet made an official appointment.

This comes in the wake of the board accepting the resignation of Board Trustee Jacqueline Courteau at its meeting on Aug. 9, which created a vacancy.

The Township Board has 45 days in which to fill the vacancy or it defers to the County Clerk to call a special election on the next regular election date. Scio has chosen to appoint a replacement within the 45 days and has solicited applicants from qualified electors who are interested in the position. Resumes and cover letters were collected by a deadline of Aug. 15.

The Sun Times News followed up with township supervisor Will Hathaway and township clerk Jessica Flintoft after the meeting.

Hathaway said by email they heard presentations from four applicants: Jillian Kerry, Mark Perry, Robert Walsh and David Read.

Hathaway said at the conclusion of her statement, Kerry withdrew her application and gave her support to David Read.

Kerry is one of two candidates running in the November election for the other board trustee opening. Read previously served on the board, as recent as 2020.

“The Board later deliberated on a motion to appoint Mark Perry as trustee,” Hathaway said. “The debate went on for over an hour until we determined that we weren't ready to proceed to a vote. Instead the Board tabled the matter to the next regular meeting on September 13.”

Flintoft said by email there were a variety of reasons for each board member as to why the decision was tabled.

She said it “was a mess of a process the Supervisor and Administrator had planned--they weren't going to allow questions from Board members which is absurd.”

Going into the meeting, the board’s meeting packet stated: “This will be a series of 5-minute interview/presentations by applicants for the vacant position of Trustee. Questions have been provided in advance to the applicants and, out of fairness and time management, the questions will not be asked again at the meeting. In addition to answers to questions, the applicants are welcome to discuss any other topics they wish within the 5-minute time limit.”

Going forward, Hathaway said that “Between now and 9/13/22, Board members will submit proposed follow-up questions for applicants to Township Administrator James Merte. Mr. Merte will sort through and derive a short list of standard questions. The three remaining applicants will be invited to answer these questions at the 9/13/22 Board meeting. Board members were also encouraged to talk with applicants directly prior to the September meeting.”

To learn more about the applicants, go to https://www.sciotownship.org/democracy/board-of-trustees-170 and scroll down to the meetings record section and look for the Aug. 23 meeting packet.

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