Webster Township appoints a deputy supervisor

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The COVID-19 pandemic led Webster Township Supervisor John Kingsley to see the importance of his leadership role in an even more essential way.

And it’s led him and the township to put a backup plan in just in case.

At the Feb. 16 Webster Township Board of Trustees meeting, Kingsley put before the board a proposal to have a deputy supervisor in place. Kingsley didn’t have to put this to a vote and could have just appointed a person, but he did and the board unanimously agreed with him about the need.

The township board appointed resident and former township board member Rick Kleinschmidt as the deputy supervisor.

In follow up to the decision, The Sun Times News asked Kingsley what motivated this decision, to which he said, COVID-19.

“A couple of months ago, I was exposed to someone who had COVID-19,” Kingsley said. “Webster Township's re-opening plan required me not to come into the office. The way that the timeline worked out, I was only required to stay away for two days; therefore, it was not an overwhelming problem, but if the timing had been different, it could have been.”

So he sought a back-up plan.

According to Kingsley, a Deputy Supervisor is a statutory position. Meaning it is permitted by law.

“They can do anything that a Supervisor can do in his stead when the Supervisor is indisposed or dead, except run the Board of Trustees meeting or vote at the meeting,” Kingsley said.

Like the treasurer, clerk and trustee, the supervisor is an elected position.

Township board trustee John Westman said having someone in this role is needed and probably overdue while noting the clerk and treasurer both have help in the form of a deputy.

Going forward, Kingsley said he will ask Kleinschmidt to come into township hall on a routine basis to keep him up-to-date on issues so that he can step in if needed.

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