| 1 min read | by Sean Dalton, |

Trustee Caplis and Supervisor McKernan with the award

Sylvan Township awarded its annual Citizen of the Year award this week to Planning Commission Secretary and Trustee Dawn Caplis, who was appointed in 2018 to her current three-year term.

Sylvan Township has been recognizing a citizen of the year since 2013 with the township’s Board of Trustees taking nominations from the public and determining which candidate stands out in early January shortly after the holidays.

Township Supervisor Tom McKernan made the announcement and gave remarks on Caplis’ performance in her duties to the township at Tuesday evening’s board meeting.


“When (Caplis’ nomination) came through it was like … I couldn’t believe why this didn’t happen before,” McKernan said, before articulating Caplis’ unique contribution to the planning commission and township as a whole.

“Her work is meticulous and conscientious and there’s so much activity going on with the planning commission — the detail that she provides in the minutes really allows us to keep the boat afloat,” McKernan said, followed by a joke that her qualities as secretary and the quality of her record-keeping probably help keep the township out of court as well.

Caplis has been the planning commission chair in the past, having served multiple terms at the behest of township board trustees.

Dawn Caplis receive the Citizen of the Year Award from Sylvan Township Supervisor Tom McKernan

She received her award from McKernan with a handshake, before making her own remarks.

“This means a lot — I just want to take a minute to say it’s been a real privilege to work with all of you on the board over these last many years, as well as with the planning commission members who work long hours to review site plans and to look at text amendments and so on,” Caplis said.

She also thanked the township staff for their support and the township residents who “attend meetings, provide feedback, and give (the township) insight into the valuable decision-making that the planning commission does.”