HOLLY TOWNSHIP, Michigan – Holly Township officially lost one trustee and gained a replacement during Wednesday night’s meeting. The new trustee, who will finish the remainder of Janet Leslie’s term, is a familiar face on the board — Steve Ruth, who unsuccessfully ran for a third term in the fall.
Clerk Karin Winchester said Ruth’s appointment is good through November 2016, when Leslie’s four-year term would have ended.
The board accepted Leslie’s resignation following her relocation to another community. Her resignation letter to Supervisor Dale Smith was dated Feb. 8.
Leslie was first elected in 2008 and reelected in November, 2012.
“I did not expect to leave the township,” Leslie said before the meeting. “When I ran in November, I had every expectation of staying and I tried hard to stay – but it was not to be.”
Since submitting her letter of resignation, Leslie said she had spoken to several citizens she felt would be a good replacement for her on the board, but nobody applied.
During public comments, Leslie thanked residents for putting their trust in her by electing her twice. “It shows people can run for election in Holly Township without being a lifelong resident, without coming from a certain family, or without having a certain degree,” she said. “All you really have to do is care.”
Leslie said it is her hope in the future that a wide variety of residents will run for office and serve. “I will continue to speak highly of this very precious community,” she said.
Under Michigan law, township board members must be township residents of the board on which they serve, Supervisor Dale Smith said before thanking Leslie for her service.
“I know it’s not easy moving to a new community, not knowing many people, and getting involved,” he said. “You certainly did that.”
With that, the board accepted Leslie’s resignation.
As supervisor, Smith said he has power to recommend an individual to fill the vacant seat, subject to the board's approval.
For him, the obvious choice was Ruth, simply because of his background experience and his ability to “get back in the saddle” quickly.
Having spoken with him over the weekend, Smith said Ruth would consider taking the position again. Ruth, however, did not attend Wednesday’s meeting.
Ruth is an engineer who is from Detroit originally, Smith said. “I always referred to him as ‘the voice of reason,’ because he wasn’t connected either way.”
The board voted 4-0 to appoint Ruth to the vacant seat.
Due to the change, the board approved Smith's recommendation to appoint Ruth to the North Oakland County Fire Authority (NOCFA) Board, which Leslie chaired.
Winchester was also appointed to the NOCFA Board. Both appointments are through Nov. 20, 2016.
In another 4-0 vote, Smith was chosen to take over for Leslie as the township’s representative to the Holly Downtown Development Authority Board. This appointment is also good through Nov. 20, 2016.