Avon Township Board Still Working Out the KinksThe battle lines continue at Avon Township as the newly elected Board wields their power in selecting a new Township Clerk [Jeanne Kearby] as well as replacing Avon Township Supervisor Lisa Rusch’s hand-picked choice for attorney, Tom Leverso. At the May 13th monthly board meeting Attorney Leverso was quite outspoken when members of the audience asked questions during the public participation portion. At that time he was questioned by a trustee on his status as Township attorney to which he responded that he “was not recognized as of yet” (according to the meeting minutes). After the public portion of the May 13th meeting Township Supervisor Rusch appointed attorney Leverso as the Township attorney which he accepted. That was followed by a trustee questioning whether the board had just appointed an attorney and questioned the need for a vote. Attorney Leverso stated that the Supervisor has the authority to appoint the attorney based on case law. As you can see in the following video, showing a portion of Monday nights July 8th meeting, that decision by Supervisor Rusch still did not sit well with many on the newly elected board:
Once the board went into a very long executive session lasting nearly three hours the attorney, who was hanging around to see if he would even get paid, came into the meeting room. He told the five clerk candidates in attendance, who had specifically been asked to attend for a face-to-face interview, that the board had narrowed it down to just two candidates and thanked the others for coming. With that, some of the candidates left rather stunned that they weren’t even given the courtesy of meeting with the board and abruptly dismissed. In the second video below, showing a portion of the meeting after the long executive session, you will hear Supervisor Rusch telling the audience that she read every answer to the 23 questions on the applications that were submitted without seeing who wrote them before a decision was made. Supervisor Rusch seems to have the uncanny ability to learn much about a person without actually TALKING to them. To most it seemed a bit unprofessional to have someone stick around for almost three hours waiting for an interview only to be told “Thanks, but….”. What also seems a bit interesting about the two finalists that DID get interviewed was that one, I was told, lives in a house either owned or previously owned by outgoing Supervisor Sam Yingling and the other was a recent candidate for trustee on the opposing slate. With the board now split with trustees from each party including a disenchanted candidate who left Rusch’s ticket and supported the opposition, it wan’t surprising to see Jeanne Kearby being selected (not that she won’t do an excellent job).
Besides selecting a new clerk after newly installed clerk Patricia Smart suddenly resigned, the board made another major decision during executive session. They released attorney Leverso and re-hired former Township attorney Jerry Dietz for a period of 6-months to be reviewd at the February 10, 2014 meeting. They also agreed to pay the outstanding check #17915 that was questioned prior to the executive session, thus sending attorney Leverso on his way with payment in full.