Raisin Township Board appoints Palmer supervisor to fill unexpired term
Raisin Charter Township Board of trustees held a special meeting on Monday morning, Oct. 15, in order to fill the unexpired term of Township Supervisor, Carl Wagner, who passed away on October 9. Raisin Township Clerk Betty Holdridge presided over the meeting.
Board member and Raisin Township Treasurer Delight Sieler made a motion to appoint Jim Palmer to the position, which Trustee Larry Crittenden seconded. The motion was approved through a roll call vote. Palmer abstained from the vote, as did Trustee Dale Mitchell, who said that several constituents had asked him to support Crittenden for the post.
Palmer has served on the Raisin Charter Township Board of Review for eight years, and has been a Trustee on the Raisin Township Board since 2008. He formerly served as a Tecumseh City Councilman for 10 years.
Palmer will serve the remainder of Wagner’s term until after the November 6 election. He has also launched a write-in campaign for the position of Raisin Township Supervisor. Independent Jay Cavanaugh, whose name will appear on the ballot, is also running for the post.
Palmer told the board that it was an honor to be able to continue work that Wagner started. “I want to let you know that this is not an individual effort and won’t ever be,” said Palmer. “I hope we can continue as a team and I’ll be needing help from everybody. Together we have the expertise that will make this work and I hope we can resolve things that need to be resolved and do it for the betterment of Raisin Charter Township.”
During the meeting, Palmer also resigned his position as trustee, as he cannot serve in both positions at the same time.
The board members proceeded quickly on an appointment upon the recommendation of Township attorney David Lacasse.
“It’s important to have a supervisor in place, particularly in a charter township, for effective administration of the office,” said Lacasse. “Even though it is only for a few weeks, this assures that the administration will run in a smooth and efficient manner.”
Palmer was sworn in by Holdridge at the conclusion of the meeting.
Holdridge said she had just learned this weekend from Lenawee County Clerk Lou Ann Bluntschly that ballots would not have to be reprinted as a result of Wagner’s death; however, absentee voters who may have already voted for Wagner have an option of being reissued a new ballot if they so desire by contacting the Raisin Township Clerk’s office at 423.3162.
Palmer is pursuing a write-in campaign for the Supervisor position, and his name also appears on the ballot for Trustee. He said he has been informed that if he were to win the election in both categories, he could choose which to serve in, but cannot serve in both.
“I love where I live and I love Raisin Charter Township,” he said. “We have a tremendous support staff here and an organized body of governance. I want to be part of that and now to continue as supervisor so I can assist in the growth and future of the township.” He said it takes a lot of effort and not just from one person, but from collective thoughts and conversations as the township officials do their due diligence on behalf of the community.
“We may not have all the answers, but through those conversations, we can come to conclusions that are beneficial to the township,” Palmer said. “I’m a very conservative person and I watch what we do, and watch the budget to give the best benefit to residents of Raisin Charter Township for the amount of money they are sacrificing in taxes to it.”
He said he also intends for there to be no loss of recognition of what Wagner started in the community. “That will not diminish as I take over his remaining tenure,” he said.
Independent Jay Cavanaugh is also on the ballot for the position of Raisin Township Supervisor. Cavanaugh said he was out of town last week and just learned of Wagner’s death.
“I wish I had been here and had been able to attend his funeral,” he said. “I think he did a great job for the township. I think his dedication to the township and to the people of the township is incredible to say the least. I think the township will miss him.”
Cavanaugh also said that he considered Palmer “a good guy,” but the race was on for the position.
“I think it’s quite reasonable to have him take over as supervisor until the election takes place,” he said. “I only wonder why he didn’t get on the ballot before.” Cavanaugh said a good portion of his campaign platform focuses on infrastructure. “If I thought Jim was going to do the things I feel need to be done, I would probably just back out of the race. I know he’s a good man, but we’re still running a campaign, and we hope to affect some changes.”