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Published: Wednesday, 7/15/2009

Whiteford Township board taps clerk to fill empty post of supervisor

BY JULIE M. McKINNON
BLADE STAFF WRITER

OTTAWA LAKE - Whiteford Township's clerk recently was appointed to fill the vacancy created by Supervisor Pamela Dressel's sudden death in May.

Bernice Heidelberg, a Whiteford Township trustee for 12 years and clerk for five, was one of four applicants for Mrs. Dressel's seat.

Mrs. Heidelberg, 54, said she sought the position because she wanted to give the township some continuity.

She would not have considered becoming a supervisor if it weren't for Mrs. Dressel's death, she said.

"There were projects that she and I had started, and I wanted to see them through," Mrs. Heidelberg said.

"Pam was working with me, and she kept me informed on what was going on."

Mrs. Dressel died May 21 at the age of 64 after an apparent heart attack. She was in her ninth year as supervisor.

Re-elected to a four-year term last November, she also held the duties of assessor, a position she had held before winning election in 2000.

Once the township board of trustees decided that they would fill Mrs. Dressel's seat, township Attorney C.J. Horkey said the Michigan Township Association was consulted for guidance on the replacement procedure.

The supervisor job pays $18,500 annually.

Mrs. Heidelberg was appointed last month.

Applications for the township clerk position that will be vacated by Mrs. Heidelberg have been taken. Officials will discuss appointing a replacement for the clerk position at the July 21 board meeting.

Both the supervisor and clerk positions will be up for election next year.

Mrs. Heidelberg said it is too early to tell whether she will run for supervisor in that election.

Contact Julie M. McKinnon at:

jmckinnon@theblade.com

or 419-724-6087.



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