TEMPERANCE — Last week’s Bedford Township Board meeting was a scene of farewells and a few misty eyes, as Supervisor Walt Wilburn, Treasurer Sherri Meyer, and Trustees Jim Goebel and Gail Hauser-Hurley ended their terms in office.
Departing members thanked the public for giving them the opportunity to serve and expressed appreciation to each other for a professional working relationship.
The new board was sworn in Friday and holds its first meeting at 7 p.m. Tuesday.
The incoming supervisor is Greg Stewart, and Trustee Paul Francis replaces the retiring Ms. Meyer as treasurer. Incumbent Clerk Trudy Hershberger retains her office. Trustees on the new board are Larry O’Dell, Paul Pirrone, Rick Steiner, and Nancy Tienvieri. Mr. O’Dell is the sole holdover trustee.
Mr. Wilburn and Mr. Stewart waged spirited campaigns against each other in the Aug. 7 GOP primary race and this month’s general election, which Mr. Wilburn entered as a write-in candidate.
Mr. Stewart prevailed in both, but there are no hard feelings.
During the meeting’s public comment period, he thanked his erstwhile political opponent along with Ms. Hauser-Hurley, Ms. Meyer, Mr. Goebel, and Dennis Jenkins, who is retiring as the township’s community development and planning coordinator, for their years of public service.
Mr. Wilburn in turn congratulated Mr. Stewart “on a job well done and his successful run for Bedford Township supervisor. We ran for the same office and the friendship survived. I would now also like to encourage everyone to get behind Mr. Stewart and the new board to help them in any way we can, to make sure they are successful in making Bedford Township a better place for us to live.”
Mr. Wilburn also thanked board members for their work in completing important projects during his two terms. These included the new township hall, a new Bedford Branch Library, a new fire station on Lewis Avenue, as well as Ansted Park and Bedford Memorial Gardens cemetery.
Other accomplishments he was proud of, he said, were keeping the township’s Michigan Secretary of State office open after it was slated for closure and getting state grants to pay for repairs to LaVoy Road and replacement of its bridge.
Ms. Meyer thanked township residents for letting her serve for 30 years. She also thanked her staff. Mr. Francis said the township owed her “a debt of gratitude” for her service.
In other business, the board approved a request to the Michigan Department of Natural Resources for a hearing on a proposed resolution banning the discharge of a firearm within 150 yards of a home, dwelling, or school. Unlike a city or village, which could adopt an ordinance on its own, the township must go through the DNR procedure, township attorney Lisa Janos said.
The DNR would hold a public hearing and issue a recommendation on the proposal, she said.
The proposal is in response to complaints Mr. Goebel received about a neighbor on Sarah Drive repeatedly engaging in target practice.