Lack of meeting minutes causes concern in Franklin Township

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By Amanda Ensinger
Staff Writer

Community members are frustrated over the lack of meeting minutes available from a local township. At a recent meeting, the Franklin Township trustees asked about the status of the minutes and were told they are not available.

“Do we have any minutes to approve,” asked Franklin Township Trustee Ralph Horn. “I think there are a couple of minutes from past meetings that haven’t been sent over as well.”

According to Franklin Township Fiscal Officer Nick Dunn, no minutes were available for approval during the meeting.

“We are working on the ones from the special meeting, but none to approve at this point,” Dunn said.

The township meeting minutes are months behind. Minutes have not been updated online since Oct. 21, 2021, though audio from the meetings have been posted online.

This has been an ongoing issue for the fiscal department, who is responsible for updating minutes. In May of 2021, the township was also months behind in posting meeting minutes, causing residents to question how transparent the township was being.
In December 2021, Dunn said the minutes would be updated in the next month or so, but they have yet to be updated.

In other township news, the board introduced new Franklin Township Trustee James Leezer. Leezer was elected in the fall as trustee and will serve though 2025.

The board also rearranged positions, electing a new vice chairman and chairman of the board.

Leezer was nominated for both vice chair by trustee John Fleshman and nominated for chair of the board by Horn.

“Are we not doing the rotation we normally do,” Fleshman asked. “When you are born, you don’t start eating solid food, normally he would be vice chair, then chair and then you would be chair, not that he can’t do it this way, but is there a reason we shouldn’t go that route?”

Last year, Horn served as chairman of the board, so this year normally Fleshman would serve as chair. However, Horn and Fleshman have had substantial differences in opinion recently on how to run the township.

“You and I have been here for several years,” said Horn. “I think some new blood and opinions would be good for the township.”

While Fleshman said he agreed new opinions are great, he said it doesn’t make sense that someone who is new to local government to take on the chair role. He said Leezer should have time to get more experience before assuming the chairman role.

However, Leezer and Horn voted in favor of Leezer becoming chairman, while Fleshman voted no, resulting in Leezer becoming the 2022 chairman.

Fleshman said he doesn’t want to be vice chairman, so Horn was elected as vice chairman.

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