At the Brookfield trustees’ May 3 meeting, Trustee Gary Lees summed up Trustee Dan Suttles’ conduct in this way: Suttles undermines board unity, “put(s) down” Lees and Trustee Ron Haun, plays to the media, fails to come up with ideas and takes credit for ideas created by Lees and Haun.
Suttles disagreed with Lees’ criticisms and stood by his conduct during his tenure.
“I would like this board to work in harmony for the betterment of this township,” Lees said. “I don’t expect us to agree to every issue, but most important, to accept the decisions made without making other trustees look bad. For example, Dan, I didn’t appreciate the comments in the local paper saying that Ron and I are spending money like water in the township.”
Suttles continues to bring up issues he did not agree with Haun and Lees on, Lees said.
“Instead of moving on to other issues, you try to make yourself look good by coming up with investigating the general fund to prove you’re right on your no vote,” Lees said.
Lees said that Suttles opposed the hiring of an outside firm to search for a fire chief, the decision not to
hold an in-person trick-or-treat and the hiring of a private contractor to maintain the green, and
complained about the cost of electricity at the park when the electronic sign on the green in Brookfield
Center has increased township electrical expense.
“No matter what we come up with, as long as it is not your idea, you slam us in the newspaper, to make us look bad,” Lees said. “It has to stop. Ron and I have been trustees longer than you, and we know that we represent the people of the township, not just the ones who voted for us, and the businesses of this township, not just the ones who backed us.”
Suttles said he apologized that Lees has taken his opposition to certain issues personally. “I can assure you that nothing that I’ve opposed or proposed as a trustee is to make another trustee look bad,” he said. “I’ve reached out to my trustees after most of those cases that Trustee Lees brought up, that I was in a minority, and said, ‘OK, let’s do this.’ I went out and I passed out candy (at Halloween). It wasn’t to make myself look good. It was to look unified as a board.”
Suttles said he will continue to advocate for spending money wisely.
“I can assure you, as an elected official, I want to do what’s best for Brookfield Township, and sometimes that isn’t in a majority, but I will maintain that role because I think that’s what I was elected to do,” Suttles said. “It’s just, to say one thing that I probably shouldn’t say, you can tell that it’s an election year.”
Suttles has announced that he is running for re-election. Lees said he has not decided whether to run again.