Brookfield Trustees Mark Ferrara and Dan Suttles have asked Trustee Ron Haun to resign earlier than he had planned.
No matter what Haun decides, the other trustees have put out a call for letters of interest from people who would like to serve on the board after Haun resigns.
Ferrara said he talked to Haun Oct. 7. Haun acknowledged receipt of the letter and said he planned to be back in Brookfield for the November regular meeting, Ferrara said.
Haun, whose residency has been called into question numerous times by residents since he sold his home in Masury and bought a home in Florida, has said he will resign effective Dec. 31. To date, he has not tendered a resignation letter, which would trigger the replacement process. He has traveled back and forth between Florida and Brookfield for much of the year.
Haun has maintained that he still lives in Masury, with his parents, and that he is fulfilling all of his duties as a trustee.
However, Haun’s home in Florida was damaged by Hurricane Ian, and Ferrara and Suttles said dealing with the hurricane damage is his “necessary focal point.”
In a Facebook post, Haun’s wife, Lisa, said the roof of their home had been partially ripped off by the hurricane.
“We realize that your obligations to your family in Florida and returning to Brookfield is not likely on a regular basis, especially with the recent hurricane issues,” the letter said.
Haun was supposed to attend the trustees’ department head meeting Sept. 26 and regular meeting Oct. 3, but instead returned to Florida in advance of the hurricane, Ferrara said. Ferrara said Haun does not know when he will return to Brookfield.
“If I would have been in his shoes right now, I would have gone home, too, so I’m not being critical of him going home,” Suttles said. “But, the fact is he’s going home. He might not be back, who knows?”
Haun’s absences are affecting the board’s operation, Suttles said. Haun is not often available to sign checks, minute books or property deeds – the trustees are considering selling two pieces of property – and an Oct. 3 meeting had to be canceled because neither Haun nor Ferrara could make it.
Fiscal Officer Dena McMullin said Haun has not told her when he would be in town or is leaving.
“It’d be nice to know before he leaves, so I can say, ‘Hey, I need you to sign this before you go,’” she said.
Even if the hurricane had not struck, Suttles said he could not imagine Haun wanting to be away from his wife, sons, and grandchildren over the holiday season, which is approaching.
Ferrara and Suttles said the township has “critical projects underway,” including contract negotiations with the police, fire and road departments and Hartford Township, for which Brookfield provides fire and emergency medical service; the allocation of $860,000 American Rescue Plan Act funds; a 3.5-mill continuous levy for the road department, which is on the November ballot; and “normal day-to-day oversight needs of the township.”
“We feel, at this point, that advancing your resignation date to be effective as of Oct. 31 would be in the very best interest of all,” the letter said.
When a vacancy occurs on the board of trustees, the remaining trustees have 30 days to name a successor, or the matter goes to a probate court judge, Suttles said.
Candidates to replace Haun must be at least 18 years of age, a resident of Brookfield Township and registered to vote, with residency and voter registration having occurred at least 30 days prior, Suttles said.
The new trustee would serve for 1 year, and the seat would then be subject to election.
Letters can be given to Ferrara or Suttles or dropped off at the township administrative office, 6844 Strimbu Drive.