Brookfield Trustees Dan Suttles and Mark Ferrara said they will interview candidates for the vacant trustee seat at a meeting open to the public.
The vacancy was created by the resignation of Ron Haun, which was effective today. Suttles and Ferrara accepted Haun’s letter of resignation Nov. 14. They have 10 days from today to notify the Trumbull County Board of Elections of the vacancy, and 30 days to appoint a replacement, who would serve until the end of 2023.
The trustees put out notice prior to Haun’s resignation that they would accept letters of interest from residents who want to replace him, and have received nine letters so far, Suttles said.
The trustees plan to sequester the candidates when they interview them at 6 p.m. Dec. 7, so the hopefuls do not hear each other’s answers, Ferrara said. They also said they will not allow questions from members of the public who attend.
The Ohio Revised Code allows trustees to go into executive session to interview and mull candidates for vacant board positions. By planning to hold interviews in open session, “We’re going beyond the call of the law by going this way,” Suttles said.
Suttles said he has talked to a representative of the Trumbull County Prosecutor’s Office about the trustees’ plans and what they are required to do.
Because the interviews will be conducted after the trustees’ regular monthly meeting on Dec. 5, the trustees probably will hold a special meeting to make an appointment, Suttles said.
Letters of interest will be accepted until 3 p.m. Nov. 25. Hopefuls 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. Letters can be given to Suttles or Ferrara, or dropped off at the township administration building, 6844 Strimbu Drive, during business hours.
If Suttles and Ferrara cannot agree on a replacement, the matter will go to Trumbull County Probate Court.