Shannon Devitz has been named the new Brookfield trustee, a spokesman for Trumbull County Probate Court said Thursday afternoon.
Devitz was one of 12 who applied for the job after the resignation of Ron Haun.
“I’m thrilled,” she said. “I’m floored. I didn’t think it would be me. I didn’t think I had what he was looking for.”
“He” is Probate Judge James Fredericka, who was tasked with picking Haun’s successor after Trustees Dan Suttles and Mark Ferrara could not agree on someone.
While Fredericka could have used any process he wanted to choose a trustee, he told Suttles that he planned to work from the list of 12, Suttles said. Devitz was personally interviewed by the judge and saw two other candidates in the office when she was interviewed. Suttles said Fredericka asked him about six candidates when he was interviewed. Fredericka interviewed Ferrara separately, Suttles said..
“He did his due diligence, and the people should be very, very proud of the process,” Devitz said.
Suttles said Fredericka told him that he wanted to choose someone who is “all in to help Brookfield Township” and can work with Suttles and Ferrara.
Suttles called Fredericka’s attitude “refreshing.”
“I still feel like we dropped the ball because we couldn’t decide, but at least it seems like he’s taking this very seriously,” Suttles said.
In her public interview for the position before the matter was handed over to Fredericka, Devitz touted her service on the Brookfield Township Historical Commission and Brookfield Township Exterior Property Maintenance Code Board of Appeals – both positions she will resign from – the last Brookfield Township Zoning Commission and township and school levy committees.
“Over the last five years, I’ve been a part of the community, different community initiatives, different levies,” she said Dec. 7. “I can be very passionate.”
She called herself an outsider because she is from Hubbard Township. She said she moved to Brookfield in 2017.
“I think I have a different perspective on the community and how things work,” Devitz said. “Sometimes, when you’re in a place for years, you kind of become complacent. I think I would bring a different set of eyes to the board, new energy. I think I’ve done that through my different commissions, levies. I try to look at things differently and try to give it a little bit more energy and love towards the particular thing that I’m working for or fighting for.”
The married mother of an 8-year-old son and graphic designer for Paramount Games of Wheatland said she already has established “great relationships” with key township employees and school officials.
She said she knows that she will have to prove herself to township residents, but added, “I can’t wait to get to work.”
Devitz, the niece of Hubbard Township Trustee Fred Hanley, will be sworn in at 10 a.m. Saturday at the township administration building, 6844 Strimbu Drive. She will to the end of 2023, and the seat will come up for election in November.
Devitz issued the following statement: “Based on the pool of candidates, I’m proud to have been selected for this position. I want to thank the trustees, Judge Fredericka and his staff for their time spent during this selection process. I would also like to recognize the support from my family and friends; thank you from the bottom of my heart. Can’t wait to get sworn in and continue working for the people of Brookfield Township!”