Editor’s note: This is the second installment of a series of stories on the candidates for Brookfield Township trustee. The third installment will run in the November edition of NEWS On the Green.
Candidate Tim Gladis has spoken of wanting to create a marketing plan for the township. What would a marketing plan look like?
“First, we have to agree, How do we want to be? What are we going to market? You can’t just say, ‘Oh, this is great. Come on over.’ It doesn’t work like that. We have to look at, What do we want Brookfield to be? What do we want to be known for? If we can figure that out and then start to articulate that to people who are wanting to come here, I think that’s where we start. From there, it becomes a planning process. I’m a graduate of the Project Management Institute, so I like to look at it from the standpoint of project management. Do you have a concept? You take the concept, start to refine that down to what the core of that concept is, then you start planning how we’re going to articulate this concept and move it to the next phase. When you plan for that, we start to get ideas how we’re gonna actually accomplish that, and then we want to know who is gonna do what by when. Then we move to the operational phases, where we’re actively going out and soliciting people to come and telling them why. We go from there, operationalizing it and making it happen. The thing isn’t an overnight process. It requires commitment. It requires a lot of work and it requires a lot of dedication.”
Brookfield has good schools, good fire and police services and low taxes, Gladis said, and the trustees are addressing other issues through the road levy that voters approved and the code enforcement office, which deals with property maintenance issues.
“I think we can argue that Brookfield is a desirable place,” Gladis said. “It’s better than a lot of places you could go. I think we market that. I think we cheerlead that and I think we stay committed to that.”
To Shannon Devitz, What have your first nine months as a trustee been like?
“Interesting,” she said.
She said she thought she would be better acclimated to the job because she had been involved with government as a member of the last zoning promotion committee, the road levy committee, the Brookfield Township Historic Commission and the Brookfield Township Exterior Property Maintenance Code Board of Appeals.
“I thought I had a good grasp on things, but it’s completely different,” she said. “Mildly intimidating at times. It’s odd because I’m a 5-foot-2 female, and you’re surrounded by these big guys, and I have ideas. I wasn’t elected, so I didn’t want to get too goofy with the things that I brought in.”
She said she started off her tenure “with things I was familiar with. In this job, there’s no blueprint. There’s no one holding your hand saying, ‘This is how this goes.’ Kind of on your own, so I stuck to familiar things. I stuck to the website, communications. ARPA (Brookfield’s allocation of American Rescue Plan Act funds) was a big one for me, because I was involved in that before as a citizen in just listening to the conversations. Actually, sitting down and saying, ‘Let’s make a list. Let’s check things off this list. The time is now to start spending.’ I think that was a big one. Lately, I’ve been behind the scenes and making sure our department heads have what they need to succeed, so they can better serve the community. I think that’s a big one, because we wanna go help everyone outside of this building but, what are we doing here to make it the best place to work so you show up and you want to stay here? We want long-term employees and teammates.”
“In the end, we’re hitting our stride right now,” she said, referring to fellow trustees Mark Ferrara and Dan Suttles. “It takes a while to get used to everything. We’re communicating as a team. We’re not always going to agree, but how we talk to each other is what matters. That’s important to me, and treat people with kindness and just conversation is important. As long as this keeps up – it’s been exciting.”
John Paul Martin has withdrawn his candidacy for Brookfield Township trustee.
Martin had announced his candidacy at the August trustees meeting, but Trustee Dan Suttles said at the September meeting that Martin had informed him that he was withdrawing.
Martin said a personal issue arose after the day in which he submitted his petitions to the Trumbull County Board of Elections.