By Rosemary K. Otzman
Sumpter Township Police Chief James Pierce was scheduled for surgery on his second knee on June 4, so at the May 27 township board meeting Chief Pierce announced that Captain Eric Luke will be Acting Chief in his absence.
Chief Pierce praised Luke, “Without Luke, our department wouldn’t be where it is.”
He said, hopefully, Luke will be the next police chief of Sumpter Township.
Township Treasurer John Morgan, who was presiding at the meeting in the absence of Supervisor Johnny Vawters, also praised Luke.
Treasurer Morgan agreed that Luke is an outstanding officer and Morgan has recognized that for the 20 years he has known Luke. He supported the plan to have Luke be the next police chief.
Chief Pierce said at the last township board meeting, Luke presented awards to other officers, but Luke, himself, should have been given an award for all he has done for the department.
In other business at the May 27 meeting, the board:
• Approved signing the new, updated agreement with Ypsilanti Community Utilities Authority for sewage treatment;
• Approved a resolution that allows the township to go after those who don’t pay their personal property taxes after a third notice. The township will be able to take them to Small Claims Court to file a claim. The township also can padlock the business and put a red sticker on it;
• Approved purchase of a Kimtek Firelite skid unit for the fire department at a cost of $9,980. This is to replace a 35-year-old unit. It is used from the back of a pickup truck for fighting brush fires;
• Approved, with regret, the resignations of the following fire fighters: Shauna Spoonamore, Jeremy Schrock and Alin Ureche, who moved out of the township; Michael Marecle, who now has a full-time job and no time to devote to fire fighting; and Jason Herman, whose schooling is conflicting with fire fighting;
• Approved the annual cost of $10,000 for the OSSI contract for public safety software for the police department;
• Heard Mary Ban say that she knows the township board was busy on Memorial Day. She said Sumpter didn’t send a representative to Thunder Rolls in Belleville on Memorial Day, where more than 300 motorcycles rode in to help with a big ceremony to salute veterans and deceased veterans. She said there was no one from Sumpter to lay a wreath for the township. She said Craig Moody had done it in the past, but this year there is no wreath at the Veterans Memorial from Sumpter. She said there was a huge crowd and a touching ceremony. She hopes next year “a citizen of some kind” will be able to stand up and lay the wreath. “As a member of the Sumpter Township community, I was embarrassed,” she said. She added that Gertrude Biess and her daughter got the memorial started. Theme of Sumpter Fest was “United We Stand,” she said, adding the ceremony was in memory of all the sons who died in the line of duty;
• Heard Ban say that in the library millage proposal on the Aug. 5 ballot, it explains how $127,000 of the total will be captured every year by the Belleville DDA, the VBT DDA, and the VBT LDFA. She said Sumpter’s proposed DDA wasn’t approved by Wayne County, so they get none of it. “We’re getting a satellite library,” Ban said;
• Heard Ban discuss the Belleville High School New Tech lesson on genocide that was reported in the Independent. She said the students should know that, “Abortion is genocide” and 57 million people have been aborted. “It is a holocaust … severe genocide.” She said 57 million more people could be alive and paying taxes if they hadn’t been aborted; and
• Heard Wayne Mayor Abdul “Al” Haidous introduced himself. He is running for the Wayne County Commission in the 11th district to replace Kevin McNamara, who is running for county executive.
By Rosemary K. Otzman