Avon Township board delays vote on censure of supervisor

  • From left, Avon Township Supervisor Terry Wilke, Clerk Jeanne Kearby and Trustee Michele Bauman attend a special meeting Wednesday night to consider a formal censure of Wilke. Township trustees agreed to delay a vote on the proposed censure until May 11.

    From left, Avon Township Supervisor Terry Wilke, Clerk Jeanne Kearby and Trustee Michele Bauman attend a special meeting Wednesday night to consider a formal censure of Wilke. Township trustees agreed to delay a vote on the proposed censure until May 11. Mick Zawislak | Staff Photographer

  • Terry Wilke

    Terry Wilke

 
 
Updated 2/20/2020 6:26 PM

A planned censure of Avon Township Supervisor Terry Wilke by township trustees is on hold to allow time for the two sides to resolve their issues.

Introduced by Trustee Steven Vaughn, the letter of censure listed 10 actions and behaviors Wilke's critics on the board describe as "unprofessional and unacceptable," including his purchase of a vacant home on the township's behalf.

 

The purchase, made without approval of the township board, is among several issues that have contributed to a turbulent atmosphere at the township.

The proposed censure does not allege illegal activity, but it is regarded as a formal acknowledgment of "severe disapproval" of Wilke's actions by the township board.

It was the last item of new business on the agenda of a special meeting Wednesday called by Vaughn and Trustees Michele Bauman and Paul Law.

Hiring an independent attorney to examine the home purchase, beefing up the budget process to include residents, and guidelines involving Wilke's credit card use also were discussed Wednesday.

Trustee Pat Duby, who was absent when the other three trustees requested the special meeting, successfully argued to delay the censure vote until May 11.

"I don't think everything has been handled (by Wilke) correctly, but until we see the outcome of these items, I think this should be postponed," he said.

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"I don't like being handed a two-page censure and being asked to vote on this."

Duby said he understands the points being made in the censure but said the issues it raises are being addressed.

"Let's set a date when we are able to show what we know," Bauman said in agreeing to defer the censure vote.

Wilke bought the home for $1 from a "green book" of available Lake County properties. He said he intended the property to be the first in a township revitalization program.

One of the censure items says Wilke misled the public by saying a $28,000 grant was secured to buy the property and that the township would be liable if the property weren't converted into low-income housing.

Wilke recently acknowledged it was not a formal grant but a release of back taxes. He also said he now would handle the matter differently.

As such, a process is underway to have the property transferred to a township-based charitable organization, he said.

"Are we after resolution here or are we after politics?" Wilke said. "If it's about politics, we can hash this out forever."

In other business, the board agreed to create a seven-member advisory finance committee to include Wilke, Vaughn, Duby and four community members. The township needs to pass a tentative budget by March 1.

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