Wakefield Township Board welcomes new trustee

By P.J. GLISSON news@yourdailyglobe.com

WAKEFIELD – Michael Heikkila is now the newest member of Wakefield Township’s Board of Trustees. At the recommendation of Supervisor Mandy Lake, board members unanimously voted him in as a trustee at a special meeting on Tuesday evening. Heikkila was the only person who applied for the role after former Trustee Gerald “Jerry” Niemi died on Dec. 19 of last year. “I’ve been a township resident all my life,” said Heikkila by phone during the virtual session. He said he’d served 10 years on Wakefield-Marenisco’s Board of Education (six years as president) and also has done zoning work and has served on the township’s Board of Review. In last year’s election, Heikkila had run for a trustee seat, but lost to Niemi and Robert Drier. In offering her congratulations, Lake assured that “everyone knows him” and kidded Heikkila that he now gets to be part of “our crazy virtual meetings here.” Heikkila – who went to the hall to be sworn in to a four-year term directly after the meeting – now gives the board the distinction of starting the year with new members in every position. In fact, Lake is the only continuing board member, although she exchanged her prior position of clerk to that of chair when former Supervisor John Cox retired after last year’s Nov. 3 election. Former Treasurer Joan Dalman and former Trustee Jerry Niemi also opted to retire at that time. Remaining new board members are Clerk Jennifer Ahonen and Treasurer Denice Laessig. In addition, although she is not technically a board member, Deputy Clerk Michelle Wasielewski assumed that role when her predecessor, Mabel Wanink, also retired last November. In other business, the board voted to approve Resolution No. 1-2021, which establishes procedures for remote attendance at township board meetings. Board members will meet next on Jan. 26 from 5-8 p.m. for a workshop on the next fiscal budget and general goals for the year. Lake said the board then would vote on the budget during its March 2 meeting. Due to pandemic restrictions, persons wishing to attend any township session should first call the municipal building at 906- 224-8551 for access information.