BUTLER TOWNSHIP — Joe Flanagan, who was removed as Butler Township Administrator in 2010, intends to fill that position again if he is successful in firing or forcing the resignation of current Administrator Kim Lapensee.
Flanagan confirmed his intentions in two separate interviews on Monday.
Flanagan was elected to replace Doug Orange as Butler Township Trustee and will assume office in January. At that time, he intends to use the vote of fellow Trustee Nick Brusky to be named President of the Board of Trustees.
In that capacity, he could then be appointed Township Administrator once a vacancy occurs according to the Ohio Revised Code.
Trustee Mike Lang was voted to be 2016 Board President during Monday’s meeting despite the objection of Brusky who moved to table the issue until January. That vote is expected to be rescinded and Flanagan to replace Lang in January.
“I support Joe (Flanagan) to be the President of the Board,” said Brusky. “I think Joe would make an excellent president.”
Brusky initially said he supported Flanagan to be the Administrator, but hedged a bit when pressed for more details.
“We will cross that bridge when we get to it,” he said. “The Revised Code also allows us to appoint an acting administrator. Right now Kim Lapensee is Township Administrator, and that decision isn’t going to be made tonight.
Last week, Flanagan sent Lapensee a letter demanding her resignation. If she refuses, the letter said he would present a resolution in January to remove her from office, and he included a draft resolution in the letter.
A resolution to remove Lapensee would pass with Brusky’s second vote on the three-member board. Brusky indicated he would vote to remove Lapensee during the interview.
Lang accused Flanagan of “shooting from the hip” and questioned his motives.
“This is a bully tactic – asking her to resign on her own will before he has ever taken office, having never professionally worked with her, ” said Trustee Mike Lang. “That he has the gall, with apparently the assistance of (Trustee) Nick Brusky, to terminate her. She’s not going to resign on her own will – why should she?”
Flanagan responded with a tirade against Lang, most of which is not printable.
“If Mike Lang wants a fight, I won’t back down,” said Flanagan. “He is done running this place.”
Flanagan also said Lang was “crazy” if he thought Lapensee would continue to be the Township’s Administrator.
“That’s classic Joe Flanagan, and is the reason he’s no longer Township Administrator,” said Lang, who was one of the Trustees who voted to remove Flanagan in 2010. “That’s the level of professionalism this Township had under Flanagan and we are better than that. I hope the Township residents are paying attention. We will see how these two (Flanagan and Brusky) want to play out.”
Brusky said that he would like for Flanagan and Lang to tone down the rhetoric.
“I’m a trustee, and although we have the majority of the board we need to be respectful to everybody,” said Brusky. “I think Joe needs to tone it down. He shouldn’t have done this before taking office. It puts us in a real bad position. I came to being a Trustee to make changes, and so did Joe, and by doing this we are limited in what we can do. I would never have done that.
“While Mike and I may have disagreements on substantive issues, we are going to handle things in a professional manner,” he said.
The next meeting of the Butler Township Trustees is set for Monday, December 28 at the Township Hall, 3780 Little York Road. The meeting is at 5 p.m.
Reach Darrell Wacker at 937-684-8983