Fired employee back as elected official & calls for resignations

Butler Township Board of Trustees. (WDTN, Beairshelle Edmé)

BUTLER TWP.,Ohio (WDTN) – When new politicians are elected, they usually have to wait until the start of their term to go to work.

Butler Township residents contacted 2 NEWS when they learned one man isn’t playing by those rules.

The newly elected trustee, Joe Flanagan wants to shake things up because he says the old leadership isn’t doing the job.

Flanagan is the former township administrator, but was removed from that position; Kim Lapensee is his replacement.

Since his election, Flanagan is calling on her to resign or else he says he’ll fire her once he’s in office in January.

“The reason for that is what I see as a lack of leadership in the township,” Flanagan explained when talking about ‘s failure to fulfill her duties.”The way I feel about is that the Board of Trustees sets policy, but it’s the administrator that provides the leadership to get them to go where they need to go.”

Flangan tells 2 NEWS his letter to Lapensee calling for her resignation isn’t personal.

2 NEWS called the township administrator to get her side; she declined to comment.

However, Butler Twp. Board of Trustees President Mike Lang is standing by Lapensee.

“Kim has been doing a great job as township administrator, just came off a great evaluation not but three or four months ago,” he explained.

Flanagan also planned on replacing Lang by calling a vote so that he could be named president.

Asked why, he detailed, “Actually, only reason I did that was because in the revised code it says that the president of the board becomes the acting township administrator in the absence of the administrator.”

Flanagan later learned the president could also choose to appoint someone to the positions, and with that information he says he has no further need to become the board president.

After all the back and forth, 2 NEWS asked the question residents want answered.

One of which is whether these recent issues will affect the ability for these trustees to do their job.

Flangan stated plainly, “I don’t believe so.”

“I’m a no drama kind of guy and to me that’s what’s kind of unsettling about this,” Lang said. “We have meetings.We discuss the issues that are relevant to use. This is not a personal issue between Joe Flanagan and myself. This is an issue of policy and direction for the township and is being conducted in the absolute wrong forum.”

Flanagan says he has no plans to seek re-election so he says this his one shot to get it right for Butler Township, and for him that means removing the executive who he feels has done a poor job.

An emergency meeting to address Flangan’s letter and his call for a resignation will be held tomorrow at 4 p.m. It is open to the public.

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