After multiple rounds of interviews and hours of debate, Brighton Township officials have chosen their new township Clerk.

Joe Riker has been selected to fill the Clerk’s position that Ann Bollin vacated at the end of the year to serve in the State House of Representatives. The Brighton Township Board of Trustees received 8 resumes for the position and then brought 5 applicants in for interviews across special meetings held on Wednesday and Thursday night. Thursday’s interviewees were Riker and Brighton Township Zoning Board of Appeals member John Gibbons.

Riker, who has a long record of military service and working with veterans in the area, told the Board it is his leadership skills that lead him to believe he is the best candidate for the job. Riker said that there are “probably more glorious jobs than public service, but I think it takes a special person to do it.”

Following the interviews, the Board of Trustees voted on their 2 favorites, which came out to be both Riker and Gibbons. Trustee Lucille Weaire made a motion to appoint Gibbons, based largely on his financial background. Trustees Steve Combs and Mike Slaton voted with her. Supervisor Patrick Michel, Treasurer Rose Drouillard, and Trustee Sam Theis voted against. Theis and Michel expressed concerns about the more politically middle-of-the-road Gibbons not representing the values of the township’s residents as well as the conservative Riker. Riker served in former Congressman Mike Bishop’s Brighton office and as Vice Chair of the Livingston County Republican Party.

When the vote stalemated at 3, Riker was nominated with the same result. Following a failed result for a 3rd candidate, and another 3-3 Riker vote, two separate motions to discuss the matter further on Monday also failed. Faced with not having signatures for payroll or bills, the Board elected to bring Riker and Gibbons back last night for further questions. Following their re-arrival and questioning, the 3rd motion of the night was made for Riker, which passed when Combs, following a long, extended pause during roll call, switched his vote to be in favor of the veteran.(MK)