By CHARITY B. SMITH
Sunday Times Newspapers
WYANDOTTE — Kevin VanBoxell’s appointment to City Council by Mayor Joseph Peterson, was approved by the council Aug. 3, after a lengthy debate by both residents and council members.
VanBoxell ran for city council in the 2013 election and lost by 7 votes. It was because of this and his interview for the position that Peterson selected him to fill the spot vacated by Lawrence Stec.
“I think I’m qualified to fill that position,” VanBoxell said. ” I have one loyalty and that’s to the residents and fellow citizens of Wyandotte. That’s all I’m concerned about is serving them. I have no allegiance to anybody else, but only to Wyandotte.”
VanBoxell has been a resident of Wyandotte since 1977 and served in the U.S. Navy during the war in Afghanistan. He was also a Wyandotte Public Schools trustee for 15 years.
Councilman Leonard Sabuda told VanBoxell, “I’ve always felt that the seventh person (from the last election) should be the one to fill a vacancy. I feel because you got the vote that you should be the next person to fill that vacancy.”
Resident Chris Calvin said that by putting the seventh highest vote getter into the vacancy puts the people’s voice first.
“I appreciate the mayor putting in for the next highest vote getter, because that takes the politics out of it,” Calvin said.
In spite of the debate the vote turned out to be unanimous and VanBoxell will sit on the council at the next meeting.
“I would just like to say thank you to everybody and I really look forward to working with you,” VanBoxell said.
(Charity B. Smith can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.)