Moving forward on township business

| 22 Feb 2012 | 08:04

How Vernon is working to meet today’s challenges Vernon Township’s clerk Robin Kline responded to questions about what issues the township has been tackling. Below are her answers to the question: What are the most pressing issues facing Vernon? 1. “Regaining the public’s trust. We’re certainly making improvements. From my interactions and observations with the other municipal departments and department heads, I see that everyone is working hard for the citizens and taxpayers of our community. We don’t look at it as ‘Vernon’ but our community.” 2. “The delivery of services. We’re really faced with challenging times. Once your budgets tighten up, the challenges start to reveal themselves. Under the direction of our township manager and our council, all departments are being asked to take a hard look at minimizing spending.” Some areas where the clerk’s office has sought to cut spending: Office supplies. “We don’t need to hoard office supplies, and we can do with the plain vanilla.” Further, Kline says that while she is a proponent of professional development, under the current budget constraints, this is one area that can be curtailed. 3. In an effort to make the township government more accessible and its workings more transparent, Kline has presided over a revamp of the way it handles requests for information via the Open Public Records Act, referred to as OPRA requests. “In the spirit of that act, we saw a need to make some policy changes,” Kline said. Among those changes: fees for photocopies have been reduced from 75 cents to 10 cents per page; and a CD with information can be purchased for 40 cents, when appropriate. The OPRA request form is now available on the township’s Web site, and because some information frequently requested has been aggregated and saved on a computer desktop, responses to some requests can be turned around much more quickly than before. “The more restrictions you put on something, the more problems you’re gonna get,” Kline said, explaining her philosophy.