Outgoing township officials honored for service
The Bloomfield Township Board of Trustees presented proclamations honoring supervisor Leo Savoie, clerk Jan Roncelli and trustee David Buckley at their meeting on Monday, November 16, for their lengthy service to the community. All three retired from their township positions after over 20 years of service on Thursday, November 19. Trustee Michael Schostak said, “This is a bittersweet moment. It is not often that a small community loses over 60 years of institutional wisdom. To quote Leo, 'A society grows great when men plant trees in whose shade they know they will never sit.' Thank you for your leadership.” He first presented Buckley with a proclamation honoring his service to Bloomfield Township, which began in the late 1990s when he served on the solid waste review committee and chaired the Citizen Waste Review Committee to Preserve police, Fire and EMS Services. Buckley was elected a Oakland County Commissioner to represent Bloomfield Township in 2000 and 2002 before being appointed a township trustee in 2002. “He has always been an outspoken and impassioned champion for the well-being of all Bloomfield Township residents,” Schostak said, noting Buckley chose to not run for re-election after serving for 18 years. “I'd like to thank the residents of Bloomfield Township. It's been an honor to serve the community I've lived in all my life,” Buckley said. Schostak then presented the proclamation to Roncelli, who is retiring as clerk after 16 years. He noted she was first elected to the board of trustees in 1996, and re-elected in 2000 before running for clerk in 2004. “As a trustee, Jan was a champion of the safety path program that enables residents to more easily and safely walk and hike around town; and, under the direction of clerk Roncelli the township became a passport acceptance facility, introduced all new voting equipment, and implemented digital board packets. She also reorganized central document storage and digitized township books and records dating back to its founding in 1827 for the public to review on the township website, a massive project that allows current residents to connect with our town’s history,” Schostak said. He noted she earned professional certification of master municipal clerk from the International Institute of Municipal Clerks, was appointed by then Michigan Secretary of State Ruth Johnson to be one of two state of Michigan representatives on the Standards Board of the U.S. Election Assistance Commission, “and in 2012 clerk Roncelli was recognized as township clerk of the year by the Michigan Association of Municipal Clerks, and in 2016 Jan was presented the Wonder Woman Award by the Women Officials Network Foundation, a tribute to her distinguished public service career and lifetime of devoted community service.” Noting that at times Savoie's administration had come under criticism, Schostak said he believes it will be looked back on as one that was transformational. “Leo has earned the respect and admiration of the hundreds of employees for his strong and steady leadership in uncertain times and exemplary work ethic,” Schostak said. “Township-wide, the supervisor's office has been a place where residents know Leo is available 24 hours a day, seven days a week.” He noted Savoie began his service to Bloomfield Township with a 1997 appointment to the board of review, and was first elected to the board of trustees in 2004. “Leo was appointed on July 25, 2011, as supervisor to complete the term of Dave Payne,” he said. “Some of Supervisor Savoie’s more prominent accomplishments are the successful re-development of the Villages at Bloomfield (formerly known as Bloomfield Park), a record of balanced and surplus budgets in the face of lagging revenue growth, and the implementation of a clear plan with a trajectory to fully fund our legacy costs, all while maintaining a AAA credit rating and proactively making capital improvements to our roads, and water and sewer infrastructure.” “Bloomfield Township is a much better, a much stronger place because of your service. Thank you for everything you've done for Bloomfield Township,” said trustee Neal Barnett. “We all want the best for the community because Bloomfield Township is the best,” Savoie responded. Then in an unexpected, and emotional, presentation, Savoie presented Roncelli with a proclamation naming the township's safety path program, which she had long spearheaded, as the Jan Roncelli Safety Path program. “Now more than ever, the safety program has been valued and this year has brought residents and neighbors together,” Buckley noted.