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Political Attacks Addressed, Apologies Given at Chesterfield Board Meeting

Chesterfield Township officials and candidates spoke Tuesday of recent critical statements made at a prior board meeting.

Responses to took center stage at the Tuesday night Chesterfield Board of Trustees meeting.

"Two weeks ago while I was away...I was attacked, not only by name, along with many other members of this community. I was very disappointed, coming home to review the meeting online," said David Joseph, a candidate for trustee in the November election.

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Joseph is referring to remarks made by Trustee Michele Ficht, who did not advance to the general election, that centered around the primary election results and the candidates involved. 

"I don't know what happened two weeks ago, I don't really know or care why you made them. I believe you're a good person and I know that you are very disappointed, and I don't blame you," said Joseph, adding "You haven't asked for this, and I forgive you. I hold no ill will and I wish you well."

Joseph went on to mention a board meeting back in May in which will be tolerated during open comments at meeting.

Lovelock was not at the meeting Tuesday night. Trustee Jerry Alexie presided over the meeting.

"He failed to do that two weeks ago and I'd like to talk to him about it the next time I see him. I would hope that moving forward between now and November we don't use our position on boards to launch attacks."

After exceeding his five minute allotted time to speak during open comments, Joseph later commented after the meeting about how he feels the board needs to focus more on real issues.

"We need to be taking care of that business instead of attacking one another. I was really displeased with the level of attack last go around. It degrades the township and it will not be tolerated. I would hate to see the first and third Monday of the month become attack-the-candidates night. And when candidates who don't make it out of the primary say 'I have nothing to lose,' I think they are failing to recognize self respect and honor," said Joseph.

The meeting was held Tuesday night because of the Monday holiday.

, who is running for township clerk against incumbent , also spoke at the meeting about the remarks.

"After reviewing the board meeting online, it occurred to me that not only did they get almost everything about me wrong but it also occurred to me that the board members and I have some very different ideas as to what it is important," said Berry. "While they think its important to talk about politics I think it's more important to talk about ideas and what we can do to make Chesterfield a better place. It's a matter of priorities really."

In a written statement given to Patch after the meeting, Ficht expressed her side of the story from a meeting in 2009 in which she made a motion to table re-appointments for Parks and Recreation until more citizens were informed of the openings. Joseph was one of the members seeking reappointment.

"I believe a community is only as strong as the people who support it, and when residents show interest in helping to make our community stronger, I will always encourage it. Unfortunately, my enthusiasm to inform the public has caused hard feelings and misunderstandings and, for that, I am sincerely sorry.

"It was never my intention to case ill will between myself and some of the parks and recreation commissioners. We are all on the same team and should be working together towards the same goal, building and strengthening our community to make it the best it can be," said Ficht about the 2009 events.

In other meeting news

The board agreed on a $74,244.75-bid from James P. Contracting to reconstruct a parking lot for the and Uglis announced four new businesses had registered in Chesterfield since August 31, including Rent-a-Center, Halloween City, Beach Body Tanning and C.C. Pet Care and Training.

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