Clark believes voters rejected the Democratic incumbents because “the board had become dysfunctional. The members could hardly speak to each other, much less get done what needed to be done.” Nielsen disputes that, but many other township officers and trustees agree with Clark. “We didn’t get along from the start,” says outgoing one-term trustee Jim Dries. “It was personalities more than anything else. Jean King can be a viper, and she was always after Charlie Nielsen.”
“I don’t think I was after Charlie,” King laughs. “Charlie did the best he could, but he wasn’t up to it. He really tried, but you couldn’t try hard enough with that bunch.”
Clark predicts the new board will be more collegial. Though only one member ran on Clark’s slate—four were on Fuller’s and one ran as an independent—Clark doesn’t see that as a problem. “These are people I’ve known a long time, and I know they have the township’s best interests at heart,” he says.
[Originally published in December, 2008.]