On a night when the town council honored Township Clerk Bruce Davis for his , the members on the dais also had to find a replacement for Councilwoman Susan Schroeder Clark.
With Clark's possible resignation a topic for discussion recently, when it became a on Monday the council moved quickly to name someone to fill her seat. The choice for the new member of the council was a familiar face in former Deputy Mayor Juan Malave.
Malave's appointment was announced by current Deputy Mayor William Gotto who said before his being sworn in at next month's meeting he will be brought up to speed on all current council business. "Juan is a very dynamic individual," Gotto said from the dais. "He has always been the voice of reason whenever I saw him and I got involved politically. He was one of my go to people to help guide me and give me advice and I'm sure he will do that in the future in his new capacity."
For his part, Malave said after being elected to the council in 2002 and opting to not seek a second turn, he was excited to be able to serve the town again. "I think I can make a difference," he said. "Anytime you can make a difference in the community and help people out, that's what I'm all about. Public service is in my blood and that's what I want to do."
He also gave credit to Clark for her service to the town. "I want to thank her for her years of service to the township," he said. "In my opinion she served the community with dignity and class."
And while he is looking forward to serving the town again, he knows there will be difficult decisions that will have to be made. "Like every other community throughout the state, Howell is no different," he said. "We're facing real tough challenges ahead of us particularly in these tough economic times."
Having served on the council in the past, Malave said that will help him moving forward. "I truly believe that my knowledge and my experience and my commitment will help me through these tough challenges."
Mayor Robert Walsh said he looks forward to working with Malave again, having served together for two years during his last term. "He's a good, honest, caring person. and he's very knowledgeable about the inner workings of the township," he said.
In addition to his institutional knowledge and decision making, Walsh said Malave also brings "a calming presence," much the way Clark did to the council.
Malave will officially join the council at their Dec. 13 meeting. He will then serve the rest of Clark's term before having to run for his own full term in the November elections.