By Kristin Bednarski
Batavia Township Trustees presented their first Citizen of the Year award to a long-time zoning commission member and chairman during their April 8 meeting.
Thomas Cole was recognized for serving the township for 42 years as part of the zoning commission and at one time the board of zoning appeals.
Trustees accepted Cole’s resignation from the zoning commission at the meeting and he received the Citizen of the Year award for his many years of service.
“After 42 years of service, I venture to say Tom has served his community very well,” Zoning Administrator Denise Kelley said.
Kelley said she began serving with Cole in 1994. She shared several stories from Cole’s time at the township, and read from the minutes where he was appointed in 1971.
“The thing we ought to remember is it is volunteer,” Administrator Rex Parsons said about the position.
Parsons said Cole has helped guide the township through a lot of issues and problems throughout the years on the zoning commission.
“That is a testament to you and your family that you would do this this long,” Parsons said.
Parsons presented the Citizen of the Year award that they created for Cole, and said they will present the award in special situations where individuals demonstrate unique service to the township.
“This is a new award we have created for people like you,” Parsons said.
Trustees presented Cole with the award and thanked him for his years of service.
“Thank you very much,” Cole said. “I appreciate it.”
After the award was presented, Trustees made a motion to accept Cole’s resignation from the commission and also made a motion to appoint James Nichols, an alternate for the commission, to fill Cole’s position.
Kelley said they are now looking for an alternate to fill Nichols’ position. She said they already have interest in the position. She said they will also have to appoint a new chairman for the position, because Cole was chairman of the commission.