Moyle appointed Hancock Township supervisor


HANCOCK TOWNSHIP — On Monday, Hancock Township selected its first new supervisor in 38 years.

Ken Moyle, previously a trustee on the Township Board, was appointed supervisor by the board. He replaces Paul Kemppainen, who died unexpectedly in June.

Moyle has spent 25 years in township government, including 20 years on the board. After starting on the Board of Review, he became treasurer, then a trustee.

Moyle talked to fellow board members, telling them he’d always entertained the thought of replacing Kemppainen upon his retirement. He’d like to see more interest in local government among younger people; at 69, Moyle is younger than multiple board members.

“These fraternal organizations, too,” he said. “The older people die off and then that’s the end of them. Hopefully we’ll see some interest in the future here, but what do you do if people don’t step up to the plate, or are intimidated by the position?”

The biggest adjustment so far is the paperwork. Upon being named supervisor Monday night, Moyle became possessor of a briefcase full of township documents.

“It’s going to take a lot of time going through it, getting mailings changed, stuff like that,” he said. “We’ll be fine. We’ve got a pretty good board.”

Of course, the most pressing issue Moyle faces is the aftermath of the June 17 flood. Property damage wasn’t as large an issue as in some other municipalities. But the closing of Salo Road has redirected traffic to M-203. That’s led to an increase in speeding and passing in no-passing zones, Moyle said.

He’s talked to Commissioner Tom Tikkanen, who has asked Sheriff Brian McLean for additional patrols in the area.

Moyle, who lives along M-203, said it was “like a private road” while the bridge was out. Before the construction of a temporary bridge, some residents built a foot bridge so they could park their car at the Hancock Cemetery and cross to their homes on foot.

Even then, problems cropped up, he said.

“We put up that bridge and a motorcycle drove across,” he said. “Then a four-wheeler was spinning donuts where we park our cars at the cemetery.”

Moyle’s trustee position is being filled by Julianne Haischer, who was formerly a trustee before being defeated for re-election. Moyle will fill Kemppainen’s term, which expires in 2020.

“We’ll see what the interest is, see how they think I’m capable of doing the job,” he said. “That’s going to be a big part of my decision.”