Berkshire Township has a large void to fill with the passing of its longest-serving trustee.
Trsutee Bob Carpenter passed away Friday, taking with him a wealth of institutional knowledge about the township he gained in his over two decades involved in Berkshire Township government.
“I don’t know anything that he didn’t touch,” Trustee Bill Holtry said. “Fortunately, I was here to see him accomplish a lot of things that he did.”
Carpenter helped secure the land where the township’s new hall was recently built. He was also instrumental in securing additional land for the township’s cemetery.
“We’d been running out of cemetery space if it wasn’t for Bob,” he said.
To honor Carpenter, Holtry said he would like to make the drive leading into the new township hall parking lot after Carpenter.
Carpenter, a 45-year township resident who was recently elected to his fifth term of the board of trustees, prided himself on the fact that the township remained debt-free during his tenure and on the role he played in bringing a full-time chief to the BST&G Fire District.
“The knowledge that he takes with him is irreplaceable,” said Berkshire Township Administrator Jeff George.
Trustee Rod Myers said is was a pleasure serving with Carpenter over the past several years.
“Bob and I had differences of opinion, but when it was all said and done, we were still friends,” he said. “He will be greatly missed. He was a good trustee.”
While township officials acknowledge that they will not be able to replace the institutional knowledge Carpenter brought to the table, they must try. They took the first step Monday by passing a resolution declaring a vacancy in the seat.
The trustees now have 30 days to reach a consensus on an appointment to the post. If the trustees cannot come to an agreement, the decision would fall to “a majority of the persons designated as the committee of five on the last-filed nominating petition” filed by Carpenter. The committee has 10 days following the 30-day period to make a decision. If the time frame is not met, the presiding probate judge in the county is charged with making the appointment.