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Westfield Village Board honors outgoing trustee

April 21, 2016
By Amanda Dedie ( , Westfield Republican

At a recent Westfield Village Board general fund budget meeting, outgoing trustee Dave Brooker was honored for his six years of service with the village board, as he is leaving the position and recently sat at his last board meeting.

Brooker does not leave his position for any negative reasons - in fact, according to Brooker, he had a wonderful time during his time on the board, and looks back fondly on everything he did and accomplished during the past six years.

Brooker laughingly explained the interesting way he was put on the ballot to begin with. It started with a phone call, an out-of-town notary, and a sudden desire to give back to the village.

Article Photos

Photo by Amanda Dedie
Mayor Michael VandeVelde, left, honors outgoing Trustee Dave Brooker for six years of service to the board and the village of Westfield.

"That was a strange situation. I was on vacation in California visiting my son and I got a call from a dear friend of mine who said, 'We're looking for someone to be a trustee on the village board. Would you be interested?' and I said, 'Well gee, I don't know if I would or not.' He said, 'Well, we've got some other people but if someone doesn't accept it, would you be willing to consider it?' And I said 'Yes,'" Brooker reflected.

"Well the next thing I know, I received a packet, which I had to fill out and have notarized in California, and I was on the ballot ... I'm not a person that can just sit around and do nothing. I thought there was something I could give back to the community. I was born in this community, I came back to live here and I just felt it was a way I could spend some time and give back to my community," Brooker said.

However, what does someone do with a position that he's just basically thrown into it without any previous experience? It's basically like going from college to the "real world" jobs of desks and 9-to-5 schedules.

"That's exactly how I felt. I had never attended a village board meeting," Brooker laughed. "I had no idea what was involved, but we had a mayor at the time, David Carr, who was pretty much a go-getter and he helped myself out a great deal, and I was kind of eased into it, but I had no idea what I was getting into."

However, despite the initial challenges, Brooker loved his job and would recommend taking up a board position if possible - experience or no experience.

"It's been a great experience. It's something I would recommend to anyone who has the time. I don't know if you realize, with the election we just had in March, it was difficult. We had two spots open and two candidates running, and I think that's such a shame, because there is a forum for people to serve and help their community, and this would be one way to do it."

Brooker, though excited for his new post at the YWCA, will miss much about his position as a trustee on the Westfield village board.

"I will miss the interaction with the members of the community. I've had a lot of phone calls - sometimes people call and complain, and rightfully so, that's part of the job, and I listen to them and take their concerns back to the village so we can discuss them - and I also will miss the interactions with the people, the good parts. That's what I'd miss the most, and especially working with the other trustees, especially working with our staff. We have a wonderful staff in the village. Our village clerk, Vince Luce, is a gem. His assistant clerk, Rebecca Jackson, is just phenomenal. She can do more tasks at one time than anyone I've ever met. We have a treasurer, Becky Paternosh, that is just amazing. Every year we have wonderful audits, and her assistant, Kyle Sunday, is another one. Any time I had a question and I'd go to either Becky or Kyle, they'd be pretty dumb questions, because I didn't always know what I was asking, but they'd take the time to answer your question, work with you and make sure you understood, and just ... those are the people I think I'll really miss the most, working with those four people," said Brooker.



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