Four Democrats vying to take on Republican in November
August 02, 2018 | 02:25 PM
TRI-CITY AREA — Though a Republican stronghold, four Democrats are running for the 31st District Senate seat in November.
However, only one of the four will have the chance to face either Kevin Daley or Gary Glenn.
Democrats to appear on the August 7 ballot include: candidates Joni Batterbee of Goodrich; Bill Jordan of Bay City; Cynthia Luczak of Bay City; and Chuck Stadler of Vassar.
Democratic Senate candidate Joni Batterbee, 47, resides in Goodrich and is employed as an elementary school paraprofessional educator, whose priorities include the safety of students.
A member of 'Moms Demand Action for Gun Sense in America,' Batterbee stands with students and teachers who are saying "enough" to school violence.
"I will help make schools safe by passing red flag laws and universal background checks," said Batterbee. "And I will work to end the NRA's grip on our government and help to stop gun deaths in Michigan and in our country."
She also advocates for the rights of workers, fair trade for farmers, health care, wage equality, Medicaid for all, women's rights and efforts to improve Michigan's and the nation's aging infrastructure.
"Our Union workers need their pensions funded and our public schools need to be fully funded.
"We must protect the rights of the disabled, the elderly, mentally ill and America's veterans.
"I believe in science and in protecting our environment," she continued. "Michigan must decriminalize Marijuana, invest in biodegradables, and invest in clean energy to provide revenue for our future.
"And we must repeal the 'Trump Tax Scam' before we see another recession," Batterbee warned.
"Those important accomplishments will once again give Michigan a productive edge as a leader in successful economic growth in the United States," she said. "If you elect me, these priorities will be made possible."
Democratic candidate Bill Jordan has lived in Bay County his entire life and currently resides in Monitor Township with his wife, Kay.
Jordan served six years in the Michigan National Guard and was employed as a Reese High School counselor and coach for 35 years.
He has also served as a Bangor Township and Bay Arenac Intermediate school board member and president.
"I have seen first-hand how small-town Michigan has been ignored by state government," Jordan said. "As an educator and coach, I know our young people are being shortchanged by the leadership in Lansing. That needs to change.
"We need a state senator who will stand up to Lansing's professional politicians and defend our way of life," said Jordan. "That's the kind of state senator I promise to be."
Jordan said he will stand up for small-town values by fighting to: improve education by increasing vocational and technical education; taking the Lansing politics out of education and returning control of schools to local communities; supporting a part-time legislature; creating a hunters' Bill of Rights; and protecting the Great Lakes by supporting bans on foreign pipelines.
"It's going to take leadership and hard work to win for middle-class families," Jordan said. "I'm ready to do that in the state senate."
Jordan and his wife have five children and five grandchildren.
He attended elementary school at St. John the Evangelist in Essexville and graduated from Bay City Central High School. He earned an associate degree from Delta College; a Bachelor of Arts degree in economics from Western Michigan University; and a Master of Arts in counseling from WMU.
He is past president of Bay Area YMCA swim team and volunteers at the Bay City Players.
Born and raised in a working-class family near Pinconning, Democrat Cynthia Luczak seeks to represent the many state residents who feel left behind by the current politicians who are running Lansing.
"As a lifelong resident of mid-Michigan, I've seen some of our cities thrive under great innovators," said Luczak. "But I've also seen the many families and workers who are struggling under absent bureaucrats.
"Mid-Michigan families deserve a leader who has lived their story and understands what it's like to walk in their shoes," she continued. "When the bell rings, you need to know that you have someone in your corner to fight for you. "You ought to know that I have your back."
She attended Standish-Sterling Community Schools, and worked at the local A&W when she wasn't babysitting for neighbors or delivering the "Grit," a local newspaper.
Luczak's father, a U.S. Army veteran, worked as a foreman in marine construction and managed the family farm.
When construction jobs took him out of town, she helped picked up the slack by working longer hours on the farm and saving up for college.
Luczak attended Saginaw Valley State University where she studied business and was able to stay close to home.
She later found a job in the Arenac County Clerk's office and quickly advanced through their ranks.
During her time in Arenac, she met her husband, Doug Luczak, and they settled in Bay City to raise their family.
The couple owned and operated Gephart Funeral Home in Bay City and devoted themselves to giving back to the city in their free time.
In 2004, she was elected Bay County Clerk and has utilized her decades of experience to modernize outdated technologies and simplify complex bureaucratic requirements.
Her success earned her the top position as President of the Michigan Association of County Clerks, where she is in charge of updating election equipment across the state to ensure fair elections.
Luczak is well-known as a strong advocate and fighter for students, senior citizens and working families.
"As a state senator, I will help to bring back investments that assist local businesses and working people thrive," she said.
Democrat Chuck Stadler believes the more people who go to the polls on August 7 and in November, the better the chance for a representative government in Lansing.
"One of the biggest problems in Michigan and the United States is simply getting people to vote," said Stadler. "Unfortunately, the United States of America ranks 25th in the world in the percentage of the population that votes.
"How is that? We have more freedoms in this country than any place in the world. We have the richest class, the poorest class and a shrinking middle class.
"The poor and middle classes outnumber the rich by millions. A rich person equals one vote, but the poor and middle class are less likely to vote.
"Empower yourself by registering to vote and voting now and in November," Stadler implores. "Michigan residents must wake up and get out to polls. Don't just sit home and complain about the way things are.
"I'm fighting for you the voter," he said. "Let's take back Michigan from greedy people who just take your tax dollars."
The following items are listed among Stadler's goals if elected to the Michigan Senate: Lotto money should be used to improve public schools, not as a piggy bank for the greedy in Lansing; stop outsourcing our road construction jobs—leaving Michigan workers out of the equation; improving security for schools through the use of metal detectors, surveillance cameras at all doors, and trained police officers to keep our children safe; supporting our farmers; increasing the state's infrastructure budget by 4-6 billion dollars to repair substandard roads, bridges and streets, thus providing countless jobs; supporting legislation for funding in the fight against opioid and prescription drug additions;
repealing the Michigan Retirement Tax which hurts our senior citizens: supporting our veterans by making it easier for them to to find employment.
August 02, 2018 | 12:01 PM
DRYDEN TWP. — To maintain 24 hour police coverage, township officials will ask voters for a slight millage increase next month.
The proposal calls for raising the millage rate from 2 to 2.3 mills for a period of five years, 2018 to 2022. If approved, the levy would generate approximately $476,562 in the first year it's collected.
For a resident whose home has a taxable value of $200,000, the millage increase would amount to an $30 bump in their property tax bill, going from $200 to $230.
"We're just trying to keep our head above water," said Sgt. Shawn Peters.
Since 2010, the department has had to borrow from their fund balance to make ends meet in their annual budget. Currently, that savings account stands at one year of operating costs and the department wants to keep it at that level.
"Our auditors say that's a good healthy spot to be in," Peters noted.
If the township had opted to seek a renewal of the current two mills, that fund balance would likely be depleted once five years has passed and the township would be forced to reduce their police coverage down to 16 hours per day.
The township has had officers on duty around the clock since 1999 when voters approved raising the police millage from 1.5 to 2 mills. Since that year, the department has been funded exclusively by the millage.
In those first eight years, when the economy was strong and more homes were built in the township, the department was able to put extra funds into their fund balance. Then, when the recession hit, and property values plummeted, so did the millage revenues. In 2008, the millage generated just over $502,000. It dropped as far as $370,000 in 2012 and 2013 and has since recovered to stand at $387,599 in 2017.
The fund balance topped out at $857,000 in 2010 and has since shrunk to $445,000.
In addition to shrinking tax revenues, Peters notes that operational costs have continued to increase.
"From 1999 to 2018 there's been a huge increase in the cost of doing police work," he said.
Thanks to technology, officers have many improved and important tools at their disposal but they all come at a cost.
Other expenses, like insurance, continue to go up as well, Peters noted.
Currently, the township's department has four full-time officers, including Chief Larry Pack, 10 part-time officers and a clerk.
In a letter to residents, the Committee to Support the Dryden Twp. Police Millage stressed the proposed increase would not be directed toward purchasing additional equipment or "creating unrealistic wages or salaries" for officers, noting that their staff is some of the lowest paid in comparison to other full-time departments in Lapeer County .
"Our oficers are a dedicated group of individuals who do their very best to provide a service to this community in a field of work that presents ever-changing challenges," the committee stated.
Residents head to polls on Tues., August 7
August 02, 2018 | 11:53 AM
TRI-CITY AREA — In less than a week, votes will be cast in the 2018 Michigan primary election. On August 7, residents in both Lapeer and St. Clair counties will decide the fate of ballot proposals and candidates seeking public office.
Candidate and proposal profiles have appeared in recent issues of the Tri-City Times and what follows is a recap of what will appear on the ballot in the Tri-City area next week.
There's one race each for local representation in the Michigan House, Senate and U.S. Congress.
In St. Clair County's 81st House District, eight Republicans are vying to move on to the November election.
The GOP field includes Gary Eisen, John Mahaney, Kenneth Nicholl, Michael Pratt, Eric Stocker, Dan Tollis, Dan Turke and Joel Williams. Whoever tops the field in votes will face Democrat Joshua Rivard in November.
The 81st District includes Lynn, Mussey and Berlin townships and the village of Capac.
The 31st Michigan Senate features contests on both sides of the ticket. Kevin Daley and Gary Glenn are battling for the Republican nomination while Democrats Joni Batterbee, Bill Jordan, Cynthia Luczak and Chuck Stadler look to move on to November's contest. Those races will be decided by voters in Lapeer, Tuscola and Bay counties.
Hoping to head to Washington as Michigan's 10th District representative are three Democrats—Frank Accavitti Jr., Kimberly Bizon and Michael McCarthy. Whoever gets the most votes next week will face off against incumbent Republican Paul Mitchell.
In the city of Imlay City, voters will decide the fate of a 2.0323 bond proposal to fund the construction of a new fire hall.
Voters in the Ruth Hughes Memorial District Library (Imlay City and Imlay and Attica townships) will be asked to approve a slight increase in their operating millage by renewing the existing .9966 mills and approving an additional .1034 mills.
At the township level, Attica is asking for a renewal of both their fire and public safety millages each for 20 years at a rate of 1 mill.
Berlin Township is also hoping voters will renew their 10 year, two mill fire levy.
Dryden Township officials are seeking a slight increase in their police millage, from 2.0 to 2.3 mills for a period of five years.
The only school-related measure on the ballot comes from Dryden where they're seeking a five year, .75 mill sinking fund.
Both Lapeer and St. Clair counties will put senior citizens millage renewals on the August 7 ballot. Lapeer's calls for a continuation of the four year, .25 mill levy and St. Clair's will be asking for 0.8 mills also for a period of four years.
Residents in the St. Clair County Community College district will be asked to consider two funding proposals—one for facilities improvement and and the other for operating purposes. Both are four year, half mill requests. The facilities levy is a new proposal.
Polls open at 7 a.m. on August 7 and close at 8 p.m.
All polling locations are the same as in past years, except for Almont Township, where voters will cast ballots at the fire hall (located at the corner of Tubspring and Howland roads) while construction on the township hall is ongoing.
Contact your local clerk for information about obtaining an absentee ballot.
Measure would upgrade security, technology, infrastructure
August 02, 2018 | 11:51 AM
DRYDEN TWP. — School officials hope voters will grant the district another sinking fund proposal when residents head to the polls on August 7.
Superintendent Mary Finnigan said Dryden Schools is asking for the same amount of the last proposal put before voters in 2016—.75 mills for three years—but because state law has since changed since then, this would technically be a continuation not a renewal.
If the majority of ballots are in favor, Finnigan said they'll spend the funds on technology, security and infrastructure improvements over a five-year period, 2019-2023.
"Our main purpose in asking for the sinking fund is to upgrade our security measures and replace parts of roofs and sidewalks," she said.
"We have several things that are nearing the end of their lives, like boilers and water pumps that need to be replaced."
As for security measures, Dryden wants to upgrade security cameras and purchase more of them, plus put alarms on all exterior doors, change out locks and install a key pod system so they can better monitor who has access to the buildings.
"We want to make sure we provide a safe and secure environment for our students and staff," Finnigan said.
With the most recent sinking fund proposal, Dryden was able to install new lighting that has resulted in significant savings. This week, the high school's parking lot was repaved.
"We've been good stewards of tax payer dollars. We've saved money to use down the road and have refunded bonds in the last year and a half," she said.
"Our objective is to take care of our kids and provide them with a great education."
In 2016, Governor Rick Snyder signed a bill into law that allowed for the expansion of sinking fund millages to include security and technology in addition to building and infrastructure repairs.
A sinking fund differs from a traditional bond in that districts don't need to borrow money or pay interest for projects; instead, the money is generated from a levy that's issued once per year.
August 02, 2018 | 11:50 AM
ATTICA TWP. — Funding proposals that support the township's emergency services will go before voters on the August 7 primary election ballot.
Up for renewal are both a fire operating and a public safety millage up to 1 mill for a term of 20 years from 2019 through 2039. If approved, each would generate approximately $150,122 in their first year they're levied.
Supervisor Al Ochadleus said township officials opted to put the renewals before voters in 2018, one year before the current millages expire, so as to save taxpayer dollars.
"If we wait until next year we'll have to pick up the full tab for the election," he said.
"The renewals won't kick in until the current millage expires."
Ochadleus said the renewals are asking voters to restore the 1 mill that was originally approved at the ballot box but that has since declined because of Headlee rollbacks. Currently the public safety millage stands at .9796 and the fire millage stands at .8857.
"We're not asking for any additional monies...we just want to bring it back to what it was originally," Ochadleus said.
Attica uses their public safety funds to help cover costs for the service of two deputies contracted through the Lapeer County Sheriff's Department for a total of 80 hours per week. Ochadleus said that the township, some three decades ago, started receiving community policing grant dollars from the federal government and although those funds no longer exist, the township decided to self-fund deputy coverage themselves and added a second per "demand from the people," Ochadleus said.
Funds from the fire millage go towards basic necessities of the 17 member department, he said.
"They spent almost every penny for general operations," Ochadleus stated.
Although Attica, like nearly everyone else in Michigan, saw their taxable values plunge during the most recent recession, township officials were prudent with their funds and were able to cut costs without drastic effects to service.
Just prior to the recession, these one mill levies were each generating $166,000 per year. At its low, values only resulted in $123,000 per year. Today the township's taxable value has rebounded to $152 million.
"We're slowly coming back up," Ochadleus said.
August 02, 2018 | 11:48 AM
TRI-CITY AREA — Three Democrats have opted to seek the 10th Congressional seat in the August 7 primary this year. Whoever garners the most votes next month will advance on to November's general election and face off against incumbent Republican representative, Paul Mitchell. Frank Accavitti, Jr., Kimberly Bizon and Michael McCarthy each boast a varied resume that they believe would best serve the constituents of the 10th District in Washington,
• • • • •
Frank Accavitti Jr. is a resident of Imlay Township and is employed as founder/CEO of Accavitti Consulting Group, L.L.C, a government affairs agency. He has been elected to and served in city, county and state seats. Accavitti was a councilman and mayor of the city of Eastpointe, spent six years in the House of Representatives in the 42nd District and spent two years as a Macomb County Commissioner.
If elected to serve in Washington, Accavitti said he wants to restore the middle class, strive to keep children safe and make health insurance affordable for everyone.
"All Americans should have access to healthcare they can afford. We need to work in a bipartisan manner and look at both single-payer healthcare and universal healthcare programs," Accavitti said.
"All of these issues should be important to every member of Congress and I will seek out other members on both sides of the aisle who want to make a difference and introduce or co-sponsor legislation that solves these problems," Accavitti said.
He said he supports raising the minimum wage and wants to restore the freedom to form unions and bargain collectively.
Accavitti currently serves as chairman of the board of directors for a child advocacy center, Care House of Macomb County.
• • • • •
Kimberly Bizon currently resides in Lexington where she is a business owner and online marketing director.
She believes she has the skills to overcome the partisanship in Washington that's stalled progress on a range of issues.
"If you talk to people across the 10th district as I have, you'll find that most of us agree on a lot of things. I'll always keep an open mind and an extended hand when it comes to getting common sense things done," Bizon said.
She supports the creation of a $15 an hour federal minimum wage, wants to work on expanding coverage and lowering costs through the Affordable Care Act and believes raising the income cap on Social Security could make it solvent again.
Bizon said she would author a bill that eliminates oil-based single use products and replace them with plant-based ones.
"This would not only help our environment, waterways, Great Lakes and oceans from unnecessary pollution, but it could help our farmers obtain more money for their crop yields and would offer opportunities for manufacturing right here in District 10," she said.
Similarly, Bizon believes the 10th District could benefit from the legalization of marijuana if it's regulated and taxed like alcohol.
"We're spending billions of dollars in our criminal justice system going after people who use a substance that studies show is far less dangerous than liquor. Under the right regulations, it could also be quite a cash crop here in the Thumb," Bizon said.
• • • • •
Michael McCarthy resides in Port Huron. He spent more than three decades as a physician assistant after graduating from Michigan State University with a pre-med degree. While in college, McCarthy spent three summers as a farm laborer and church migrant program organizer in Capac. He's volunteered his time with the Sanilac County Mental Health Board, Blue Water Pregnancy Care Center and was active in the Nuclear Freeze movement.
In Congress, McCarthy said he would advocate to radically change the way programs are funded, with an emphasis on public service coupled with cuts in defense spending.
"We need to convert the vast amount of military dollars spent on weapons programs to meeting citizens' real needs like education, roads and infrastructure, family farms, affordable health care and renewable energy," McCarthy said.
He believes Washington should institute and fund programs that encourage young people to consider national service with organizations like AmeriCorp, the Peace Corp or even faith-based missions. Those who do serve would then receive payment toward college or trade school, McCarthy said.
He also believes that campaign funding reform needs to take place.
"It's time to enact persistent methods of ending the undue influence of corporate and personal fortunes on our elections. Real democracy means one person, one vote; not one dollar, one vote," he said.
As a member of Congress, McCarthy would stand for "respecting all life, from unborn till elderly" and fend off attempts by the government to raid citizens' pensions or social security funding.
The 10th District includes the counties of Huron, Sanilac, Tuscola, Lapeer, St. Clair and a portion of Macomb County.
Candidates seek to fill seat vacated by term-limited Dan Lauwers
August 02, 2018 | 11:47 AM
ST. CLAIR COUNTY — It's a crowded ballot in the Republican primary for the 81st House District that includes Capac and surrounding townships.
Whoever emerges from the field will face off against Joshua Rivard in November. The winner of that contest will assume the seat currently held by term-limited Dan Lauwers, a Republican.
Gary Eisen is a resident of St. Clair Township and self-employed business owner.
According to the candidate's website, Eisen considers himself a common sense conservative who believes in "the Constitution, capitalism, fiscal responsibility, limited government and rugged individualism."
John Mahaney is a resident of Port Huron and is employed with Marcotte Disposal.
Mahaney said he decided to seek the House seat because "I know I can make a difference in Lansing."
If elected to office, Mahaney wants to address infrastructure needs and cost of healthcare.
He believes it's time for the Department of Transportation to update their list of approved road materials and allow for newer technologies that have better resilience.
As for making healthcare more affordable, Mahaney believes that it's time to cut the red tape, like excess paperwork, that practitioners must wade through.
If elected, Mahaney said he would be fully committed to the job.
"I will be a full-time representative. I want to meet with township supervisors and local business leaders. I am willing to go out to talk to the people," he said.
Kenneth Nicholl is a resident of Lynn Township and is currently employed as superintendent of Yale Public Schools. He's been an educator for more than 30 years.
If elected, Nicholl's top priorities would be infrastructure, education and economic growth.
"As an educator for over three decades, I have devoted my entire career in working with families, building relationships, as well as trust," he said.
He believes helping families save money is one place to start. Nicholl wants to address auto insurance costs and rollback the state's income tax.
"These actions would continue to spur economic growth as it would provide our taxpayers with more expendable income to use at their discretion," he said.
Michael Pratt resides in Allenton where he's farmed and operated a trucking business for 23 years.
His priorities in office would be to fix the roads, utilize our waterways for industry and encourage more vocational education.
Pratt believes it's time to give road contractors, townships and county leaders more say in the type of design or materials used for road repairs.
Pratt also believes more should be done to give businesses, especially local farmers, access to global markets via the ships that pass by St. Clair County.
"There's no good reason we don't have a grain terminal on this side of the river," he said.
As for vocational education, Pratt wants to allow for private interests to invest in the school system for such training.
Eric Stocker resides in Marysville. He was employed with the state of Michigan but took a leave of absence to seek public office.
"I am excited to listen to members of the community on what issues matter to them and take those to Lansing. Together we will put St. Clair County values back in the capitol," he said.
His priorities in office would be to rebuild aging infrastructure, promote the skilled trades and fix the state's no-fault auto insurance system.
"Skilled trades have long been ignored for the belief that the only pathway to success is going to college. We need to offer students multiple pathways to success by including the skilled trades," he said.
Dan Turke resides in China Township where he serves as township clerk. He owns and operates a tractor and farm machinery repair and implement company.
Like other candidates, Turke wants to fix the state's roads with a renewed emphasis on fixing secondary roads.
"We never see a focus on secondary roads because the primary roads are screwed up," he said.
His solution for generating more road funding is to tax the $40 billion state fund for no fault and catastrophic claims insurance.
"There are hidden funds all over Lansing. We have got to stop the bleeding in this state," he said.
As a seasoned elected official, Turke says he could orient himself in Lansing with little effort, if elected.
"I know how government works and I could jump in there and it would be seamless," he said.
Joel Williams resides in Emmett Township. He's taught math and science at Baker College and is a graduate of Capac High School.
His priorities in office would be halt any tax hikes, support business interests and protect the rights of gun owners.
"We need to have families keeping more of their paychecks so they can use it as they choose. We can start by keeping a promise and lowering the tax rate as promised in the Granholm era," he said.
Fixing roads and infrastructure is one way to bolster business, he believes.
Williams thinks that the Second Amendment is in "a precarious position" and he wants to defend it plus reform the civil asset forfeiture system.
Candidate Dan Tollis could not be reached for comment by press time.
August 02, 2018 | 11:46 AM
TRI-CITY AREA — Two Republicans are engaged in a tough head-to-head battle for the 31st District Senate seat to be decided in Tuesday's August 7 primary election.
The race pits Kevin Daley of Arcadia Township versus Gary Glenn of Midland.
The winner of the Republican primary will face one of four Democrats vying for the Senate seat in November.
Democrats to appear on the August 7 ballot include: Bill Jordan of Bay City; Cynthia Luczak of Bay City; Chuck Stadler of Vassar; and Joni Batterbee of Goodrich.
Republican Kevin Daley, 59, previously represented Michigan's 82nd House District which consists solely of Lapeer County.
As a member of the Michigan House, Daley served as chair of the House Agriculture Committee and was seated on the Local Government, Transportation and Infrastructure, and Education Committees.
A fifth-generation farmer, Daley was born and raised in Arcadia Township and is a lifelong Lapeer County resident.
He and his wife, Debbie, have been married 39 years; raised three children and have five grandchildren.
"I have lived in, worked and served this community my entire life," said Daley. "As a fifth-generation farmer, I know our hometown values like hard work, integrity and personal responsibility.
"I will bring my common sense conservative values back to Lansing to help create better jobs and higher paychecks for people of the 31st District."
Daley's staunch conservative positions have served him well in Michigan's predominantly Republican House of Representatives.
Listed below are some of his positions on key issues taken up by the House in recent years.
"I will not reverse myself just because opposition becomes loud and vocal," said Daley. "I said I would vote for Right-to-Work and I never flinched. I voted for it despite heated opposition and large demonstrations in Lansing.
"I defend a person's freedom to work," he said. "No worker should be refused work or fired because they decide not to join a bargaining organization."
"Creating more jobs in Michigan continues to be my priority," Daley said. "We must develop a job climate that will allow our children and grandchildren to stay and work in Michigan."
Daley remains committed to reforming Michigan's workforce development programs to adapt to the 21st-century. He is a promoter of the local natural resources to attract job providers to the Thumb area by removing barriers to employment, enhancing vocational education opportunities and making Michigan more competitive.
As one of Michigan's leading agricultural advocates, Daley has introduced and had signed into law three Public Acts to benefit farmers and agri-businesses in Tuscola, Bay and Lapeer counties.
A 38-year member of the Lapeer County Farm Bureau, Daley said he wants to grow Michigan's agriculture processing business.
"The state needs to have crop processing facilities that are more accessible to farmers, so they don't go out of state to process their crops.
"The government needs to live within its means," said Daley, "which means we have to cut taxes and not increase spending to make Michigan stronger."
A strong supporter of the Second Amendment and an NRA member, Daley is endorsed by the National Rifle Association and Michigan Coalition of Responsible Gun Owners.
Daley seeks more educational opportunities and choices for parents and students, increased accountability and restraining the costs of college tuition.
•Arcadia Township Supervisor, 1995-2008
•Arcadia Township Treasurer, 1989-1995
•Arcadia Township Trustee, 1985-1989
•Arcadia Township Planning Commission, 1983-1985
•Lapeer County Farm Bureau, 38 years
•Former Lapeer County Farm Bureau Board of Directors
•Former Lapeer County Ag Preservation Board
•Former President, Michigan Milk Producers Association, Tri-County Local
•Former Chair, Board of Directors, Lapeer County E.M.S.
•4-H Dairy Superintendent
•Right to Life of Michigan
•National Rifle Association
•Sunrise Lapeer Kiwanis Club
•Human Development Commission Board of Directors; serving Lapeer, Tuscola, Sanilac and Huron counties
•Board of Directors; Habitat for Humanity of Lapeer-Tuscola Habitat ReStore
Gary Glenn was first elected to the Michigan House of Representatives in November 2014, representing Michigan's 98th District, which includes portions of Bay and Midland counties.
Glenn is chair of the House Energy Committee and in his second term of being on the panel.
He also was named to a second term on the Military and Veterans Affairs Committee and serves on the Communications and Technology and Insurance committees.
Glenn received his bachelor's degree in political science with honors from Lenoir-Rhyne University.
The owner of Glenn Enterprises, he works in commercial real estate and operates a political and public relations consulting business.
Since 1999, he has also served as the president of the American Family Association of Michigan.
Glenn said he is "more in step with the conservative values of Lapeer County voters" than his opponent.
"Along with now-Congressman Paul Mitchell, I was the leader of the campaign against Proposal 1, the $2 billion roads tax increase that was rejected by 88 percent of Lapeer County voters. Mr. Daley voted in favor of that massive tax hike, calling it 'historic and sustainable.'"
Glenn noted that he is also the co-sponsor of legislation to repeal the new tax on retiree pensions, which he said Daley supported.
"My intention is to continue to provide Lapeer County voters an effective, conservative voice for their values," said Glenn. "Working to bring down the cost of auto insurance; fixing our roads and bridges; and making Michigan as attractive as possible for the new good-paying jobs we need to support our families in mid-Michigan."
Service to country
Glenn served eight years in the U.S. Army Reserves and Army National Guard, including Midland's 1460th Transportation Company, earning two U.S. Army Reserve Component Achievement Medals.
He is a member of Midland's American Legion Post 165 and is chairman of the state affiliate of Sons and Daughters of Pearl Harbor Survivors.
He was a co-author of the Marriage Protection Amendment to constitutionally define marriage as only between one man and one woman, which was passed by voters in 2004 and upheld in 2014 by the 6th Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals.
Freedom to work
In 2011, he was a founding member of the Michigan Freedom to Work coalition that launched the successful effort to prohibit compulsory union membership or financial support in Michigan.
A strong supporter of the Second Amendment and an NRA member, Glenn was rated 100% by the National Rifle Association. He is also endorsed by the NRA.
Glenn was also recently endorsed by Michigan Trump Republicans, organized by conservatives, TEA Party leaders, and veterans of President Trump's successful 2016 campaign in Michigan.
Glenn served as president of School Choice YES! and promoted the Mackinac Center for Public Policy's "Universal Tuition Tax Credit" to empower parents of all income levels to choose their children's schools. He also worked as School Choice project director on the Mackinac Center staff.
Glenn was elected to two terms as a Republican county commissioner in the early 1990s, and was named "Hometown Hero" by Focus on the Family's Citizen magazine and "Statesman of the Year" by a Focus state affiliate.
Health savings accounts
After authoring the first Health Savings Account plan in America for county employees, he was invited to testify before Congress and was featured in a news conference by Republican members of the U.S. Senate's Finance Committee.
He served as executive vice president of a statewide agricultural trade association.
Glenn is a member of Midland Baptist Church, the NRA and was a founding board member of the new Midland Optimist Club.
He and his wife, Annette, reside in Larkin Township and celebrated their 33rd wedding anniversary in 2016.
They have five children and four grandchildren.
July 05, 2018 | 01:10 PM
IMLAY CITY — Imlay City officials are seeking to remind residents of an important proposal that will appear on the August 7 ballot.
On that day, city residents will decide whether to support a 2.0463-tax increase to fund construction of a new $3 million fire hall for the Imlay City Fire Department.
This week, Imlay City Manager Tom Youatt released an artist's rendering of the proposed hall, which was provided by H2A Architects of Davison.
If approved by voters on Tuesday, August 7, the new hall will be constructed on a 2.66-acre site at 571 E. Borland Rd., east of Van Dyke (M-53).
The site was formerly owned and occupied by the Michigan Dept. of Natural Resources.
Based on the requested millage rate, homeowners whose properties are valued at $100,000 (or taxable value of $50,000) would pay an extra $102 per year for a period of 20 years. The increase would take effect in 2019.
The millage would cover the costs of site acquisition, site improvements to include demolition and environmental work; design and engineering fees, and furnishing and equipping the new hall.
Youatt said a new hall has been needed for some time, adding that the existing hall on Third Street downtown can no longer accommodate the fire department's needs.
"The existing hall was constructed in 1967, and it has served the city well," Youatt noted. "However, the building is outdated and has outlived its usefulness.
"Our firefighters and our community need and deserve a new hall," he continued. "It's important for the safety of residents and for the future of this city."
Youatt and Fire Chief Rick Horton pointed out that the project's cost is affordable when compared to those incurred by other communities.
"There are not a lot of bells and whistles associated with this project," said Horton, who said the current hall has insufficient space and training areas for a modern fire department. "This is a very important millage," Horton continued. "Not just for us, but for the entire community. "We're asking our families, friends and neighbors to please go to the polls and support your hometown fire department."
Horton said the fire department plans to host a series "open houses" at the existing hall in coming weeks — for visitors to check out the facility.
"We want people to stop by and see the conditions and challenges we've been dealing with at this location."
Youatt said the city commission has done all it can to set the stage for passage of the millage.
"It's now up to the voters," he said. "This project can't continue to be kicked down the road. It's something that is needed now."
July 05, 2018 | 01:08 PM
IMLAY CITY — The Ruth Hughes Memorial Library is seeking community support for a combined millage renewal and .1034-mill tax increase on Tuesday, August 7.
The library's current millage rate of 1 mill was approved by voters in 2012.
However, the 1 mill is automatically reduced to .9966 mills by the state's Headlee Amendment rollback, approved in 1978. The requested increase reflects the library's loss to Headlee.
The current millage, which accounts for 82% of the library's operating budget, expires at the end of 2018.
If voters approve the 1.1-mill proposal for a period of 10 years (2019-2028), the millage will bring in about $384,000 in the first year.
The proposed .1043 mill increase would translate to about $5 more per year for homes with a market value of $100,000, or a taxable value of $50,000.
Ruth Hughes Library Director Tracy Aldrich alluded to the library's significant loss of revenue in the aftermath of the 2008 recession.
Aldrich explained that in 2008, the value of the 1-mill tax translated to $387,000 in revenues.
However, by 2016 that number had shrunk by 15% to $328,521, a decrease in revenue of nearly $60,000.
Though property values have risen slightly in recent years, Aldrich said the library cannot keep up with increasing costs for materials, technology, facility maintenance and interlibrary loan delivery.
Add the fact that penal fine revenues have declined nearly $20,000 since 2008, and the Ruth Hughes Library finds itself at a financial crossroads.
The Ruth Hughes Library provides services to a District comprised of residents from Imlay City, Imlay Township and Attica Township.
Those services include:
• Informational resources for students of all ages.
• An extensive digital library of e-books, movies and audiobooks.
• Access to computers, the internet, photocopiers and fax machines.
• Quiet study and meeting places for individuals and groups.
• Access to educational and cultural learning events.
• Support for community events, including local festivals and school activities
Aldrich said the library operates on a tight budget and needs a slight increase in millage revenue to sustain operations.
"We've already made a ton of cuts," said Aldrich. "We've trimmed staff hours. Our payroll wages are low and we contract with outside vendors to save money.
"No money goes for unions, employee pensions, retirement or legacy benefits," she continued. "There's simply no more meat left on the bone. There are no places left for us to cut."
Aldrich said she and her staff are fully invested in the library, their customers and in the local communities.
"All of us love this library and we love what we do," she said. "We try to make this a special place for people to come and visit, and to study and learn in a welcoming environment.
"I think you can feel that vibe the minute you walk in here," said Aldrich. "We care about the people we serve and want to continue being able to do that."
Ruth Hughes' Imlay City Branch is located at 211 N. Almont Ave. in Imlay City. Call 810-724-8043.
Hours are: Mon., Wed., and Thurs., 10 a.m.-8 p.m.; and Tues., Fri., and Sat., from 10 a.m.-5 p.m.
The Attica Township Branch is located at 4302 Peppermill. Rd. in Attica Township. Call 810-724-2007.
Hours are: Mon., Thurs., from 2-7 p.m.; and Tues. and Fri. from 10 a.m.-3 p.m.