Why are you interested in serving the people, families, and businesses in the Grand Traverse Region?
There are several reasons. The first is that I can do a better job than my opponent. I want to focus the County Commission on local issues and stop wasting time on national issues over which the County Commission has no legislative power. I started attending County Commission meetings regularly in February, 2019 and have been appalled at how much time has been wasted on political resolutions that have nothing to do with the responsibilities of county government.
I volunteer at Safe Harbor through Grace Episcopal Church and through that have insight and understanding of the homelessness and mental health problems that face our county.
The current commission does not plan—the vote to leave Northern Lakes Community Mental Health (NLCMH) followed by a vote to remove two board members, which was finally followed by a working meeting with stakeholders is an example. A series of stakeholder meetings started two years ago would in all likelihood have avoided the problems at NLCMH in the first place. The Board should adopt best practices from business for planning and budgeting to avoid problems like the County is currently experiencing with NLCMH.
Government needs to be more accessible. The move to day-time meetings prevents community members with day-time jobs from serving—only business owners and retirees have the flexibility to serve when meetings are at 8:00 AM. As a relatively young retiree, I have the flexibility to step up, and am compelled to do so by the dysfunction that I have witnessed.
Finally, the current commission has no one who has experienced a fast-growing population. I spent my working years in a Texas metropolitan area that grew from about 2 million when I arrived in 1986 to about 8 million when I returned to Michigan in 2018. I lived through the growing pains and understand the problems and trade-offs that face rapidly growing counties such as ours.