Archived Story

3 to vie for Bertrand Township supervisor

Published 10:53pm Wednesday, July 27, 2011

The three candidates running for supervisor of Bertrand Township have very different backgrounds and experiences but they have similar goals.
Scott Bonner, owner of a real estate appraisal business in the township; Matt Remmo, a local school teacher and Bertrand Township firefighter; and retired trucker Earl Lintz are all on the Aug. 2 ballot to replace former Supervisor John Mefford, who was recalled from office in May.
The winner of the election will serve the remainder of Mefford’s term, which ends in November 2012.
All three candidates are stressing the importance of improved communication between the township and its residents and among board members.
In interviews this week, the three candidates all pointed out the need for a township website and newsletter to keep residents up to date on events and news.
“There was a lack of communication to the people (under the previous supervisor),” Bonner said. “I want to be able to talk openly with board members and people in the township.”
Lintz called himself “an honest, upfront person” and said he will have an open door policy.
“I want to put everything on the table,” he said.
Remmo, who ran against Mefford in the last supervisor election and lost by 12 votes, believes his experience as a teacher and firefighter in the community has helped him get a beat on what is important to residents.
“I’ve been with the fire department for 18 years and a teacher in the area for 20 years, so I know a lot of the individuals in the community,” Remmo said.
Remmo also said it is important for board members and residents to respect one another more than in the past.
“Going into it you have to understand there will be differing opinions. You need to listen and come to a consensus,” he said.
Lintz decided to run when he was asked by township residents who were concerned that Remmo would run unopposed for the post.
“I’m not a politician,” he said. “But this isn’t politics. This is helping my backyard, my community.”
Lintz, who has 25 family members in the township, said he wants to serve the place he has called home for more than 20 years.
Bonner, who has owned and operated Bonner Appraisal with his wife for more than 18 years, believes he too knows the pulse of the community.
“Being a small business owner, I understand the needs that are out there,” he said.
The three candidates agree one of the biggest issues in Bertrand is the Southeast Berrien County Landfill, which is owned by Bertrand Township and four other local municipalities. While the subject of selling the facility has been a hot topic, the candidates agree the municipalities should hang onto it.
Bonner, Lintz and Remmo like the direction new manager Sonny Fuller is taking the landfill, but Lintz said there are still “things to clean up” at the facility.
Lintz also takes issue with the compensation for the township supervisor. In addition to a more than $17,000 salary, the supervisor gets more than $11,000 in health benefits.
“The simple fact is it is a part-time job with full-time benefits,” he said.
Also on the ballot is the election of a new township trustee to replace Dick Haigh, who also was recalled in May. Alice Kring and Anna Norton are vying for the post. The term will also end in November 2012.

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