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Meet the candidates: Bertrand Township Supervisor

Published 8:31am Tuesday, July 29, 2014

It is a three-way race for the Republican nominee for supervisor in Bertrand Township. No Democrats have filed to run, meaning the winner of the Aug. 5 primary will likely be the winner in November. The fourth candidate on the ballot, Jeff Wieczorek, recently withdrew from the race. The winner in November would serve a two-year term.

Mike Gillette — Supervisor Candidate

Party: Republican

Age: 56

Residence: Niles

Education: 13 years of public education

Professional Background: Self-employed

Occupation: Farmer

Political experience: Some

Civic involvement: Some

What will be your top priority if elected to office? Lead by example

Name three core values that define your political outlook: Independence-having to think for myself, Reciprocity-which is the Golden Rule, Humility-knowing that all can be lost in an instant

What makes you the best candidate for the job? Understanding the value of money and the struggle some people have keeping their heads above water financially. It would be better to not do business with Paul if it reduces us to rob Peter

What professional/political accomplishments are you most proud of in your life? Surviving the 1980s when interest rates were 20 percent. You learn a lot about finances during times like that.

How do you think you can impact southwest Michigan’s future? Slowly

What is the biggest challenge our region faces? How would you address it? Apathy. It seems the majority of people have given up when it comes to our Government and rightly so. One good thing may lead to another and thus bring interest and hope back.

 

Bill Givens — Supervisor Candidate

Party: Republican

Age: 76

Residence: Niles

Education: BS, Business, Indiana University, Bloomington, Indiana

Professional Background: I have been and still am an action person – sincere and honest and successful in every aspect and endeavor of my work history. I have a strong work ethic with hands-on experience as a practitioner and/or educator in management, budgeting, negotiating, communication, multi-tasking, consulting, teaching, lecturing, sales, legal, office management, warehouse management, production inventory management, real estate, contracts, subcontracts, public speaking, purchasing, etc.

Occupation: Retired

Political Experience: None

Civic Involvement: Over the years my community service includes, but is not limited to, Hospice, Chamber of Commerce, Junior Chamber of Commerce, United Way, Building Trades Council, IVTC, hospital board, Realtor Associations, Builder Associations, Ball State University scholarship fund drive and School of Architecture advisor, YMCA building fund drive, Rotary to name a few.

What will be your top priority if elected to office? My top priority will be my personal availability coupled with resident participation. My motto will be service above and not self in conjunction with team work. I will get things done for the residents and not for personal gain.

Name three core values that define your political outlook: I am definitely a people person, goal oriented, success positive in everything I do. My record shows that every step of the way.

What makes you the best candidate? Because of everything I stand for including honesty and integrity to the nth degree. I have and will continue to demonstrate people success through availability and participation, service not self, team work

What professional/political accomplishments are you most proud of in your life? I am most proud of all of my professional accomplishments but first and foremost I would have to say that having been and continuing to be a trainer of thousands of successful people and business leaders to ultimate success.

How do you think you can impact southwest Michigan’s future? SW Michigan’s future is waiting to be made and Bertrand Township will be heard and an integral part of that “making.” Bertrand Township will go on record as being a resident township via availability and participation and service not self mentality.

What is the biggest challenge our region faces? How would you address it? Leadership practice and mentality must be open and available and dedicated to service not self.

 

Steve Hicks — Supervisor Candidate

Party: Republican

Age: 48

Residence: Niles

Education: Bachelor of Science in Business Administration

Professional background: Experienced team leader with the ability to initiate/manage cross-functional teams and multi-disciplinary projects.

Occupation: Current Bertrand Township Supervisor, Self-employed as a Piano Tuner/Technician

Political experience: Elected Trustee in 2012. Appointed Supervisor in 2013. Berrien County GOP Delegate to State Conventions.

Civic involvement: Michana Soccer Association, Berrien County Youth Fair, Past Berrien County GOP Executive Committee Secretary.

What will be your top priority if elected to office? My top priority as Supervisor is to lead Bertrand in pursuing the path of a Township of Excellence by implementing a Strategic Plan, Policies and Procedures.

Name three core values that define your political outlook: My political outlook is defined by the core values of less government, lower taxes, and personal responsibility. I firmly stand for faith, family, and freedom.

What makes you the best candidate for the job? I believe that my practical experience in business and government makes me the best candidate for the job. I have also established relationships with key leadership in Berrien County and Lansing. I have character, integrity, and the conscience to do the right thing!

What professional/political accomplishments are you most proud of in your life? It is important to me to pursue healthy relationships with those around me.

How do you think you can impact southwest Michigan’s future? The responsibility of township government is to protect the rights and privacy of its residents, to maintain roads, and to improve the quality of life for all residents by working together.

What is the biggest challenge our region faces? How would you address it? The biggest challenge facing Bertrand is in preserving the township’s rural heritage. It is absolutely necessary to create a balance between the agricultural, residential, industrial and commercial areas.

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