Meet the Candidates: Bertrand Township Trustee
Published 9:05am Monday, August 4, 2014
Two people are vying for the Republican nomination in the race for an open seat on the Bertrand Township Board of Trustees. No Democrats have filed to run, meaning the winner of Tuesday’s election will likely take the seat in November. It is a two-year term.
Education: Two years of college; master plumber and contractor
Professional experience: I’ve worked 35 years in my own business, S&J Plumbing in Niles.
Occupation: Plumbing contractor
Political experience: I currently serve on Bertrand Township ZBA Board
Civic involvement: Church offices
What will be your top priority if elected to office? My top priority would be restore an atmosphere of respect and openness between the board and the people of Bertrand Township.
Name three core values that define your political outlook: Honesty, integrity, and respect for diversity of opinions
What makes you the best candidate for the job? I am the best candidate for the job because I’m a 38-year resident of the same address in Bertrand township. Thirty-five of serving people in my own service business.
What professional/political accomplishments are you most proud of in your life? I’m thankful that S&J Plumbing has been able to help people with their plumbing and service issues for over 35 years, and serve the people of Bertrand Township as a ZBA member. I have attended Township meetings consistently and I believe that it is important that before one attempts to lead, one must know how to follow. It is very difficult to do in public what one does not already do in private.
How do you think you can impact southwest Michigan’s future? My 35 years of small business experience will be used to interject new ideas for future businesses and job creation. I also want to be a help to restore hope and belief in our political process.
What is the biggest challenge our region faces? How would you address it? I believe there are two major challenges we face as citizens: public safety and job creation. More sincere communication between various departments, police, ambulance and fire, and to work with existing and potential businesses to help them accomplish their goals. The increased tax revenues can then be used to improve and expand our educational system.
Other comments: In my own definition, a politician is one who has forgotten the meaning of service in many cases. When this happens we now have us the board, instead of we the people. The people’s voice and opinions, not just their vote is the purpose of our local government. As a servant of the people, I will seek out and desire resident input in the future of Bertrand Township.
Education: Galien High School, class of 1993
Professional Background: Began at Honeywell as machinist and have moved from Union Steward to current CRU leader for my department.
Occupation: CRU leader at Honeywell in South Bend, Indiana
Political experience: Appointed Trustee of Bertrand Township in March 2013
Civic involvement: Former Reserve Deputy for Berrien County Sheriff’s Dept, Former Firefighter for Bertrand Township Fire Dept., Active in the Berrien County Youth Fair.
What will be your top priority if elected to office? Stabilize SMCAS’s financial future; support the Bertrand Township Fire Department to provide a safe and efficient department and quick response in emergencies; continue to take all residents input; be a good steward of our resident’s tax dollars for the greater good of the township.
Name three core values that define your political outlook: Honesty/Integrity, Listening/Transparency, Representation/Action. Being honest and forthcoming with township matters; being transparent by representing our residents and listening to their concerns; processing all information and taking action by voting on issues that affect our residents. I value and respect input and ideas.
What makes you the best candidate for the job? I am currently serving as Trustee for Bertrand Township and already bring forth experience in this position. I am a lifelong resident and I understand the needs of the township. I value honesty and integrity. I’m a team player and open to the resident’s requests, questions and consider all information. I am aware that I represent all township residents every time I cast my vote.
What professional/political accomplishments are you most proud of in your life? I believe my upward movement at Honeywell demonstrates my ability to handle responsibility and leadership. I am honored and extremely loyal to our township. I am ready to continue to work daily on township business carefully considering my vote knowing that I represent the residents.
How do you think you can impact southwest Michigan’s future? Roll up my sleeves and continue to work daily on township business. Act on and solve immediate issues facing our township and help plan for our township’s future. Impact our future by tackling current issues such as our roads, fire department, SMCAS, land fill, broadband, zoning and many day to day concerns that our residents have to help Bertrand Township continue to be a great place to raise our families.
What is the biggest challenge our region faces? How would you address it? I believe roads are on everyone’s mind. We need to work alongside with our local and state agency’s to make sure those dollars are spent here in our township. Every voice needs to be heard on matters that concern the township. I hope to open up our board meetings to allow for greater input from township residents and improve our web site where residents can receive information concerning township matters. I want an open comfortable environment so everyone can feel included, respected and have a voice.
Other comments: As Bertrand Township’s current Trustee I will continue to serve our residents in this role. I value all community members input and ideas and I want provide a safer township for all. Please, always feel open to contact me for questions, concerns or comments. My pledge is to be open, to listen and be transparent always representing, you the residents. When I vote on township matters, I will always vote with your best interest in mind.