LaMore wants to help 12th District speak out

Published 10:44 pm Saturday, August 14, 2004

By By JAMES COLLINS / Niles Daily Star
NILES - If elected to the Berrien County Board of Commissioners, retired Niles Township Fire Chief John LaMore will seek to give the 12th District a strong voice at the county level.
In the primary election on Aug. 3, LaMore beat out long-time incumbent Jim Converse to receive the Republican nomination for the district. He will face Democrat Dennis Casto in the general election in November.
He was travelling to Ireland to attend a wedding, when the votes were being counted and he had no idea of the outcome until hours after the results had been tallied.
When arriving at his hotel in Dublin, LaMore said his first priority was to get to a phone and make a call back to Niles to see if he had won.
After a week overseas, LaMore and his wife Nancy returned home to Niles on Tuesday.
He wasted no time on familiarizing himself with the county board by attending its meeting this week – something he plans on doing every week up until the November election.
LaMore admits there is a lot for him to get caught up with before he will feel comfortable with all of the issues facing Berrien County.
But what the retired fire chief lacks in experience, he said he will make up for with hard work.
He pointed to some similarities between being fire chief and being a possible county commissioner.
As fire chief, his decisions were made with three groups of people in mind: the citizens of Niles Township, the township board and the firefighters. As a county commissioner, he would make decisions with three different groups of people in mind: the residents of the 12th district, the residents of the entire county and his service to the board of commissioners.
Another issue that he would have to deal with on a much larger scale is Berrien County's budget.
As Niles Township Fire Chief, LaMore oversaw a budget of $500,000. As a county commissioner, he would be looking at a budget of about $84 million.
With state funding continuing to decrease, he sees the budget as one of the most important issues facing the county.
Lamore said he decided to run for a county seat to give the district strong representation at the county level.
If anyone has any questions for LaMore, he can be reached at (269) 684-4948 (before 10 p.m.) or through email at