Holmes to run for Buchanan City Commission

Published 11:34 am Monday, June 24, 2024

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BUCHANAN — The “Unity Ticket” running against three incumbent Buchanan City Commissioners has been completed with the addition of Buchanan native Lorilie Holmes as she joins Scott King and Angela Lowery on the Unity Ticket. 

King, a former city commissioner, was the only person who filed to run against Mayor Sean Denison in the recall election this November. Lowery filed to run earlier this month for one of the two commission seats up for election in November.

The Unity Ticket platform states the three candidates are for transparency, accountability, integrity, honesty and civility. Their goals are making sure residents have clean, affordable water, fair property taxes, streets and infrastructure in good repair as well as a city government that invests in neighborhoods and upholds the City Charter.

City Commissioners Larry Money and Patrick Swem are nearing the end of their first four-year terms. Swem has said he plans to run for re-election while Money said he hasn’t decided yet. Another local resident, Tony Houser, has announced he’s making a second run for the commission after losing in a five way race for three seats in 2022.

Holmes is a Buchanan High School graduate and the daughter of the late longtime high school science teacher and school farm promoter Howard Lahring. Her ties to the community don’t end there, her late mother-in-law was Nancy Holmes who was the head librarian at the Buchanan District Library for 25 years.

Holmes and her husband, Donald “Bud” Holmes, left Buchanan after high school to attend Great Lakes Christian College and then to Lansing and Marquette where her husband was a minister. They came back to Buchanan to care for their elderly parents nearly 15 years ago and have stayed on in the community.

Holmes homeschooled their four children while they were in Marquette and also worked part-time giving music lessons and doing interior design. She currently is self-employed doing commercial and home renovations both here and in other parts of the state. Her husband continues to serve as an interim minister at area churches.

“Growing up in Buchanan was a privilege,” Holmes said in her campaign announcement. “A small town anchors you to the community, and the beauty of the area is something you miss when away.”

She decided to run after being approached by King who is a longtime family friend. She said she attended three city commission meetings last fall during the controversy over then City Manager Ben Eldridge’s departure. “As a resident, I feel like the city has gotten off kilter a little,” she said.

Issues of concern to her include the city’s high taxes as well as the city’s infrastructure. “I think the city has gotten a little heavy into attracting visitors,” she said. “Then other issues such as the state of the sidewalks get ignored, I agree, I’ve tripped and fallen a few times on city sidewalks. Infrastructure isn’t flashy, but it needs to be kept up.”

If elected, she said she would like to work on the budget to see where people’s tax dollars are going and would also like to see city departments be more accountable. She is also concerned that city officials aren’t following the City Charter.

“We only see half the story, being on the outside but I don’t know why are water and tax bills are so high,” she said. “We need to tighten our belts. We need competent people on the commission. I may be inexperienced, but I do have common sense.”