Aug. 2 Election 2022 preview: Lenawee County Board of Commissioners Districts 4 and 6
Some incumbent Lenawee County commissioners have challengers in the Aug. 2 primary.
All of the primary challenges are among Republicans.
The Daily Telegram provided questionnaires to the candidates in the contested races. The following are the responses from the candidates in District 4, incumbent Dawn Bales from Madison Township and Beth Blanco of Clayton, and District 6, incumbent Terry Collins and Isaac Bowers, both of Adrian.
District 6 includes Adrian's precincts 4, 5 and 6, which are generally on the west side of the city. District 4 includes Dover, Fairfield, Madison and Seneca townships.
The races in District 7 and District 9 will be profiled in future stories.
Candidates who are unopposed in the primary are Republicans David Stimpson of Tecumseh, Dustin Krasny of Cambridge Township, Nancy Jenkins-Arno of Clayton and Ralph Tillotson of Adrian Township, and Democrats Jeff DiCenzo of Adrian Township, Andrew Winckles of Adrian, Karol "KZ" Bolton of Adrian and Bill Swift of Tecumseh.
OCCUPATION: vice president and retail development officer at Premier Bank.
SPOUSE AND CHILDREN: Howard Bales; four children and 10 grandchildren.
GOVERNMENT EXPERIENCE: I will be finishing up my seventh year on the county commission in December. In this role I serve on several committees — chair of Human Services Committee, chair of Policy and Procedures, chair of Airport Commission, IT/Equalization Committee member, Parks Committee member, Road Commission liaison.
COMMUNITY SERVICE EXPERIENCE: Current: Athena Lenawee council, Habitat of Lenawee Restore committee, Economic Development Corp./Brownfield/Hospital authority. Past Boards and Organizations: Madison school board, Adrian Area Chamber of Commerce, Habitat of Lenawee board, Civitan.
Why are you running for the county commission? I am finishing seven years on the Lenawee County Board of Commissioners in December. My time on the board has only increased my passion and diligence in maintaining a financially strong and healthy county, which will continue to engage talent as one of the largest employers, as well as increase families and future generations calling Lenawee home.
What do you think is the main challenge facing the county and what should be done about it? Maintaining revenue to ensure that we are able to continue to provide the current government services, including the protection of nonessential services such as: MSU Extension — 4-H, road patrol, Veterans Affairs, Community Mental Health, Department on Aging (Meals on Wheels and senior centers), Maurice Spear Campus (community engagement opportunities for at-risk youth), as well as identifying gaps in services within our community.
How will you make yourself available to constituents? I am available at any time. I receive emails, phone calls, texts frequently, meet in person. I try my best to respond or contact whomever would like to discuss any issue, suggestion.
Why should people vote for you? I have a strong desire and calling to increase collaboration in our county. I believe that the strength and perseverance of a county depends on the connectedness of the community of people that reside within it. I have been a resident of Lenawee County my entire life, I will continue to lead this county with integrity to ensure populations, like my children and grandchildren have an enduring vibrant future.
OCCUPATION: certified financial counselor. I help people create a plan for spending, saving, paying off debt, improving credit I don't do investing or taxes. I've been doing this since 2005 and worked at TLC Credit Union in lending for 10 years prior to financial counseling.
SPOUSE AND CHILDREN: divorced; two adult children.
GOVERNMENT EXPERIENCE: No government experience of any type, have never aspired to until the past two years.
COMMUNITY SERVICE EXPERIENCE: Habitat for Humanity, Foreclosure Prevention Taskforce in Washtenaw County, where I worked for 12 years in financial counseling.
Why are you running for the county commission? I am running because it distresses me to see the fabric of America changing and want to preserve our traditional values for my kids and yours. I believe that everyone can do something, while not everyone is called to run for office, we all need to do something. You can donate time, money, even go to events to support what you believe in.
What do you think is the main challenge facing the county and what should be done about it? As I have been talking with people in my district and the community they are concerned about transparency of the commission. Meetings are held during the day when people are working, they can't find information easily on the county websites to even find when various meetings are held and they don't feel welcomed or valued at the meetings. This is the number one thing they want to see change. I would propose they hold meetings in the evenings, make sure it is easy to find out the date, time and location, which would also make citizens feel involved and welcome. The second issue people are concerned with the mix of businesses in the county. They say we have too many marijuana companies popping up everywhere and fast-food places. We have lost major businesses like Merillat Cabinets and Tecumseh Products that still operate, just no longer in Lenawee County.
How will you make yourself available to constituents? People can email me anytime at firstname.lastname@example.org. If I am elected, I welcome them to attend meetings and participate.
Why should people vote for you? Vote for me because I am NOT a politician! I am one of we the people, a lifetime Lenawee County resident, a citizen, and mom. Your concerns are also my concerns. I am not for Project Phoenix and putting $20 million or more on Lenawee County citizens. We are already burdened with higher expenses coming at us in every direction. We need to focus on so many other projects, such as fixing the roads, and business growth throughout the county.
Editor's note: Some of Blanco's responses were edited because they exceeded the word limits provided to the candidates.
OCCUPATION: Retired police chief/current county commissioner.
SPOUSE AND CHILDREN: married with four children and eight grandchildren.
GOVERNMENT EXPERIENCE: Most of my working life was in service to the city of Adrian or Lenawee County Commission. U.S. Army veteran.
COMMUNITY SERVICE EXPERIENCE: Kiwanis Club member. As a commissioner, I am on the boards of Maurice Spear Campus, veterans, health department, department on aging and work on various fundraisers.
Why are you running for the county commission? I feel there is a definite need for the county commissioner to depart from a fractioned group and move to a cohesive philosophy to best serve all of Lenawee County. To work with and for all members and areas of Lenawee County. To develop a program of transparency and openness in a positive and progressive manner accepted by our citizens. We need to begin to listen to and respond to the voice of Lenawee.
What do you think is the main challenge facing the city and what should be done about it? As mentioned above, unite the commission to work in a positive manner with an open manner to earn the confidence of the community. I think we need to take a serious look at both affordable and attractive housing which will help those in need of a better quality of life and attract people into Lenawee. We need to look at the various nonprofit groups that serve the needy and help them attain their goals. We also need to look to our partners to bring industry and businesses back at all levels possible. We currently have funds that can help all the above. We must use these funds wisely for all the county. We should have periodic evening meetings to allow a larger opportunity for the public to speak.
Why should people vote for you? I am a lifelong resident of Lenawee County as was my father before. I have a deep love and concern for the community. I am currently completing my fifth term and I wish to finish many things currently in progress. I think my background and experience will serve the people well. I will continue to stand up for the people of Lenawee.
SPOUSE AND CHILDREN: Six children
GOVERNMENT EXPERIENCE: My experience is similar to any middle-class American citizen. I am a father, taxpayer and neighbor who wants to see our Michigan and U.S. constitution help to a high standard. I have a patriot view on local government and I have been alarmed by the lack of accountability for our leaders. I am looking forward to serving my community.
COMMUNITY SERVICE EXPERIENCE: In my professional and personal life, I have the opportunity to help and listen to the most vulnerable populations in Lenawee County.
Why are you running for the county commission? I'm running for Lenawee County commissioner to be of service to the people by reconnecting them back to local officials, uphold the Constitution of the United States of America and Michigan, and ultimately serve Jesus Christ.
What do you think is the main challenge facing the county and what should be done about it? Local small businesses and community mental health. By following the 28 principles of Liberty. Using checks and balances which prevent abuses of power. Applying minimum government regulations and promoting prosperity.
How will you make yourself available to constituents? Hold meetings on days and at times that are more convenient for the public to attend. Transparency of meeting minutes, agendas, and resolutions posted and easily accessible to the public. Regularly host meet-and-greet events to be accessible to the people I serve and provide an open forum for questions and answers.
Why should people vote for you? I am not a politician. I understand that being a commissioner is a position of servanthood. I am willing to stand up for the voices in my district and represent them according to their requests. I believe local government needs people with integrity, accountability and a desire to see the community flourish.
This article originally appeared on The Daily Telegram: Election preview: Lenawee County Commissioners Districts 4 and 6