As great as Calhoun County and Michigan are, there are many issues facing them. If we are to grow as a state and as a community, we must put pen to paper, foot to pedal and nose to grindstone. Here are some of the issues that I think are most important.
1: Education – Our Kids, Our Minds, Our Future!
This is perhaps the most central issue to my campaign. Ladies and Gentlemen, our government is failing our kids in spectacular numbers! Even our local representatives have voted to weaken our public schools by cutting funding, divvying funding to FOR PROFIT charter schools and dismantling the quality of our education with needless bureaucracy. I say we take a stand and let teachers teach, and give them the pay they deserve!
If Battle Creek, and the rest of Michigan for that matter is going to have a promising economic future, we MUST promise our kids sound bodies and minds for that future. This begins with a strong, well funded public education, in institutions that have the means to provide students with top notch quality learning materials. As a promise to my constituents, if I am elected I will donate at least 10% of my salary as a Commissioner to Pennfield High School, my alma mater, to demonstrate my commitment to our kids and our economic future.
Education is the only guarantee we can make for a strong economy in the decades ahead, why on Earth is this not our priority?! I will advocate for
1: Using Surplus County Funding to support our schools. Calhoun County did not expend a single dime for our schools in last years budget, but made 186,000 dollars in surplus . I want to put that extra cash to good use.
2: Advocate for raises for our teachers. It is unacceptable that the people who are charged with shaping the young minds of tomorrow have to spend sometimes thousands of dollars of their own salary to provide adequate materials for their students.
3: Work to increase enrollment rates for local trades, we’re facing a shortage of skilled labor from electricians to plumbers, we need to change that — these are the folks who have made our community strong, and if they are weakened, we are weakened!
4: Encourage parents to take a more active role in their child’s education
5: As a PROMISE to the fine people of Calhoun County, I want to donate at least 10% of my salary as a commissioner to Pennfield Schools, to counteract the cost of the ill-deserved raises the current county legislature, in a very partisan way, has granted themselves.
Infrastructure – Upon Broken Roads, We Cannot go Far!
I know of potholes who are older than some of my cousins. Seriously, its perhaps the greatest shame of Michigan that our roads suck! Why? It’s complicated. Funding isn’t just the only issue. At a glance, there are serious problems facing the Road Department oriented around many things like:
- Poor and temporary leadership
- Distrust between the workers and the county — give our men and women a good contract! They are out there busting their tails in rain, sleet, snow or hail!
- Aging facilities (For example, a 60+ year old garage!) and lack of financial backing on part of the county government
There are obviously many other issues facing our county today. I believe in both supporting our hardworking road builders, our union tradesman and supporting the education of the industrial arts through KCC will make Calhoun County a better, more modern place to live.
Public Health – Happiness AND Health are Fundamental Human Rights!
There are a few public health crises in America and Michigan right now. Opioid and Heroin addiction, Obesity, and several others. Furthermore our senior population is about to explode! We must take care of our elders in any way we can, as well as focusing on the youth and adults of today to assure truly golden years. If elected, I will campaign for:
1: Expansion of our beautiful Calhoun County Medical facility for seniors as well as home-care services and programs like Meals-on-Wheels to help the wisest of us retain independence.
2: Expansion of physical education and athletic programs for schools. Football, Baseball, Track and Field and Soccer, and any other sport I feel is a key to overall wellbeing and success in adulthood for many youth.
3: Expansion of rehabilitation programs for narcotics such as Heroin, Methamphetamine and others through drug court — focusing more on Rehab, not incarceration of offenders.
4: Provide a grant to Kellogg Community College to help expand the nursing program to not only put Calhoun County to work, but mitigate the growing nursing shortage — Calhoun County was built on healthcare!