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Trustee opts out of re-election



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April 11, 2012 - After receiving a promotion at his job with Allied Construction, Independence Township Trustee Mark Petterson has announced he will not be re-running for a position on the township board.

"I've worked at my job for 27 years. I work from dark to dark every single day, and it's difficult for me to make these meetings because I'm a working man," he said.

Petterson was planning on throwing his hat in ring for township supervisor, but after being promoted at his job he said he has to do what's best for his family.

While Petterson has delayed running this year, he may be a candidate in 2016. "In four years I'll be ready to retire from my job," Petterson said. "So, don't be surprised if I come back to run for supervisor."

Petterson urges the public to get rid of every current board member and start fresh. He called the last four years on the board "a college education in the political world," that has allowed him to see how "ridiculous and redundant government can be."

"There have been Letters to Editor asking why I am so angry," Petterson said. "Well, if they knew what I knew, they would be angry too."

One of the biggest disappointments over the past four years has been expenditures, he added. Whether it was the thousands of dollars and time spent "chasing down an old broken down tractor that never belonged to the township" or the thousands of dollars spent in the Triumph Telecom lawsuit, Petterson believes money's been wasted.

"Even more so our big three: township planner, engineers and attorneys have never been put out to bid," he said. "I have beaten my drum about that from day one since becoming a trustee."

He also shared disappointment in deputy supervisor/superintendent appointments. According to Petterson there was "a roller coaster of a bunch of poor decisions," which led to the appointment of current Superintendent Bart Clark.

"I do not believe we should have a township manager and changing the way we govern. You're going have good supervisors and not so good supervisors," he added. "I think it would be very disappointing to the public if we were to keep this superintendent."

If it is determined in the next election to keep a superintendent style of government with a part-time supervisor then Petterson says both the clerk and treasurer should be part-time as well.

As for current issues to keep an eye on, Petterson said the District Library proposal is one. If the proposal is approved without a CIA (Cooridor Improvement Authority) capture, he believes the CIA will be done and would "stifle" the ability for McLaren to come to Independence because the township won't have the funds to contribute to the project.

Though he is not running this term, he plans on staying active in the community as current President of Clarkston Chiefs and a proud member of the Clarkston Knights of Columbus. He will keep close watch on the next board.

"They're not going to pull the wool over my eyes because I know too much," he said.

Trevor graduated with degrees in English and communications from Rochester College. He wrote for his college and LA View newspapers before joining The Clarkston News in May 2007.
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