October 31, 2012 - Six candidates are looking at four seats for the trustee position out in Addison Township. The candidates include John Boehmer, Edward Brakefield, Linda Gierak, Terry Stevens, John Sutphin, and Seareal Gravlin.
John Boehmer has spent the past four years on the board and is seeking a second term of what he feels is a "duty and service to the community."
"From that standpoint I've been a proponent and advocate for the development of our non-motorized pathways these past four year," he said. "I will continue with those efforts."
He has also served both on the planning commission and the zoning board of appeals.
Top priorities to the township, said Boehmer is maintaining good fiscal shape, which he says is their number one accountability, and to try and preserve the rural character.
"Beyond that it's just overall service to the people," he added.
As for why he should be elected, Boehmer said he brings objective and pragmatic views to issues that do get confronted.
"I think I've worked to understand the fiscal aspects of the township and manage those in the manner of a trustee," he said.
Boehmer has been a resident of Addison since 1985 where he and his wife have raised their two girls and two boys. He got his BS in Biology from the University of Michigan and has worked primarily as a business manager for PPG Industries for the past 32 years.
Edward Brakefield has been on the board for the past four terms and he is hoping "to do good for the township with fair and honest decision making."
The first priority he sees in the township is financial.
"Our taxes are way too high," he said. "And my goal is to continue fight the tax increases that are hidden in the property taxes." He would also like to keep infrastructure strong and try to "keep rural where it should be and that is to the northern sections of Addison Township."
People should elect him for his straightforward honesty, said Brakefield.
"I have no agenda," he said. "I am running strictly for the people."
Brakefield has been a resident of Addison since 1976. He and his wife of 40 years have two children and now have two grandchildren. Brakefield also received a degree in Computer Science and owns his own company. He said he has been dedicated to the township for 20 years rather it was on the planning commission, township board, or being chairman of the Polly Ann Trail. His greatest achievement he said was the preservation of Arnold School and helping to get it moved to its current location. "That is (one of) the nicest trophies I've done since I've been on the board," he said. "That's like my first child."
Linda Gierak said she's running again because she wants to continue serving her community.
"I have experience in municipal administration worked in it for the last eight years," she said. "I think that is a good contribution for my own community."
As for priorities within the township, Gierak believes they've done a good job fiscally and hopes to continue it. She would also like to see more recreation opportunities for kids and families, as well as more development of the community.
Gierak said she should be elected because she represents "regular families."
"I have three kids all of who are teenagers," she said. "My husband and I have lived in Addison Township since 1995 and my family has lived out here for 40 years."
Terry Stevens is looking to bring new ideas to the township board if he is elected.
"The position of trustee is not a position of power or command, it's just a position of voice, he said. "As a trustee I can bring new ideas to Addison Township as far as business or business related ideas."
Top priorities in the township said Stevens are business related, including revenue as well as the appearance of some of the buildings and houses within the township.
Having been born and raised in Addison township, as well as spending 13 years in the military and lived in a lot of other places, Stevens said he knows what the township used to be and what it could be. That is why he wants people to vote for him.
"As far as political experience I'm not bringing that to the table," he said. "I'm bringing nonpolitical experience so it's not the same old politics."
Beside spending 13 years in the military, Stevens also worked eight years in the federal government, and 10 years in Corporate America. He received his BA in Business Management from the University of Phoenix and currently owns the Bear Paw Cafe in Lakeville.
John Sutphin, and Seareal Gravlin could not be reached for comment.
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.