July 25, 2012 - Lohmeier asks for vote
Hi neighbors! Four years ago you elected me to be your representative as Trustee on the Independence Township Board. I am extremely grateful for the confidence and trust you placed in me and I have endeavored at every turn to represent your needs will and provide leadership and good stewardship of our township resources and funds. I am proud that through much hard work in some of our toughest economic times, the state of our Township is better now than it was four years ago. A significant achievement given the challenges we faced.
I was born and grew up in North Oakland County. I attended Oakland University School of Engineering and then settled with my family in Clarkston where I have two daughters attending school. I have been married to the same wonderful woman for 23 years this August. Clarkston was our choice then and remains now my pick as the best place in Michigan to live. I also earned my MBA from the University of Detroit. I have strong logical and business training that I feel are critical for effective township leadership. I have participated in local government for years as a volunteer and an appointed official. Examples include chairman of the Planning Commission, and the Parks and Recreation Board, Wetland Review Board, chair of the Vision 20/20 Commercial use Task Force and more.
I ran for township trustee four years ago because I thought I could help do a better job at moving the township forward. Happily four years later we have been extremely successful. I led the difficult budgeting effort in my first year I office to right our financial ship. After cutting excessive waste from our budgets our finances are now in solid shape. Even with these cuts we have protected services like fire and police, maintained adequate financial resources and planned for the future.
As the only incumbent Trustee in this election I felt compelled to run for re-election to continue and complete the work we started in my last term. Since being elected I drafted our first Board Budget instituting solid cost cuts and tough decisions so that we would live within our means.
I drafted and we passed our first ever township asset management policy to prevent the continued inappropriate losses of township property through robust tracking and accountability. I created a plan for the first partnership for the township, schools and county in improving traffic safety through the use of tri-party funding costing the township nothing and providing great savings for the school system and improvements in road safety.
I rigorously pursed the recovery of wasteful spending of township money on bonuses and unapproved services. I negotiated are resolution to a standing fee dispute with Comcast that resulted in over $100K annually in revenues to the township cable operations and I helped fight for recovery of over $100K township money inappropriately spent on consultants without approval. I helped restore trust and confidence in our local government
There are several areas I think we should focus on going forward. First maintain the strong fiscal responsibility and controls initiated during my first term. Budgeting and expense management cannot return to the old way of doing things, where budgeting was a once a year activity and was an easy task with constantly rising revenues from always higher property values. In the current economy township Boards must be engaged and educated.
Independence Township has become the leader in this respect. Second we must maintain our commitment to emergency services – no one can deliver the critical public safety services better than the local governments and our police and fire set the standard for effective sharing of resources. With new technology we need to take advantage of every tool we have to improve efficiency and response time. Finally we must build awareness outside of our community for appropriate development. Independence Township continues to be a great choice for both businesses and residents. Now that we are financially stable we must focus on attracting appropriate development and improving the tax base through marketing.
I want to thank those that have written in support of me and I want to thank you for allowing me the privilege of serving as your Trustee and I hope you'll choose me to continue as your voice in local government.
Travis backs Lohmeier
Over the last 12-14 years I have worked with and come to know and appreciate the public service David Lohmeier has provided our township and our residents. First as a planning commissioner then as its chairman; he was re-elected numerous times by his peers. He was elected trustee for Independence Township during the last general election.
His business acumen is stellar. He is always well prepared and has researched the various issues and agenda items prior to the meetings. He offers insight, history, and concise analysis of those action items or discussion points. He has only the best interests of the township at heart. He looks well beyond the next meeting or meetings and has a competent grasp of the issues, the positives and otherwise. He has championed advance budgeting and preparedness for our shrinking property tax revenues.
If a constituent asks David a question, he responds promptly with an on point factual answer. The job description of trustee says it is a part-time position. The hours and energy David spends for us is far beyond a part-time job. He is not a politician; he is a public servant in the very best sense of the word. I urge the voters of Independence Township to help me re-elect David Lohmeier trustee.
Support for Schroeder
I am writing to express my support of Andrea Schroeder for Independence Township trustee.
For more than five years, I have admired Andrea's exceptional intelligence, her desire to seek understanding prior to acting upon opinion, and her ability to develop plans of action which bring interested parties together to produce tangible results.
Andrea is very articulate and seemingly inexhaustible. I believe Andrea is one of the highest quality individuals living in our township and am thankful she is willing to undertake the role of township trustee.
A point about the library
One major clarification to the article, at least for the taxpayers in the City of the Village of Clarkston ("One step closer to District Library," July 11).
While Independence Township residents will only see a .559 mills tax increase if the District Library millage is approved, city residents will see the full 1.25 mills or at least be giving their elected officials the authority to increase our taxes by that amount.
While the present council stated that it was their "intent" to roll back taxes if this is approved, they are under no obligation to do so and can raise city taxes by the full 1.25 mills without any public approval other than this vote.
They have been charging the maximum legally allowable tax rate for many years and I see no reason why they will not continue to do so since they approve the maximum tax rate before ever discussing or establishing a budget.
To make matters worse, it is possible that if enough people in the Township vote in favor of this, the full 1.25 mills could be levied against city taxpayers no matter how they vote while township residents pay only the .559 mill increase.
Vote on the library based on whether you are for or against this proposal but understand what it will cost you and who may be making the decision on your taxes no matter how you vote.