Local resident files for state representative seat
May 12, 2010 - As an independent, conservative, and a problem solver, Independence Township resident Richard (Rick) Gutowski feels he would make a good candidate for State Representative of the 44th District.
|Gutowski (click for larger version)|
"I need to present that to people and allow them to decide that's what they want," he said.
Gutowski said there were a couple of things, which led him to file for the position. The first was back in August 2009 when Independence Township board was talking trash and new recycling ideas.
"When the trash issue became public that got to me," he said. "The process and the fact we had our township government wanting to expand their role when I didn't really feel they were doing that great of a job on the things they were doing."
He said the trash issue increased his interest to know what was going on in local government. However, the real clincher for him was when a good friend of his died prematurely and at the funeral they listed all the things his friend had done for the community.
"I just said 'wow what have I done?' I spent a lot of time busy with my career, job and family," Gutowski said. "I expected the people we had elected and delegated the responsibility of government were out there doing the job for me, but it's become apparent at almost every level that's not the case and I thought 'maybe now is the time for me.'"
Gutowski was born and raised in Dearborn, graduated Wayne State University in chemical engineering with distinction. He started his business career at Chrysler, and then worked for Amoco Oil in Chicago as a research engineer. Meanwhile he received his Masters in Business Administration and returned to Michigan in 1978 and joined Form Motor Company. In 1979 married a former Chrysler colleague Sharon Dudzinski in 1979, they moved to Independence in 1995. Gutowski returned to Chrysler in 1984 until he retired in 2006.
"I'm looking at my 30 plus years in the real world as valuable and there might be an advantage," he said. "I don't have a progression through the political ranks to change my thought process, (and) change my viewpoint."
Gutowski said he is running for state rep because Lansing is in such trouble it affects all the infrastructure below whether it be county or township government. If change happens there he believes it would make a "tremendous impact." He said government is too large, which impacts spending, something he sees as real problem.
"We need solutions that are real solutions not just stopgap. All the things that have been done over the last ten years or more in Lansing have been stopgap measures that have deferred the real problem solving," he said. "We need to really get the size of state government down to a level that's going to allow us to sustain small government."
Gutowski also believes government should not be involved in creating jobs because "government can make it harder or easier for small businesses to create jobs."
"Some place along the line I learned the business tax structure will impact the ability for small businesses to create jobs," Gutowski said. "We got one of the most onerous business taxes in the United States, so that needs attention."
On the issue of part-time legislature, Gutowski said "they're a part-time legislature now, they just get full-time pay."
"It (politics) shouldn't be a career path that says 'let's go work our way through the political steps,' he said. "I believe in the citizen type legislature. There is difficulty getting enough citizens willing to serve, but Texas does it somehow."
As far as lifetime healthcare benefits he said "all perks available to legislative and administrative branches need to be examined and most thrown out."
"I don't think there is anything like lifetime healthcare anymore in industry."
He also believes education and schools are important, but money is not the answer. Gutowski said he was discouraged throughout his career as he watched college graduates with degrees whose basic math, language and writing skills were at a level less then what he thought they should be.
"The level of math and science that is acceptable from high school in many cases results in individuals who have to take community college type of course in order to get up to speed to take the basic courses in a college or university," said Gutowski. "That to me demonstrates a weakness in the system."
For more information visit www.rick4rep.net
"We need real people with real life experience to direct the path that our government is taking," he said. "I have decided to act. I want to become your citizen-representative."
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.