BOC laments loss of Chairman David, Burger

Erich T. Doerr | Review Correspondent

The election is over and changes are coming to the Clare County Board of Commissioners.

On Wednesday less than 13 hours after polls closed the board was back in action for its first meeting of the month. The results of the election were a topic for all during the board’s chairperson and committee reports.

All seven members of the board were up for re-election on Tuesday and the results are going to shake up the lineup. Board chairperson Donald David lost his District 5 race against Democrat Rick LaBoda by 88 votes while Commissioner Jerome Burger lost his District 1 race against Democrat Dale Majewski by 49 votes.

LaBoda and Majewski taken over their positions at the start of 2013 with David and Burger finishing out the year. David said he has served on the board for the last six years including being the chairperson for the last two.

“Losing is a disappointment as there are things we need to keep doing but I’m not sure will get done,” David said. “It’s a difficult positions to be in. I wish you all the best going forward.”

In the other races District 6 Commissioner Karen Lipovsky won her race against Republican challenger Jim Keysor while Jack Kleinhardt, Jim Gelios, Leonard Strouse and Lynn Grim ran unopposed. Lipovsky said David should keep the ideas coming until the end of his term.

“I don’t want you to be a lame duck,” Lipovsky said with David confirming he would try not to be.

Burger talked about his defeat during his report. He said he’s had a great time serving on the board noting it was a fun challenge being much outside his engineering background. Burger said he lost despite going door-to-door campaigning in areas such as Lincoln Township.

“I plan to work full bore right to the end,” Burger said, adding he’ll find something else to do once he leaves office. “Don’t worry about me, I won’t sit still for long.”

Outside of their own races the election raised other concerns to the board members. Kleinhardt noted how $181 million was spent on the state’s six propositions alone, all of which were defeated at the polls. In Clare County alone all of them lost by margins of 60 or more except Proposal 6, mainly dealing with a possible new bridge from Detroit to Windsor, which had a 52 percent majority ‘yes’ vote in Clare County but lost statewide.

“I got so sick, as did everyone, of seeing the ads on TV,” Kleinhardt said. “It stuns me to think they could raise that much.”

Kleinhardt noted that a few years ago they discussed proposal issues and it was thought at the time it would take between $1 million and $2 million to successfully pass one. After everything that occurred with the proposals this year he said the whole process gave a “black eye” to the political system and these were more about money than the bottom line.

“I’m glad it’s over,” Kleinhardt said of the election season with the board in agreement.

Strouse used his report in part to talk about the current swing in voter attitudes on the presidential level. He said he believes the new trend is going to see Democrats remain in the White House for what he thinks could be the rest of his lifetime. Strouse, a Republican, said this development is neither good or bad as the country moves ahead on its current track.