Farwell Bond Passes, Arthur Superviser Ousted in Tuesday Elections

November 11, 2019

New Arthur Township Supervisor Matthew Bednorek

By Pat Maurer

Tuesday’s election brought a sigh of relief to many in the community as well as staff, administrators and members of the Farwell Board of Education Tuesday evening when voters passed a $20 million bond proposal which will provide the funds to upgrade the deteriorating facilities and improve the district for student safety and comfort.

Voters approved the issue by a 1,091 to 872 vote in Tuesday’s general election.

Superintendent Steve Scoville said Thursday morning, “FAS would like to thank our voters for supporting our students, families, and community. Now we begin the hard work of delivering what was promised. First FAS will take steps to sell the bonds. This will happen in Early 2020. We have started the process of developing the detailed construction schedule for the next two years. Work should start in the spring on boilers and HVAC systems. Ground breaking for our new Early Childhood wing should be in the Fall of 2020. The goal is to have the entire bond project completed for the Start of the 2021-2022 school year.” 

In a Facebook post Wednesday morning, Farwell Board of Education President Joe Maxey said, “It’s a great day to be an Eagle!! Thank you to everyone who voted yesterday. It’s a right that is still protected by men and women in uniform today and those who have served in the past. Thank you to all our community members who helped to educate and get the word out. Thank you to our AWESOME community members who voted to support our bond and get it passed. Thank you to our Superintendent, our Board of Education, Administration and our teachers who worked so hard to get this bond proposal off the ground and passed. Thank you to JCI [Johnson Controls] and partners for the work they put in helping us plan and the support they gave even after the May vote failed. It’s been a long road and we are grateful, but we’re not done. We still have work to do with planning the work, and on our comprehensive long term planning. God is good and I feel He has led us to this point for our community to move forward together.”

Another proposal on the ballot for Arthur Township was also approved in a nearly three to one yes vote but the long-time township supervisor Lee Schunk, a Republican was ousted in his position when he was bested by Independent challenger Matthew Bednorek in a 94-80 vote in the township recall election.

The 1.5 millage proposal in Arthur Township is for two years and will raise an estimated $38,552 in the first year for the beleaguered township budget, and provide funds to continue the fire protection contract with Harrison Fire Department. The more than $16,000 annual cost of the contract has been covered by donations for more than a year, because the general fund has been nearly non-existent in the low-population township, leading to a board decision to add an assessment on property in the township for fire protection in December.

Bednorek, who will take over the duties as township supervisor from Schunk, will fill the office of township supervisor for the remainder of Schunk’s term, which would have expired on December 31, 2020.

In his bid for the position, Bednorek said, “I think I can help make a positive difference in our township by communicating effectively with the township residents, the board and others in the community, for the betterment of our township.”

He continued that hopes to implement that by “working effectively to create an efficient budget and a healthy township. The most important thing,” he said, “is for everyone to understand what is going on.”

Bednorek is from Caseville, MI and has a daughter. He has opened a branch office for a financial institution in Gladwin. He works as a Mortgage Loan Originator and said he has worked in financial institutions since 2010, holding several leadership positions.

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