The race is on in Township Primaries

August 3, 2012


The Grant Township Board seats are all on the ballot this year and since all are Republican, the seats will be filled in the Primary Election. Supervisor Dan Dysinger Jr. will face Michael Coon for his seat on the board.

Dysinger has been a township resident for 25 years. He was first elected as Supervisor in 2004 and lists his accomplishments: “Urban Cooperation Agreement with City of Clare; eliminated outdated ordinances, repairs to township hall, monitoring system at landfill, streamlined building inspection program and expanded to include Plumbing and Mechanical permits; challenging the Michigan Department of Treasury over mishandling scoring criteria of the Township Assessment Review program.” He is a past member of the Farwell Board of Education.

Coon said, “I have lived in Clare County all my life (45 years) over the last 20 years in Grant Township. I have worked for the past 21 years at the Clare County Sheriff Department where I am currently a Detective Sergeant. I am married to Kelly Coon and have 5 children. My goals if elected are to better the services of Grant Township, tend to citizen complaints, look into ways of cutting monthly expenses and help the township in growing a healthy neighborhood watch community. I am sure there are things I will learn that could better serve our community all in which would be a goal to achieve if elected.

Grant Township Clerk Susan Wentworth and Treasurer Tammy L. Shea, both Republicans, are unopposed in both Primary and General Election, but four have filed on the Republican side for the two trustee seats. Incumbents Richard Zinser and Margery Bell face a challenge in the Primary from Tom Kunse and Keith Yats for their seats on the board.

Bell has been on the board for over 30 years, and a township resident for over 60 years. She says she is a former business owner with many years of experience.

Zinser retired from Operators Local 324, has been on the board for eight years and says he “Enjoys being of service to residents of Grant, is a conservative, not influenced by special interests, believes in representing the township residents equally and that keeping up to date on matters of concern for our residents is my goal.”

Kunse, age 41, has been married to Janet for 14 years. He has two kids in Clare Public Schools and has been self-employed for 18 years. Tom said he feels that Grant Township residents deserve to have better transparency from the local government. Budget information, meeting agendas and meeting minutes should be available online. “Does anybody know the goals of the current administration?” He said he will make sure this information is easy for to find. He said he will “stop spending money just because it is there. No more $65,000 legal fees for an agreement with the City that has never been used. No more spending $6,800 to “study” the township roads. Let’s elect a trustee that will tighten up the purse strings.”

Tom said he is running for Township Trustee because he is “concerned that the current administration campaigns, votes and thinks in rigid lock step. They should run on their individual merit instead of playing follow the leader.” He has lived in Clare Community for 40 years, graduated from Clare, Michigan Tech and CMU.


In Franklin Township, Republicans Edward T. Erskine and Alfred W. Townsend will face off for the Supervisor’s position in the Primary. No Democrat has filed so the winner will be unopposed in November.

Edward Erskine said he has been a local resident for 30+ years, is a family man, small business owner, and current Deputy Supervisor. He said, “I care about the future of our local community and want to keep the voices of Franklin Township residents heard.”

The Franklin Township Treasurer’s slot is also up for grabs next Tuesday in the Republican Primary.  Appointed Trustee Kris L. McLavy will face Incumbent Sandy Scherrer and the winner will be unopposed in November.

Sandy Scherrer has been on the job for 10 years. She said she enjoys serving on the township board. She and husband Mike have been married 30 years. Their children Adam, Steven and Jessica will be freshmen at HHS this fall.

Also seeking the Treasurer’s seat, Kris L McLavy said, “Currently, I occupy the position of trustee on the Board. My time on the Board has been very rewarding and I look forward to continuing to serve the residents of this great township. I was born and raised in the township and my husband and I are raising our two sons here. I am currently employed by Beaverton Rural School District. My position allows me to work daily with governmental fund accounting very similar to that of a township. Franklin Township and it continued fiscal health is very important to me.”

Jacqueline M. Ecklin is running on the Republican ticket for McLavy’s trustee seat on the Franklin Township Board. She and Democrat Yvonne Dalton will be on the November ballot and fill the two open seats.


In Freeman Township Democratic Supervisor Mark A. Lightfoot will face Democrat John M. Blain and the winner will be unopposed in November.

On the Democratic side of the ballot, Incumbent Freeman Township Clerk Patricia D. Humphrey will face Carol Barnett for the seat.

Five are vying for the Treasurer’s position in Freeman Township. In the Republican Primary, present Deputy Clerk Georgina Johnson, Tracey Sprague Rayburn and Sheyla Young will face off to get their name on the November ballot. On the Democratic side of the ticket, Incumbent Rosemary Lightfoot will face challenger Janet Lackie.

Georgina Johnson has lived in the township for 23 years, and owned property on Big Norway Lake for 35 years. She is originally from Jackson. She worked at Kohl’s, organized Children’s Christmas parties at the township hall, and worked on the election board. She has been the Deputy Treasurer for the past year, and has worked to switch to a new digital system filing system. “I am experienced and dedicated. If elected, I will work hard for our township. I intend to hold office hours at Freeman Township Hall on a regular basis and will work to accommodate taxpayers needing evening availability and other times. I will devote myself solely to this office and will be open to comments and suggestions in order to serve the taxpayers better.

Janet Lackie has lived in Freeman Township for 11 years. She said, “I have over 30 years of accounting experience, a lot in governmental accounting. I would like to get involved in the community. I would devote all the time necessary to do a great job and I would hold regular hours at the township hall.”

Sheyla Young said, “I have been married to my husband, Andrew for 36 years and have 3 children and 6 grandchildren.  I have lived in Midland most of my life, until 2003 when my family moved to Clare County. I am currently employed by Midland County Educational Services Agency where I have worked with “special people” for 21 years. Within this organization, I have served on the Executive Board for the Midland Intermediate Federation of Paraprofessionals Union for 6 years. Also in that time, I held the position of Vice President/Grievance officer for 2 years and Secretary/treasurer for 4 years. I am presently serving as the treasurer for the Big Norway Lake Property Owners Association and have served for four years.  I have also served as the Social Director for the Lake of the Pines Association for one year. If elected, I would like to make available regularly scheduled office hours at the town hall, provide more convenient payment options such as credit/debit and utilize an electronic record keeping system.”

Six are looking to fill two seats as Freeman Township Trustees. Democratic Incumbents Helen A. Bardallis and Richard E. Wells will face challenger Sandra Sable. On the Republican side three more are seeking the seats: Sally A. Meitz, Cheryl Myers and Leo Stevens.

Helen Bardallis is a sixteen year member of Freeman Township Board, has lived in the township for 36 years, moving here from Jackson. She was employed as P.M.R. at Lake George Post Office for 34 years. “If elected I will continue to serve you with the trust and respect you deserve from an elected official.”


In Garfield Township, Republicans David Lee Byl, Stephen Conroy and Gary W. Hendershot are running for Township Supervisor. Since there is no Democratic challenger, the race will be decided Tuesday.

David Byl said, “I have a personal and vested interest in Garfield Township as a home and property owner for 25 years. I will serve our small community with the due diligence required for this position. I am an entrepreneurial small business owner for over 35 years and have owned the retail store “The Great Divide” for 27 years. I also possess a broad range of experience in many areas. I have dealt with and developed budgets, cash-flow projections, personnel, purchasing, customer service, insurance, banking, State of Michigan, and the IRS. I strongly feel that I am the most qualified candidate to serve with integrity. I care for our township deeply. I have proven leadership skills and plan to lead our township in a professional capacity.”

Steven Conroy said, “Most people know me as SJ. I have lived full time in Lake for the past 13 years, after marrying my wife, Stephannie Iserhoth. We have 3 young children who attend Farwell Area School. I am also on Garfield Township Fire Department. I am an Eagle Scout and an active leader
for all of my kids’ scout units. I am also a member of the Farwell United Methodist Church. I graduated from Northern Michigan University in 1997 with a BS in Art & Design and a Minor in Architectural
Technology. I feel that my greatest strength is to listen to all the facts presented before making any decision and providing my input. I firmly believe that communication is a key element in this position.
I feel that I have the necessary qualifications that are essential to this position.”

Gary Hendershot said he has lived in this area for almost 60 years. He’s been in business for approximately 35 years in the Lake area.

Democratic Clerk Martha Rottiers and Republican Treasurer Robin A. Yarhouse have no challengers for their Garfield Township seats, but three Republicans are running for two open trustee seats: Mark Irwin, Gregg Kolodica and Incumbent Lisa K. Roland.

Mark Irwin is a lifelong Clare County resident and Lake resident since 1978. He has been on the fire department for 22 years, was chief for 9 years, and a medical first responder for 10 years. He said, “I am looking for a way to continue serving my community in a way that will help the township continue to thrive.”

Gregg Kolodica has been a permanent resident of Lake since retiring from the Lansing Public School system in 2004 as project manager. He has been involved in construction, finance and environmental issues. He said, “I have a desire to keep involved in our local community and to have the privilege of following in the footsteps of our long-time friend and retiring trustee, Wilbur McLane.”

Incumbent Lisa Roland would like to be re-elected as Garfield Township Trustee. She said, “The township board appointed me to complete two years of a four year term when a trustee resigned. I was elected to a full term at the next regular election. I enjoy working on the board and addressing the variety of issues that come before us. I have lived in Lake for my entire life and desire to help my neighbors communicate with their local government and solve problems.”


In Greenwood Township Democrat Lester Vida is unopposed in both the Primary and General Elections for the Supervisor’s position and Republican Treasurer David A. Lawrence is also the only name on the ballot. Appointed Clerk Linda Bailow is running unopposed on the Democratic side for Clerk with no November Democratic challenger, while three are running for two open trustee seats: Republican Incumbent James Korman and Democrats Barbara Ferrett and Michael Howard.


The only question in Arthur Township will be decided in the Primary Election when Republicans Teresa K. Coats and Julie Walker face off for the township clerk position.

Supervisor Lee Schunk, Treasurer David Leggett and Trustees Lamar Gunden and Erma M. Kleinhardt are all unopposed in both Primary and General elections this year.


All of the Hamilton Township Board members are unopposed in either the Primary or General Elections: Republican Supervisor David Cooper, Democratic Clerk Finette LaBoda, Democratic Treasurer Mickie Duby and Republican Trustees Mike Iutzi and David B. Wright.


In Hayes Township Republican Virginia Collins will face Democrat Raymond Augenstein for the Supervisor’s seat in November. Democratic Clerk Kevin Breese and Democratic Treasurer Maye Tessner-Rood are both unopposed in both Primary and General Elections. Three are seeking the two trustee positions on the board; Incumbent Republican Lee Dancer, Incumbent Democrat Robert Hale and challenger and Republican John H. Scherrer. All three will face off again in November.


Lincoln Township Supervisor Dennis Zimmerman (R ), Clerk Carol L. Majewski (D) and Treasurer Maggie Carey (D) are all unopposed in both Primary and General Elections, but three Republicans and one Democrat are running for the two trustee seats on the board. Democratic Incumbent Mike Tobin, Jerry Bridges (D), Werner C. Mantel (D) and Janice E. Chapman (R) are running. Chapman will be on the November ballot with two of the Republican candidates.


In Sheridan Township Supervisor William R. Strouse (R) and Clerk Leane C. Strouse (R) are unopposed in either Primary or General Election. Incumbent Treasurer Jennifer Magnus (R) is facing a challenge from Jessica Bates (R) in the Primary, while three Republicans: Incumbent James Warner, Brian Tomaski and James Eberhart are running for the two trustee positions on the board.


Summerfield Township will have to appoint a Treasurer for next year, unless there are write in candidates for the seat.  Supervisor Brice H. Bond (R) will face Penny J. McGlaughlin (D) in the November Election, while Clerk Aloma Joslin (R), and Trustees David Tuttle (R) and Robert T. Warner (R) are unopposed in both Primary and General Elections.


Redding Township Board members are assured on another term on that board since there are no challengers in either election. Unopposed are Supervisor Thomas L. Krchmar (R), Clerk Janelle Staley (D), Treasurer Marianne Borgula (D) and Democratic Trustees Ginger Ashbaugh and Sandra Mann.


Surrey Township will also keep their board intact this year. Supervisor Russ Hamilton (D), Clerk Glenna Bradbury (D), Treasurer Esther Pitchford (R), Trustee Joe Maxey II (R) and Trustee Carol A. Dixon (D) are all unopposed.


The Hatton Township Board members will all keep their seats this year. Unopposed in both elections are Republican Supervisor William L. Hileman, Republican Clerk Marcy M. Malson, Republican Treasurer Patricia A. Shull, Republican Trustee David Lee Farrell and Democratic Trustee William Frederick Guiette.


Without any opposition, Winterfield Township Supervisor Mark Hammar (D), Clerk Kathryn Decker (D), Treasurer Linda Peterson (R) and Republican Trustees Shelly R. Laughlin and Harry Martin will fill that board.

No seats are up for election in the City of Clare or City of Harrison.

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