I was drafted into the military in 1969 and served for two years. All but 3 of my advanced-training class (50-60 people) went to Viet Nam. I was one of the three who were sent to Korea. Going almost anywhere in the world makes you very thankful that you have the privilege of being an American. Though no one showed me disrespect when I walked through an airport in uniform, I could feel the tension. In retrospect, we can imagine that much of the Vietnam protest was not just organic, but had a certain level of funded organizers, and the “trusted” media had an agenda to legitimize the claim that the war was unjust. We recently visited the “wall that heals” when it came to Livingston County. It helps to put history in context. My wife and I witnessed an older couple who came to see one name and have a veteran sponsor help them “trace” the name on a piece of paper. This was perhaps their first experience of the wall and the honor finally given to their loved one. Was it a son or a nephew? Did they contemplate what might have been as they viewed the name? I stand with all veterans and greatly revere those who gave the ultimate sacrifice for freedom. We can’t all do that, but we can each do our part for our families, our communities, our counties, and our country.
I believe in low taxes and limited government. Government has two basic purposes. One is to protect each person and group from tyranny, to keep the peace so that we can dwell in safety, and to protect our personal property. The other is to provide for services, in areas that can better be addressed by everyone together instead of one alone, such as maintaining roads, etc.
As a County Commissioner, I have sought to be a team player and have asked many questions to understand the issues before the board instead of making snap decisions. I have encouraged the forward movement of our county to more efficient government, but that which is also responsive to the everyday needs of citizens. I support money-saving measures where sensible, because a dollar not spent this year is a dollar decreased in next year’s budget. I have advocated for the new state-of-the-art 911 dispatch center now underway. I agreed with “piggy-backing” a smaller project with the 911 project so as to save money on the smaller project, which was building a structure to house tactical vehicles giving them a longer life and making them available for immediate use in all weather conditions.
We are presently considering two major expenditures: the first would be a one-time infusion of money to roads in a way that will leverage state and federal funds in conjunction with local money; second, to build a permanent building for the Meals On Wheels program that serves 1500 meals 5 days a week to residents in Livingston and Oakland counties. Again, there is a sizeable grant that will help to buy property and build the facility in Livingston County. To initiate the grant, money will need to be given by both counties. Even for a limited-government person like me, it makes sense that some expenditure now, to insure that a worthy program has facilities for 30 to 50 years into the future, has merit.
I see that part of my responsibility as a commissioner is to exercise oversight of the volunteer boards to which we appoint voting members. The Veterans’ Affairs committee is an example. Information during this election cycle from a political party has served to highlight this duty. I have done research and asked questions to make myself aware of the actual facts of this matter. The board has no authority to “micromanage” these committees, but to ask for reports on activities, which we are currently doing.
The PFAS issue must also be considered outside of the political realm. We all want clean water and a pristine world to live in. Thankfully, the governor has taken action uncovering the problems in the Huron River watershed. The major sources so far are outside of Livingston county. Our Health Department, who reports to us twice a month, is on the front lines in handling this issue. I will completely support their approach to find and minimize the effects of this pollution wherever found in our county.
I ask for your vote on November 3th so that I may continue to represent you, the residents of western Livingston county. It is a privilege I enjoy.