Eaton County Drain Commissioner

Eaton County Drain Commissioner, vote for 1

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  • Candidate picture

    Bruce Porter

  • Candidate picture

    Richard Wagner

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Biographical Information

What are the three most important issues facing the office you are running for and how would you address them?

What would you do in your first month in office?

What services do you consider most vital?

What services do you consider least vital?

Which of these can be trimmed to lower expenses?

Are you current in all tax, alimony and child support obligations? Yes or no. If no, please explain.

Hometown Eaton Rapids, Mic.
Education Associates degree in Architectural Technology at ITT Tech. I was working in the third year of a four year program for a Bachelors Degree in Civil Engineering Technology combined with Construction Technology at Purdue University. When my father passed away, I had to move back to Michigan with my family to care for my grandfather and I was unable to complete the course at Purdue.
Family Divrorced, four grandchildren and two great grandchildren.
Professional Experience Eight years with the City of Indianapolis (Assistant Engineer of Street Design), Ten Years with the Ingham County Drain Commissioner (Deputy and Chief of Engineering), twenty eight years of Civil Engineering Design experience with engineering firms, designer of fifteen county drain projects in five counties, one year as Eaton County Deputy Drain Commissioner, certified by MDEQ for soil erosion inspections and certified to review and issue soil erosion control permits.
Political Experience none - Served as Secretary of the Eaton County Zoning Board of Appeals and also a Eaton County Park Board Member.
I will be a full time drain commissioner and will attend all meetings, review and approve all construction plans myself until a competent staff can be obtained and trained by me to do this work. All staff members will be trained in the use of the Michigan Drain Code. They will also be trained by me for the preparation of drain assessments and they will work with me to prepare proper and accurate drain assessments and correcting errors that have been made by the previous and current drain commissioners. The current Drain Commissioner does not know how to prepare assessments and lacks the technical skills to review construction plans and therefore he has used consultants to do this work.
Review plans etc. with my staff while I train them to learn the process. Review the files to determine what corrections have to be made for assessments and drain repairs. Inspection Logs will be kept by the staff for field investigations, drain repairs etc. to brief me on all activities when I can't be with them in the field. Daily logs will be kept for all county owned vehicles to indicate all mileage for every trip and reason for the trip. The field and technical staff must be come very familiar with all of the office standards and regulations and the Michigan Drain Code. Stop the current 480% increase in maintenance cost and roll back the 200% and 300% increase for permit fees.
Staff will answer all incoming calls. Shorten the time needed to correct a drain problem in the field from the time it was reported to the office by land owners. Correction of all assessment errors and begin training the staff to prepare proper and accurate assessment rolls. Investigate if an audit is needed of finances for all drains. Correct the current problem of the drain office not being in compliance with the county storm water quality permit with the federal government. Training the staff on the preparation of proper bid documents to obtain competitive and sealed bids. Work with the staff to prepare MDEQ permit applications to obtain the permits required for drain maint. work.
Update office procedures and correct errors in published rules and standards as time permits. All old construction plans that have been archived still must be referred to from time to time when doing drain repairs, these plans must be organized so that they can be quickly found to determine the drains history etc and original construction information. Improve the filing system so that construction plans can be kept in order and prepare and index for all sheets in every set of construction plans. Scan all current and archived plans so they can be reviewed and printed by computer.
When all staff members have been properly trained and are capable and experienced in performing all of the duties required for their position, the position that was added in 2015 to keep up with soil erosion inspections may be eliminated. Obtaining sealed bids for will reduce to cost of maintenance work. Stop the use of consultants to do work that the drain commissioner and staff are expected to do to prepare assessments and review plan reviews, etc. A Hamlin Township voter has said, " every thing that the current drain commissioner is no capable of doing, the taxpayers have to pay someone else to to the work".
Hometown Grand Ledge
Education Certification from LCC as a commercial pilot and high school graduate from Waverly High School
Family Married to Charlene Wagner 2 grown children Garrett and Casey
Professional Experience Drain Commissioner
Political Experience Going on 4 years as Eaton County Drain Commissioner
The Drain Commissioner's office is responsible for overseeing the County's drains.The three primary functions of the Drain commissioner's office are to plan for the effective control of surface water drainage systems, maintain existing drains, and developing new drains. Control of surface water especially after the historical heavy rains that we've had in the past is one of the key issues of the office. Accordingly maintenance of drains is a critical issue. My office maintains the drains on a year-round basis so that when needed the drains are capable of handling the surface water. We assist the taxpayers in developing new drains, and save taxpayer dollars every way possible.
Maintenance of the drains is the key issue. We have regularly scheduled maintenance for all of the 2100 miles of drains that my office is responsible for. During my first month in office I will continue to maintain the drains and search for any additional ways we can save taxpayer dollars. As you may be aware under my direction we effectively refinanced the Carrier Creek Drain bonds and saved the taxpayers millions of dollars. As your Drain Commissioner I will continue to search for ways to save the taxpayer funds and effectively maintain the drains throughout the county.
Maintenance of drains is the vital job of the drain Commissioner. I am proud of my record in addressing the maintenance issues as they relate to the drains for the people of Eaton County. My office continues to address the critical issues that are associated with surface water and the impact that it has on homeowners, farmers, and landowners throughout the County. There is a reason why Farm Bureau has endorsed me as the best candidate to continue as your Drain Commissioner. During my first term we effectively refinanced the existing debt of the Carrier Creek Drain saving millions of dollars in finance cost for the taxpayers. Maintenance and cost savings is my most important job.
As the Drain Commissioner there are few things which are considered to be least vital. My job as your Drain Commissioner is to maintain the drains so that they effectively work when they are needed especially during periods of heavy rain. Accordingly there is no least vital service that my office provides.
I have reviewed all of the financing costs associated with the various drain districts throughout the County. In those areas where it is cost-effective I have taken it upon myself and my office to refinance that debt and in some cases such as the Carrier Creek Drainage District I have refinance that debt which was taken out prior to my administration and reduce the financing cost by over $2 million which is actual cash savings to the taxpayers. I will continue to seek out anyway possible to save the taxpayers dollars as I have in the past. I to am a taxpayer and realize how important it is to spend tax dollars wisely.