Eaton County Commissioner District 6

Eaton County Commissioner District 6, vote for 1

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    Andrew J. Lemke

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    Jane M. Whitacre

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Biographical Information

What makes you more qualified than other candidates for this office?

Should the county spend more on parks? Yes or no, please explain.

Is the quality of county roads acceptable? Yes or no, please explain.

Do you support raising taxes as a way to pay for road improvements? Yes or no, please explain.

Are you comfortable with the structure and scope of county government? Yes or no, please explain.

To promote efficiency and lower costs should the role of county government expand and the role of city and township government shrink? Yes or no, please explain.

Related to government structure, what would you change?

What are the three most important issues facing the county and how would you address them?

As property tax revenue and state aid decline, is it appropriate for the county to assume a larger role in providing services to county residents? Yes or no, please explain.

What county services do you consider most vital?

What county services are least vital and can be trimmed to lower expenses?

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

Education North Central College, B.A. (2004) Thomas M. Cooley Law School, J.D. (2007)
Family Father: Arthur J. Lemke; Mother: Jean D Lemke
Professional Experience Michigan Licensed Attorney Since 2007; Illinois Licensed Attorney Since 2011
Political Experience I am a first-time candidate for elected office.
As your County Commissioner I will be your voice for fiscal responsibility and good government. I know what it takes to bring fiscal responsibility to government because I already live it in my daily life. I am running a grassroots campaign on shoestring budget. I don't believe in wasteful spending in my personal life or in this campaign; thus, you will not be receiving robocalls you don't want or junk mail you won't read from me. What you will see is me and a handful of volunteers knocking on doors to share the message of my campaign. You also might see a few yard signs.
The parks in Eaton County and Delta Township are a wonderful resources that we all share. Therefore, I support maintaining existing funding levels for the maintenance of parks and park equipment. Furthermore, in instances when budget surpluses exist, further expenditures on additional parks and improvements to existing parks are a worthy investment.
From a general standpoint the roads of Eaton County are in an acceptable condition. However, there are exceptions to this general statement; thus, repairs should be made on an as-needed basis. Furthermore, an emphasis should be placed on the maintenance of existing roads. Road repairs and maintenance should be funded through existing revenue and via revenue neutral reductions in other expenditures. Potholes should be repaired promptly, but the appearance of potholes following the spring thaw is not adequate justification to come to the tax payers with demands for more of their hard-earned money.
No. I opposed the 2014 Eaton County Road Millage and efforts by the State legislature to increase fuel and vehicle registration taxes. The 2014 County Road Millage was a disproportionally bad deal for the citizens of the 6th District and Delta Township. The numbers don't lie, Delta Township taxpayers are paying more under the millage than they are receiving. When roads fall into disrepair rather than talking about tax increases, the question the citizens should be asking is "Why can't our elected officials continue to maintain the roads with the existing tax revenue and where are they spending our tax dollars unwisely?"
Eaton County has a good governmental structure and scope. The role of government is to represent the will of the people who live within its geographic boundaries.
I support maintaining the existing balance between the County and township governments. When I purchased my home in Delta Township, the good governance of both the County and Township governments were important factors that I considered in purchasing my home. Furthermore during my years of living in Delta Township, I have not had any negative experiences with our County or Township Government.
I support reforms that that advance accountability in government. Therefore, I advocate vesting the authority over the repair and maintenance of Eaton County Roads with the County Commission.
The three most important issues are wasteful spending, road maintenance and taxes and they should be addressed in that order. The county commission should review the county budget line by line to ascertain where unnecessary spending can be eliminated. The next task is to determine what road repairs and maintenance are needed and finally, the county commission should explore both short and long term tax cut options.
No. Our elected officials should not come to the citizens with their hands out for more money to continue performing services that are already being performed. Furthermore we should not expand the scope of County Government beyond it's current scope.
The most vital services that the County government provides are the protections of our Sheriff's office. The county board should support our local law enforcement with the tools and resources necessary to keep the citizens of Eaton County safe.
As a candidate for County Commissioner I advocate a line-by-line review of the County budget to identify wasteful spending and areas where expenditures can be reduced. For example, expenditures on the County government vehicle motor pool can be greatly reduced by extending the scheduled service life of County vehicles to more accurately reflect the actual useful life of those vehicles.

Furthermore, any cable television subscriptions at the County Jail and Youth Detention Center should be immediately terminated and replaced with free over-the-air programming via an antenna similar to the ones that many county residents, including this candidate, are already using.
Yes. I have no tax debts at the local, State or Federal level. Furthermore, I have never had any alimony or child support obligations.
Hometown Waterford, MI
Education Master of Public Administration - Western MIch. Univ. B..A - MSU
Family husband son daughter
Professional Experience Non-profit executive for 25 years. Founder of Michigan's food bank network, Food Bank Council of Mich, local food systems pioneer. Currently director of Michigan Breastfeeding Network.
Political Experience 1996 - member, City of Lansing Planning Board 2013-2016, Eaton County Commissioner, District 6
County government is complex. I've invested four years learning about budgets, programs taxes, issues and services. That knowledge helps me know how to address an issue and how to make an informed decision. I'm already working for my neighbors in District 6! I m an active community volunteer, serving and helping my neighbors. I am a life-long servant leader, which also helps me understand the needs and perspectives of people in our community.
I would love to invest more in our parks. However, I'd also like to see more money going to youth programs, mental health services and public safety. I'd also like to upgrade our animal shelter to an adoption and rescue center.

Until we produce more revenue, we are not able to do any of those things. That the way it is right now.
It is improving every day and will be for another decade.

I'm proud that Eaton County voters approved our local road millage.
We just passed a millage. Our residents said yes to road rehab. It was a good decision.
Yes, I am comfortable with the scope. We could be doing a better job with public transportation, but there is limited funding for it. Again, there are more programs and services than there is revenue to pay for it. Eaton County strategically partners and collaborates with other municipalities in the region to stretch our dollars and meet the needs of people in the county.
I believe there is a distinct role for county government, different than city, village and township government. I am comfortable with the balance we have now in Eaton and the prudence with which we spend tax payer dollars.
Candidate did not provide a response.
1. Growing our tax base: which happens when more people and businesses reside in the county. We aim to improve Quality of life and Community Services to attract growth. 2. Infrastructure: like most Michigan communities, our road, bridges and drains need constant repair. This is very costly. Our county road millage is fixing local roads. We don't have enough money to repair all our drains and bridges. We continue to collaborate with other jurisdictions to piece together funds and strategically make the improvements necessary. 3. Public Transportation: With our current .50 millage, we are not able to provide evening, weekend and adequate bus service. We need to collaborate with CATA
There are financial limits to what we provide. Working with federal and state lawmakers, we may be able to reverse the funding decline.
Public Safety, Roads, Drains, Transportation
WE don't provide services that are not vital.