Calhoun County Commission District 3

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    Jolene Lussier

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    Jake W. Smith

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Biographical Information

Why do you want to serve, and why do you believe you are the best candidate to represent your district on the Calhoun County Board of Commissioners?

The current board and administration have continued the process to address poor road conditions in Calhoun County, including taking it under the oversight of a county department instead of that of the Road Commission. Do you think this strategy has been the most effective, and do you have any idea of how the county should manage the roads?

Townships have moved to impose special assessments or ask voters to pass road millages to fund repairs. Do you think this is a viable solution, or should the county take a larger role in helping pay for the work?

Are you satisfied with the oversight of county parks? Do you have ideas for how parks should be managed/developed?

What one part of county government would receive more attention if you were elected?

Do you plan to promote any changes to existing taxes? If so, why?

Professional Experience Realtor for 19 Years Owner of JOLENE salon and day spa llc
Political Experience First Time Candidate
Family Four adult children Tarek,Justin,Joey,Holly
I want to give back to the community that has been so supportive of me! I am ready to serve the people of District 3! I feel I would be the best candidate because of my history of skillful negotiations, team work and "can do" approach. I bring a unique blend of understanding of the labor force and the management and I can bridge the two! I have been a resident of Calhoun County most of my life and I care deeply about the people here! I want to make sure we stay on task with our roads, and do a better job of letting Seniors and Vetrans know about the services available to them. I would also like to see transportation out to the factories in the Fort.
I think that the County taking the Road Commision was a necessary process! Our roads in Calhoun County have been improved dramatically but there are still infrastructure issues that we need to address proactivel not reactively.
I will not agree to any new taxes! Calhoun County is overtaxed as it is!
I am satisfied with our park management! We have wonderful parks in our County.
Senior services. We have some great programs but we can do better at letting seniors know about those services!
I do not want new or higher taxes.
Home address 88 S. LaVista Blvd.
Professional Experience Business Analyst, Southwest Michigan Behavioral Health
Political Experience Calhoun County Democratic Party Trustee & Precinct Delegate
Family Wife: Morgan Lee Smith (Together 13 years) 3 Children: Gordon Walker Smith(4yrs), Maisie Louise Smith(2yrs), Olive Jean Smith (1yr.)
I’m a 25 year County resident, Business Analyst and Fellow at the MSU Institute for Public Policy & Social Research’s Political Leadership Program with a BA from WMU, where I studied Political Science & Economics. Most importantly however, I’m a working class guy from a working class family who recognizes the challenges facing our working class community and wants to put his qualifications to work solving them.
It’s hard to see tangible cost savings or much progress in road conditions as a direct result of the 2012 reshuffling of oversight. Regardless of how we structure our local governance of road dollars however, there’s so much pressure being driven by Lansing’s unwillingness to address what is now a critical state-wide issue, that I think we have put more emphasis on equipping the administration with the tools it needs to quantify the impact of its strategies. With that kind of data in-hand, we can then determine how well a particular approach has worked and what future strategies are most effective in maintaining the infrastructure necessary to support a strong working class.
Unfortunately Lansing’s failure to address this issue is forcing the hand of local governments and leaving working class communities like ours with few other choices. From a County perspective I believe our most effective tool lies within the procurement process, provided we can find a way to coordinate and leverage the volume of available projects throughout the entire county against a corps of qualified contractors. Doing so would allow us to maximize our development of smart infrastructure projects which increase the property values that contribute to our tax base while protecting the largest investment many folks will make in their lifetime.
Obviously a healthy parks system can contribute greatly to physical wellness, but there are tangible economic benefits as well. Residential properties near a well-maintained park can benefit greatly in terms of improved property value and appeal, for example. I think as long as we maintain the perspective that a healthy parks system can contribute to both wellness and economic development, we can work with the administration develop strategic plans for a future which improves upon our existing resources, and possibly even expands elsewhere.
Purchasing. I want to make sure we’re doing everything we can to streamline the bidding process and support qualified local contractors who contribute to strengthening our community by hiring from our local workforce.