Kellogg Community College - administrator and adjunct instructor.
WK Kellogg Foundation - Program Officer.
Private nonprofit consultant.
State of Michigan - Program Officer.
University of Michigan - Program Manager.
Husband - Chip
I have a diverse background of experience that prepares me to be an effective County Commissioner. I grew up in a family-run small business, and have worked in the nonprofit sector as well as in business and higher education. I have graduate degrees in business and social work, and am currently pursuing my doctorate in education. I am also a lifelong learner who is able to step back and look at the big picture to make connections and see solutions that are not always visible. I am not interested in advancing a personal agenda as a County Commissioner, but rather in taking the feedback of those in my district and using that to help us all move forward together.
I know many township roads have been a challenge to maintain, and because of this local residents have struggled. I have seen many improvements in roads over the past few years however, and I think this is a very important role that the County Commission plays. Residents need to feel safe when traveling, no matter their destination in the county. As a Commissioner I would want to assess the success of shifting the responsibility of road maintenance to a county department. If this strategy will continue to create better roads and is fiscally responsible, then it should be continued. If there are better options however, then those should always be explored as well.
Ideally the County would be able to adequately maintain all roads through local taxes already paid. When this does not seem possible for whatever reason, I think the question of enacting special assessments and millages should be brought forth to the voters. That is the great thing about a democracy – the will of the people should prevail and residents should be able to give efforts like this a thumbs up or a thumbs down. No matter the outcome however, the county has the ultimate responsibility of making sure residents have safe roads to traverse.
Well maintained parks are critical to a good quality of life in Calhoun County. The County understands that this does not just happen, so time and resources are spent not only on maintenance, but also on long-range planning to ensure these spaces meet resident needs. In 2015 the county released its Parks and Recreation Master Plan to guide its work in this area through 2019. In developing this plan community input was collected to align the work with the voice of the residents. As a Commissioner, it will be critical to ensure this well thought out plan is adhered to so that we can all continue to enjoy our parks and green spaces.
To be an effective County Commissioner, I think resident voice needs to guide where attention is placed. If elected officials listen to the needs of those they represent and use this feedback in their decision making, then the wisdom of the people can help steer us in the right direction.
Before answering this question I would want to have a very good understanding as to how current taxes are truly used, and if they are effectively allocated towards the work for which they were intended. As a new Commissioner it will be important to know that we are using our current resources wisely, then analyze and recommend any tax changes based on the gaps that remain.
Paramedic, firefighter, EMS Instructor, EMS consultant
Seeking 4th term as the 4th District (Bedford, Pennfield, and Convis Townships)
Children Megan and Lindsey Bonfiglio
Jared and Daniel Frisbie
It is a great honor to serve the citizens of the 4th District and all of Calhoun County as a County Commissioner. I am running to continue serving as your County Commissioner so we can keep moving Calhoun County forward with common sense solutions. I hope I can earn your vote!
We have come a long way in improving roads in Calhoun County since creating the Calhoun County Road Department. I was integral in helping to drive the process.There have been great strides in improving road surfaces within our budgetary restraints. The 4th District has seen $15 million + in local road improvements beginning in 2015. That outcome was accomplished after elimination of the Road Commission. Other townships are exploring options for improvements. The Legislature's actions last fall will significantly increase Calhoun County road funding. My goal is improved road surfaces is continued improvement to manage assets of the taxpayers. We always have room to improve.
Under current law, (ACT 51) roads designated as local roads require a no less than 50% (our current policy is 70%) match of funding to have work completed beyond normal maintenance. I believe ACT 51- fuel tax is long due for an overhaul and have lobbied Legislators to do just that. Currently, counties receive 1/3 of the funding generated by fuel taxes yet we maintain more than half the road miles in the State of Michigan. How funds are raised, distributed, and restricted should be changed at the State level. Local government is best suited, under the current law, to raise funds for local roads. The Calhoun explored a county-wide road millage and found it was the least effective manner.
I am satisfied with the state of our parks and the recently developed master plan for Calhoun County parks by the Parks & Recreation board. Enbridge has updated the parks and we are able to maintain them currently. Long-term, it would be great to see a connection of trails that exists (without impeding upon private property rights) to create a county-wide trail system. Funding under Act 51 is available to develop non-motorized trails. However, a sustainability and maintenance plan must accompany any expansion of parks or trails.
Every part of county government is important and serves a purpose. I would like to focus upon this term is the long-term success of the Calhoun County Specialty Courts such as Sobriety, Veterans, and Woman's Drug Court that are demonstrating very good outcomes but are facing long-term sustainability in funding. Less than 5% of the successful participants of the Sobriety Court return as repeat offenders. Veterans Court has exceeded the expectations of the organizers in the positive outcomes. Unfortunately, specialty courts are mostly funded through state and private grant sources. I want to work with State and local court officials and our State Legislators to secure stable funding.
There have been no increased Calhoun County taxes in my terms. The exception was the voted upon 0.3 Mills Veterans Millage that was overwhelmingly supported by the taxpayers of the County. I was very supportive of the millage. Currently, there is a dedicated effort to explore county-wide transportation initiatives. I am supportive of the study. From my perspective, any solution, if recommended, must included a sustainable business plan that incorporates all existing resources (including private and non-profit) in the community.