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Calhoun County Commission District 7

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  • Candidate picture

    Joyce Spicer
    (Dem)

  • Candidate picture

    Gary Tompkins
    (Rep)

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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 Administrative Assistant Human Resources Manager Albion Health Care Alliance Ex Director
Political Experience 20 Year Albion School Board Member trustee and president
Family Widow, sons Wade, Timothy, Charles Jr and daughter Leslie Spicer Williams, 5 grandsons and 1 grandaughter
To represent the entire constituency of District 7 to include seniors, youths and working families. I believe there are many unmet needs that could be addressed by the county to build a stronger community as it relates to safer and better maintained roads, workforce preparations and better support for seniors in the area of health care and undue financial straits with increased taxation and assessments for those living on fixed and declining incomes.
I think there were a few improvements with the change of oversight by the County. However, I am hearing complaints that instead of concentrating on addressing roads, the are top heavy in administration continuing to increase staff. If this is true, the answer is not in managing or increasing office staff but in the field of finding alternative ways to keep roads in better condition. Driving through other counties, roads are not in disrepair as those of Calhoun. You can immediately know., in many cases, that you are entering our county due to road conditions. The northeast region roads are in major disrepair. I am interested in working with the board to address this issue.
I believe as residents of the county, this issue should be addressed by the county. If it is the responsibility of the county then elected representatives should Be held accountable, not having residents/townships taking matters into their own hands. If it becomes their responsibility, can they enforce rules about who uses the roads, etc. The county must be required to make sure they are spending funding appropriately in all areas of the county townships. In addition, it is the responsibility, I believe, of the commissioners to ensure this occurs, if elected, I plan to thoroughly review all policies and procedures with the goal of incorporating changes to correct deficiencies.

I must admit that to date I am not aware of the conditions of the parks whether good or bad, yet, if it is a need, I will certainly be looking to address necessary changes. I truly enjoy the concept of walking trails, don't use them much without a partner.
Attracting jobs and solutions to make our county become a workforce ready community providing educational opportunity for job skills desired by employers. Workforce readiness opportunities that include non traditional jobs not limited to plumbing, electrical, welding, etc.

I cannot make that declaration without full awareness of the current processes, procedures currently in place. I would love to make that promise but I cannot make major changes without support from a majority of the board. It is my goal to work collectively with other members to make needed changes to benefit the constituency and avoid the 'we always did it this way' syndrome.

I am hoping, if elected, the commissioners will listen to the concerns of the residents and address them appropriately.
Professional Experience 1) Self-Employed in Cost/Finance (2012-Present). 2) Corporate Cost Manager for Hi-Lex Controls Inc. (2007-2012). 3) Corporate Program Manager for Hi-Lex Controls. Inc. (2005-2007). 4) Cost Estimator & Sr. Cost Estimator for Hi-Lex Controls Inc. (1996-2005)
Political Experience 1) Currently serve on the Homer Community Schools Board of Education for the past 16 years (2000-Present). 2) Past 13 years as President of the board (2003-Present). 3) Past President of the Calhoun Area School Board Members Association (2005). 4) Certified Board Member in State of Michigan through the Michigan Association of School Boards (MASB). 5) 2016 fellow of the Michigan Political Leadership Program through the IPPSR (Institute for Public Policy and Social Research) at Michigan State University.
Family 1) Wife- Mindy 2) Children: a. Lauren Tompkins: Age 23 b. Rachel Tompkins: Age 22 c. Gary Tompkins III: Age 20 d. Chip Tompkins: Age 3
I want to serve to bring a strong, principled and effective voice who will work for everyone in the 7th district no matter where you live. It is essential that the 7th district has a strong voice who will represent the east side of the county so we will not be forgotten.

The 7th district residents contribute much to the county and we have great, hardworking people who deserve to have a voice. Additionally, my life passion has always been to serve people and make a difference as demonstrated in my 16 years of continued service to Homer Community Schools board of education and thus my record of proven leadership, real action and real results makes me the best candidate to serve.
I believe a full 5-year review would be an ideal time to gauge its true effectiveness. In the interim there should be an annual review of its effectiveness utilizing a set of measurables which give a clear indication to residents of Calhoun County if the department is meeting goals that have been established.

In terms of a management style on roads, the biggest and most pressing necessity is to have a specific, detailed strategy/plan on how to maintain roads, receptiveness to concerns and determination of what roads are priorities. Trust and respect cannot be expected until a full strategy of all items pertaining to roads are laid out to all residents and local govt. units.
As it relates specifically to the 7th district, I do not believe the special assessments or road millages are a viable solution due to the fact that in rural townships a 1mil assessment or millage would only bring in approximately $35K for local roads. It would take 8 years of 1 mil to fully restore a approx. 1 mile stretch of road. It simply isn’t feasible or realistic for a rural township to ever address its ever crumbling road system.

When looking at different options there is a need for rural townships with limited ability to raise funds to have the county take a larger role in assisting. It is simply unacceptable to take a stance that it is “their problem”.
In terms of the current oversight of the county parks by a County parks and recreation commission with committee members including a representative from the county commission, I, at the moment, don’t have any objections to the current oversight make up

I believe it is premature for me to speak in regards how they should be managed before knowing of all the specifics of the current management. In terms of development, I believe that if any future County parks are to be developed, they should be developed in different locations throughout the County so that all county residents have the opportunity to enjoy what the parks have to offer.
Based on my conversations with thousands of residents in the 7th district the part of county government that would receive more attention would be the road department. Working with management and the workforce to develop the strategies necessary to ensure a top quality, receptive and effective department that all residents will be proud of.
As I traveled up and down the 7th district knocking on over 1,200 doors and speaking to the residents it is abundantly clear that they would accept no tax increases until a level of trust and respect was regained. With that being said I have no plans to promote any changes to existing taxes. Government must learn to live within its means and not burden the people with excessive taxation. The residents of the 7th district expect responsive government that stays out of their daily lives and pockets.

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