Bachelor Degree, Management and Organizational Development from Spring Arbor University
Married to Yvonne Ridge for 25 years. Sons, DJ, Eric and daughters, Shalyne, Jenae and Hailee
Eaton County Commissioner since January 2011. Positions; Chairman, Health and Human Services Committee, Public Works and Planning, Planning Commission. Vice President of the board of directors for Relevant Academy. Past positions; Public Safety Committee and Information Technology. Vice President, board of directors for Camp Francis.
I have been the County Commissioner for District 11 for almost six years now. I have been the chairman of Health and Human Services and I am a member of both Public Works and Planning and the Planning Commission. I am the current Vice President of the board of directors for Relevant Academy. I am a past member of the Public Safety Committee as well as the Information and Technology Committee. I am proud to say I have been elected three times to this office by the citizens of District 11.
At this time there is no need to.
Not at this time, but they will be. That's why the residence of Eaton County recently past the road millage. The Eaton County Road Commission is, currently, in the process of improving the roads in our county due to the passing of the millage.
I supported asking the residence of Eaton county if they were willing to pay for road improvements. They were and they voted yes on the recent road millage.
I am comfortable with the current structure and scope of county government; however, I believe we should always look at both the technological changes and institutional contexts, which are reshaping our economy. Change is how work gets done, if we never look at change we can never improve.
Each level of government serves its own purpose. When the County works collaboratively with City and Township governments, it benefits the County as a whole. There are some government functions that are shared in a coordinated manner between counties and local governments. Counties perform parts of the property tax assessing, tax collection an election functions, while local governments carry out other aspects of these functions.The division of responsibilities provides a system of checks and balances. It is certainly not perfect and there are some advantages to a county-system but overall I believe the current system serves its citizens best.
Change for change sake does not always equal progress. Change should be looked at when goals and objectives are not being achieved or when there is a recommended way to get more quickly, effectively and efficiently. Before making any changes, time should be taken to see what is working and what is not.. A change that is important to me is for the County to become more transparent. In 2006 the Federal Funding Accountability and Transparency Act was signed law by President G. W. Bush. This act has helped the public to have better access to information regarding activities of the County. However, I believe there is room for improvement and an evaluation and discussion would be warranted.
1. Public Safety - Continue to support our police force with the tools they need to protect and serve the citizens of Eaton county. 2. Our roads - We have addressed this by putting a vote before the public to either vote for or against a road millage - They voted for it. 3. Attract more businesses (both large and small) to Eaton County. I would address this by keeping business taxes low and not letting regulations become so cumbersome and intrusive that they discourage businesses from wanting to locate in Eaton County.
Countys work as an agent of the State and have the responsibility to provide mandated services to County residents. Just because there is less property tax revenue and state aid, it does not eliminate the need for services. The County needs to work to develop new and creative ways to improve the efficiency and effectiveness of its departments in order to provide the necessary services for County residents.
Public safety is the most vital service the county provides. The Sheriff's department and 911 are indispensable to the residence of this county.
All County services are vital to one resident or another. Over the years the County has asked departments to make necessary cuts in order to balance the budget and departments have been fiscally responsible in making those necessary cuts. However, now is the time to look at methods to improve overall efficiency to help to reduce cost further. This can be done through collaborating with other departments or outside agencies. I believe collaboration is vital to the County’s economic stability in the future.