ST. JOSEPH TOWN BOARD ELECTION LETTERS
Letter: Clarifies information
I would like to respond to the letter written by Theresa Johnson in last week's paper in regards to my husband, Jim Traeger, who currently serves on the St. Joseph Town Board.
While on a very nice and relaxing family road trip last August, my husband received a phone call from our current town chair, Dan Gavin. He called Jim to inform him that the town clerk/treasurer at the time, Mary Stanley, had been removed from her position and is currently being investigated for improper handling of the town business and finances. It was also discovered that my husband's personal file, and a couple other board member files, had gone missing.
These files contain private and personal information along with social security numbers. In a time when identity theft and fraud is a major problem in this country, I trust that the people of St. Joe would agree that $297 to Lifelock (fraud protection company) is a small price to pay to a serving member of this town since his private information was compromised while under the watch of a town official. Major companies and banks provide this service free of charge to their employees or customers when their files have been breached.
It was also discovered that unauthorized people were given access to the office all hours of the day and night before Mary Stanley had been removed from her position. In addition to that, a background check was done on my husband and another current town board member without their knowledge or authorization, at the town's expense.
It is so unfortunate that our current town officials who are sacrificing a lot of their personal time to make this town a better place, continue to be the targets of bullying and childish tactics.
I wish that the citizens of this great town could know all the hours and hard work this current board has had to endure, trying to clean up and fix the messes that were made in this town. That is why I strongly encourage you to support and re-elect Kevin Adkins and Brian Gullickson April 3 so this board can continue to improve this town and put it financially on the right track.
Tammy Traeger, Town of St. Joseph
Letter: Supports Tom Spaniol
I have been a resident and a small business owner in the town of St Joseph for 15 years as well as my father before me. I have met many people in my life and through my work and have met no one finer than Tom Spaniol, a candidate for 1st Supervisor of the town of St. Joseph.
I have had the opportunity to do some work for him, most recently on the Bass Lake Wildlife and Fishery Habitat Improvement Project. Through his activity and volunteerism he helped lead the Bass Lake Rehabilitation District follow their Lake Quality Management Plan by completing this project. He had to coordinate with many federal, state, local organizations and local businesses to successfully complete this project. Anyone who can successfully work with all these different entities surely makes a strong candidate for a town board position. As we look forward to the new river bridge we will need someone who can bring many different groups together as he has recently exhibited.
Tom has discussed with me on several occasions the needs of our town roads. As one who plows the snow and repairs the town roads I was encouraged to see his concern for doing things right the first time and his seeking out my advice.
I encourage you to vote for him in the upcoming election for he is an honest and ethical individual who has demonstrated his abilities and willingness to work with different groups and interests.
Todd Tuma, Town of St. Joseph
Letter: Supports incumbents
To all residents of St. Joseph Township: If you are undecided on whom to vote for on April 3 in the town supervisor elections I'd like to encourage you to vote for Brian Gullickson and Kevin Adkins. Both Brian and Kevin have been town supervisors during the last term and are seeking re-election.
I have been a resident of St. Joseph Township for 12 years. Two years ago I went to a town meeting to ask what I thought was a simple question. I was amazed at how awful our board was functioning. The meetings went until midnight. People did not get to speak. The hostility permeated the air. It was very unpleasant. After that meeting I decided to start attending each month. If you have followed the news, it got worse before it got better.
However it did get better, much better, primarily due to the members who are currently on the board. I am only advocating for two of them today because only two are up for re-election. I have to say thank you to all of them. It has been a very hard two years and they have done an excellent job of cleaning up a real mess. If you attend a town meeting today you would not know it was the same town. They have an overhead so everyone can see what they are discussing. Everyone who wants to speak gets a chance to voice their concerns and opinions. The meetings run orderly, politely and smoothly. They get done before 9 p.m. most months.
I am very appreciative of the work our board has done, and would like you to consider giving them time to finish what they have started. It is not because they all agree. But what is happening now is all sides are being heard. If new information is brought to the board in the future the issue will be reconsidered. The current board has done a great job to get the town board meetings running productively. They listen and try to make the best decision for the town.
In closing, if you know who you're voting for, great; if you're unsure I'd like you to seriously consider voting for Brian Gullickson and Kevin Adkins so we can continue the positive improvements in our town. Remember; one vote does matter, and has made the difference in past elections.
Richard Thompson, Town of St. Joseph
Letter: Spaniol is his choice
I am the chairman of the Bass Lake Rehabilitation District (BLRD). One of my fellow commissioners, Tom Spaniol, is running for the position of 1st Supervisor in the Town of St. Joseph.
Tom has been on the BLRD Board since 2009 and is currently serving as secretary. He has represented the residents of Bass Lake and the general public with integrity and dedication. The Secretary must be the eyes and ears of the public and fairly and accurately report the proceedings at Board of Commissioners meetings.
Tom was instrumental in the successful completion of the 2012 Bass Lake Wildlife and Fishery Habitat Improvement Project. The project to build and place fish cribs and do shoreline tree drops will greatly improve the Bass Lake fishery and wildlife habitat now and in the years to come. This project is a spectacular example of collaboration between many different agencies and Tom was an excellent point person for the BLRD.
I am impressed by how well Tom listens to all sides of issues that come before the board and shows respect for opinions that may differ with his. He is practical, uses common sense and works extremely well with other members of the board. I'm sure that Tom Spaniol will be just as effective a leader if elected to represent the citizens of the Town of St. Joseph. I urge you to support Tom when you vote on April 3.
John Coughlin, Town of St. Joseph
Letter: Vote Adkins, Gullickson
I am writing to encourage voters in the Town of St. Joseph to join me in supporting Kevin Adkins, 1st Supervisor and Brian Gullickson, 3rd Supervisor in their re-election to the St. Joseph Town Board.
Both Kevin and Brian are highly qualified and experienced in town governmental issues, finances and roads, the core of our town government.
Kevin brings a strong business background to the table, a quality sorely needed at this time. He has always been open to discussion with town residents to address their concerns in an upfront and honest way.
Brian has extensive technical skills which have benefited our town in countless ways and besides being a genuinely "nice guy", he is also always willing listen and address the concerns of town residents.
Both candidates are fiscally conservative, a "must" at a time when people and governments are pressed to their limits.
Our town officials have worked hard in the last two years to sort through the chaos and fiscal irresponsibility left by former town officials. While the end is probably not yet in sight, great progress has been made. It is imperative that individuals who are experienced and well informed with the situation, who are committed to the best interests of our town, rather than their own interests, be returned to office to get us back on stable footing. There is no one with higher qualifications to do that than Kevin and Brian. Please vote in a positive way for our future. Join me with your vote for Kevin Adkins and Brian Gullickson on April 3.
Rose Ostendorf, Town of St. Joseph