State Rep. Chris Afendoulis, R-Grand Rapids Township (right), today takes the ceremonial oath of office administered by Lt. Gov. Brian Calley. From left to right is Afendoulis’ mother, Tina; his wife, Phyllis; and his daughters, Elena, Sophia and Mari. Afendoulis was elected last November as the state representative for the 73rd House District, which consists of the city of East Grand Rapids and the townships of Cannon, Courtland, Nelson, Oakfield, Plainfield, Spencer and Grand Rapids Charter Township. Residents are invited to contact Afendoulis and his staff toll free at (855) 347-8073, via email at ChrisAfendoulis@house.mi.gov, and by mail at P.O. Box 30014, Lansing, MI 48909.
by STEVE GRIMM Cannon Township Supervisor On Tuesday, Aug. 7, the voters in Michigan participated in a primary election. Though it was only a primary, in our area the result meant that the victors would prevail in the general election this November, because for most races, there is no competition in the general election. It is always interesting to dissect the numbers in any election, but particularly in a primary. For example, in some townships, voter turnout averaged at or below 20 percent of all registered voters. In Cannon, which had the highest turnout in the area, those voting in the six precincts averaged just under 26 percent of eligible voters. No precinct was below 22 percent. The highest voter turnout was in precinct three, which encompasses the west side of Lake Bella Vista, where voter turnout was 32 percent. These numbers contrast with precincts in some neighboring townships, where voter turnout in contested races was as low as 15 percent in some precincts. Why Cannon’s turnout is so much higher than surrounding areas is not completely clear. As an incumbent, I like to think it is because voters want to express their satisfaction with the way things are going. This view, at least in part, is supported by the numbers. In some townships in our area, well publicized issues regarding negative opinions of township management, real or imagined, permeated the news. In those townships, voter turnout was lowest. Cannon is a very well run township. We listen to the residents both at board meetings and by including them in committees. We have taken a conservative approach to spending, which has added over 500,000 dollars to our general fund balance. We aggressively tackle issues before they become problems, and we have required that our employees and elected officials who receive health benefits pay 20 percent of the costs associated with that coverage, even though we are not mandated to do so by the state. Given the results of the last election, it appears that that success is not lost on the voters. So, to those who did vote, thank you, and we will continue to listen.
Many local elections will be decided during the primary elections held on Tuesday, August 7 in the cases where candidates are of the same political party. The following are those who filed to run at the time The Rockford Squire began sending out notices asking for information on each of the candidates. Additional information may now be available at the website accesskent.com. For State Representative for the 73rd District, the Republican candidate is Peter MacGregor, of Rockford, incumbent, and the Democratic candidate is G. Scott Schuiling, also of Rockford. The term ends 2014. Peter F. MacGregor State Representative 73rd District Incumbent Peter F. MacGregor, Republican incumbent running for re-election as state representative for the 73rd District has been a resident of his district for 16 years. He provided the Squire with the following information: “I serve as the current state representative. I have served a year-and-a-half in this position. Prior to this role, I served as the Cannon Township supervisor for six years and Cannon Township trustee for four years. “As a former business owner and job provider, as well as a local elected official, I have the experience to create efficiencies in state government through public policy and pass legislation to improve the overall business environment of our state. I have voted and co-sponsored several important reforms including an income tax cut for all taxpayers, cut legislator pay and health benefits, cut my office budget by 18 percent, eliminated lifetime welfare benefits, and eliminated the job-killing Michigan Business Tax (MBT), to name a few. Additionally, I am accessible to my constituency, holding bi-weekly district office hours and open to hearing from everyone in my district. “I ran for office to contribute to the betterment of our state. I want to make Michigan a place where my boys and all our children can find gainful employment and raise a family. We’ve made great strides in accomplishing this, but there is much more to do and I want to continue to be part of the solution. “While serving on the appropriations committee, we passed a balanced state budget two years in a row and four months ahead of schedule. I want to continue to find efficiencies in our state spending and continue to pass legislation to […]
by CLIFF AND NANCY HILL Lions Clubs International is the world’s largest community service organization, with 1.3 million members. Today there are more than 45,000 Lions clubs in approximately 200 countries and geographic areas. Regardless of the language Lions speak, religion they practice or politics they support, they all share a common dedication to service. The extremely active and successful Rockford Lions club is the envy of every Lions club in the State of Michigan. Nowhere is the dedication to service more apparent than right here in the Rockford Lions club. Lions get things done and are always ready to help where they see a need. The services they provide oftentimes “fly under the radar.” In other words, they go quietly about their tasks with no greater reward than the self-satisfaction that comes from helping others. Locally, the Rockford Lions have been clearing Rockford’s oldest cemetery—Pioneer Cemetery, along with reclaiming the old Rum Creek Mill Pond skating rink in order to provide a new generation an old-fashioned Rockford wintertime tradition. Most recently, the Rockford Lions have been spearheading efforts to assist the Rockford Historical Society in a fundraising campaign to raise monies to relocate the antiquated and overcrowded Rockford Area Museum (RAM) to the larger and vacant 63rd District Court Building adjacent to Rockford City Hall. However, the Rockford Lions may be best known by acting for many years as Market Masters of the Rockford Farm Market—“America’s Favorite Farm Market.” The Lions volunteered to relieve the City of the responsibility of overseeing the Saturday morning operations of the Farm Market at no cost to the City. So it was with great pleasure that Michigan 73rd District State Representative Peter “Pete” MacGregor showed up at the January Lions Club meeting in order to surprise Lion Bob Winegar and the Rockford Lions with a framed Special Tribute from the Michigan Legislature honoring the Club for their unselfish service to the Rockford Farm Market. The Tribute, in part, reads: “Many people understand that without the Lions valuable service and volunteer hours the Rockford Farmers Market would not be what it is today.” Perhaps there is no State Legislator more interactively involved with his constituents than Pete MacGregor. Sponsoring this Tribute and having it read on the floor of […]
Gov. Rick Snyder signed legislation Monday, Dec. 19, to restore the long-term solvency of the state’s unemployment trust fund, reduce fraud and prevent punitive federal fees and interest from being imposed on Michigan employers, said key sponsor Sen. Mark C. Jansen. “Ten years of recession exhausted Michigan’s unemployment fund and forced the state to borrow from the federal government to pay more than $3 billion in jobless benefits,” said Jansen, R-Gaines Township. “Michigan job providers were facing a 50 percent federal unemployment tax increase to recover that debt. The pro-jobs reforms signed today by the governor will repay the trust fund’s debt and stop that devastating federal tax hike on Michigan employers.” Public Acts 267 and 268 will pay back the $3.2 billion that Michigan’s unemployment fund owes the Federal Unemployment Insurance system through a 10-year, tax-exempt bond. “I sponsored these reforms because allowing a tax increase on employers in our state just as our economy is rebounding would have been disastrous,” Jansen said. “I also ensured the bills were part of a package to stop fraud, waste and abuse in the unemployment system. These new laws create a more efficient system, free of debt. This encourages job growth and investment because it lifts burdens off of job creators.” Public Act 269 includes reforms that will deter fraud, prevent overpayments and encourage workers to seek employment before exhausting benefits. “It’s important to point out that restoring the state’s unemployment insurance system, which is entirely funded by employers, will also ensure honest workers who lose their jobs will still receive the same amount of benefits,” said Jansen.