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2012 Primary: Dexter Township Candidates Vie for Supervisor Position

Kathryn Bowring, Pat Kelly, and James Drolett are campaigning for the supervisor position for Dexter Township.

Editor's note: This article is part one of a three-part series profiling the candidates for office in Dexter Township for the 2012 primary election.

Dexter Township has three candidates on the ballot for township supervisor, while Clerk Harley Rider is running unopposed. Two Republicans are running for the treasurer's seat, and six candidates and competing for four seats on the Board of Trustees.

Dexter Patch sent out questionnaires to each of the candidates, and the following were their responses:

Candidate: Pat Kelly

Elected office sought: Township supervisor

Political affiliation: Democrat

Residence: Dexter Township

Occupation: Dexter Township Supervisor (retired senior project
engineer at General Motors)

Education:
Jackson Community College - Associates Degree
Western Michigan University - Course studies in secondary education
Michigan State University – Master Citizen Planner

Previous elected offices: Dexter Township Supervisor

Key issues: Public safety (fire and police protection); road maintenance and repair.

How will you address these issues?

Public Safety:
Emergency response times to township residents have improved dramatically with the opening of a in 2011. In addition to better service, homeowner’s insurance rates for many residents are now lower since over 99 percent — up from 49 percent — of township properties are now within 5 miles of a manned station. If elected and with the voter’s approval, I will work to establish a permanent fire substation to replace the temporary station.

The (DAFD) now provides service to nearly the entire township. Together with the opening of the new substation, the DAFD is able to provide a higher level of service at a lower cost than that provided by the three fire departments that previously serviced the township. I have been working diligently with the leadership of DAFD member municipalities and Scio Township to consolidate the two fire departments. Consolidation of the departments will provide a higher and more reliable level of service to residents at a lower and more sustainable cost.

I believe we simply must work together to provide the efficient and cost effective essential services such as fire and police protection. Regional cooperation has been in the news a lot since the recession as municipalities around the state and nation grapple with the cost of providing essential
services. Our area has a long history of cooperation and collaboration. Further consolidation of services should only be pursued after careful analysis and consideration of current and future needs. If elected I will continue to explore and support regional efforts, like the consolidation of the DAFD and Scio fire departments, to provide the services our residents want at a price we can afford.

Road Maintenance and Repair:
Similar to my initiative to establish a Public Safety Advisory Committee to help the township board address issues with emergency services, I would propose the establishment of a “Roads Advisory Committee." The committee would be charged with assessing the condition of township roads and the identification of priorities and funding sources to repair and maintain the road system. Recommendations from the committee would be used by the township board to develop and implement equitable and data-driven policies designed to improve and maintain our aging road infrastructure.

Candidate: James Drolett

Elected office sought: Dexter Township Supervisor

Political affiliation: Republican

Residence: Dexter Township

Current occupation: Retired Planning and Zoning Administrator - City of Chelsea

Education: Michigan State University (B.S.); Eastern Michigan University (M.A.)

Previous elected office: Dexter Township Supervisor (1984-1996), Dexter
Township Trustee (1982-1984).

What are two key issues in your community?

The first key issue in the township is the overly restrictive Zoning Ordinance. The current ordinance as written has become a hindrance for the citizens to improve their properties. I believe the ordinance needs some flexibility to assist our residents rather than dictating to them how to develop their property. Common sense should be the order of the day.

The second key issue is public safety. After the recent tornado episode it became clear that there is a need for an early warning system to be established in the township.

How will you address those issues?

I would like to work with the Planning Commission, the township board and a outside professional planner to begin a major review and revision of the zoning ordinance. Also, I believe the township should develop and maintain a early warning system township-wide.

Candidate: Kathryn Bowring

Elected office sought: Dexter Township Supervisor

Residence: Dexter Township

Political affiliation: Republican

Current occupation: Real Estate Agent

Education: College courses (Psychology and business), Master Gardener Certificate, IBM Certification (programming in RPGIII). My career experience has been in the technology field, working first for Apple Computer Inc., then for Microsoft Corporation. At these companies I was responsible for a team of people who handled marketing, public relations, and technology training for a three-state area.

Currently, I am a real estate agent with Keller Williams. I have spent the past five years helping people sell or find their homes. This gives me an understanding of the property tax base and the importance of a community upholding property values for owners. As a master gardener in Washtenaw County, I have volunteered my time for several projects with a focus on community gardens through “Growing Hope."

Previous elected office: None

What are two key issues in your community? Zoning and land use planning.

How will you address those issues?

I plan to make a complete review of the Dexter Township Master Plan, the process and procedure for approval of zoning variances and land use and in so doing, promote the public good and uphold the values of Dexter Township. I will also continue strong relationships with other local supervisors and those in charge of the water treatment plant, thus insuring proper use of lands and waterways that affect Dexter Township.

Steve Cafego July 24, 2012 at 01:29 AM
Replacing the Dictator of Dexter Township with the intellectual common sense of Drolett is WAY OVER DUE!
Laura Jones August 06, 2012 at 04:16 PM
I will actively support, vote and campaign for anyone who is willing to overturn the ridiculous zoning ordnance! It restricts property owners from improving their property without having to spend thousands of dollars and beg the board for a variance. It's like living in a restrictive subdivision and completely lacks common sense. I will not support Ms Kelly since she has done nothing to replace or revise this overbearing ordinance.

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