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Dexter Election Guide 2012

The candidates, incumbents and issues that will be affecting Dexter and Washtenaw County.

As we look ahead to November’s elections, Dexter Patch is devoted to bringing you the information you need about every race in town. Here are five that locals are already talking about:

U.S. Rep. Tim Walberg: Rep. Walberg ousted incumbent Mark Schauer in 2010 and has since been crusading on a platform of health care reform. Walberg represents Michigan's 7th Congressional District and will face challenger Kurt Haskell of Newport for his seat in November.

State Rep. Mark Ouimet: The state representative has spent the past two years and job creation. Ouimet will be challenged by Saline Mayor Gretchen Driskell to represent the 52nd District.

Dexter Township Supervisor Pat Kelly: The township supervisor has been an adamant in Dexter. Kelly is seeking re-election to the board and will face challengers Kathryn M. Bowring, and James L. Drolett for township supervisor.

Lima Township Supervisor Ken Unterbrink: The township supervisor has been in office for 12 years and faces two Republican challengers in August.

County Commissioner Rob Turner: Commissioner Turner has operated Turner Electric Service, Inc. an electrical contracting company in Dexter, for the past 23 years. Turner will face Democrat opponent Kent Martinez-Kratz in November.

Barbara Read June 16, 2012 at 03:57 PM
Three of seven school board members will also be elected this November. Because the current board just voted for 6 year terms, this is an especially important year for the Dexter schools--whoever gets elected will be there a while. I will be running for one of the open seats. My husband and I have had 5 children in the Dexter schools--from the high school down to Bates Elementary. Our oldest daughter just graduated from Dexter High School and our youngest will move up to Wylie in September. I have been attending the board meetings for over two years and am committed to working with the board to give Dexter students the best education possible.
Chris Gordon October 29, 2012 at 03:52 PM
Barbara, Your comment is misleading because you chose to run for the partial 2-year term that I was appointed to fill in January (it is not an open seat), leaving the two full-term seats unopposed. How does your choice demonstrate confidence and commitment to the members of our Dexter Community Schools team and to your future constituents? My commitment is to continue to serve in my current seat out of respect for the collaborative relationships I have built with my fellow Trustees, and in the interest of promoting stability for our students and district leaders now and well into the future. This stability is crucial as we embark on a superintendent search, begin the process of revising our strategic plan for the next five years (a period that you seemingly show no interest in serving), and conduct contract negotiations with all of our district bargaining units (these contracts last for three years, again a term you seem disinclined to serve). My wife and I currently have 3 children in the Dexter schools - from the high school down to Bates Elementary – and another in preschool who will be entering kindergarten when your youngest is in 5th grade. I offer longer-term representation of our youngest students and their parents on the Board, in addition to relevant professional experience in the many roles and responsibilities of a Board of Education Trustee and a long history of commitment to public service as detailed on my web site. www.gordon4dexterschools.org
LT October 29, 2012 at 04:54 PM
Chris you are running for the partial 2-year term. You did not run for the 6 year terms either. I think I know why :) You were not voted in by the public. The board chose you. Not all of us are confident in the decisions the board has been making, so the board's choice is not necessarily a recommendation in my eyes.
Barbara Read October 29, 2012 at 05:12 PM
If you check the date, I wrote this way back in June before I even knew there were two different kinds of seats. I said I "will be running," not "I am running." Easy mistake to make. After writing this, I later got the details on the two separate races. If you recall, I asked you which one you were running for, and said I would probably run for the other one. I said it would be nice if we could both be on the school board. You did not express a preference, so a week or so later I chose the shorter term. Nearly two weeks after I filed to run for Kim Covert's seat, you registered as a candidate in the same race. I wondered if you were waiting to see if Bonnie would register. If she chose not to, then the 6 year term would have suited you better. It makes sense to wait and see if you can be uncontested. I'm not running against you--I'm running for Kim's seat on the board; you chose to enter the race where I was already registered, even though you had a choice of either race.
Barbara Read October 29, 2012 at 05:15 PM
Here's the text of my email to you dated July 2. "Chris, After thinking about it and talking to my husband David, I'm inclined to run for the shorter term. I had spoken with you about which seat you might be running for, but we will be out of town most of July and the filing date is coming up soon. Assuming you will be running in the election, I wanted to let you know. I'm going to try to make it to the meeting tonight, but I'm not sure I'll be able to make it. I feel that the 6 year commitment is just too long for my family right now. Barbara"
Barbara Read October 29, 2012 at 05:18 PM
Your seat is "open" because there's an election. Notice I used the plural to mean one of the three seats, not a singular seat. There are three open seats, they will be filled in January either with incumbents or a newcomer. I also talked about 6 year terms.
Shawn Letwin October 29, 2012 at 05:25 PM
The board is revising the current Strategic Plan. Why? Have all of the goals listed in the current 5 year plan been met? I had read the plan for 2008-2013 when it was first drafted, and many times since, but there is nothing in the document on how that plan would be implemented, who would implement what, what specific metrics where to be used to see that the plan was implemented, and most importantly, any reviews that were needed to be done by the board on a regular basis. I have never seen an action item for a board meeting reference any topic somewhat related to my questions, nor when in attendance, or after reveiwing meeting notes. Why not? In summary, I would be very interested to see what documents are available to the community for reviewing the who, what, where, when and how of the plan that was developed for 2008-2013. Please share. Without that information, making a new plan would really serve no purpose. Finally, why the worry about finding a replacement Superintendent? Cobler is a pro at this after having done it so many times.
Chris Gordon October 29, 2012 at 05:32 PM
LT, you are correct that I was appointed to fill a vacated seat on the Board of Education and that is why I am running to serve the remainder of the original term (12/31/2014) at the next scheduled election. As a result of the realignment of all Board of Education Trustee elections to November of even years, I have to run for election twice in only three years before I can serve for a full term. http://dexter.patch.com/articles/dexter-school-board-selects-chris-gordon-to-fill-vacancy As I mentioned in my original comment, in order to seek a full 6-year term I would be challenging two of my colleagues on the Board and I felt this would be counterproductive based on the appreciation I have as a parent for the many perspectives we all bring to the table in deliberations and out of respect for the collaborative relationships I have built with my fellow Trustees. These factors are especially important as we embark on a number of significant long-term decisions for the District, in addition to facing some uncertainty about the future of the School Aid Act in Michigan and our public school funding model for the future. I respect my opponent both as a parent and as a dedicated school volunteer like me, but I feel this is an ill-advised time to welcome a new person to the Board that seems to show a short-term commitment to serve and lacks the breadth of experience to tackle the challenges we are facing on the required timeline. http://www.gordon4dexterschools.org
Dexter Mom October 29, 2012 at 05:53 PM
Shawn, It sounds like you should run. I am definitely voting for Barbara. Chris sounds like he has run for the seat that was GIVEN to him by a board that is making questionable decisions at best.
Nellie October 29, 2012 at 05:55 PM
Chris, I couldn't help but notice that you sound a little offended that someone is running for the same seat that you want. I find this lack of "sportsmanship" a little disturbing. There are only 7 seats, and she had to choose one of them! It seems like you are more concerned about not disturbing your "collaborative relationships", but you are also lending yourself to becoming a "yes" man in the process. I want someone who is going to address the important issues coming up and represent Dexter families. I really don't care why your opponent chose your currently held position.
Jim Vollmers October 29, 2012 at 07:55 PM
I could care less about who is running for which seat. What I do know is that Chris Gordon is intelligent, caring, shows excellent leadership, and will be getting my vote. Chris took on the task that was presented to him. Nothing is given to someone who takes their responsibilities seriously and follows through on the job at hand. He has shown that he has what it takes to get the job done and deserves to be elected to the position that he currently holds.
Nellie October 30, 2012 at 03:57 PM
Jim, A leader doesn't nit-pick about why someone is running against them when they are occupying an elected position that they have to run for re-election to keep (there's gonna be challengers - get over it). If that is all it takes to upset Chris, then it seems to me he will have a tough time sifting out the really important issues.
Barbara Read November 03, 2012 at 02:20 PM
If you check the date, I wrote this back in June--well before I chose which term to run for. It's not misleading, it's just an old post.

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