Letter to the Editor: Endorsing trio for city council seats

Dear Editor,

I appreciated you quoting Jason Kneisc, resigning Clarkston City Council member, when he thanked, “…the residents for the privilege of serving them…” in the September 1 edition of The Clarkston News.
Jason, who served six years on city council, nailed the purpose of a city council person with that summary thought: Serving the residents is critically important.
Clarkston is 52% residential, 30% water and 2% commercial. It is the residents who seat city council, and it is city council’s sole responsibility to represent residents’ interests, PERIOD! Whether you rent, lease, or own a home in Clarkston, it is Clarkston where you have chosen to live, because you appreciate the quintessential ambience, walkability and charm of this bedroom community. That is Clarkston’s “brand!” It is city council’s job to protect and polish that brand for current and future generations. Protecting the brand is critically important!
From humble Butler Holcomb beginnings in the 1830s until today, 190 years later, we remain an icon of Americana, on the national register of historic places. Each structure in our village is critical to sustaining the integrity of our nationally recognized collection. Once you have sacrificed a structure’s authenticity, you can never get it back. Preserving our built and neighborhood treasures is critically important!
In the 1970s forward-looking citizens of Clarkston saw both the village’s value and its vulnerability.
In the 1980s, they formed the historic district to prevent MDOT turning Main Street into a four-lane highway.
In the 1990s another generation of citizens saw the need to make Clarkston a city, to buffer it from outside commercial pressures. As the mantra goes, “We became a city to remain a village.” Protecting our city zoning is critically important.
Having served on city council myself since I was young man and now being mayor for a second term, I see the necessity of building a bench of future city leaders who understand these residential values.
Building a bench is critically important!
Given the importance of protecting our historic district, and the vigilance to keep it free of commercial intrusion, I am endorsing three nonpartisan candidates for city council who hold these values.
The candidates are Gary Casey, Bruce Fuller, and Laura Rodgers.
Gary lives in the historic district and is already on city council. His name is on the ballot because he is running for his first full term after being nominated last year to fill a vacancy.
Bruce is a resident of 35 years in Clarkston, a retired educator who has been involved with the public for his entire career; very competent and able to make sound decisions affecting our village.
Laura is a three-year resident of the village, a 30-year resident of regional Clarkston. She lives in the historic district, is a career anesthetist, wife and mom, passionate about preserving her family’s historic home.
Bruce Fuller and Laura Rodgers are write-in candidates, so please take note to spell their names correctly on the ballot, and please talk with them when they come to your door.

Respectfully submitted,
Eric Haven
Clarkston Mayor

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