Letters to the Editor

Thanks for info

Dear Editor,
A special thanks goes out to candidate Andrea Schroeder for educating voters about candidate for state representative Jose Aliaga’s “unsatisfactory job performance” regarding his state health and human services work (“State rep campaign turns negative,” July 12).
It’s troubling to hear Mr. Aliaga and his supporters claiming that his “personal life” is private and that exposing his taxpayer funded work record is a “negative” attack on him, all while ignoring the fact he’s applying for a job that will affect tens of thousands of people. If it’s standard operating procedure for employers to require job applicants to supply them with work records and past employment history, how could it possibly be “negative” to let voters know that a candidate has been given a “unsatisfactory job performance” by his employer?
Every voter should consider every election as an application for work and should want to know as much as possible about those who are applying for our hard earned tax dollars before they vote. We should all want to know if an applicant’s government work record has been deemed unsatisfactory or satisfactory so that we can vote accordingly.
Which all leads to the obvious question voters should ask themselves Aug. 7: If a candidate for state representative isn’t satisfactorily helping 900 people, how can we expect them to satisfactorily help tens of thousands of people?
Michael Powell
Independence Township

Look at backers

Dear Editor,
This campaign season I have seen lots of campaign literature, most of which are on the behalf of candidates rather than being produced by the actual candidates committee themselves.
The thing is, I always look at who is producing and distributing these things, and then lookup the actual stance on their issues. I am shocked by what I have found.
Great Lakes Education Project, for example, represents Common Core in the State of Michigan. The Detroit News is another example of a third party soliciting on behalf of a candidate, which typically is nothing more than a reporter trying to pick the least likely to win the general election against a Democratic opponent. The point I am making is much like NASCAR, for example, these candidates are backed by special interest groups, sponsors that pull the strings for their candidate.
So, as I tell all my friends, before you vote look closely at the messages and literature you are receiving, as you would be surprised at who you find backing some of our candidates.
Chuck Edwards
Independence Township

Proud of Schroeder

Dear Editor,
I have never known anyone with as strong a commitment to solve problems and do the right thing as Andrea Schroeder. In our years serving as parent volunteer leaders in our school district, Andrea was often the go-to source for public policy and education research.
She has always displayed a strong sense of fairness and justice, which I believe drives her desire to serve others and the public good. She does not shoot from the hip or act out of emotion, but instead thoroughly researches issues and finds solutions. We’ve benefited from her problem-solving initiatives in Clarkston many times over: school safety, public health and nuisance mail are just some of the topics she’s successfully and positively impacted. Andrea Schroeder will get done what needs to get done on behalf of the 43rd District.
Kelli Horst
Springfield Township

Schroeder appreciated

Dear Editor,
As fellow parent volunteers within the Clarkston Schools, we would like to thank Andrea Schroeder for all her support and leadership in the parent-led Clarkston High School Grad Night Party (GNP). In 2010, we needed someone with a high level of professionalism and strong organizational skills to create efficiency and guide us through the process of establishing our status as a 501(c)(3) entity.
Because things were “always done that way,” some of the recommendations she made were not always popular. But Andrea’s ability to structure the GNP with directors and establish a streamlined-budget allowed the cost for each participant to be reduced from $50 to $35 – exactly the type of results we were looking for.
Andrea’s passion for volunteerism and service in our community with the Optimist Club, multiple Clarkston PTA’s, Taste of Clarkston and Clarkston Parade, allowed our small group of GNP volunteers to benefit from and learn through her consultation about how to share the task of providing a safe, post-commencement event where community business donations produced a repeatable and successful event each year. And every year since, she has continued to provide on-site support as the veteran parent volunteer on the night of the event, allowing senior parents to enjoy commencement knowing that everything will be in order and all last-minute issues will be addressed. Her continuous support of Clarkston schools over the 20 years that our children attended school together is just one of the reasons why we are voting for Andrea Schroeder this August 7 in the primary for State Representative in Michigan’s 43rd District.
Geoff and Ellen Wright
Independence Township

Aliaga would be servant of people at state house, reader says

Dear Editor,
I am writing you today in hopes of parting the sea of fallacies surrounding Jose Aliaga and provide your readers with a testament of his true character.
Jose Aliaga is precisely the person he says he is – a servant of the people. In today’s society, finding a person who lives up to their statements can be challenging to find; at which point can even be more difficult to believe.
I have known Jose for several years. I have personally worked with him both within the US and overseas. All the while, Jose has continued to serve others with the utmost integrity, hard-work, commitment, and honesty.
When most politicians would act like a coward or worry about their political capital, Jose is not afraid to face genuine issues society faces.
For instance, just a short while ago, the Michigan State School Board of Education (SBE) faced a state-wide public outcry surrounding a memo drafted to guide local school districts on dealing with students who identified with the Lesbian, Gay, Transgender, and Questioning (LGBTQ) community.
The memo content was a serious topic for both supporters and critics. People seemed to collect into two groups, those for the LGBTQ students’ rights and those against them carrying a moral banner.
The issue became polarizing, and it morphed into a moral debate. I emerged carrying a different view, that questioned whether or not what was written in the memo actually benefited LGBTQ students. Everyone was so focused on whether or not LGBTQ students were born a specific way or trying to force a specific moral stance upon government policy, that the contents were being ignored. I determined, after months of research and interviews, that the memo, in its entirety, was not in their best interest.
In attending the SBE’s public meetings, I was amazed at the level of negative emotions demonstrated from both sides. My convictions compelled me to present a “better way,” different than either side offered.
Jose Aliaga had heard of my unique position and ideas and had me on his local TV show to inquire further. After presenting my case to him, he offered to join me in Lansing to discuss the matter with legislators.
We made multiple all-day trips to Lansing and found only two representatives willing even to discuss the matter. Most disregarded the issue or tried to stay as far away as possible. It seems politics, as usual, happens in Lansing; yet, there was Jose, willing to work on the issue no matter the outcome because it was important to the residents.
He was ready to face the problems of our day even if he agreed or disagreed with the issue. He saw this was a Michigan resident concern and was willing to face the issue head-on.
The SBE did eventually see the benefits of changing the three things I proposed. Those elements may not have been the most accepted on either side of the issue, but they were the right things for the betterment of the students being affected and within the realm of the federal mandate.
As I look back on that period, I saw a man willing to work for the residents of Michigan. No games, no political posturing, just a man who was respectful to everyone, honest, and full of integrity. A representative of the people, even without the official title.
Michigan is a great state to live it, but it doesn’t come without its struggles – the Big Three transitions, the housing market bubble burst, inner-city failures, fleeing youth, and an aging population, are just a few. Michigan needs more people like Jose Aliaga who will worry more about the life of Michigan residents than his pocketbook.
Jose Aliaga is a Republican who demonstrates his willingness to serve the residents he represents and deal with the issues based on the benefits of the parties involved.
Patrick Rouse, Atlas Township resident who works in Independence Township and was a long-time Clarkston resident

Problem solver

Dear Editor,
When I cast my vote for any office, I look for a candidate who has evidence of solving problems, not just mailing me a postcard full of promises and platitudes of hard work.
In these contentious political times, I want to elect someone I know I can call when respectful and meaningful dialogue is needed to work on important issues.
I would like voters to consider some of my experiences with Andrea Schroeder over the past 12 years as we all prepare to vote in the primary on Aug. 7.
Andrea Schroeder has served in our local PTA’s as legislative chair, treasurer, vice-president and the office Clarkston High School and council president. In our schools, Andrea kept parents and teachers informed about educational funding from the state and encouraged us to contact our legislators on the impact funding cuts would have on our local schools. Andrea helped to implement internet safety workshops, investigated PTA unit finances and reported violations, promoted flu-shot awareness, supported various Optimist Club projects in our buildings and coordinated the Senior All-Night Party a few years ago.
Andrea led the charge to get our local gas stations to agree to stop selling the K2 drug and effectively keeping it from the hands of our youth.
Andrea led the charge with the school district, Oakland County Road Commission and Independence Township to fund a green right turn traffic signal at Clarkston and Flemings Lake roads to improve the safety for our young, inexperienced drivers at the high school.
Andrea worked with the school district to put in a safety crosswalk for the visually impaired at Sashabaw Middle School.
Andrea has served on the Teaching and Learning Council in our district for many years.
Andrea is the only candidate with children in our public schools for the past 20 years.
Andrea is the only candidate that understands how our schools are funded, how they must operate according to state statute and the role of the Michigan Department of Education.
Because Andrea has a proven record of making a positive impact on our schools and community, I’m counting on her continued support, hard work, and advocacy for public education in Lansing as representative of the 43rd State District.
Elizabeth Egan
Independence Township

House candidate

Dear Editor,
My name is Anthony Bartolotta and I am the only candidate running for the 43rd House of Representatives that will work 110% for the citizens of District 43.
While managing a family business for the past 26 years, I hear the concerns and complaints of the citizens on a daily basis. Imperial Auto Wash has been in business for 26 years near the corner of Telegraph and Elizabeth Lake Road in Waterford.
We have survived and flourished through the recession. I have always put the citizens first and I will continue to do so as State Representative. I have sat on a number of boards and commissions throughout the years. I was very active in the Waterford community before I decided to run for Waterford Township trustee.
There I have been a trustee for the past eight years. I have been the top vote getter in the last three elections for a reason. I am not afraid to put a stop to the wasteful spending. The other candidates are getting endorsements and money from the Lansing establishments. I, on the other hand, will not be bought out.
I need only one endorsement and that is the support of the citizens that I am here to represent. A vote for Anthony Bartolotta on Aug. 7 in the Republican Primary will be a vote to put Michigan back on the right path.
Anthony Bartolotta

Qualities of leader

Dear Editor,
The challenges to improving our state’s economy, infrastructure, education, and quality of life seem to have a common link; real solutions will be complicated, at times contentious, and require more than “sound bite” communication skills.
It is for this reason that I am seeking state, and national, candidates with the following demonstrated qualities: highly intelligent, well developed communication skills, critical thinking proficiency, and fearless ability to productively speak truth to power. While I am still evaluating many of folks hoping to represent me in Lansing and Washington, I have decided upon one: Andrea Schroeder for State Representative.
For 11 years, Schroeder has shown me she possesses each of the qualities necessary to improve not only how Lansing operates but on what Lansing focuses its attention. From listening for clues which identify problems and seeking to understand the current state of thinking, to soliciting possible solutions, formulating a sound strategic plan of action and then doggedly working to conclusion, Schroeder has improved many circumstances that others just complained about.
I am an action oriented person with a low tolerance for complaining or posturing. I am giving Schroeder my vote.
Cheryl McNeil
Independence Township

Marker offer

Dear Editor,
Following the recent horrific Trump-Putin Finland meeting, and in light of the POTUS’ political party’s tepid response, I will provide, as a service to area residents with certain political lawn signs, a magic marker for those who wish to cross out the elephant symbol.
Yours for patriotic action,
Bob McGowan
Independence Township

Thanks for donation

Dear Editor,
I am writing to express gratitude for a recent donation the library received from the Clarkston Area Lions Club.
The Lions, supported by the American Printing House for the Blind and Dolly Parton’s Imagination Library, provided the library with 21 braille books. Because these are regular children’s books overlaid with clear braille labels, parents can read the book while a visually impaired child learns and explores the braille. Alternatively, a visually impaired parent can read the book while a sighted child follows along by looking at the pictures.
With this donation, the library was able to create a dedicated collection of braille books for young patrons to check out. We are truly grateful to have the opportunity to serve the visually impaired members of our community. Please come in and check them out!
Brad Reuter
Head of technical service, Clarkston Independence District Library