Three running for Supervisor
Name: Laura Moreau, 50
Number of years in the community: 16 years
What is your No. 1 concern and your solution? My number one concern is maintaining financial stability and a balanced vision for Springfield Township. The August 4 primary election will decide a new Supervisor and Clerk who will play a key role in budgeting and planning decisions, and because of that the future of the Township is uncertain. With this impending change in leadership, the Township also must prepare for significant budget constraints due to reductions in State Shared Revenue and other funding sources resulting from the COVID-19 shut down.
The solution is to elect officials with direct, proven experience, and demonstrated commitment and achievements to serve the Township. It requires vision, planning, and leadership to manage our budgets, preserve our natural assets, and maintain the character of Springfield.
After 12 years serving as Clerk and a member of the Township Board, I have extensive experience working with the Board to manage fiscally responsible budgets during challenging economic times. And during this time Springfield hasn’t just survived a recession, we have come out stronger, safer, and well prepared for the future. I have been instrumental in several planning initiatives that establish design guidelines and strategies to plan for development that protect our natural assets and preserve our community character. Maintaining Springfield’s character does not happen by inaction, or by “pulling up the drawbridge” around our Township. Communities that try to do that lose their unique identity and ability to control their future. On the other hand, an “anything goes” approach to growth will quickly undo our decades-long commitment to open space planning and natural resources preservation that has greatly contributed to the quality of life we most value in Springfield.
Since 2008, I have worked to define Springfield’s guiding principles and establish clear goals that both protect and advance our community. I am the candidate for Supervisor who has the critical experience, vision, and drive that will provide stability and balance for a vibrant future of Springfield Township.
Name: Kevin Sclesky, 60
Number of years in the community: 50
What is your No. 1 concern and your solution? A top concern is the budget from the COVID-19 pandemic. The budget deficit would need to be determined and analyzed. It is going to take a multi-prong approach to create a plan to balance the budget. Initially, It would be my intention to work with state and county officials and adjoining townships to put in place best practices. Together we can solicit ideas and approaches that can contribute to restoring our budgets. In collaboration with other elected township officials I would develop a plan to balance the budget to ensure Springfield Township is fiscally sound.
Name: David F. Smith, 33
Number of years in the community: 33. My family has been residents of Davisburg since 1837. I would be the fifth generation to serve the people of Springfield Township.
What is your No. 1 concern and solutions: The repairs and maintenance to the dam in downtown Davisburg. I would also like to see downtown Davisburg revitalized, and fire department and police protection for all residents. I am a Michigan Tech graduate, civil engineering and constructions management. I have the know how and ability to fix my concerns.
unopposed for treasurer
Name: Jamie Dubre, 47
Number of years in the community: 21
What is your No. 1 concern and your solution? Financial Stability. We have always budgeted very conservative with a 3-year forecast. We are now faced with significant reductions in our State Shared Revenue. Most people do not realize that this is our highest single source of income in Springfield Township’s general fund. It is money received from the State of Michigan based on our share of the sales tax collected. Our updated forecast on those funds from the State is 25% less than what was originally forecasted for our 2020 budget. The investment interest earned on our fund reserves has also been drastically reduced.
Moving forward with our 2021 budget and beyond is going to be very difficult since we do not know the long lasting impacts this will have to the economy. I am very confident we will continue to adjust as necessary and maintain our AAA bond rating which comes from conservative financial management and long term stability. I look forward to continuing to serve the residents of Springfield as their Treasurer.
Two running for Clerk
Name: Michaela Bishop, 24
Number of years in the community: 20
What is your No. 1 concern and your solution? Smaller communities are coping with the unexpected costs of COVID-19, as well as revenue shortfalls. The CARES ACT primarily helped communities over 500,000. We will need to be creative and conservative in our budget in order to build on the solid financial foundation currently in place.
Name: Sean Miller, 34
Number of years in the community: 7 years in Springfield Township, but having grown up in Independence Township I have lived in the area my entire life.
What is your No. 1 concern and your solution? My number one concern is preserving the history and heritage of Springfield Township while keeping an eye to the future. I would like to see the establishment of a Downtown Development Authority to improve the infrastructure in Downtown Davisburg – the heart of Springfield Township – and revitalize the Downtown area to attract new business opportunities to our community. We have a diamond in the rough in Downtown Davisburg that has virtually been abandoned and forgotten.
We are very fortunate in Springfield Township our leaders have been so diligent in taking care of our Township and setting our Township up for a very bright future. I pledge to continue the fiscally-responsible leadership Springfield Township residents have come to know and expect from our elected officials. The pandemic has created some very real budgetary concerns for smaller communities in our State, including Springfield Township, and as an attorney and having run a business myself, I have the budgeting and management experience to help our community continue to grow and thrive.
5 running for
4 trustee seats
Name: Dave Hopper, 62
Number of years in the community: 28
What is your No. 1 concern and your solution? I have been a Springfield Township Trustee over the last 20 years making significant contributions to ensuring needed services with fiscal responsibility as well as focus on planning, and preservation of natural resources. State revenue funds are expected to be decreased this year, likely necessitating the need for an evaluation and amendment to the current Township budget to account for these changes. It is important to ensure police and fire services are maintained as the top priority. Through my positions on the Township Board and Planning Commission, I will continue to support the use of innovative design techniques for commercial and residential developments that protect natural resources, link green space, include safety paths and manage surface and ground water.
Name: Jason Pliska, 48
Number of years in the community: 19
What is your No. 1 concern and your solution? My number one concern is successfully managing the evolution of Springfield Township. In my five years serving on the Springfield Township Planning Commission, I have seen interest in development within the township increase. As this development occurs, it is important to encourage development that enhances the township, and provides benefit to our residents. As a part of this, I strongly support the further implementation of the Dixie Design Standards north of Davisburg Road to the township border.
As our community evolves, it is also important to build “bridges” to connect our neighborhoods with each other, our commercial districts, and provide further access to our abundant natural resources. I served on the township Pathways Committee, and would like to continue my work as Trustee to further plan and develop the pathways and trails within the township. Lastly, it is important to do all of the above while being fiscally responsible, especially given the uncertain times we are currently living in.
Name: Denny Vallad, 68
Number of years in the community: 40
My wife Jean and I have raised our three daughters in the 40 years we have resided in the community. I have served as a Trustee on the Springfield Board for 32 years. I have also served my community on the Planning Commission, the Zaoning Board of Appeals, and the Election Commission.
What is your No. 1 concern and your solution? My biggest concern in this election is with our budgets in Springfield for the next 2-3 years. The state has incurred significant debt in responding to the COVID-19 pandemic and our state shared revenues will be impacted. Our budgets will need to be adjusted; several plans for capital projects will be adjusted and delayed. It will take individuals with significant municipal finance experience to make crucial decisions.
Name: Donna M. Lopez, 74
Number of years in the community: 3
I am running under a bipartisan ticket. There is only one party represented on the Springfield Board of Officers and the Trustees. I believe since the Board is responsible for passing resolutions, taxes, and decisions that affect all members of the community, that there is a definite need for another party to be a voice amd a vision for all the citizens. I believe in transparency, accountability, being accessible and responsible to the community of Springfield Township.
Name: Marc Cooper
Cooper is a current trustee and rerunning. No answer was received by the time of publication.
7 for 7 Park
Seven are running for seven positions as Park Commissioner, each is a four-year term.
All are incumbents, Democrats E. Roger Bower, Anne A. Loncar; Republicans Diane Baker, Dennis G. Omell, Richard W. Parke, Angela Spicer, and Jean A. Vallad.