Ionia County Board of Commissioners: 3 candidates vie for District 5 seat


By Cory Smith • Last Updated 4:47 pm on Monday, August 06, 2012

IONIA — Three challengers are hoping to win the open District 5 seat on the Ionia County Board of Commissioners in the Aug. 7 primary election.

Chad Murphy

Chad Murphy, Kenneth Thompson and Scott Wirtz, all Republicans, are running on the ballot for the commissioner position.

Murphy, 41, of Orleans Township, believes his ability to “adapt and overcome obstacles” would help lead him to a a successful tenure as a county commissioner.

“I have successfully raised my two daughters as a single parent since 1994,” he said. “I am a problem solver and will help to resolve all maters facing the county in today’s complex economy.”

Murphy manages the Sears store in Ionia and is in negotiations to purchase the store location. He recently graduated from Montcalm Community College and is pursuing a master’s degree in strategic management at Davenport University.

“I am experienced in business and team building,” he said. “I have expertise in staffing, budgets, scheduling, security, customer service, business operations and human relations.”

If elected, Murphy said he would focus on three primary concerns that include balancing the budget, working on prime prevention and creating better security for county employees.

“I will make it a goal to establish a safe working environment for public officials and their families, including all citizens of Ionia County,” he said. “I want to ensure all actions are taking place to prevent crime in our communities.”

Thompson, 56, of Ronald Township, is a farmer’s consultant and constitutional historian, and believes a more common sense approach is needed in local government.

“The best way to get your voice heard is to stand up and articulate it,” Thompson said. “I believe I can present a good voice to articulate the dissatisfaction with some of the policies that are managed here in this county.”

Thompson has a bachelor’s degree in science, history and education and said he is running with the premise that commissioners need to be more pragmatic and fiscally responsible in their decision making.

“The county commission is directly responsible for the budget, spending taxpayer dollars,” he said. “We have nine subcommittees. These various agencies need to be looked at under the spotlight of spending accountability.”

If elected, Thompson said he would roll back local regulations that hinder county business entrepreneurs as well as close down antiquated taxpayer funded local government agencies and commissions.

“Serving as an elected officer in government is a privilege, not a taxpayer subsidized career,” he said.

Wirtz, age unavailable, of Fenwick, did not return messages seeking comment for this story.

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