Reynolds Township Board: 5-person township board faces 5 challengers

By Elisabeth Waldon • Last Updated 2:02 pm on Monday, August 06, 2012

REYNOLDS TOWNSHIP — The entire Reynolds Township Board is facing a challenge from five newcomers in the Aug. 7 primary election.

Daniel Fisk is running against incumbent Supervisor Keith Grannis, Robin Sholty is running against incumbent Clerk Tina Porzondek, Jan Stevens is running against incumbent Treasurer Roger Stedman and Aaron Kindel and Willet “Bill” Smith are running against incumbent trustees Lee Olsen and Ann Yanke.

All 10 candidates are Republicans.

The challengers

The five challengers, ages unavailable, all declined comment to The Daily News, saying they had already mailed out an election flyer to all registered voters in Reynolds Township.

Fisk is a graduate of Tri County High School and co-owns Ron Fisk Hardwoods.

“As your supervisor, I would work to create an atmosphere where all residents and businesses are respected and that our township is conducive to growth and development,” Fisk stated in the flyer.

Sholty formerly worked for the Lansing State Journal. She and her husband also owned and operated a small business.
“In discussing my candidacy with other township residents, a reoccurring comment was that the township hours of 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. four days a week (closed Wednesday) left no convenient accessibility to conduct business,” Sholty stated in the flyer.
“If elected, I would be at the office for your convenience beginning with evening hours from 5 to 7 p.m. every other Thursday and would expand days and hours as needed.”

Stevens is a graduate of Tri County High School and graduated from Ferris State University with a bachelor’s degree in accounting. She has done accounting and tax work for the Salvation Army and Guardsman Chemical Co. and was an administrative assistant at Amway Grand Plaza and Progressive Engineering and administrative assistant to the vice president of store operations for MC Sports.

“My extensive experience in accounting and leadership, along with my desire to work with people, I believe, makes me a qualified candidate for Reynolds Township treasurer,” Stevens stated in the flyer.

Kindel has worked at his family’s business, Ark’s Electric, for 22 years, starting at age 15. He is a graduate of Tri County High School.

“As a businessman, resident and taxpayer of the township, my experiences have helped me prepare for this position,” Kindel stated in the flier. “If elected, I will be your voice, express your concerns and I will manage the affairs of the township in the best interest of the community.”

Smith graduated from Howard City High School. He worked for Meijer for 42 years, retiring as group vice president in charge of marketing and advertising. He was previously township treasurer and a member of the township board for 13 years.
“I would do my best to use my experiences in township government and business to work on your behalf,” Smith stated in the flyer.

The incumbents

Grannis, 62, has been Reynolds Township supervisor since 2008. He served on the Howard City Village Council for eight years and on the Howard City Downtown Development Authority for four years. He is assistant fire chief of the Howard City Fire Department, a medical first responder and squad lieutenant with Montcalm County Emergency Medical Services and owns Guyan Enterprises of Howard City, along with Zellie’s Opry House in Howard City with his wife.

He graduated from Tri County High School, earned a bachelor’s degree from Ferris State University and a master’s of business education from Central Michigan University. He is retired from Tri County High School as a teacher and varsity coach.

“My education, public service, work experience in the educational arena, owning two successful businesses and working on numerous community boards sets me apart from my opponent,” Grannis said. “I want to reduce township expenses, remain on the cutting edge of technology, leadership and service to residents, continue making road improvements and govern with vision, fairness and dedication.”

Porzondek, 43, has been Reynolds Township clerk for six years. She previously served as deputy clerk, deputy treasurer and deputy zoning administrator. She is a certified para-educator, a State of Michigan accredited clerk and election official and a graduate of the Michigan Township Governance Academy Scholarship.

“I have a strong awareness and understanding of state and federal statues which regulate government,” Porzondek said. “I have a proven track record of providing excellent service while staying within a limited budget. A main concern for me is to provide for the health, safety and welfare of the residents. I strive for responsible budgeting and seek out creative solutions to avoid any reductions to fire/safety and infrastructure improvements.”

Stedman, 65, has been Reynolds Township treasurer for more than nine years. He graduated from Cedar Springs High School and RETS Electronics School. He is one of just a few township treasurers in Michigan to graduate from the Michigan Township Governance Academy.

“I find ways to save taxpayers money, even if it means taking on unpaid additional duties, such as printing tax bills myself to save $7,000 per year and maintaining township computer systems and the website,” Stedman said. “My continuing education keeps me current with ever-changing laws that township officials must follow. My meeting attendance is over 96 percent. I have never seen my opponent at a meeting.”

Olsen, 50, has been a Reynolds Township trustee for more than eight years. He works in maintenance at Pilgrim Manor. He has an associate’s degree in business from Grand Rapids Community College.

“I have experience and willingness to stand alone on decisions when they are unpopular but right,” Olsen said. “I will continue to treat all citizens fairly, regardless of their standing in the community.”

Yanke, 70, has been a Reynolds Township trustee for eight years. She graduated from Howard City School and Davenport University with a secretarial degree. She is retired from Independent Bank. She has served on the Reynolds Township Library Board and volunteers for Helping Hands.

“I feel my trustworthiness, honest and concern for the township and community sets me apart from my opponents,” Yanke said. “One of my concerns for our township is that consistency, fairness and adherence to the laws and ordinances be administrated in a fair and prudent manner, as they have been in the past. We must be careful to make decisions based on the township’s ordinances.”

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