Trufant forum gives insight on local political candidates

By Kelli Ameling • Last Updated 11:54 am on Monday, August 06, 2012

About 30 people filled the Maple Valley Township Complex on Saturday for the Meet the Candidates event, which gave people a chance to hear what local candidates stand for. — Daily News/Kelli Ameling

TRUFANT — More than a dozen candidates participated in the Meet the Candidates event Saturday in Trufant.

Steve Davis, a volunteer who helped organize the event, said he thought it went really well.

“Many people came with questions in hand, but it wasn’t a debate,” Davis said. “The event was strictly for meeting the candidates.”

However, Davis said the committee hopes to host a debate for people to ask questions before the November election.

About 30 people filled the Maple Valley Complex and sat in the heat to hear what the candidates had to say to win over their vote.

Current Montcalm County Prosecutor Andrea Krause, R-Stanton, and candidate Ron Finegood, R-Stanton, are both running for the prosecutor position.

Krause said as prosecutor she has been able to return $16,000 back to the county budget.

“I believe this shows fiscal responsibility and I am able to run an office under budget,” she said.

Krause noted her job is more than just putting criminals in jail, but the job includes a wide variety of tasks such as handling abused and neglected children.

Finegood said he wants to focus on things that are not currently addressed at the prosecuting office.

The biggest issues is crimes farmers are seeing such as snowmobile drivers damaging crops in the winter and metal being stolen off farming equipment.

“There is also a problem with hard drugs,” Finegood said. “We also need to be focusing on that.”

Montcalm County Commissioner Tom Porter, R-Coral, wants to be elected to see Montcalm County grow.

While trying to make the county a better place, he wants to help clean up business and focus on unemployment.

“One of the biggest issues is unemployment in the county,” Porter said.

Montcalm County Drain Commissioner candidate Sandy Raines, R-Sidney, highlighted her experience and the fact she knows the regulations.

“I can step in on day one to do the job,” she said.

Raines’ primary opponent Dennis Lance of Carson City, said he has worked closely with past drain commissioners and became interested in doing the job.

“I am the candidate for change,” he said.

Lance said if he is elected, he will do the job with the highest accuracy and transparency.

Although Rep. Dave Camp was unable to attend, an assistant was present to speak on his behalf, who said Camp is working on getting spending under control, taking care of Asian carp and more.

Montcalm County Emergency Medical Services Deputy Director Eric Smith told attendees of the EMT millage they will see on the ballot.

“The renewal language is a little misleading,” he said.

Smith stressed the millage is just a renewal, it is not a new millage and it is not an increase. The EMT millage that will be on the ballot is the same millage Montcalm County residents have been paying for the last four years.

Also present were Democratic drain commissioner candidate Shane Jacobs of Howard City, Democratic 70th District state house candidate Mike Huckleberry and Maple Valley Township candidates, Gary Boyer for supervisor, John Schwardt for treasurer, Lee Frandsen, Barb Ward and Carole Petersen for trustee.

The primary election will be Tuesday.

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