Montcalm County Commissioner District 5 pits retired teacher vs. commissioner

By Cory Smith • Last Updated 12:17 pm on Monday, November 05, 2012

Ron Retzloff

Jerome Duran

Republican Ronald Retzloff has served as a Montcalm County commissioner for 14 years, but Democrat challenger Jerome Duran is hoping to claim the seat of District 5.

District 5 covers Day Township and Home Township, the northern half of Evergreen Township and the city of Stanton.

Retzloff, 69, of Crystal, is retired and currently serves as commissioner for District 3. He said he believes his experience as a commissioner would continue to serve the county well during hard economic times.

“I have knowledge of the county government at this critical time,” he said. “The reduced funding that we have to work with and the ability to make cuts where they are needed are also important issues.”

Retzloff stressed that the ongoing troubles with budget cuts and the sheriff’s office would also be high priorities.

“We need police protection, not only for my district, but for the county,” he said. “I would work with Lansing to find ways to consolidate police services.”

Duran, 82, of Edmore, is a retired teacher from Montabella Community Schools who earned his bachelor of science degree from the University of Southern Mississippi and completed graduate work at Eastern Michigan University.

Duran said he believes his Democratic values would serve him well if he was elected commissioner.

“I differ from the other (commissioners) because I believe in Democratic party values,” he said. “My qualifications for the position are experience on the Home Township Board of Review, experience in budgeting while running a part-time cow/calf farm, work experience from teaching classes, organization and accountability.”

Duran said his goal is to focus on improving the lives of the people who he would be serving as county commissioner.

“My main concern about my district is bettering the lives of the people within it by providing necessary services for law enforcement, public health fire protection and other county services,” he said. “I would be able  to work with the other commissioners to reach improvements in  all of the above problems.”

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