Traverse City Record-Eagle

October 22, 2010

Letters at Issue: Elections: 10/22/2010


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Fought against cronyism

We have an opportunity on Nov. 2 to re-elect my neighbor, Ross Richardson, to the county commission.

Ross has shown that his concerns are focused on the citizens of this community. His votes on issues show that he wants to do what's best for his neighbors. He has fought against the cronyism that exists in our local government.

With Ross Richardson, you know you're always going to get a full measure of independent thought, and he's working hard to do what's right for all of us.

Nancy Howard

Traverse City

Spread too thin?

To cite the Record-Eagle's Oct. 16 article, candidate Ralph Soffredine serves on a whopping 13, I repeat, 13 boards and commissions. Apparently he is trying to build a resumé. For what? He's 73 years old. It's obvious he is spreading himself too thin and won't do justice to any of them.

Jim Treece

Traverse City

A good feeling

I have a very good feeling about voting for Kevin Elsenheimer as our district judge. But I needed more than just a "good feeling." Specifically, I wanted someone who has genuine hands-on experience. Here are some of the critical facts that helped me make my decision:

• Kevin is the only person in this race who actually served as an assistant prosecutor.

• Kevin has done 35 district court trials, while his opponent has done five trials in the 86th District Court.

Kevin Elsenheimer really is the best choice.

Karen Williams

Traverse City

Understands relationship

Obamacare is a power grab and the beginning of the end of freedom. Insurance that covers everything and everyone is impossible. Rich or poor, we will all pay via inflation or a value-added tax. Do not doubt rationing and central authority to determine what each individual is entitled. Obamacare is unconstitutional, and a devil's plan having very little to do with health.

Dr. Daniel Benishek understands the doctor-patient relationship and the very core of personal freedom. Dan Benishek will work to repeal Obamacare, which is a big-goverenment fiscal impossibility. Save us please from this utopia. Vote Benishek.

Susan Dobzyniak


The most qualified

I worked in the legal community and know and respect Kevin Elsenheimer. I was not surprised when retiring Judge Foresman endorsed him. Kevin, as a prosecutor, practiced in front of Judge Norm Hayes and Judge Patricia Morse. They, too, have endorsed him, as have Justice Weaver, Circuit Court Judge Dennis Murphy and Appeals Judge William Whitbeck.

People in a position to know realize who is the most qualified and choose Kevin Elsenheimer. Please join me in giving him your vote.

Carol Sullivan

Traverse City

The right vision

Dan Benishek has the right vision on important issues facing our country in the upcoming election. His positions on illegal immigration/border security, right to life, Obamacare, energy independence and respect for our Constitution reveal his conservative values.

What separates Dr. Benishek from his opponents was his commitment to unseat Congressman Stupak, prior to Mr. Stupak's retirement announcement. We've seen what House Speaker Nancy Pelosi and her minions have imposed on us, now it is time for "real" change, we need a man of conviction to represent Northern Michigan in Washington, and that's why I am supporting Dan Benishek Nov. 2.

Paul Sopsich


The ideal choice

As one of the area's first divorce mediators, I had the good fortune to be joined by Marian Kromkowski. Marian brought legal expertise, patience, intellect and stability. She brought people together by strengthening common goals.

Marian continues to expand these qualities through her professional and community work.

I also work with Marian on peace and justice issues. She speaks up for human rights. She continues to bring people together. It is disturbing that this is seen by some as "extremist" or "Jane Fonda-like." Marian's empathy, coupled with her knowledge and experience, make her the ideal choice for Leelanau probate Judge.

Linda L. Dunigan

Traverse City

Taxes keep country going

After watching so many political commercials, I believe that the Republicans have hired the best liars that big money can buy. As far as lowering our taxes, that is a lot of hooey. Taxes are what keeps this country going.

We cannot blame the government for all the unemployment. The business world is programmed to downsize the employees, to work with as few workers as possible. They have machines and robotics to replace people. I do not believe factories will ever create enough jobs to put most of everyone to work that wants to work.

Jerry R. Cervenka

Traverse City

Most qualified

Having spent 37 years in law enforcement, I have known many judges and prosecutors. They were all competent, but some were outstanding and deserve our respect and admiration. One of these prosecutors was Larry Nelson of Leland. He has over 35 years of experience in the legal profession and I have, on several occasions, seen his talent displayed in a courtroom.

I believe that he is the most qualified candidate for Leelanau County probate judge. He not only has the experience, training and talent required, he has the judicial temperament that will make him an excellent probate judge.

Charles A. Johnson

Suttons Bay

Honesty and integrity

Ralph Soffredine facts and outstanding qualities: Honesty and integrity; self confidence; sensitivity; makes informed and intelligent choices; extrovert and outgoing; warm; assertive; high energy.

"Nothing great was ever achieved without enthusiasm," Ralph Waldo Emerson.

Ralph Soffredine has donated countless hours for various groups to make Traverse City a better home.

He cares. Vote Ralph for county commissioner Nov. 2.

Rodetta Harrand


Common-sense approach

I have known Mike Stepka for 20 years and have had a number of cases with Mike, both opposing and working together on the same side.

I have always admired Mike's informed common-sense approach to solutions and respected his legal knowledge and integrity. Mike's 20-plus years of court experience, together with his community involvement, provide him the foundation necessary to be a good district judge.

It only takes a law degree to be a judge. It takes courtroom experience like Mike's to be a good judge.

Please join me voting for Mike Stepka for 86th District Court judge.

William Bowron

Traverse City

Dedicated family man

We have known Larry Nelson for 30 years. His ethics are of the highest standards. He receives our support for probate judge. He is a dedicated family man, fair, hard-working, and community-minded. He is someone who will serve the court well. Please join us in voting for him for probate judge.

Tom and Marnie Sutter


Blatant favoritism

I initially supported the proposals to change the charter of Traverse City Light & Power, but then I reconsidered the need for change when the TCL&P board dropped plans for the biomass plant. Sadly, TCL&P has proven the need for a changed structure with the blatant political favoritism in the latest newsletter. They used our electrical fees to influence a public election — unethically, if not illegally.

Vote "yes, yes" on Proposals 1 and 2 — for accountability. Also, please vote for Ross Richardson for county commission — he's done a great job and he's not part of the shameless cabal of cronyism.

Dan Tholen

Traverse City

Carefully deliberate

I have known Ralph Soffredine for many years and have served with him as a community member on various boards. He has served our community for many years in a variety of roles — as chief of police, city commissioner, and Traverse City Area Public Schools board member, to name a few.

Ralph is willing to consider all the facts, is open to receiving new information, and is carefully deliberate in making decisions on tough issues.

This experience and leadership capability make him the right choice for the Grand Traverse County commission. Please join me in supporting Ralph Soffredine Nov. 2.

Edward Carlson

Traverse City

Soffredine right person

Ralph Soffredine is the right person for the county board. He brings the experience, deep knowledge of the community, sensitivity to what has been done by other boards, and honesty and openness a county commissioner must have.

For over 40 years, I have been involved in the community as president of Rotary, the chamber, Traverse Industrial Fund, Pavilions board, volunteer fund-raising positions at Munson and charter member of Munson's Foundation Board. In these positions, I have worked closely with Ralph and can attest to his ability, integrity and dedication to our community.

Ralph's the best choice by far.

Leo Hughes

Traverse City

Commitment, hard work

During my time as pastor of the Presbyterian Church, I learned who those persons were that I could count on to "get the job done and done well." Bruce Byl is one of those persons. Whether serving as a church elder, chairing the finance committee, heading up a capital campaign or helping found Food Rescue of Northwest Michigan, Bruce's enthusiasm, insights, commitment and hard work have always led the way to success.

His involvement in community affairs, including Northwestern Michigan College, speaks for itself. I encourage you to vote for Bruce Byl for NMC trustee.

Rev. Homer Nye

Traverse City

Exercise that right

Most people believe our government is broken, although explanations vary. I believe one reason is low voter turnout. Most elections in this country are decided by 25 percent to 30 percent of potential voters. So all a politician or party has to do is appeal to a small part of the population.

However, I believe that if 50 percent to 60 percent was the norm government would be compelled to pay attention to a wider range of opinions and priorities.

Whatever your political beliefs, please get out and vote. "My vote doesn't count" is only true if you don't exercise that right.

John Birdsong

Traverse City

Has given back

Mike Stepka has served our community as an attorney with honesty and integrity. He has been an attorney for 20 years and has spent countless hours giving back to the community through his community service and providing pro bono legal work and advice. Mike has appeared in district court almost weekly and his work in the specialty courts has in turn helped our community by saving taxpayers' money.

We need to keep politics out of the courtroom and elect Mike Stepka, who has earned the seat of 86th District Court judge. Please vote Mike Stepka on Nov. 2.

Donielle M. Rikli


Critical thinking skills

I recommend Cynthia Glines for Traverse City Area Public Schools school board.

She has wide ranging experience within TCAPS. She served eight years on the District Advisory Committee. She served on the budget and reinstatement committees. She has tutored after school. She has experience with the Talented and Gifted program, regular and special education programs. athletics and music programs.

Professionally, she is a retired medical doctor with a Ph.D in chemistry.

Cynthia brings broad experience and strong critical thinking skills to the TCAPS school board. She advocates for all students, values teachers, and understands budgetary realities.

Vote for Cynthia Glines.

Kathy Calcutt

Traverse City