Traverse City Record-Eagle

October 25, 2010

Letters at Issue: Elections: 10/25/2010


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Should be ashamed

Claiming Benishek will raise taxes, dump Social Security, Medicare, and allow pollution, McDowell attempts to frighten seniors to support him. Benishek advocates a sensible tax structure. Medicare and Social Security are doomed without major surgery.

Benishek: "I do not favor any reduction, freeze, or changes in the benefits provided existing retirees. This promise made to those over the age of 62 by their government, must be honored 100 percent." "I am concerned about any damage to the Great Lakes, including by oil spills. Every effort must be made to protect them — including a ban on drilling."

McDowell should be ashamed.

David R. Munroe


Always accessible

I am supporting Ralph Soffredine for county commission. Ralph has provided outstanding public service on the school board and the city commission, not to mention many other local public bodies. Ralph knows how to make the difficult decisions that will confront the county board in the coming year. In addition, Ralph is always accessible to the voters.

Unlike his opponent, he will attend township board and city commission meetings to keep the lines of communication open with the other governmental bodies in his district.

Ward Kuhn

Traverse City

The right stuff

Here we are, just a few more days of signs, TV ads, doorbells and all the other trappings of election time. Nov. 2, we do our civic duty, signs come down and life goes on. The importance of our vote, however, cannot be overemphasized.

One of the most important we cast will be for our tri-county, nonpartisan local district judge. This office is where the law meets the people. We need a judge with political neutrality, impeccable integrity and recent experience in the office where he will preside. We don't need another Lansingite. Mike Stepka has all the right stuff.

Bill Brown

Traverse City

Tough but fair

I have been a supporter of Kevin Elsenheimer since 1994, when Kevin accepted a position as an assistant prosecutor in Antrim County. I have had many cases against Kevin. In representing the interests of the county, Kevin was tough but fair; possessed good trial skills, legal acumen and common sense. He was respectful of the court's staff and opposing attorneys.

I have also had the opportunity to know Mike Stepka.

Kevin Elsenheimer's background and experience will serve the community well when he is elected the new 86th District Court Judge.

Joseph C. Fisher

Traverse City

Creative leadership

My brother Andy was a Leelanau County commissioner and had mentioned several times that being a county commissioner is not a career job, more qualified people need to step up and get involved with county government. We are overdue for a change in District 7.

I am supporting Bill Dungjen for Leelanau County commissioner. Bill is open-minded, has creative leadership, will listen to his constituents, expand his constituents' vision for our district and enhance a healthy collaboration for the county.

Please vote for Bill Dungjen.

Change can make a difference

Raymond M. Pleva


Ignoring the voters

It is unbelievable that state Senate Bill 1370 and H.B. 6286, relating to "proof of legal citizenship to vote," have been stuck in committee since June. Sen. Michelle McManus and others completely ignore the will of Michigan voters and will not bring these bills to the floor for a vote. There must be proof of legal citizenship to vote in Michigan, and We the People promise that we will not permit this issue to go away.

My congratulations to Traverse bay citizen Jeri LeRoi for working her heart out with legislators and the public getting this even to the committee stage.

Jayne Frank

Lake Ann

No short-term profit

The tea party and the Republicans are playing the fear of big government card for all they can. They would have you believe that there is nothing to fear but the fear of government.

What is this business of blaming the president for not creating jobs while at the same time demanding a smaller federal government? What sense does that make? Where is the vaunted free-enterprise system when we need job creation?

'"Overtaxed," Republicans say. Ridiculous. Investment banks already owned by the rich have plenty of money as evidenced by the salaries they pay themselves. The problem is that the things that need to be done — clean air and water, education, transportation, health care, repair of roads and bridges, a massive solar energy project — are not the things that bring a short-term profit. They can be great job-creating projects but can only be done with government stimulus and ultimately paid for by taxation.

R. E. Reinert


Depth of knowledge

Experience, depth of knowledge, dedication, character, and integrity. These are the qualities that are necessary for the position of 86th District Court Judge. Mike Stepka is the very best candidate for this job. He has our vote!

Steve and Sharon Alguire

Suttons Bay

Bailout a done deal

Republicans are hoping that anger about the Wall Street bailout will get them elected, but it's time for a reality check. The financial collapse of 2008 occurred on President Bush's watch. The bailout was a done deal by the time Obama took office in January 2009.

Meaningful Wall Street reform has since been actively opposed by Republican senators. In spite of minor changes, there is little to prevent a repeat of the financial collapse of 2008. Incredibly, many Republican candidates are still calling for "privatizing" our Social Security system — code for turning it over to Wall Street.

Alice Littlefield


Working for community

We are writing in support of Howard Walker for state Senate. He demonstrated his commitment and dedication to his district as our state representative. In fact, he demonstrated his commitment to our community long before he ran for office. Most folks do not know, but Howard donated more than 200 trees that he raised in his nursery and dug up for planting along Center Road in Peninsula Twp. That says a lot about Howard, who was working for the community when no one was watching. Please join us in supporting Howard Walker for state Senate.

Rob and Lois Manigold

Old Mission

Rob Manigold is supervisor of Peninsula Township.

Deserves support

Mark Crane's Oct. 19 Forum says it all about why voters should vote "yes" on a proposal to expand aid to seniors.

The Senior Center's mission to expand wellness, exercise, recreational, social and educational programs, to be held in a variety of public sites in many locations, deserves to be supported by seniors, as well as one-day-to-be-seniors.

Please vote yes on Nov. 2 for this special proposal.

Mercedes Kimling

Traverse City

The right man

I seldom have the opportunity to recommend someone who has so selflessly devoted his life to the service of our community. Someone whose life is dedicated to volunteer service in the hopes of making our lives better. Someone who takes the high road avoiding the mudslinging of his detractors to diligently represent the citizens who elected him.

Public service is many times difficult and time-consuming. It is also rewarding if you do it for the right reasons and without political- or ego-driven expectations. Ralph Soffredine is the right man, at the right time, for the county commission.

Cindy Hardy

Traverse City

Appropriate support

The recent letter to the Record-Eagle by Dr. Kosinski did not contain crucial information about the overall impact of legislation supported by Dan Scripps on taxes related to cancer treatment.

Prior to passage of the Quality Assurance Assessment, Scripps helped pass HB 5348, providing a tax credit for chemotherapy drugs offsetting any tax increase for cancer doctors.

Also, Scripps co-sponsored a plan — which passed the Michigan House — that eliminates taxation of chemotherapy medicine under the Michigan Business tax.

The distinguished Traverse City cancer physicians have received appropriate support on taxes from Dan Scripps.

Ted Curran


A double millage?

Recently, Traverse City residents voted in a renewal millage for the Commission on Aging, which includes funds for the Senior Center. The backers of this new millage for the center have said that if this passes it is anticipated that the City of Traverse City and Grand Traverse County will merge into one group to pay for the Senior Center, other satellite services, and the Commission on Aging.

Last week I spoke with County Commissioner Ross Richardson and after much discussion he did admit that this would be a double millage (taxation) for city residents should the millage pass.

Gerald Shaffran

Traverse City

Keep politics out

Backers of Traverse City Proposal 1 have questioned the integrity of the Traverse City Area Chamber of Commerce rather than dealing with actual issues.

This "end justifies the means" political approach is what we fear most in Proposal 1. The Chamber does not endorse the status quo at TCL&P.

Proposal 1 was secretly and hastily drafted in the wake of controversy. We believe a citizen-led process should consider all issues and agree on necessary changes for Light & Power. Traverse City voters are wise enough to make the right decision on Nov. 2.

Let's keep politics out of our power.

Douglas R. Luciani

Traverse City

The writer is president and CEO of the Traverse City Area Chamber of Commerce .

The right credentials

As an attorney, I appear before judges throughout Michigan. Like us, lawyers and judges have different political views. But good judges have the legal experience and judicial temperament to best serve their community.

I have appeared before Marian Kromkowski in her role as circuit court referee and mediator in many probate and circuit court cases. Marian has the right credentials to serve as our next Leelanau County probate judge.

From the "conservative" side of the aisle, I have no hesitation supporting Marian Kromkowski for our next Leelanau County probate judge.

Please support Marian Kromkowski with your vote on Nov. 2.

Paul T. Jarboe

Traverse City

Experience, knowledge

For 25 years, we have known Larry Nelson to be a compassionate, ethical, fair, and open-minded person. He also has the integrity, legal experience, and knowledge to be an outstanding Probate Judge. We strongly support Larry J. Nelson for Leelanau County Probate Judge and encourage you to join us in voting for him on Nov. 2.

Eric and Jan Blakely


Not behind closed doors

Four years ago, politically savvy Grand Traverse voters elected Christine Maxbauer a county commissioner. Two years ago, we were fortunate to add Ross Richardson, along with Beth Friend and Mike Stepka.

Questions that are asked now have to be answered, Transparency is becoming the norm. For the first time in years, the County Commission has reasonable members who are not rubber stamps.

While Friend and Stepka are leaving, it's imperative we re-elect Chris and Ross. We must not return to the old days when it was acceptable to conduct the county's business in the back room, behind closed doors.

Marcia Hughes

Traverse City

An impressive record

We recommend voting for Ross Richardson for Grand Traverse County Commission for these reasons:

He has an impressive record of acting in taxpayers' interests.

He voted to remove health insurance for Grand Traverse Pavilion board members who meet only monthly.

He contributes the costs of his health insurance to Traverse Health Clinic, serving the uninsured.

He supports an investigation in the septage plant debacle and those responsible for the problems.

He rejects cronyism, and fights for accountability and financial responsibility.

He is open and available to hear constituent concerns.

Please vote for Ross Richardson for Grand Traverse County Commission.

John and Betty Lewis

Traverse City