Traverse City Record-Eagle

October 26, 2010

Letters at Issue: Elections: 10/26/2010


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Wake up

Regarding the upcoming election, what I have to say is: Believe nothing of what you hear and half of what you see.

Just notice who has the most money to spend on television ads and the numerous mailings. Also, we've had eight years of "staying the course" and look where it's gotten us.

And they expect a Democrat to pull us out of it in two years? Especially with Republican-controlled public offices? Come on, wake up.

Elsie Dudley


A unique opportunity

I write to support Marian Kromkowski for Leelanau County Probate Judge. I have lived and worked in Leelanau County for more than 30 years.

Marian is a fine person of the highest character, and would make a great judge. She will bring her experience as a Family Court Referee together with her training in mediation and peaceful solution of difficult disputes.

This approach is far superior to the traditional adversary approach, especially in domestic situations. The voters of Leelanau County should not pass up this unique opportunity to have a judge with Marian's integrity, experience and energy.

Jack Seaman


Roads need help

Realizing our roads are crumbling, voters across Michigan supported 85 percent of August millage requests to fix roads (The Center for Michigan). Township road millages in East Bay and Acme were declined last November with many claiming they would prefer to support a county road millage.

Granted, giving money to support our infrastructure doesn't leave us with the same happy feeling as giving to a well-deserved program, but there's no doubt our roads need help. If passed, 75 percent of the funds will be used for local roads where it is needed most. Say "yes" this time for our roads.

Renee Kaufman

Traverse City

Perspective and integrity

I am one of the 77 attorneys who endorse Mike Stepka for District Court Judge. I frequently refer cases to Mike. He displays perspective and integrity that is vital to the effective practice of law. Clients that I have sent him wanted an attorney who could achieve an appropriate result without thinking that they were single-handedly sending his kids to college.

This is the same skill set for being a good judge. These characteristics trump political skills that don't amount to much when you are sitting on the bench with a full docket, giving everyone their day in court.

John A. Scott

Traverse City

Most qualified

Twenty years of experience in the District Court. Grand Traverse County Commissioner. TART board member. Volunteer for the Third Level Legal Aid Center and the Women's Resource Center. Domestic Violence Task Force.

District Court Sobriety Court Treatment Team. In the District Court on almost a weekly basis for the last 20 years. Attorney on the court-appointed misdemeanor roster.

Who is the most qualified for the position of 86th District Court Judge? Mike Stepka — that's who.

Amy Dunscombe

Traverse City

No more business as usual

It's time to do away with "business as usual"in Lansing. John Scrudato will bring a fresh, positive approach to representing the citizens of Grand Traverse and Kalkaska counties in Lansing.

With John's experience in business, education and as a former firefighter, he knows more about real life than either of his opponents. He will be a strong advocate for public education as well as defending the right of working men and women. He's not a career politician who will allow special interests and political action committees to dictate his vote.

Elect John Scrudato for 104th District State Representative.

Jo Bartlett

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


Clear violations

The Traverse City Area Chamber of Commerce says the Traverse City Light & Power board is "non-political," yet the board approved a mailer that is clearly meant to influence voters to reject Proposal 1. The board then approved using public funds to mail these fliers, all of which are clear violations of the law.

I was a TCL&P board member for eight years and I can tell you that they are as political as any board. The Chamber refuses to openly discuss their allegations while now receiving $25,000 per year from TCL&P.

Vote "yes" on Proposals 1 and 2.

Jim Tompkins

Traverse City

Accurate, professional

On Nov, 2 I will vote for Larry Nelson for Probate Judge. Larry has assisted me in many matters both personal and professional. Many of these were directly related to probate issues which he handled quickly, accurately and professionally. His knowledge and experience will make him a fair and honest judge.

Please join me in voting for Larry Nelson.

Mark Carlson


List the contributors

The greatest threat to American democracy may be political ads funded by hidden or foreign donors. The United States Chamber of Commerce's policy of not showing how foreign and American funds are kept separate in the same bank accounts is just wrong. All political ads should tell not only the official name of the funding organization but a list of all the people and organizations that contributed to that fund.

We as a people deserve this information. What we do not need is a defense of this practice based on fake comparisons, it adds nothing to the discussion. It just cheapens it.

Don Seman


Knowledge, integrity

I was disappointed to read Ralph Cerny's disparaging letter about Mike Stepka's campaign. If he had actually met Mike himself he would know that Mike is a tireless advocate for our community and his clients. Unfortunately, he chose to listen to some political propaganda. Mike will not be sending any false and misleading robo calls like Mr. Elsinheimer has already done. It is really amazing that anyone would write such a public letter without ever having met the person they are talking about. I invite you to meet Mike Stepka and guarantee you will be impressed with his knowledge and integrity.

Nancy Olewinski

Traverse City

Finds common ground

I was very saddened to read two letters to the editor attacking Marian Kromkowski for her work for world peace. She focuses her work on educating people about issues and finding common ground for dialogue. Marian works for peace on all levels, including her work on mediation and collaborative law services. She is thoughtful, articulate and even-handed.

My family has property in Leelanau County and I grew up coming to Glen Lake every summer. I care very much that the families of Leelanau County are served by the best candidate for this important position of Probate Judge: Marian Kromkowski.

Sally Van Vleck

Traverse City

Planning abysmal

"No" on the millage for the Grand Traverse Road Commission. Poor management, poor oversight by the commission, poor planning. That is all we get from this bunch. They can't do the job and their only idea is to go to the "trough" for more money from the taxpayers.

Their track record for planning and foresight and futuring is abysmal. Don't reward poor management. I would rather drive on dirt and gravel than give these guys more of my money.

Bill Plough

Traverse City

Perfect temperament

Mike Stepka is not a politician. He is a Traverse City native who has worked hard over the last 20 years in the 86th District Court as an attorney. He is committed to serving his community through numerous volunteer groups and boards. He is respectful to everyone he encounters and has the perfect temperament for a judge. Mike deserves to be the next District Court Judge.

Please join me on Nov. 2 and vote for Mike Stepka. Lets keep politics out of the District Court.

Peter Smith

Traverse City

A love of northern Mich.

If Justice Alton Davis is not elected in November, Michigan will continue to have its highest court dominated by special interest money.

Justice Davis will bring an honest, compassionate mind and a love of northern Michigan to a court which is now a bastion of partisan bickering and a particularly odious form of judicial money laundering. Unlike some current Justices, Tom Davis is not beholden to Big Water, Big Oil or Big Insurance. He will not check his wallet before he renders judgments.

It's time to send another message that the court will not be bought.

Michael Delp


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

Professional demeanor

I have known Mike Stepka for almost 20 years and hundreds of times I have been in the same courtroom as him in the Family Court, Circuit Court and District Courts. His professional demeanor is always outstanding. He is a great advocate for his clients and is well prepared for any situation.

My respect for Mike and confidence in his ability has enabled me to refer clients to him on a regular basis. I have seen his opponent in the Grand Traverse Courthouses one time. He was meeting people and shaking hands.

Elect a trial attorney, not a politician.

Dave Clark

Traverse City

More qualified

Michael Stepka is more qualified to be 86th district judge. His experience in that court, his life experiences (the Pro Bono Award for free legal aid, Women's Resource Center and 3rd Level Crisis Center board member) and his endorsements (Traverse City police officers and Grand Traverse deputies) indicate his qualifications and commitment.

Mr. Elsenheimer is a fine person. He is not qualified for this position. He's been a excellent politician for the Republican Party and a good representative for the 105th House District. Neither position holds a candle to the qualifications of Michael Stepka to be 86th District Court Judge.

Sally Hannert


Extend senior services

On Nov. 2, we can vote to merge the Traverse City Senior Center with the Commission on Aging, and extend the many Senior Center services to seniors county wide.

While the Senior Center will stay in its beautiful location on West Bay, county residents who live in communities like Interlochen, Kingsley, Fife Lake and Acme will have senior programs brought to them in public centers like libraries and township offices. A small millage will support valuable Senior Center operations.

Please join me in voting "yes" for the Senior Center proposal.

Ellie Canfield

Traverse City

Honorable public service

There are candidates of all stripes running for office in northern Michigan and the wider public arena. Despite a lot of bad ads, we should thank each for standing for public office. This election may seem rough and tumble, but democracy benefits from vigorous public discourse.

There is one special candidate who should draw our attention — Alton T. Davis, Michigan Supreme Court Justice.

Justice Davis has helped raise Michigan's Supreme Court above judicial activism and bias, and has dedicated his life to honorable public service. The least we can do, as responsible citizens, is get out and vote for him.

Grant W. Parsons

Traverse City

Intelligent, fair-minded

It has been my pleasure to know John Scrudato for many years now. As a former firefighter he is a special breed of human being. I can personally attest to the fact that he is extremely intelligent, fair-minded and personable. John knows when to do the right thing and he will serve this community well as our representative for the 104th State House District. Let's oust some of the career politicians and scoundrels in Lansing and elect more people like John. He's got my vote.

David Core

Traverse City

Captain (Ret.) Traverse City Fire Department.

Will ensure excellence

In 27 years of practice in the 86th District Court, I have been overwhelmingly impressed by our judges' preparation, attention, and temperament, especially compared to District Courts throughout the rest of Michigan. If you are a crime victim, a landlord, a tenant, a creditor, a debtor, or are involved in a neighborhood or business dispute in Antrim, Grand Traverse, or Leelanau counties, your legal matter will be properly resolved if Mike Stepka is elected to replace retiring judge John D. Foresman.

Mike Stepka, as 86th District Judge, will ensure that the judicial excellence unique to our three-county area is maintained.

Norman K. Droste

Traverse City

An excellent judge

I have been a legal assistant for 30 years in the Grand Traverse County area. In that time I have met with and observed many lawyers. I have known Michael Stepka for about 15 years. I appear in the Grand Traverse County Courthouse with my boss at least twice a week and have watched Michael Stepka interact with his clients and court personnel on numerous occasions. He is always prepared and does an excellent job assisting his clients. I have great respect for him as a person and attorney.

I truly believe that Michael Stepka would make an excellent judge.

Lindsey Geiger

Traverse City

Just say no I am tired of hearing the Grand Traverse County and the Road Commission justifying their payroll and expenditure increases saying "it's OK because it's budgeted cost of living increases." What world are they living in? I'm being told two years in a row now there is no CPI increase so will not be getting a Social Security raise. There must be two sets of books, one for me and one for my employees, ie. government workers.

Start standing up to these people. When in that voting booth, just say no, any way you can.

David Ransom

Traverse City

Didn't get a raise

Oh, really, the road commission gets a raise. Yep, let's see; I didn't get a raise. Social Security didn't get a raise. The people who are on unemployment didn't get a raise. The people who are working with reduced hours didn't get a raise.

How about canceling the raise, refund the tax money or reduce the property taxes. It might mean someone could pay a house payment. That would feel like a raise, so it can help the struggling people out here in your county.

Like a famous person once said, "I don't know, is it just me?"

Ron Hodgins

Traverse City

Honesty, diligence

Ruth Johnson is the best candidate for Secretary of State. She recently discovered the alleged forged candidate signatures submitted by the fake Tea Party and a grand jury is now investigating the matter. The Oakland Democratic Party chair and his assistant were forced to resign over this incident. She also uncovered corruption at Oakland Intermediate School District, which landed the top administrator in jail.

You will see the same diligence when she is elected to be our Secretary of State. With Ruth Johnson you get an honest Secretary of State whose only agenda is to work for you.

Nancy Elfes


Considers the facts

Kevin Elsenheimer is a career politician who is term limited and is looking for a job. Mike Stepka has spent the last 20 years working primarily in the district court with clients. He is well informed and up to date with all current programs and policies of the court.

My observations of Mike Stepka are he is a listener, thinker and considers all the facts before arriving at a judgement. His integrity is impeccable. Vote Stepka for district court judge, the only real choice for the people.

Larry B. Fleis

Traverse City

The writer is a retired captain of Traverse City Police Department and a Grand Traverse County commissioner.

Keep commission focused

Please join me in voting "no" on Traverse City Proposal 1. Thirty years ago, city voters and the City Commission properly separated the Traverse City Light & Power board from the City Commission. They recognized then that running a municipal utility required specialized time and energy, and left TCL&P budget approval and bond-issuing power with the Commission.

Today, five of our seven current city commissioners do not support Proposal 1. Please listen to them and vote no.

Keep the city commission focused on city issues.

Chris Lambert

Traverse City

Tireless advocate

Join me in supporting Howard Walker for the 37th Senate District. Howard is a tireless advocate for our area. He led the charge in Lansing to bring equity back into school funding. He believes Michigan must live within its means. He will work hard to create jobs in Michigan. He is an advocate of small business, tourism and agriculture.

Howard has the desire and the determination to best represent our interests in Lansing. Vote for Howard Walker Nov. 2.

Matt Classens

Traverse City

Creative solutions

I support John Scrudato for the 104th District State House seat and I hope you will vote for him on Nov. 2. I believe we need a representative who will offer some new ideas in Lansing. The old ideas are just not working.

When John was the president of the Traverse City Teachers' Association he gained my respect as a leader. He demonstrated to me many times the old-fashioned way of solving problems. He would thoroughly study an issue and only then would he offer a creative solution. Amazingly, he even found compromises to be effective solutions.

John Kaminski