Traverse City Record-Eagle

October 24, 2010

Letters at Issue: Elections: 10/24/2010


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Give L&P a chance

Traverse City Light & Power made some public relations mistakes during the biomass plant process, and admitted so. But does that really substantiate Proposal 1? Margaret Dodd suggests that, "Knowledge of electricity production, intelligence, or good judgement are not required for either the Light & Power Board, or the city commission."

Really? The reason for the separation in 1979 was "to have a specialized, city-appointed board handle the utility instead of leaving decisions to already busy city commissioners."

Let's give TCL&P a chance to clean up their PR department before we add yet another layer of politics to the mix.

Sharon L. Neumann

Traverse City

Protecting groundwater

Here's a broader picture of groundwater.

Groundwater, as air and rain, is not private property. Private landowners can only use water as it flows under their land.

Only 5 percent of the water in the Great Lakes is renewable, through rain, rivers and groundwater.

The western third of our country is very thirsty. How long before the "big guys" begin looking at our fresh water?

Dan Scripps is facing this huge challenge to protect our groundwater by proposing Amendment 5319 to PA451. We urge a vote for Dan Scripps so that he can continue his battle against the "big guys."

Tom and Shirley Wall

Suttons Bay

Temperament, knowledge

I am a native of Leelanau County. We citizens have a unique opportunity to elect a Probate Judge who has proven experience. Marian Kromkowski would be an excellent replacement for the late Judge Deegan. I have observed Marian speak at community gatherings and remain convinced that she has the necessary skills, temperament and knowledge that our county needs.

I highly recommend that you vote for Marian Kromkowski as our next Leelanau County Probate Judge.

John Popa

Bingham/Traverse City

Vote for integrity

A vote for Larry Nelson for Leelanau County Probate Judge is a vote for integrity. His professional demeanor, wisdom, and courtroom experience are qualifications needed. I've known Larry Nelson for over 30 years as a County Commissioner and two-year chairmanship. His knowledge of the law is necessary for Probate Court and the overflow from District and Circuit courts, when necessary. A vote for Larry Nelson is a vote for excellence.

James A. and Ede Meyer

Elmwood Twp.

More business thinkers

We need more business concept thinkers in our government at all levels. Ross Richardson has proven to be effective as our County Commissioner for the past two years, saving our tax money. He listens to us, as reflected in the poorly handled septage plant issues, clean water issues, and fighting to provide transparencies in our government.

Vote for Ross Richardson.

Tom and Josi Carney

Traverse City

Don't trust extremists

Don't trust extremist conservative right-wing "tea party" type candidates who want you to believe they can fix government. Vote for common-sense candidates who pledge to work with both sides of the aisle based on knowledge and experience. Please vote for quality, dedication and for those who will work for all of our citizens.

Vote Virg Bernero, governor; Jocelyn Bensen, Secretary of State; John Scrudato, 104th House District Representative; Alton Davis, Supreme Court; Ross Richardson, Grand Traverse County Commissioner; and Mike Stepka, 86th District Judge.

Every vote counts and every vote is needed to keep extremism away from politics.

Jim Carruthers

Traverse City

The writer is a Traverse City commissioner.

Descriptions all true

We plan to vote Nov. 2 for leelanau County probate judge. Our candidate has been described in other letters to the editor as experienced, fair-minded, a community leader, trustworthy, diligent and caring; and the positive descriptions go on. They are all true. Larry Nelson has been our attorney for nearly 30 years and we strongly support him. He has our vote; please give him yours.

Ray and Thea Kellogg


The wrong approach

Traverse City Proposal 1 is the wrong approach to fixing problems with Traverse City Light & Power. The proposal is a knee-jerk solution to a complex issue that deserves considerable research and dialog. The issue of TCL&P governance should be kept separate from the rightful criticism and concern over the utility's recent public relations blunders.

TCL&P can and should be held accountable through the existing checks and balances within the city charter. Proposal 1 is the equivalent of using a bulldozer to remodel a perfectly sound home that simply needs a paint job. Please vote "no" on Proposal 1.

Bill Palladino

Traverse City

Sets the bar high

Kevin Elsenheimer, who I have known since he was a teenager, learned early on when he first ran for the state Legislature the value of honesty and integrity. His message was always positive, never bashing the other guy.

A member of his opponent's campaign recently made untrue statements regarding the SLAPP suit legislation that Kevin originally introduced in the 2006-08 session. While that attempt failed, Kevin worked to support a similar bill which passed in the House with his vote.

Kevin sets the bar for honesty and integrity; he will be an outstanding judge in the 86th District Court.

Hal Van Sumeren


Represented taxpayers

Vengeance in an elected official is not an admirable trait. Ralph Soffredine was forced to resign his illegally held position with the Social Services Board when outed by current county commissioner Ross Richardson. Soffredine was upset that Richardson didn't come to him first. That's what cronies do, and Ralph is a crony. Now he wants to join the same group of cronies that brought us the failed septage plant, no-bid contracts and looking the other way while oil companies withhold assets from the tax rolls.

Commissioner Richardson has consistently represented taxpayers over special interests and cronyism. He has earned re-election.

Caroline Kulczyk

Traverse City

Cost of living raises

I can't believe the Grand Traverse County Road Commission is giving 2.5 percent raises to its staff, plus manager Mary Gillis. They are getting a cost of living raise. My husband and I draw Social Security and we were told the cost of living did not go up. It didn't go up for 2009, either.

How can the cost of living go up for the Grand Traverse County Road Commission and not Social Security? I think if they get a cost of living raise so should people on Social Security. I hope people vote "no" for the Road Commission millage.

Ruth Stevens

Traverse City

A distinguished record

Elected office tends to attract two very different types of people: Those who want to be something and those who want to accomplish something.

Thankfully, Ralph Soffredine falls into the latter category. He has served our community with the integrity and foresight we should demand from all our elected officials.

In this year when the electorate is rightly seeking to clean house and vote out scores of self-interested, professional politicians, let's vote to elect Ralph Soffredine to the Grand Traverse County Commission. Ralph's distinguished record stands as an example to others who would seek public office for the right reasons.

John Hartl, Jr.

Traverse City

Judges were experienced

One of the reasons we have good district and Circuit Court judges is that they were qualified and experienced when first elected and avoid connections with special interest groups, the antithesis of most politicians.

In the race for 86th District Court Judge, we have a politician, Kevin Elsenheimer, with little experience and limited qualifications. His opponent, Mike Stekpa, is not a politician but has a wealth of experience and is highly qualified.

It will be interesting to see which candidate the voters want as our next 86th District Court Judge.

I want Mike Stepka, no doubt.

Katherine Brown

Traverse City