Traverse City Record-Eagle

October 25, 2012

Election Letters to the Editor: 10/25/2012


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Sound judgments

The defining difference between our Probate Judge candidates tips the scales in favor of Kirsten Keilitz. Kirsten's experience as a referee, hearing 1,000-plus family law cases, and her private practice in family law offer excellent preparation for the Probate Judge role.

For 20-plus years I've known Kirsten and her parents, Gene and Marlene Keilitz, observed her professional career, and volunteered alongside her in Rotary. She demonstrates adroit decision-making and wise diplomacy. She makes sound judgments based on listening, evidence, insightful "reading" of situations and seasoned understanding of human nature — exactly what I want in our next Probate Judge.

Kathleen Guy


Has the experience

I have read numerous letters to the editor that tout a judicial candidate's experience. Often the letters emphasize a candidate's "experience," but they never describe the experience or how it relates to serving as a judge. I support Kirsten Keilitz' election to the Grand Traverse County Probate Judge position because she has the experience of sitting as a Family Court Referee for three years, who presided over trials, made evidentiary decisions, and assessed the credibility of testifying witnesses in her courtroom.

Experience for the job of judge matters. Please vote for Kirsten, who actually has that practical experience.

George F. Bearup

Traverse City

Remember the chaos

I am writing in response to the Oct. 11 letter headlined "A clear choice." Let's remember the chaos, the train-wrecked economy pushed over the cliff, the housing market collapse, the alarming shrinking of the middle class, all at the hands of the "clear choice" obstructionist GOP. The writer obviously wore "rose-colored glasses" during the Bush years or is in blatant denial of fact.

The Oct. 16 letter headlined "Obstruction campaign" is "spot-on." Obstructionist Mitch McConnell's stated primary agenda: "ensure Obama is a one-term president."

That mindset proves that the GOP agenda does not include what is best for America.

Rich Willing


Fulfilled task

In making a decision regarding the Probate Judge candidates, I ask my fellow citizens to recall that judges tend to serve this county for many years.

Both candidates are qualified. However, I was one of the judges who unanimously chose Kirsten Keilitz to serve the Family Division as a Referee. Ms. Keilitz has fulfilled that task admirably and with compassion for the families appearing before her.

I believe Ms. Keilitz's substantial experience in divorce and juvenile matters will make her an outstanding Probate Judge who will serve us well for many years.

Philip E. Rodgers Jr.

Traverse City

The writer is 13th Circuit Court Judge.

Professional and proven

I'd like to support the most worthy candidate for Benzie County Probate Judge, John Daugherty. John Daugherty is positive, professional, personal and proven. His opponent is an up-and-coming candidate but lacks experience. This may come one day.

Daugherty restored credibility to the Benzie Prosecutor's Office through diligence, fairness, honoring the responsibilities of that office and doing what was right. Daugherty is the only candidate who actually litigated successfully in every Benzie County Court judicial setting. He walked the walk professionally and stands ready to assume this responsible office. Support Daugherty and vote Nov. 6.

Don Howard


Experience that counts

Melanie Stanton is the candidate for Probate Judge with the experience that counts. Melanie is concerned about the people. She will treat all people with fairness and dignity. We deserve to have a Probate Judge willing to step up and act in the best interest of families, children and vulnerable individuals. Melanie is that candidate. A background that includes nursing, 23 years as an attorney and 16 years Probate Court experience makes her best qualified. A vote for Melanie Stanton on Nov. 6 will be a vote for all vulnerable people of the county.

Dawn Bauer


Elect those who respect

On Nov. 6 voters can elect representatives who actually respect women, such as Betsy Coffia for State Representative, versus Wayne Schmidt, who dismissed two Michigan female legislators as "needing a time out" for publicly using the word "vagina."

Dan Benishek sponsored a bill to outlaw abortion even to save the mother's life, meaning a woman could die from an ectopic pregnancy.

A Romney presidency could limit/eliminate access to breast cancer screenings and birth control for many women and endanger many more lives by overturning Roe vs. Wade.

Hopefully women value themselves enough to elect leaders who demonstrate respect for them.

Donna Miller

Traverse City

Extensive experience

I have known Probate Judge candidate Kirsten L. Keilitz most of my life, personally and professionally.

She grew up here, graduated from Traverse City Senior High School, received her undergraduate degree from U-M and earned a law degree from Cooley Law School.

Kirsten has an understanding of the region's history, culture and traditions, which will suit her well as the county's first elected woman Judge. She also has very extensive experience from her years as a family law attorney and Family Division Referee, which makes her the best choice for Probate Judge.

Vote Kirsten L. Keilitz Nov. 6.

Hayley A. Bergstrom


Chance to effect change

Many people complain about all the laws and interference of government in their lives. Proposal 2 would get rid of dozens of state laws. Now is your chance to effect change. A clean slate to some degree. Vote "yes" on Proposal 2.

Melissa Culver

Rapid City

Repeal the tax

Michigan retirees, your mailbox is full of election spam, robo-calls, radio and TV are full of half-truths and lies about six proposals and the accomplishments of incumbents trying to keep their jobs.

Gov. Snyder and incumbents tell us Michigan is rebounding because they cut the small business tax and the rainy day fund is over $650 million.

What they fail to say is they did it on the backs of 20 percent of the voters, the retirees.

Go to, see how your guy voted.

If he stiffed you, rain on his parade. Repeal the retiree tax in Michigan.

Michael Hainen

Traverse City

Send a message

There are times when the citizens of a state are more forward thinking than their Legislature. Our state Constitution gives the people the right to take action.

Article 1, Section1, states, "All political power is inherent in the people."

Proposal 3 gives the citizens of Michigan the opportunity to send the message to our Legislature and to manufacturing businesses that we want a clean energy future and the thousands of jobs it will create.

Please join the "voice of the people" in adopting Proposal 3 for the health of the planet and our pocketbooks.

Carole Chirgwin

Traverse City

Superbly qualified

Former Michigan Gov. Bill Milliken has endorsed Bridget Mary McCormack for election to the Michigan Supreme Court.

McCormack, a dean at the University of Michigan Law School, is superbly qualified for the Supreme Court.

McCormack is well prepared to deal with issues that come before the court, including insurance regulation, environmental issues and consumer protection.

Please join me in voting for Ms. McCormack Nov. 6.

Ted Curran


Another road study?

This will be short and to the point.

Really ... another road study?

TC-TALUS has done studies on the Division Street corridor since around 1994-ish.

Umm, more taxpayer money to be wasted.

Voters may want to request a history of TC-TALUS' audits to review for yourself.

John Jacobs

Traverse City

Who should you choose?

Who should you choose for Probate Judge?

A candidate who was born and raised in Traverse City, or one who was born in Canada and only recently became a United States citizen?

One who represented 129 clients in domestic relations matters in Grand Traverse County courts or one who represented 37?

One who has conducted 300-plus evidentiary hearings on family division matters, more than 1,200 hearings to enforce court orders, and hundreds of hearings on juvenile delinquency and child abuse/neglect matters, or one who has conducted no hearings?

The choice is simple. Vote Kirsten Keilitz for Probate Judge!

Barbara D. Budros

Traverse City

Tough, conservative

Michigan Supreme Court justices Stephen Markman and Brian Zahra and Judge Colleen O'Brien are tough, conservative, rule-of-law judges who uphold the law as it was written, and do not legislate from the bench.

They believe every American citizen deserves the same fair treatment and unbiased interpretation of the law.

The Michigan Supreme Court hands down decisions that affect the daily lives of every Michigan citizen.

This November I cast my vote for Justices Stephen Markman and Brian Zahra and Judge Colleen O'Brien on the non-partisan ballot.

I encourage you to do the same.

Marie Kirt


High integrity

We've known Kirsten Keilitz for over 10 years, and she's an outstanding choice for Grand Traverse County's probate court judge.

Kirsten's passion for community service will truly make a difference for those facing personal or family challenges.

She's a person of high integrity and her tenure as 13th Circuit Court Domestic Relations Referee has well prepared her for the duties as probate court judge.

Her extensive courtroom experience will serve our county well, and as a Traverse City native, Kirsten understands the challenges our community faces.

Please join us in voting for Kirsten Keilitz on Nov. 6.

Jeff and Jackie Anderson

Traverse City

Improve efficiency

Will Proposal 3 reduce greenhouse gas and mercury pollution?

The answer is yes but the question that must be asked is "how does this compare to alternative solutions?"

The answer is not very well.

Much greater reductions can be achieved at a much lower cost by improving energy efficiency, converting some coal plants to gas and by implementing better emission controls.

It is simply a bad idea to constitutionally mandate renewables when more cost-effective solutions are available.

With Michigan's limited financial resources, mandating $12 billion for wind leaves $12 billion off the table for proven solutions.

Abby Beale


Caring, respectful

Melanie Stanton for Probate Judge for Grand Traverse County.

I have known Melanie both as a professional and personal family friend for over 10 years.

She has compassion for both the elderly and for families in crisis.

I had the opportunity to witness her dedication to her clients as well as her aging family members.

She has an extraordinary way of understanding their medical, emotional and legal needs.

I know she will be caring, compassionate, respectful to the parties involved. Please vote for Melanie Stanton for Probate Judge.

Elizabeth Petrella-McKellar