A sure sign of a thriving democracy is when elections draw able candidates and voters have clear choices.
That’s the case this year in Traverse City, where seven people are seeking three four-year terms on the City commission and there are two candidates for mayor.
This is a strong field and voters have legitimate choices.
n City Commission incumbent Jody Bergman, 59, who was first elected eight years ago, is the commission’s longest-serving member. She is vice president of estimating for Comstock Construction.
Bergman has proven to be an independent thinker who takes an “if-it’s-not-broken” approach.
She would rather see the city better schedule Open Space festivals and address nuisance issues than limit the number. She said she won’t support action to dictate changes to the National Cherry Festival.
Bergman sits on the commission committee considering a possible consolidation with Grand Traverse Metro Fire Department. She wisely supported talks so the city could make an informed decision, but now says she hasn’t seen a proposal she’d back.
“I will not support any cut in service and I will not support any additional costs to our residents, and I wouldn’t support hiring Metro on a contract basis,” she said.
n If the city had the resources, she would first add to the fire and police departments, she said.
n She doesn’t support a proposed county road millage, even if it could bring $750,000 a year to the city.
n She oppposes letting the TIF 2 tax increment financing district expire but thinks the city should reduce the rate to zero or give back the money until a project is determined.
Bergman has earned another term
n Patrick McGuire is chairman of the board for Traverse City Light & Power. He ran unsuccessfully for city commission in 2011. The 61-year-old is chief financial officer for Howard Energy Co., Inc.