Young and energetic
Recently I had the pleasure of meeting Betsy Coffia and listening to her reasons for running for an elected office. Betsy, like the rest of us, is tired of politics being dominated by money and is running for state representative for the 104th District. She is not accepting any PAC money or out-of-state contributions. She's young and energetic and believes she can represent you and not the special interests.
To learn more about what Betsy believes and stands for, go to www.betsyformichigan.com. I think you will agree we need to elect Betsy Coffia for 104th State Representative on Nov. 6.
Mary K. Parker
As a retired judge who served 24 years on the bench in Grand Traverse County, I have had a good opportunity to observe the two candidates for the probate court vacancy. Both are well-qualified professionally.
My endorsement of attorney Melanie Stanton is based on her ideal judicial demeanor. By that I mean all those qualities of character, temperament, judgment and discretion which distinguish great judges. In my opinion, she will bring strength to the court, mitigated by warmth, friendliness, fairness and humility, the kind of judge we all want and admire.
James R. McCormick
I have encountered many incredible individuals, but one who stands out is Patricia Soutas-Little, who is running for Leelanau County Commissioner, Fifth District. It is her personal drive to better the lives of others, from young to old, that is exemplary. I have had the pleasure to see Patricia in action as a fellow community member and also with her role with the Leelanau Early Childhood Development Commission. I have no doubt in Patricia's abilities and desire to bring strong leadership to Leelanau County, and this is why I fully support her candidacy. Leelanau County will benefit with her leadership.
Derek J. Bailey
Progress will continue
In 2008 Michigan adopted a 10 percent renewable energy standard. At the time, we were spending over $1 billion annually hauling coal from other states, but only a few million on renewable energy. Today, we're on track to meet the 10 percent standard by 2015. We're burning less coal. More than 230 Michigan companies are active in the wind and solar supply chains. Prices for renewable energy have dropped. If Proposal 3 passes, this progress will continue. If it fails, the progress stops.
The Legislature is going nowhere on this issue; it's up to us. Vote yes on Proposal 3.
Don't be fooled
Proposals 2 and 4 sound good (protect workers/home health care recipients), but their real intent is to lock public union protections into our state Constitution. Proposal 2 requires the state to withhold union dues for 60,000 home health care providers directly from Medicaid recipients' payments, whether or not providers want union representation. Our Legislature stopped this practice, so the union is trying to bypass them by inserting this and other protections into our Constitution. Unions will use those dues to buy friendly politicians to negotiate gold-plated benefits at taxpayers' expense.
Don't be fooled. Vote no on Proposals 2 and 4.
Don't be confused
Through all the smoke the issues in this election cycle are clear. If we're a democracy, we must not validate that which is undemocratic. A middle class under siege while an unprecedented concentration of wealth wields unlimited influence on our elections; an underfunded, crumbling infrastructure, including education and health care; we're forced to endure a political process that allows for shameless lies and deceptions.
There was even a blatant attempt to "complicate" the voting process with the clear intent to disenfranchise certain voters. Don't let them confuse you. It's all there in the party platforms. Vote Democratic — for our democracy.
'Needs' and 'wants'
What a coincidence that TCAPS packages the bond proposal to include $56 million for much-needed building repairs with $26 million for a new performing arts center. Why not separate the two initiatives and let them stand on their own merit? They now jeopardize the much-needed resources for building renovations by coupling it with a "fluff' project.
In these strained economic times, isn't it ironic that our school administrators have difficulty making the distinction between "needs" and "wants." Hoodwinked, not.
I have practiced law before the Grand Traverse County Probate Court for 40 years. For the past 15 years I have either practiced law with Kirsten L. Keilitz or before her as Circuit Court Family Division Referee or as Probate Court Referee. I am one of the 125 local lawyers who endorsed Ms. Keilitz in the Oct. 1 edition of the Record-Eagle. Ms. Keilitz is principled, extremely competent, even tempered and diligent in all that she undertakes. She is the most qualified candidate to be our next Grand Traverse County Probate Judge.
Michael D. Lewis
Dig deeper into facts
I will proudly vote "yes" for Traverse City Area Public Schools' bond proposal and, ultimately, for our children. Safety and efficiency of the enormous infrastructure that TCAPS manages is part of what allows our children to be globally competitive. Understanding more about the financial integrity of our public school system, I trust my investment in TCAPS. If it seems any part of this bond request is not appropriate for the betterment of our youth, please dig deeper into the facts. Our children deserve a vibrant and safe learning environment. None of this is a luxury, it is a necessity.