GOODLAND TWP. — Four candidates are in the running for two trustee positions on the township board. The ballot lists incumbents Mike Juip and Norm Tanis and challengers Bob Van Den Berg and Matthew Van Dyk.
The top two vote getters will earn four-year terms on the board.
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Mike Juip was appointed to the board five years ago and successfully sought a full term in the 2016 election.
“I think we’ve done a lot of good things the last five years like our solar and marijuana ordinances. I’d like to see that through and make sure it’s a good thing for residents of the township,” he said of his desire to serve another term.
As for others issue of importance, Juip would like to continue working on finding funds to make repairs to both gravel and asphalt roads and complete ditching projects.
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Norm Tanis has served as a Goodland trustee for the last 12 years.
He also cites seeing existing projects towards completion as his desire for serving another term.
“We were able to save the last original schoolhouse in the township, got it moved and will turn it into a museum,” Tanis said, referring to the Flansburgh School.
“I think preserving that history has a value.”
He’s also motivated to make progress on the township’s development of a new park.
Other issues he feels the board should focus on in the future include improving roads and properly implementing Goodland’s solar ordinance.
Because sufficient funds haven’t been trickling down to townships for road maintenance, the board has opted to put a roads millage on the August ballot, he said.
“Ditching and roads have been neglected and we need to get our funding where it needs to be so we can start working on issues,” Tanis said.
Currently, Tanis also serves on the Imlay City Christian School board.
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Bob Van Den Berg is a 16-year member of the Goodland Township Planning Commission who’s opted to seek a seat on the township board because he’d like to “see the township go in a slightly different direction.”
While he’s enjoyed his time on the planning board, that body makes non-binding recommendations to the board.
“I’d like to get on the board to have a voice in the final say of decisions,” Van Den Berg said.
If elected, he said he will strive to listen to residents and be sensitive to their concerns and the direction that they would like important matters to proceed.
“I believe that when the people have spoken, the people have spoken,” he said.
Van Den Berg is familiar with government operations at different levels, having been involved in drought/flood relief issues at the state and federal levels.
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Matthew Van Dyk said he desires to serve on the board because Goodland is special to him and it’s where his roots are.
“My love for the township, combined with the fresh, new perspective that I bring makes me a promising and dependable trustee for Goodland Township. I am excited to help Goodland Township rise to its full potential,” he said.
If elected, Van Dyk said he would want to address issues of business and resident well-being; fiscal responsibility and community solidarity.
Van Dyk believes Goodland should be proactive rather than reactive in areas such as blight and, in consideration of impending financial issues, seek to provide for residents’ needs at a reasonable cost without overstepping their bounds.
“We are very fortunate to live in a community where it is safe and welcomed to visit with your neighbor. This is a strength of Goodland Township. I want to focus on this unity and build upon it,” he said.
Van Dyk cites former and current experiences as helping prepare him for this role. As a member of the Michigan State Basketball program, he served as the team’s student athlete rights advocate; he’s a Sunday school teacher and head Cadet counselor at Imlay City Christian Reformed Church and gives of his time as a volunteer basketball coach.
“I have also been an inspirational speaker for community events such as graduations, youth group meetings, youth camps, and philanthropic events,” Van Dyk added.