ATTICA TWP. — There’s a three-way race for the top spot on the township board. Incumbent Al Ochadleus hopes to earn another four-year term. His challengers are Austin McLellan and Tom Tullio. All three are Republicans and whoever gets the most votes in the August 4 primary secures the seat.

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Austin McLellan said he decided to enter the race because he believes it’s time for change in the township.

He wants township government to be more accessible and responsive to residents. If elected, McLellan said he would advocate for a change in office hours to include one to two days a week with evening hours.

“We should have meetings where the residents feel they can come and express concerns or issues without it feeling like they are landing on deaf ears,” he said.

As supervisor, McLellan said he would foster a more “open door” policy that would encourage residents to talk to elected officials and help them feel that they “have a voice in the choices that are being made.”

McLellan also believes it’s time to evaluate regulations currently in place that apply to things like adding barns and outbuildings on private property.

“I do feel as my degrees in business and health care have not only benefited myself, but Attica Township,” he said.

“The education I have received has taught me how to sit back and listen to understand situations before making any quick decisions.”

McLellan served on the Attica Township Fire Department for more than 10 years.

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Al Ochadleus has served as Attica Township supervisor for the past 22 years. Prior to that he logged time as a planning commission member and board trustee.

“I enjoy working with residents of the township and I feel I make a positive contribution every day,” Ochadleus said of his desire to seek re-election.

In a new term, Ochadleus said he would seek to continue upgrading the township’s roads, take steps to expand the cemetery and further develop the township park.

When it comes to roads, he feels upgrading at least one mile per year from gravel to limestone is an appropriate goal. As for the cemetery, he wants to explore development of a portion of 16 acres behind the park into a five acre cemetery.
As for park improvements, he feels the addition of two soccer fields and playscapes should be considered.

“My background and experience as supervisor ensures that all decisions are based on fairness to all. I guide the residents in following township regulations and yet urge them to work to change the ones they feel are unjust,” Ochadleus said.

“There’s no ‘good old boys system.’ The rules are for everyone.”

Ochadleus currently chairs the Lapeer County EMS board and sits on the Construction Code Authority board and previously served on other county and regional boards. He’s retired as a manufacturing executive with Vlasic Foods and Campbell Soup.

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Tom Tullio is a licensed builder and engineer who’s been self-employed for 40 years.

“The reason I am running is over the last three years I have attended most of the township meetings and I have observed the township does not follow their ordinances or master plan in making decisions,” he said.

“ I believe in fairness and protecting property values.”

As supervisor, Tullio said he would want to ensure the fire department has updated equipment and an inventory of personal protective equipment and give more attention to roads, suggesting that Attica’s gravel roads need three scheduled chloride applications per year.

“Other areas of attention where the community can benefit from include high-speed internet, late night office hours, online interaction and a review of usage of township owned property for recreational purposes,” he said.

As a new home builder, excavator, land developer and campground owner, Tullio said he’s interacted with township and county officials and engineers and is familiar with township zoning ordinances and infrastructure.

Additionally, he volunteers his time to help the less fortunate and provides a location for the Attica Township Fire Department to perform ice rescue training.