ALMONT TWP. — Township residents will be asked to select four candidates to serve as board trustees on the Republican side of the August 4 ballot. The field of candidates numbers five—Rick Dodge, Randy Eschenburg, Gary Groesbeck, Steven Hoffa and Kimberly Streeter.
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Rick Dodge has spent the last 15 years attending the Almont Township Board and Planning meetings. Rick currently serves on three Boards—the Almont Twp. Zoning Board of Appeals, the Board of Review and the Almont Township Planning Commission. He served as the Planning Commission Secretary for three years. Rick has also volunteered his time at many events in the community.
A good working relationship with the village, and upgrading the infrastructure are both important to Dodge.
“Our electrical systems are in dire need of upgrading and we need to push DTE to move this along. Cell phone and internet systems are not adequate and natural gas or cable TV are not available in many areas of our community. This has been a frustration for many residents for too long. I would like to build a better working relationship between the village and township. We may be two municipalities but we are one community,” he said.
Dodge hopes to help find ways to reduce spending of tax dollars and maintain fiscal responsibility if elected. He would also like to see more transparency between the Board and the community.
“As a long time resident of Almont Township, I feel it’s important to do my part to serve the community, making it the best place it can be for all residents. I now would like to focus my energy to serve the community as Trustee of the Almont Township Board to promote positive change for the Almont Community. Local government should be responsible to the people and betterment of the community and work together with other local municipalities,” he said.
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Randy Eschenburg is a past board trustee. He was born and raised in Almont Township and raised his four children on their family owned farm.
“I will never make a promise that I can’t keep” said Eschenburg regarding his main focus if elected as trustee. He said he plans to vote using input from residents.
He shared that he appreciates the rural and farm community and wants to see the township’s growth slow and well-thought out.
Eschenburg acknowledged the concerns from the community with the current DTE electrical issues, and lack of internet and cable options, and said “I will work to better these concerns.” While he plans to communicate with DTE Energy regarding the electrical concerns, he cannot promise that he will fix the issues entirely.
Eschenburg held a seat on the Planning Commission in the past, and served on a committee that worked to appeal the state’s attempt to remove Almont Township’s Building Department.
He shared that while he took a brief break from the board, he really enjoyed his time serving and he looks forward to working for the people if elected.
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Gary Groesbeck and his wife Cynthia moved to Almont Township 33 years ago to live in a more rural area. Together, they raised their six children, and have 14 grandchildren. Gary is a retired deputy sheriff from the Macomb County Sheriff’s office.
Groesbeck shared that in 2008, when Jim Rinke resigned as supervisor, he was selected to finish the term. He was reelected for the following term and served four more years as supervisor. Groesbeck then took a four-year break and later returned to the Board as a trustee. He has served in that capacity since and is hopeful to continue to serve the community that he loves.
“I feel that I have a voice with the voters and I have a vested interest in continuing to serve,” Groesbeck said.
He said he’s an advocate for maintaining the aesthetics of Almont Township. He shared that he really enjoys the rural atmosphere. The township has been developing quickly, and Groesbeck expressed that he plans to continue to work to maintain a slow and controlled growth.
He feels that transparency is important between the board and the community.
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Steve Hoffa, along with his wife Peggy of 37 years, raised their four children in the township. He has been self-employed in property management for 35 years. His grown children and grandchildren reside in Almont as well.
Fiscal responsibility, and maintaining the infrastructure are both main focus points for Hoffa, looking forward to a new term in office.
Hoffa shared that he would like to see advancement in the community master plan where and when the board is able.
He has given of his time to the community in a variety of ways.
“I served on the Almont Community Schools Board of Education, Almont baseball and softball summer program boards and I serve on the Four County Foundation Fund and the Lapeer County Community Foundation board,” Hoffa shared. Steve and his wife Peggy are donors for the Family Literacy Center in Lapeer.
“I believe I can help the community move forward in a positive direction,” he said.
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Kim Streeter is married, with two grown sons and five grandchildren. She is employed as a Legal Assistant for Progressive Insurance MI House Counsel and has served on the township board since 2012.
Representing fellow residents and ensuring taxes are being spent appropriately are of great importance to Streeter.
“I understand how special this community is. I grew up 10 miles away and appreciate and respect the residents of Almont. As a current trustee, I believe that common sense, clear thinking and fiscal responsibility are crucial in our world and our community. I’m a resident and a taxpayer also, and I have questions to ask about our local government and I want to know the answers,” she said.
“I would like to represent and advocate for the people that aren’t able to attend a board meeting, but do care about what happens in our community.”
“I would also like to continue the Board’s fiscally conservative path. The Board was able to enlarge, remodel and rehab the current Township Hall using tax dollars that had been saved for that purpose. I’m proud of the fact that no additional tax dollars or millage was requested of our residents for that project. The Township still has an extremely healthy savings balance even with that expense,” she added.
Streeter is a member of the Planning Commission, has served as the Board Representative to the Planning Commission, and served on the Zoning Board of Appeals in the past. She is a trained election worker.
Streeter shared that she plans to continue working with DTE towards a better solution, saying “DTE and the continuing electrical interruptions in Almont are very important to everyone. I’m disappointed that the planned upgrades have not started yet, and I would like to explore other options to help get it moving with more urgency. Bringing in our county and state representatives to the conversation with DTE could be helpful.”