Five open seats on village board up for grabs Nov. 3
ALMONT — Voters in the Village of Almont have six candidates to choose from to fill five open seats on the Village Council.
Three of the candidates will be appointed four-year terms, ending November, 2024 and two candidates will be appointed to two-year terms, ending November 2022.
Those running are James Aleck, Bernie Calka, Jacqueline Calka, Timothy Dyke, Nicholas Giacalone, and Wayne Glasser.
Bernie Calka and Timothy Dyke are incumbents. Those current council members who chose to not see re-election include Patricia Biolchini, Dave Love and Steven C. Schneider.
James Aleck has been an Almont resident since 1987 and graduated from Almont High School.
“I chose to seek a chair for the Village Council so I could be a part of helping lead Almont and its residents in a better direction.” shared Aleck.
If elected, Aleck plans to address the spending of village money.
“One of the important issues I’d like to see addressed and changed, is the way money is being spent. I believe some decisions are made based on what the current Council itself wants and without the thought of the people. I feel that the residents of Almont need to be heard, and I will have a listening ear for any and all concerns. It has been many years since I’ve been involved in the political side of a community, but I truly feel it’s time for a change,” he said.
Aleck is the owner of a trucking company, Aleck’s Transportation Inc.
“If I am elected, I will be an excellent listener for the residents of this great town. There are times of differing opinions; but I can promise that the right thing is to hear all sides of issues and help to work with all the concerns of the people.”
Bernard Calka is hoping to retain his seat on the Village Council, and continue working towards the betterment of the community.
“The reason I wanted to be on the Village Council in the first place was to be better informed on what was happening in our neighborhood. The best way to do this is to get involved. Being on the Village Council, Planning Commission and the Parks Board has given me firsthand experience on what is going on and what is it going to take to make our community better,” he shared.
Bernie Calka has been employed for 35 years at General Motors. He values his work experience and feels it is beneficial in the role as councilmember.
“I have held several different positions. Some of these positions had us managing budgets of millions of dollars. These positions gave me experience in working with different customs and cultures,” he added.
He’s been a volunteer at Music in the Park and helps to maintain the ice rink.
If re-elected Bernie Calka hopes to continue the current work to better the infrastructure saying, “The improvements that are being made to our infrastructure will in the long run decrease the cost of operating and maintaining the village. This will allow us to do more and larger projects in the future. We owe it to the taxpayers to spend their money wisely.”
Jacqueline Calka, is a lifelong Almont resident.
“Almont is very important to me. I value the community. I am seeking office to be more involved in decision making of improving and maintaining the infrastructure. Having the facts and knowing what is happening in Almont and its community is a must for me,” she said.
If elected, Jacqueline Calka wants to ensure the village’s water supply is kept safe and secure. Additionally, would like to focus on “developing and improving infrastructure that needs to be secure in order to maintain the roads; keeping Almont as a warm and welcoming place, where people feel safe to raise their families; and connecting with the community and neighbors. Continuing to improve this government is key to our future,” she said.
Jacqueline Calka has been on the Almont Parks and Rec Council for the last two years where she serves as treasurer. Additionally, she volunteered in the Almont school district when her children attended there.
As an employee at Crittenton/Ascension hospital in the ICU and CVICU departments for 14 years, Jacqueline feels her work experience will be helpful while serving on the Council.
“I feel a few of my strengths are teamwork and compromising,” she said.
“I want to sit on the Almont Village Council because I love Almont, and I want others to feel as safe as I do here at home.”
Timothy Dyke is hoping to continue his work on the Village Council. He’s served on the board since 1998. He works as an IT Support Specialist at Raynet.
“For the past several years I have served as President Pro-Tem. I think I bring a balanced and fair perspective in representing the citizens of the Village. I take every vote seriously and try to be a voice of reason when there is conflict,” he said.
If re-elected, Dyke plans to focus on roads and infrastructure, saying “The state supplied money has not been enough to even maintain, much less redo many local roads. That has been one issue we have been fighting, but now have to face some tough decisions to figure out a better plan to fix and maintain the local roads within the Village.”
He also wants to continue working on infrastructure improvements.
“Finding more sources of local revenue also needs to be a priority,” he added.
Within the community, Dyke is an Assistant Scoutmaster for Boy Scout Troop 128.
“This is going to be a new era on council. With the unfortunate passing of community stalwart Gary Peltier and with veteran Dave Love not seeking re-election there is the possibility of having up to four new councilmembers on the board. If I have the privilege of being re-elected I think I can bring leadership and help the newly elected members adapt to their positions in a helpful manner,” he added.
Nicholas Giacalone is an Almont resident and Manager at MMM, Inc.
“I’m seeking to be a part of the Village Council to help bring about positive changes to my community. Almont is a wonderful place to live, with the potential to grow and welcome in so much, and I’d like to help it thrive,” he said.
If elected, Giacalone said he’ll focus on the needs of the community.
“The top three issues that I believe are vital in maintaining and growing the Almont community are lowering the water bills, revamping the budget, and facilitating businesses to set up shop in historic downtown Almont. In order to keep Almont as a pillar community we need to retain the historic feel while welcoming in the new.”
Being active in the local community is important to Giacalone. His involvement ranges from community events to youth activities.
“The ability to be able to help support Almont has been a humbling experience. It is my hope to be able to contribute to Almont’s continued prosperity by becoming a councilmember.”
He continued, “I have worked within this community for over a decade and take pride in its growth. I wish to encourage its continued growth as a Village council member.”
Wayne Glasser has been a resident of Almont for five years.
“We moved to Almont because we like small town values. We have a daughter and did not want her to get lost in the congestion of the city/schools system,” he explained.
If elected, Glasser plans to focus on the needs of the residents, saying “My goal would be to protect the residents’ interests and their investment into the community. I would like my job to be the voice of the people and to work for them.”
He feels that the managerial and team building skills he’s developed while working for a tier one automotive supplier would make him an effective council member.
If elected, Glasser would focus on “keeping the first responders funded, supporting our schools, and helping in ways to bring business to Almont.”
Glasser continued, “We are faced with a challenging time: bills and taxes go up and several people feel their return goes down. I want to take a deep dive into these issues, do my research, and ask the questions. Some of the concerns residents have raised are water bill prices and what can be done about them, DTE substation, maintenance to the roads and sidewalks, the unoccupied buildings in downtown.”
Glasser has volunteered with the Life Remolded Organization.
“I think with my background, personality, and grit; working as a team, I would be an excellent choice for the Village Council and I ask you for your vote of support.”