This article is one of a series of editorial articles that express personal opinions and views. They are written with no pretensions to be error free. I will gladly correct substantial errors of fact. My opinions can change, depending upon my awareness of changes in factual information. It is my intent to remain focussed on specific public issues, regarding the personalities involved. For all I know, all the characters are saints, concerning their private lives and other public business...
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Unfortunately, Doug Erickson does not walk on water.
He has impressed me with his candid political prowess. He has dedicated himself to meeting the public responsibilities of his elected position. Generally speaking, I have yet to witness any local politician that is more knowledgeable, or better prepared to represent the general public interest regarding most local Schoolcraft County responsibilities and issues. Among his fellow commissioners, with the responsibility to represent the general public interest, he has no peer. If knowledge is power, and the ability to use that knowledge, effectively, is more power, I understand why there are "movers and shakers" in the community that fear him, and would cripple him, or worse.
His public record speaks for itself. Though registered as a Republican, he considers issues with the general public welfare as the basis of his decisions, not just the welfare of special interests - not just the welfare of his political supporters.
At the candidate forum, of 07/15/04, in the Schoolcraft County Courthouse, I offered the following questions to be asked of Scott Chartier, who chose to run for Doug Erickson's position. No question was asked, because, primarily, Mr. Chartier was not present. No one spoke on his behalf. No reason for his absence was provided the moderators of the forum, or the public that wished to see him function under pressure, in public.
To Mr. Chartier:
What is your local government experience and accomplishments, in the various Schoolcraft County government public arenas, that might influence me to consider you preferable to the incumbent?
As a full time employee of Schoolcraft Memorial Hospital, and as a small business owner with a young family, where will you find the time necessary to do the required "homework" to make informed decisions as Schoolcraft County Commissioner?
From my perspective, Scott Chartier's current public record, or more correctly, lack of public record, speaks for itself, and, most likely, for those that may have prompted him to run for public office.
I will let Commissioner Erickson speak for himself, regarding his more noteable accomplishments.
Doug "Hawk" Erickson Schoolcraft County Commissioner List of Second Term Activities and Achievements Introduced the following resolutions or programs: 1. 211 2. MEDS insurance program for all employees (saved the County approximately $10,000 per month) 3. Public Transit Future Funding 4. M-TEC Grant - Free Lights at the Courthouse through a grant -$31,000 Voted in Favor of the Following: 1. EDC Rehabilitation grant - $120,000 2. Emergency Management Preparedness Grant - $15,500 3. Michigan Works Resolution 4. EDC Planning Grant 5. Rural Utilities Service Weather Radio Transmitter Grant 6. State Homeland Security Grant - $35,986 7. Snowmobile Grant 8. Anderson Group Planning Grant 9. New runway project at airport 10. Request for Senior Citizen Millage 11. Marine Safety Grant 12. Letter of support for Hiawatha Township Fire Department 13. Giving old computers to Habitat for Humanity 14. Solution Area Planner Grant - $25,000 15. Emergency Shelter and Rural Homeless Initiative Grant 16. Homeland Training Grant - $25,000 17. Consumer Prescription Protection Legislation 18. Opposition to July summer tax collection 19. Set up new county website 20. Home Buyer Purchase Rehab Grant 21. Letter of support for the Manistique Fire Department Projects that I undertook: 1. Worked with CUPPAD for Bishop Baraga Park Grant Application 2. Worked with the Community Action Agency to acquire 2% money to purchase a new van for "Meals on Wheels" 3. Negotiated contract (lease) with the American Transmission Company - $9,000 in extra revenue Dedication to the job: I have returned every phone call or message I've received in my three and one half years in office. I am in the office almost everyday from 10:00 a.m. to 4:00 p.m. to answer any questions that citizens have or to be available for any situations that arise. Reasons I am the best candidate for the job: > I am the only candidate with experience in Township, City and County Government. With our budgets constantly being slashed, you need a person in this job who will not have a learning curve to become educated on the workings of government. You need someone who knows how to do the job and does it well now. > I make sure I am well-informed on the issues and aspects of Schoolcraft County Government so I can make the most informed correct decisions possible. > I keep in contact with our State Legislature to keep Schoolcraft County's voice heard and our concerns listened to. > I am willing to make the tough budget decisions necessary to keep our county fiscally solvent. > I am retired and therefore have the time to devote to do the job justice. What I will try to accomplish if elected to another term: 1. Insure that every one of the 1,222 Schoolcraft County Citizens who are uninsured will be able to obtain some form of insurance. 2. Keep Schoolcraft County's budget balanced. It's easy to say "yes" to everyone's requests and can earn a lot of votes, but it's much more fiscally responsible and harder to live within a balanced budget. 3. Be available to all Schoolcraft County residents: to hear their concerns and get answers to their questions. 4. Keep Schoolcraft County's Government fair and impartial, vote on every issue based on merit, not pet projects. 5. Try to institute every cost- saving measure I can for Schoolcraft County so your tax dollars are spent frugally. I believe programs should be considered seriously based on necessity. "Grant" money still comes from our tax dollars and should be spent as conservatively as you would spend your own household income. 6. Treat every employee with respect and show sincere interest in their concerns. I will not avoid concerns by being unavailable just because it is the easy thing to do. The same goes for citizen concerns. I may not agree with you all the time, but at least you will know that I honestly listened to your concerned and explored your point of view and any suggestions or solutions you may have. Doug "Hawk" Erickson Schoolcraft County Commissioner List of Activities and Achievements First Term Drew up: 1. Resolution to save the County Road Commission over $17,000 annually 2. Resolution to close the loop-hole in law that would cost transportation systems (including Public Transit) over $23,000,000 3. Workforce Resolution for care givers 4. Resolution to continue the TEDF and Critical Bridge Funding 5. Resolution for Broad Band Internet Access for every resident of Schoolcraft County 6. Resolution to stop the Governor from diverting funds from Act 51, which would cost the county $40,655.26 annually and the City of Manistique $5,528.77 annually 7. Resolution for County youth homes to get reimbursed for the same daily amount as State youth homes 8. Resolution to keep the words "under God" in the Pledge of Allegiance Voted in favor of: 1. Sheriff's snowmobile grant 2. Truancy Prevention Program grant 3. MSHDA grant 4. CDBG Housing grant 5. St. Francis de Sales School grant 6. Marine Safety grant 7. Emergency Management Preparedness grant 8. Strong Families Safe Children grant 9. FEMA grant 10. Mass Destruction Equipment grant 11. State Preparedness Equipment grant 12. Balanced and Restorative Justice grant Was Instrumental in developing the following: 1. Making the courthouse compliant with the American's with Disabilities Act 2. Discount Prescription drug program for Senior Citizens 3. Implementing a new recycling program for the courthouse and it's employees, the proceeds of which provide new equipment for the Pine's Park 4. New fencing at the County Jail "play area" to stop escapes 5. ORV Ordinance 6. Discount prescription drug program for citizens ages 18-59 7. Security cameras and security locks in the courthouse 8. New hangar at the airport at no cost to the County 9. Brought back Employee Appreciation Day for County employeesA plurality of voters chose to elect Scott Chartier as County Commissioner, District 4.
Thank you for your competence, diligence, honesty, and integrity, Doug. I never expected to see it from you, and I never thought I would see it in Schoolcraft County. The majority of Schoolcraft County voters haven't the faintest idea what they have lost, behind the wall of malicious public deceit and gossip spawned of jealousy and ignorance.