May 11, 2010

Near record number of Democratic candidates file to run for Board of Commissioners

BRIGHTON -- Livingston County Democrasts celebrated filing day, the day candidates for the August 3 primary and November 2 General elections must officially file to run for elective office, with pizza and strategy.

The county Democrats have not had a member on the nine-member county Board of Commissioners since 1996, but with seven candidates filing to run, that is the most candidates since at least 1998. In addition to that, Democrats have candidates for all three Livingston County Michigan Legislative positions, as well as for the 8th District seat in the U.S. Congress in Kande Ngalamulume.

“I wouldn’t say it was under the radar,” said Judy Daubenmier, chair of the Livingston County Democratic Party.” We have been recruiting candidates and meeting from as far back as February.”

The performance of the county board has been dismal over the last two years. That performance includes a $16 million slush fund from the delinquent tax fund to pay for pet projects while cutting sheriff road patrols, firing employees and refusing to support county veterans.

“There is a clear lack of vision in the county,” Daubenmier said.

One potential problem is the something called “toxic Special Assessment Districts (SAD)“ for water and sewer improvements. During good economic times following the Clinton Administration, the county pledged its full faith and credit to local townships to make utility improvements. New residents moving in would be on the hook for the special assessment and water and sewer taps to pay back the bonds, but that’s not happening. Those payments are now coming do, and the county could be on the hook for millions of dollars.

In fact, according to the county’s budget book, the debt is more than $111millon.

“They brag about keeping taxes down and that we have the second lowest tax rate in the state, but we have this huge debt ready to fall on us like a hammer,” said Donna Anderson, the Vice-Chair of the Livingston County Democratic Party. “I never hear about this debt in the paper.”

In the state Legislature, the candidates are Genoa Township resident James Delcamp for the 66th District, Hamburg Township resident Garry Post is running for the 47 District seat and Green Oak Township resident Chuck Fellows is running for the 22nd District seat in the Senate.

Here is the excellent field of candidates for the Board of Commissioners:
District 1 TBA/Possible write-in
District 2 Thomn Bell
District 3 Dane Morris
District 4 TBA/Possible write-in
District 5 Dave Berry
District 6 Keith Tianen
District 7 Kelly Raskauskas
District 8 Amir Baghdadchi
District 9 Barry McBride

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