Protect what makes this a great place to live & raise a family.
We live in a great place - thriving neighborhoods that support quality of life, outstanding natural places, and infinite recreational opportunities. Everyone wants to come here – some to live and some to visit. We must manage our unprecedented growth and tourism. In my 20 years as an attorney, I have fought to protect clean water, clean energy, and quality of life. I believe our county can welcome new neighbors and friends without destroying what makes this a great place to live with common sense management.
Improve road planning, management & oversight.
Our county roads have a budget of over $20 million, larger than any other county service, yet the road commission operates beyond the oversight and standards of the county commission and ultimately the voters. The conditions of our roads affect our daily lives, from transportation time to car damage when they’re not in good repair, from safe routes for everyone to road runoff that spills into the bay. It is just common sense that the public should have a say in how public money is spent on our roads, but that's not the case in our county. I firmly commit that as your county commissioner, I will make our roads and their management one of my top priorities, doing whatever is necessary to best manage these invaluable resources and their massive budget.
Invest in community spaces for everyone.
District 7 is home to the Civic Center and the Senior Center, and numerous community parks, trails, and public beaches. After years of groundwork and planning, the county commission still refuses to let voters decide if we want to invest in the Senior Center. Then in March, the county commission gave away Twin Lakes Park, an outstanding county park. I support good stewardship of county parks, smart investments to keep them accessible for everyone to enjoy, and letting the voters decide at the ballot box how to fund the Senior Center.
Bring respect, civility, decency, accountability & transparency to county government.
We must improve how the county engages with our community. I believe that starts with respecting all people, prioritizing transparency, and holding commissioners to the highest standards. It includes real fiscal due diligence to prevent crises like the pension debt that grew due to poor oversight and short-sighted decision-making.
Support the local workforce with affordable housing & childcare.
Working families can’t afford our neighborhoods, and we do not have enough homes to rent. As a working mom, I understand that high quality, reliable childcare is essential. And I have experienced the challenge – and stress – of the lack of childcare in this area. Lack of housing and childcare are drags on the local economy – and its workers. I support a collaborative approach to housing and childcare, which the county should lead. With prudent spending, the $18.2 million allocated to Grand Traverse County in the American Rescue Plan can make a meaningful impact.
Become a local leader in responding to climate change.
Grand Traverse County is already on the front lines of climate change, with frequent flooding in streets and basements, record-high erosive water levels along the bay, failing septic systems, and unpredictable frosts. The county commission should become a local climate leader by reducing energy waste, hosting charging stations for visitors and employees, adding electric vehicles into the county fleet, and more. The county should also recognize the local impacts of climate change, like frequent flooding and less predictable weather, and incorporate resilient community best practices. Private and public partners already do these things; the county commission has an important role, too.