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My Town: Congressional candidates to hold public forums

My Town: Congressional candidates to hold public forums

GRAND RAPIDS, Mich.—Two men running to represent West Michigan in Congress have agreed to hold public forums.

Congressman Justin Amash and his Democratic contender, businessman Bob Goodrich met over coffee in Eastown Aug. 15.  During the brief meeting, both candidates discussed ideas on how best to keep the race for the 3rd Congressional seat civil.

Amash beat East Grand Rapids businessman Brian Ellis by roughly a 14-percent margin during August’s primary. Voters will decide if Amash will continue to represent them during the general election Nov. 4.  The Third Congressional District of Michigan includes the areas of  Grand Rapids, Cascade Township, Alpine Township, East Grand Rapids, Belding, Lowell, Plainfield Township, Rockford and Sparta.

Inside the August Primary: The close calls and votes cast

Inside the August Primary: The close calls and votes cast

LANSING, Mich.-- Fewer voters cast their ballots Tuesday than when Governor Rick Snyder was elected.

That's according to Fred Woodhams, spokesman for the Secretary of State's Office.  Woodhams says 1.3 million Michiganders visited the polls during the primary, accounting for approximately 20.3 percent of active voters. Active voters are defined by the Secretary of State as people who have voted within the last six years. Woodhams says approximately 17.9 percent of registered Michigan voters cast a ballot Tuesday, but that number may be skewed because people who have moved out of the state may still be registered to vote in Michigan.

My Town: Voters to decide key issues during Aug. 5 election

My Town: Voters to decide key issues during Aug. 5 election

Voters across West Michigan are expected to head to the polls Tuesday, Aug. 5 to decide some key issues and races.

Proposal 1 would alter Michigan’s tax infrastructure by eliminating equipment taxes for businesses that already pay taxes every year.  A portion of sales tax revenue that goes to the state treasury would be reallocated to local governments to cover the tax revenue loss.  Plainfield Township Superintendent Cameron Van Wyngarden says the ballot measure would make Michigan more economically competitive with other states.

My Town Rockford: State lawmakers welcome Rockford water polo team to Capitol

My Town Rockford: State lawmakers welcome Rockford water polo team to Capitol

ROCKFORD, Mich.—The Rockford boys’ water polo team got a warm welcome while visiting the Capitol recently.

State Reps. Peter MacGregor and Rob VerHeulen honored the team for back-to-back state championship victories.

“Few high school teams come together with as much success as the Rockford Rams have experienced over the past two years, and I am excited to celebrate this second state championship with them,” said MacGregor, R-Cannon Township. “I wish them even more success in the future, both in the pool and in the classroom.”

The Rams had a perfect 100-0 over the past two seasons, defeating Ann Arbor Pioneer 6-4 in November to earn their 10th title in school history.

“I am glad we could meet with Coach Dave McWatters and these exceptional young men today and congratulate them on their accomplishments,” said VerHeulen, R-Walker. “They are all fine representatives of the entire Rockford community.”

John Decker files candidacy for 73rd District House seat

John Decker files candidacy for 73rd District House seat

CANNON TOWNSHIP, Mich. – John A. Decker, retired auto dealership owner, announced his candidacy in the Aug. 5, 2014 Republican primary for Michigan’s 73rd House District.

The seat is currently held by Peter MacGregor, who has chosen not to seek re-election and is instead vying for a seat in the Michigan Senate.

“I plan to take the knowledge I gained as a responsible businessman to Lansing and represent the 73rd District with the utmost integrity,” said Decker, who has nearly 25 years experience owning General Motors dealerships. “I am fortunate enough to be retired, but I have the desire to give back to the communities that supported me both as a businessman and personally.”

Decker resides in Kent County’s Cannon Township. He has been married for 30 years to his wife, Connie.

Kent County begins search for comissioner replacement

Kent County begins search for comissioner replacement

LOWELL, Mich.—The search is on to find someone to replace a Kent County Commissioner accused of sexually assaulting an underage girl.

Gary Rolls submitted his resignation from his District 4 seat Dec. 12. In a statement released that day, Rolls said he would use his time to prepare for trial to “prove my absolute and complete innocence.”

Rolls’ resignation officially takes effect Jan. 1. The county is looking for someone to finish out his term, which ends Dec. 31, 2014. District 4 represents Lowell, Cannon Township, Grattan Township, Oakfield Township and Vergennes Township. Eligible candidates must be from one of those communities.

The person elected to Rolls’ seat should expect to attend four meetings a month. The position is part time with an annual salary of $20,500 and benefits. The deadline to apply is Monday, Jan. 6. Those interested in applying should submit a resume and cover letter to:

Office of the Board of Commissioners

Senator Jansen decides against congressional run

Senator Jansen decides against congressional run

KENT COUNTY, Mich.—  Republican Senator Mark Jansen says he will not join the race for Congressman Justin Amash’s seat next year.

“I have decided at this time my focus will continue to help Michigan find the road to recovery, from Grand Rapids to Detroit to the Upper Peninsula to our lake shores,” Jansen said. ”Right now I really feel the call to continue helping Michigan’s recovery as my Senate term ends in 13 short months.”

Jansen says he has been “strongly encouraged” to run for the 3rd Congressional District seat for the past two years.  He believes people want the same level of reform achieved in Michigan to happen in Washington.

Jansen represents the northern portion of Kent County.  The U.S. 3rd Congressional District includes Belding, Rockford, Lowell, East Grand Rapids, Walker, Ada and Cascade, Alpine Township, Sparta, Plainfield Township and all of Grand Rapids.