Needless to say, Mount Pleasant is an absolute calamity. It has become an embarrassment to the point where it isn’t even laughable anymore. Everyone I know is completely confused about whom to vote for on April 2nd. And it sure isn’t because there is such an impressive pool from which to chose, it is because once again we must chose the least worst on the ballot. And the stories coming out of the Village are becoming so outrageous that I am not sure I can vote in those races at all.
All of the below information and opinions are after reading many articles, doing quite a bit of research and investigating, speaking to those in the know and attending the candidate forum last week.
Mark Gleason is running for Village President and has been a County Supervisor for 10 years. And he would remain on the County Board even if he wins this election – placing him on both boards. This, in itself, doesn’t pass my sniff test. I think this has the opportunity to create a major conflict of interest. Sure, it could benefit our Village. But that is assuming loyalties will always lie with the Village and not the County. And lets face it – he has been with the County for a friggin’ decade.
The County Board WANTS to have friends on the Village Boards and City Council. And vice-versa. They work together a lot. And the more friends they have the more votes will go in their favor. Nope, I don’t like it.
Also, I see Gleason signs all over Tea Party lawns. NOW, this doesn’t necessarily mean anything (ie. Eperjesey for School Board also has signs in many TPer yards and he is not a TPer). But you just have to wonder.
Karen Albeck has been on the Village board since 2009 and is now running for Village President. Never knew much about her prior to this election. I do know that she used to be a teacher and from what I have heard/read, she leans Democrat. Yes, I realize this is a non-partisan position…but come on…nothing is non-partisan anymore and you know it.
I have heard some iffy stories about her personality from her teaching days. The accounts weren’t very positive. However, I agreed with all of her answers at the forum and believe her views are more aligned with mine. My plan has been to vote for her for these reasons and because I will not vote for Gleason.
But after reading a few recent articles, I am not sure that I can vote for her either. Read THIS and THIS - it is clear that she cannot be on the same board with Sonny Havn, who is running for Trustee. So it has to be him or her. But not both. There is no way they can clean up the mess they have created if they continue with this sand throwing. I believe the entire board behaves worse than my daughter’s 2nd grade class. And the contention between the members is wasting tax payers money and the board’s time.
Albeck claims she didn’t write the anonymous letter accusing Havn of ethics violations. But it is clear she played a part in it’s creation and delivery. To me, this is sneaky and inauthentic. If she really believes this to be true she should be standing up and saying so. Not collaborating with someone else to write an anonymous letter with no proof. I don’t like sneaky. Be who you are. Speak your truth. People may not like ya for it – but they will respect you. And that building is in dire need of respectability.
Sonny Havn. Oh, Sonny. He is running to keep his spot as Trustee. And up until yesterday, he and Albeck were the only two I knew I’d be voting for.
Now, I just don’t know. It is being said that Havn has been having this affair with a now retired staffer. I do not know if this “affair” took place during his marriage or if the woman is married. Honestly, I don’t care. We don’t know what goes on in a personal partnership or behind closed doors. Who someone chooses to sleep with or spend time with is of no concern to me.
It is also said that during this “affair” (which I have not heard Havn deny or admit), Havn voted on matters regarding pay and such for this staffer. If he indeed was in a personal relationship with her, he could have and should have recused himself from the vote.
Now, how much of this story is true, I really couldn’t say. But I tend to forgive what I consider to be “human” indiscretions over outright greedy or malicious indiscretions. If this is a legitimate claim, yes, he should not have made those votes. Is it the worst thing I have heard? No.
But clearly Albeck and Havn cannot work together. I don’t even think Dr. Phil could reconcile these two. And that is a shame because they both seem to follow the same path in governing. It sounds like they want the same things. So, who should go? Him or her? Thoughts??
John Hewitt is running for Trustee. Even though it is known that Hewitt leans Republican, I found his answers to be fairly sane during the forum. I was quite taken aback and pleased when he stated,
“Taxes are necessary to the proper tuning of the government at all levels.”
Very rarely do you hear a local politician admit that taxes are essential to running a government. They are and people need to face it and stop trying to keep their elected positions with promises of low, low taxes. I also agree with his desire to better fund and supply the Fire Department which isn’t currently being done appropriately (ambulances breaking down with patients in them is NOT a good thing).
I would, to this day, still urge voting for Hewitt. My only issue with him came after the forum when he was quite rude to a friend of mine who is a well known progressive in our area. Before he even knew what she was going to say, as she approached him, he was snappy and mean. And funny thing is, we were both planning on voting for him despite his political leanings. I just have a hard time voting for dickheads. So, I am still unsure.
David DeGroot is running for Trustee. I made my decision about DeGroot a while back after reading THIS. Dude is Tea Party and I could never in good conscience vote for a RWNJ. A Republican? Yes. I could. But this guy is no Republican.
His answers in the forum and in interviews have been too vague and rehearsed - it would be difficult to really respond to them.
I have also heard that, as a landlord, he has issues. It might be a good idea to take a look at his properties to see how well they are maintained. Same for the other landlord candidates (I believe Gleason and Haackma are also rental property owners).
I also know a neighbor of his and he just basically sounds like a total douche. But I will keep those stories to myself.
Ronald Molnar is another County Board Supervisor and he is running for Trustee. He, too, would keep his County position. So, everything I said about Gleason can also be said about Molnar. I don’t like the conflict of interest. I think it stinks and it’s dangerous.
Molnar is also very clearly about lower taxes. I cannot trust anyone who makes that their political baby. When I hear “lower taxes” and “business” over and over again, I start to really wonder about true motivations.
Then there is also the sexual harassment issue. You can read about it HERE. Again, how much is true…I don’t know. But it doesn’t look good considering it wasn’t the only issue he had while in that position. I do not like to use personal issues against a candidate. Partly because we never know the whole story and because charges and even convictions can be false. Anyone can accuse anybody of anything. I know that better than anyone. But if you are running for office, it is my belief that you should make you case known. It sucks. Believe me, it sucks nuts. But you have to defend yourself or people will think the worst.
Steve Herek is running for Trustee. Steve is a nice guy. An average Joe and not a politician. He is also a Walker backer and really likes his guns. And he was certainly not ready for this race. He should be thanking his stars if he loses because that Village will eat him alive.
He was simply not prepared for this run. And he definitely was not prepared for the world of politics. He was at a clear disadvantage because he is going up against guys who have been doing this for many years. Many of whom are retired and don’t have a 40 hour work week to contend with.
Steve is pissed at the Village because he got some bullshit runaround when it came to his putting up a pole barn. And I commend him for wanting to get involved. But ya gotta kinda play in the sandbox for a little while before just jumping in the hole and burying yourself.
He has voted twice in the past 8 years. I don’t think he is made for the world of politics. But if I am wrong, perhaps now he can start learning the basics and build up some contacts and experience before another attempt.
Chuck Haakma is running for Trustee. According to The Journal Times,
“If he had his druthers, Haakma would put a hold on the Pike River project, work to freeze or lower property taxes, and cut some positions’ salaries.”
Umm yea. I am just not thinking that those are appropriate or reasonable priorities at this time. The municipalities and cities have been gutted thanks to Scott Walker and cronies. And because that, services – VITAL SERVICES – are hurting. This is not the time to promise a tax freeze.
TJT also reported,
“On the topic of the chief of police, Haakma said he isn’t comfortable seeing someone in law enforcement serve as village administrator, equating Tim Zarzecki, who is temporarily performing both administrator and police chief duties, to Fidel Castro because he’s holding multiple government positions.”
Obviously, I agree with this. But comparing him to Castro?? Seriously??? Yea, that is a GREAT attitude to have walking into a new board. NOT.
During the forum he also came off as a hot head and that is the last thing that circus needs.
As you can see, the average Mount Pleasant voter will not have an easy, clear cut decision next Tuesday. My husband is insisting that I should spend the weekend doing doors and run as a write-in. As my friend (another MP resident) said, “I don’t know if that is a totally stupid idea or a totally brilliant idea. I literally can’t tell anymore.”