Incumbent Beaver Creek Township supervisor facing challenge at the polls
Tue, 07/21/2020 - 11:39am caleb
Dan Sanderson | Staff Writer
The incumbent Beaver Creek Township Supervisor, who has held the position for the last four years, is being challenged by a local businessman at the Tuesday, August 4 primary election polls.
Dan Bonamie, a business owner and entrepreneur, and Kim VanNuck are running as Republican candidates for the township supervisor’s position.
Bonamie has lived in Crawford County the past 38 years, devoting much of the past 20 plus years to making the area a better to live. When living in the City of Grayling, he served as chairman of the Property Tax Board of Review, Zoning Board of Appeals, the Planning Commission, and Downtown Development Authority/Grayling Mainstreet. He has held a seat on the Grayling Regional Chamber of Commerce Board for the past 11 years, the first four years as the treasurer and the past seven as board chairman. Each year, he has coached one or more local or national youth sports to include archery, baseball, football, and wrestling, beginning at the age of 16.
VanNuck has lived in Beaver Creek Township since she was four years old on the same property. She has sat on several boards in the community through the years.
“I love our community and what we stand for,” VanNuck said.
Bonamie said he is running for the township supervisor’s position to make a number of changes for the township.
“I love Beaver Creek and it is here that I plan to finish raising my children, teach lessons to my grandchildren, and enjoy the benefits of living throughout my retirement,” Bonamie said. “Beaver Creek appears to lack in the areas of committed leadership, community organization, building/asset maintenance, and goal oriented future planning. Failure to change this soon will cause loss of assets and benefits to the residents of Beaver Creek. If elected, I hope to work toward bringing about many of these important changes.”
VanNuck said she is seeking reelection to continue to serve the residents.
“I love to work with our residents and try to fix the problems and make life a little better,” VanNuck said.
Bonamie said the township needs to update outdated emergency response equipment and wages to help prevent future loss of life. He said the township needs to repair and update township buildings and other assets where maintenance has been deferred for too long.
Bonamie said the township board should develop stronger communication with residents and increase board transparency by updating the website, creating a text alert system to disseminate important information such as voluntary sign-up, and to move meeting times to after general business hours to increase public involvement.
VanNuck believes the world as we knew it is over, and the township will need to be making the changes to update. She said the township needs to make changes at the transfer station, which is the biggest complaint the township receives.
After the planning commission completed the master plan, VanNuck said the township must work on rewriting zoning ordinances. She hopes to be able to do more updates in the township park, redo basketball courts, and have tennis courts resurfaced.
Bonamie said his experience as a tax assessor, planner, real estate broker and his skill sets make him the best suited candidate to be the township supervisor.
“Educational and work opportunities have non-intentionally taught me leadership skills and have afforded me the leadership experience needed for this position,” Bonamie said.
VanNuck said taking input from others on the board and residents makes her the most suitable candidate to continue to serve as the township supervisor.
“What most people do not understand, it’s not one person who makes the decisions of the township. It is a five-member board, you may have an idea, but four other people need to agree,” VanNuck said. “I can’t make a promise to change, when it’s not just my vote.”
Two candidates are running for Beaver Creek Township Clerk’s position as incumbent moves on to retirement
Two candidates are challenging each other to serve as the next Beaver Creek Township Clerk since the incumbent is retiring after 26 years in office.
Beaver Creek Township Clerk Sharon K. Hartman is retiring at the end of the year after holding the position since 1994.
Sandy R. Beaudet and Melissa Lobsinger are running as Republican candidates to serve as new clerk for Beaver Creek Township on the August 4 primary election ballot.
Beaudet is the owner/certified travel consultant at Sandy’s Worldwide Travel.
Beaudet and her husband have been property owners in Beaver Creek Township since 2006, and she officially changed her address two years ago, but has been living in the community full-time for the last three years. She has been a member of the local Women of the Moose for the last 11 years and assists with charitable events when time allows. Beaudet and her husband have been traveling to the area for the last 30 years, enjoying all the outdoor activities Beaver Creek Township and the surrounding areas have to offer. She is active in the local neighborhood community watch for both the full-time and part-time residents of Beaver Creek Township and feels the safety and security of the residents’ properties should be of utmost importance.
Lobsinger is currently unemployed as she underwent a medical procedure earlier this year, but has not been cleared to return to work. She worked in robotics in the Lear plant in Roscommon.
In her younger years, Lobsinger was involved in helping her mother at the Animal Shelter of Crawford County. She has volunteered many hours to help do any benefit dinners and silent auctions for families who have lost a loved one or are in need.
Beaudet said her work skills would benefit Beaver Creek Township as to why she is running for the office.
“I am running for the position because I know my background, as not only a former office manager, but a small business owner of 18 years would be beneficial to the office of Beaver Creek Township Clerk,” Beaudet said. “My varied skill set from individual customer service, office management, payroll and accounting, and training and guidance can only assist me in the position.”
Lobsinger said she would like to be among the township officials working to make community improvements.
“I would like to be a part of a team to keep and make Beaver Creek Township a great place,” she said. “I believe I have integrity and the ability to listen to the community and act on their behalf and do the job that will be asked of me.”
Beaudet said the top issue the township needs to contend with is the safety of the community in the face of the COVID-19 pandemic; ensuring the safety of individual residents as normal township operations continue should be the highest priority. She said the township will face tough budgetary constraints in the upcoming years, and officials should be doing what they can to make the township inviting to businesses while maintaining its “small town” feel. Beaudet added in the face of the upcoming presidential elections, the clerk has the responsibility to ensure not only a secure but accurate count of those votes cast. She said the absentee voter process is a needed process for elderly and disabled residents; ensuring an accurate count of both absentee and in person voters is the primary objective.
Lobsinger said budgeting, listening to the community, and working as a team to be successful are top issues the township board will address.
Beaudet said her professional background will benefit the township with future issues as to why she is the best suited candidate to be the clerk.
“Maintaining a smooth running township office is utmost to ensure not only accountability in the township office but for our residents and businesses. Putting forth a professional atmosphere for potential businesses only shows our dedication to our township and its boundaries,” Beaudet said. “Keeping up to date documentation for all aspects of our township will assist the members of the township office so that they can do their jobs accurately and professionally. My background is well suited for these responsibilities and I look forward to proving that to my coworkers and the residents of Beaver Creek Township.”
Lobsinger said the ability to work with a team approach makes her the best suitable candidate for the position.
“I am a good team player and yet able to be successful in projects alone or with others,” Lobsinger said. “I am able to listen to many people and create a plan for success. I like to learn and strive to be successful in everything I do. I work on facts and not raw opinions and believe in our community.”
Candidates hoping to fill two open trustee seats on Beaver Creek Township Board
Five candidates are running for two trustee positions on the Beaver Creek Township Board.
Kathleen Baker, Deb Helsel, James R. Miller, Lee Riley, and Douglas Yanniello are seeking the two trustee seats as Republican candidates on the Tuesday, August 4 primary election ballot.
Incumbent township trustees Meagan Little and Carol Raybuck are not seeking reelection.
Baker is a homemaker who was born and raised in Beaver Creek Township. She is running for office to help improve the township.
James R. Miller is retired after working 32 years for Weyerhaeuser, which is located in the township. Miller has owned property in the township since 1981, which was his grandfather’s homestead. He was also one of the original firemen for the Beaver Creek Fire Department when it started in the early 80s. From March 13 through June 26, during the COVID-19 shut down, Miller delivered meals to children in the township whose parents weren’t able to travel to the pick up site.
Miller said he feels he can be an asset to the community by serving the people of Beaver Creek as their trustee.
Riley is retired from assessing, but is still a licensed State Tax Assessor.
Riley has lived in Beaver Creek Township for the last 42 years, with the exception of a little over a year when his family lived in Grayling. From 1978 until 1990, his family owned and operated a convenience store in the township. He served on a committee for the township to plan the start of the township’s fire department and served as a fireman for the first six years of operation. He also served on a committee to recommend a location and to build a park. Riley was employed by the township to coordinate construction of the park and the community center. In 1991 and 1992, he represented Beaver Creek as a county commissioner. In 1996, Riley was elected township supervisor and served three consecutive terms. He also served a two-year partial term as a trustee. During the time he was supervisor, Riley helped design and coordinate the construction of the current township hall.
Riley said he believes he has proven he can contribute to governing the community.
Yanniello served four years in the U.S. Navy on guided missile destroyers USS Richard E. Byrd and USS Farragut. He has been a resident of Beaver Creek Township since 1982. Yanniello retired after 29 years operating the Grayling Generating Station as a plant operator. He is married with two children and two grandchildren. He is chairman for the Beaver Creek Township Planning Commission. He also served on the snowmobile board, and is a Grayling youth bowling coach.
Yanniello is running for the township trustee position to help guide Beaver Creek Township through uncharted waters.
Baker said roads, cleaning up yards, and listening to what people want or need are issues the township board needs to address.
Miller said road repair, positive growth, and communication between township residents and board members are the top issues.
Riley said he would like to see recycling restored much as it was done when the county was running the program. He would like to find a way for the township and the Crawford County Road Commission to work together improving local county roads. For several years, the township hosted an annual picnic, and Riley would like to have it happen again.
Yanniello said working closely with the planning commission and Department of Natural Resources for the solar power farm at 7 Mile Road gravel pit is a top issue. He said economic development in Beaver Creek Township and an upgrade to a recycling program are other top issues the township board will have to address.
Baker said she is ready to take on the position as a township trustee.
“I have good common sense and not afraid to get the job done,” said.
Miller said he is the best suited candidate to serve as trustee since he is goal oriented.
“I’m open minded, willing to learn and serve my community,” he said. “I don’t have a private agenda. I feel we’re all working towards the same goal, which is a better place to live and raise our families.”
Riley said his experience makes him the best suited candidate to serve as a township trustee.
“I have more experience as a township official than the other four candidates for trustee put together,” Riley said. “Not only experience as an elected official, but in several other areas of township government.”
Yanniello said his background makes him the best suited candidate to serve as a township trustee.
“I have the training from the Navy as well as the Grayling Generating Station and I am dedicated to Beaver Creek Township,” Yanniello said.
Numerous attempts by the Crawford County Avalanche to reach Helsel for her candidate information were unsuccessful.