Two new members assume their seats on Crawford County Board of Commissioners
Dan Sanderson | Staff Writer
Two new commissioners took their seats on the Crawford County Board of Commissioners last week.
Cary Jansen and Sherry M. Powers assumed their positions on the board for its first meeting held on Thursday, Jan. 3.
Jansen was elected to serve on the board after defeating Hailey Halstead by a 474 to 470 vote at the Nov. 6 general election polls. She represents the county’s fifth commissioner district, which covers Lovells Township and the northeast portion of Grayling Charter Township.
Jansen replaced Commissioner Rick Anderson, who did not seek reelection.
Powers ran unopposed to represent the county’s fifth commissioner district, which covers the eastern portion and northwest portion of Grayling Charter Township. She replaces Dave Stephenson, who was chairman of the board for several years. He opted not to run for reelection after serving nearly 16 years on the board.
Jansen ran unaffiliated. She said issues that are dividing the larger political parties are not issues she sees as black and white. Jansen thinks they are “gray” and therefore need perspective, context and conversation
“Nearly everyone advised me against running unaffiliated, but it was something I felt strongly about,” Jansen said. “In a time where our country is so divided, I hope to bring Crawford County together and find common ground. I represent the people – truly.”
Jansen is the first unaffiliated to win a seat on the county board in the history of Crawford County.
“I’m thrilled. I’ve always been a supporter, in general, of the underdog.”
she said. “So many people told me it would be too hard, and that was initially very intimidating. But I felt strongly about it, so I put in the hard work. I met with the then county commissioner of my district, Rick Anderson, to get guidance, I participated in every parade in town and knocked on over 100 doors.”
Jansen said the alarming rate of suicide in the county is an issue local officials must address. She is looking forward to collaborating with local agencies to bring about real change.
“I’m excited to work alongside a great group of people with a diverse set of talents,” she said. “I love the sense of camaraderie that exists and I’m looking forward to having Shelly Pinkelman lead the team.”
Jansen is a financial analyst for Munson Healthcare Otsego Memorial Hospital. In the past, she has worked closely with Oakland County government, so she is familiar with how a county operates.
Jansen has a bachelor’s of arts in Economics and Management from Albion College, and earned a master’s degree in Finance from Walsh College of Accountancy and Business Administration. She grew up in Metro-Detroit, and met her husband, Kevin Jansen, of Grayling, there.
The Jansens have two sons and a daughter.
Powers graduated from Baker College with an associate’s degree in applied science as a physical therapist assistant. She has worked as a physical therapist assistant for over 20 years. Powers has been with Mercy-Munson Rehabilitation Services in Grayling for 12 years.
Powers said she ran for the county board to give back to the community.
“I want to provide a true public service for my county and community,” she said.
Powers said building and maintaining county roads, taxes, the budget, substance abuse and social issues are topics county officials will address.
“I will work diligently with fellow board members and department heads to meet public needs and enhance services,” Powers said.
Powers grew up in the the Mid-Michigan area. Her father retired from General Motors and served in the Air Force, while her mother works for Grand Blanc schools in janitorial services. Powers’ brother does construction and her sister works as an EMT and Dialysis Tech.