Letters to the Editor Oct. 17, 2020

(In response to “No Rebuff,” a letter by Maragaret Story, The Citizen, Oct. 10, page 6.)
The art of diversion
Dear Editor,
Ms. Story is to be congratulated; she has learned the Art of Diversion well. She doesn’t speak to the issues I raised on the position taken or not taken (Loading the Supreme Court) by former Vice President Biden. She instead goes on a rant of how bad President Trump’s actions have been during his term in office.
I’m sure she had the liberal 101 playbook in front of her as she brought out the old chestnuts “The Republicans are going to take away your social security.” “They are going to poison your children.” “The food lines will be like the great depression.”
Every election year the Liberals offer this Kool-Aid and people like Ms. Story willingly drink it.
Casting your vote based on anger is just as bad as casting your vote on feelings. The above facts are not to rebuff Ms. Story or change her mind (too much Kool-Aid). It is just an informed citizen exercising his First Amendment rights. Richard Saroli
(In response to, “What if our downtown stores cried out for help?” a letter by Pat George, The Citizen Oct. 10, page 6)
Village septic issues
Dear Editor,
Water in Crossman Park is much more than an “excessive moisture” problem as Pat George would like to simply claim. Our backyard is adjacent to the park and has been flooded for years because of the broken drain in the park as well as all the yards that surround the park. Several of those adjacent properties have already had to install expensive engineered septic fields. Years of infrastructure negligence have caused this issue. I sent the council pictures of this flooding from many different occasions so he is well aware it is more than a little moisture. This water from the park leaves water laying on our septic field which will eventually cause it’s failure.
While our septic field is very impacted by the park’s inability to handle its own water problems, homeowners are not alone. While there are laws against allowing your water to run onto someone else’s property, there are several businesses downtown this is affecting. Some of these businesses are in buildings owned by the Kratt family and they need a new septic field, which they are doing with their own money because they believe in the Village of Ortonville. With the broken storm drain in it’s existing location these buildings cannot utilize the full extent of their property because of Oakland County regulations with areas between septic fields and storm drains. The Village Pub and the apartments on Mill Street are also affected.
Currently, after rain, the DPW crew has to run hoses and pumps to drain the flood waters. Sewers do not solve drainage issues. They are two completely separate items. Luann Mann
Vote Walworth
Dear Editor,
My name is Keith Walworth. I am running for Village Council. I have lived in this community for over 28 years and moved here because of the small-town atmosphere. Living in Goodrich has been a wonderful experience. Over my years here I have served on many Village Boards. I have previously served on the Council, The Zoning Board of Appeals and currently serve on the Planning Commission and Master Plan Steering Committee.
If elected to council, I would like to see the council work in unison and work toward improving the Village. I would like to concentrate on infrastructure and develop plans to address things like sidewalks, roads and our aging Dam. It is one of my goals to obtain public access to the Millpond so that all residence have access and can enjoy this wonderful resource. I would also like to see what grants might be available to enhance the M-15 corridor and the downtown area. It is also my goal to make decisions that preserve our small-town atmosphere and encourage new businesses and residents into the Village to increase our tax base.
The current council just completed a study from the Genesee County Road Commission which rates our roads on a scale from 1-10 (1 being the worse and 10 being the best). Through this study we can develop a plan to address our roads. Obtaining Federal, State and County Grants, along with Village matching funds will be imperative to making this plan a reality.
I believe I have the needed experience to perform this job and look for your support on Nov 3rd. Thanks, Keith Walworth
Village chickens
Dear Editor,
I would like to respond to Dan Eschmann’s comment in the Village of Ortonville League of Women Voters Oakland Area.
In Dan’s response to the question of his top 3 priorities facing the village he listed “Village ordinances need to be updated. Example: The old chicken ordinance did not allow residents to have chickens. I worked with council to allow residents to have chickens.”
This is yet another example of Dan Eschmann not telling the truth. Eschmann, Skornicka, Butzu and Robinson all voted on Aug. 28, 2017 “to direct the village manager to enforce the current animal ordinance that makes owning chickens along with cows, horses, pigs, goats, pigeon, geese, ducks or any other animal, fowl or insect except birds, dogs, cats or other harmless and domestic household pets unlawful”.

This was on the front page of the Sept. 16, 2017 Citizen newspaper.
Should there be any question on how Dan Eschmann voted, please refer to the Aug. 28, 2017 meeting minutes.
Please consider who you are voting onto our Village Council. Do they have our, the Village residents, best interest in mind? And are they upright, honest and truthful?
Karen Anderson
Vote Middleton, Zietz
Dear Editor,
Brandon Township residents have 2 excellent candidates to choose for Trustee. With this being the only office on the board that was contested, it is even more important to choose Trustees who will be responsive, professional, fastidious with our tax dollars, well-informed, and approachable. Carrie Middleton is a local business owner whose business brings many people into our scenic Township to pick their fresh berries that are farmed using sustainable practices. With a strong mindfulness of our environment and a vast knowledge of clean energy, she would be an asset to the board. Carrie Middleton has experience coping with lean times as a farmer. She understands how government regulation at all levels can affect residents and business owners. She will advocate for residents.
Heath Zietz is another exciting candidate. Residents will benefit from his engineering background and he is vested in the community as a father of 2 young children. I am grateful to both of them for their willingness to serve and I look forward to seeing positive change come from their leadership. I will be voting Carrie Middleton and Heath Zietz for Brandon Trustee because I trust their judgement and ethics to make decisions on behalf of my family. Local government leadership is so important and these are candidates that we can be proud of. Marisa Prince
Schluentz, Simeone, Walworth
Dear Editor,
The following five candidates are running for three openings on the Village of Goodrich council: Mr. & Mrs. Moore, Mrs. Schluentz, Mr. Simeone and Mr. Walworth. As a member of the Planning Commission, Master Plan Committee, Parks & Recreation Committee and President of the Village Council, I have had the opportunity to work with and/or interact with all candidates.
Village of Goodrich Council meetings three to four years ago were becoming very toxic. During the past two years, however, the toxic atmosphere drastically changed and Village Council has been able to accomplish Village business in a professional manner. It has been evident that the Village Council functions best and is most productive when Council members keep an open mind, calmly discuss issues, listen to other council members viewpoints, respect the opinions of Village residents, vote with the interest of the community, and keep a positive attitude in meetings.
I believe if Mrs. Schluentz, Mr. Simeone and Mr. Walworth are elected, they will each bring a mixture of independent thinking and positive energy that will benefit the Village. If you want council members that will work for you and represent the Village of Goodrich in a professional manner then Schluentz, Simeone and Walworth are worthy of your vote. Shannon McCafferty
Brush with greatness?
Dear Editor:
At the March for Life this past January 2020, Steve Scalise (The House Minority Whip) discussed the “born alive bill” H.R. 962 which concerns the rights of babies that survive a failed abortion. Mr. Scalise urged everyone in attendance to contact their representatives and to persuade them to sign the discharge petition that had recently been drawn up in an attempt to force an up/down vote on the bill which Nancy Pelosi had been blocking from a vote on the floor of the house of representatives.
I tried repeatedly without success to email Elissa Slotkin via a broken weblink. In a stroke of fate that could only be a message from God, Elissa Slotkin attended mass at my church that following Sunday. As the Good Lord delivered Ms. Slotkin directly to my doorstep, it would now be a denial of my faith if I did not confront her. One would think that a staunchly pro-abortion politician attending mass at a Catholic church might be prepared for such a question, but instead she appeared blind-sided.
I introduced myself and asked Ms. Slotkin why she has declined to sign on to the discharge petition for the “born alive bill” and why she supporting the gridlock that was preventing this issue from coming to a vote? Her reply, “That petition was withdrawn last May 2019.” I knew this was not true as I had done my own research, so I corrected her and asked again. An uncomfortable silence followed. She clearly did not know what to say next. It would have been interesting to hear her next response, but it was not to be; as her personal assistant stepped in and said, “I am sorry sir, but we will not defile the sanctuary with political talk.” Ms. Slotkin immediately parroted her assistant “yes, the sanctuary, we must not defile the sanctuary . . .” Seriously? Who is defiling the sanctuary? The politician that comes to mass with an entourage to campaign (and why bring the entourage if that is not your purpose) or the person questioning a visiting politician on her stance on the sanctity of life in a Catholic church? Her assistant handed me a business card and asked me to email my political concerns to her.
To cap our encounter, a guy from the entourage standing right behind Ms. Slotkin tried to break the tension and said, “I like your West Virginia jacket, I have family from West Virginia”. In a moment that could only be described as a bad Hollywood script – Ms. Slotkin said, “oh, that is West Virginia? I thought that was a U of M . . .” Really? No wonder people think she is a carpet bagger . . .For the record, we did have a healthy exchange via email post our encounter in which she made it clear she had no intentions of either breaking the gridlock or supporting the rights of potential abortion survivors.Allen Arnoldy
Support chicken owners
Dear Editor,
In choosing a candidate for Village President it is important to understand that they are the Chief Executive for the Village and “shall exercise supervision over the affairs of the village and over the public property belonging to the village. The president shall see that the laws relating to the village and the ordinances and regulations of the council are enforced.” (General Law Village Act, section 64.1)
Tonja Brice takes these responsibilities seriously and has corrected long-standing practices that were not in accordance with the law. In contrast her opponent Dan Eschmann has repeatedly attempted actions in violation of the law.
Dan Eschmann also claims to have supported chicken owners, but let’s set the record straight:
8/28/2017 *Motion by Skornicka, seconded by Butzu to instruct the Village Manager to begin immediate enforcement of Village Ordinance 90.35-90.62 as written. Aye: Eschmann, Skornicka, Sleva, Butzu. Nay: Wills, Brice, Dylus.
9/25/2017 *Motion by Brice, seconded by Dylus to instruct the Village Manager to prepare ordinance revisions for Village Ordinance 90.35-90.62 in order to allow the keeping of chickens within the Village with restrictions as approved by Council.
Aye: Wills, Brice, Dylus. Nay: Butzu, Eschmann, Skornicka, Sleva
10/23/2017 *Motion by Brice, seconded by Wills to suspend the enforcement of the ordinance that does not allow chickens in the Village until an ordinance that the Council could agree on was created.
Aye: Brice, Sleva, Wills. Nay: Butzu, Eschmann The voting record is clear, it is Tonja Brice that supported chicken owners, not Dan Eschmann. Larry Hayden
Vote Stockoski
Dear Editor,
In the upcoming election, I am running for a position on the Brandon School District Board of Education. I have been an Ortonville resident for 13 years. My husband, Mark, and I have 3 children. Our oldest 2 kids are current Harvey Hawks, while our youngest is a Hawk-in-training. I just started my 14th year of teaching in a district outside of Brandon. I have taught many different grade levels from Kindergarten through 7th grade. I earned my Bachelor’s Degree from Michigan State University and Master’s Degree from Oakland University. A few years ago, I was selected to participate in an educational administration and leadership training program through the Greater Flint Educational Consortium. I am comfortable in leadership positions, but more importantly, I am interested in being a voice for our students, families, and teachers and supporting them entirely. To say that education is a priority in our household, is an understatement.
It is hard not to want to be a part of something as outstanding as the Brandon School Board. They do what is best for kids… over and over again. The reason that I made the decision to run for this position is simple. I want to take an active role in continuing to move the district forward for the students, families, and teachers. I have always said that Brandon is a small town, but a big deal. I have volunteered at classroom and school events since my children stepped foot in Brandon Schools. My husband and I enjoy being involved in our schools and community and try to give back in a variety of ways. This is one of those ways. I decided that there is never a better time than now to step up and join forces to ensure that our children get the best educational experience that they deserve. Please consider voting for me. It would be an honor to serve the Brandon School District as a member of the Board of Education. Hilary Stockoski
What if a trail in our forest cried out?
Dear Editor,
It’s been over a year since we introduced putting in a groomed trail system in the 47 acre Ortonville Village Park. Our voices were not heard and our efforts were mocked by the unified Village Council’s “Fearful Foursome”, led by Dan Eschmann. They consistently voted NO on our ideas and plans, and effectively shut down our own park to our people.
Well folks, it’s payback time and we have an opportunity to vote these trustees out of office! Three of the current council trustee seats are up for reelection:
Dan Eshmann, Colleen Skornica, and Mark Butzu – Do not vote for any of them!!
Here’s the good news! We have three excellent candidates who are running for the vacancies. All three have signed the Trails Petition, promoting trail development. They all come with outstanding credentials and experience! Please vote for:
Melanie Nivelt: 10 years combined time on the Village Council and Planning Commission. Very sharp, very creative, communicates well and is very passionate about our town!
Ron Sutton: Lifelong Village resident who has served our town his entire life, with major accomplishments too numerous to list. He will bring wisdom and restore civility to our Council!
Tony Randazzo: very involved in Parks & Rec. and volunteers for numerous downtown events.Very outgoing, helpful, and organized; his tech background will be extremely valuable to us!
I promise you that if you vote for these three outstanding candidates, we will get our trail system and much more. Our town’s future depends on your vote! Pat George

Setting the record straight
Dear Editor,
I served as the Village of Ortonville (VOO) president between 2010-2018. I am currently the treasurer of the Ortonville (DDA). The following president/trustee candidate information is offered below. YOUR educated voted is needed on Nov. 03, 2020.
Vote YES for BRICE, NIVELT, SUTTON:1) Have current, or prior, VOO council leadership & experience. 2) Are honest, reasonable, creative, & hard-working. 3)Will represent ALL village citizens, & businesses, not just a select few of their choosing. 4) Are fiscally responsible, utilizing only current taxes.5) Know that current President, Tonja Brice, has held numerous townhall meetings receiving much valuable community input. 6) Realize that a community wide sewer system is UNAFFORDABLE for our small community.
Vote NO to Eschmann, Butzu, Skornicka: the points below can be verified via meeting minutes, video, & my first-hand observations. They 1) Do not support President Brice while presiding as village CEO. They continually undermine her leadership using last-minute unannounced agenda changes, thus not giving our citizens, or VOO employees, a chance to prepare in advance. This adds additional meeting time, causing meetings to last over 3 hours. This equals more “special meetings” which costs tax-payers MORE $. 2) Continually use a 4-3 voting block, (along w/ Trustee Robinson), causing numerous action delays including a 3-year delay in approval of the MI mandated community Master Plan. 3) Fired village manager David Trent, on the spot, for doing his job, by trying to help businesses find COOPERATIVE solutions to their private septic problems. 4) Continue causing employee dissention using intimidation & meddling of employees’ activities, causing several to quit (Jena Lane, John Lyons, Mike Lee). 5)Have usurped utilization of our 47-acre pristine community park, stopping even primitive trail development. 6) Are against walking-bike trails within the village, or connecting elsewhere. 7) Continually attempt to change our locally approved Rules of Procedure, which govern along-side of our foundational State of MI “General Village Law.”
If you are new to the community, or are a long-standing resident, you might not have been aware of such activities. So the question is, who are you going to vote for, & what type of change do YOU deserve in exchange for your tax dollars? I am supporting Brice, Nivelt, & Sutton. Won’t you as well? Wayne M. Wills
Vote Eschmann
Dear Editor,
Welcome all residents as Nov. 3 draws near. Please take some valuable time out of your day to get out and VOTE!! Your vote counts.
I am running for Village Council President and would like your vote. I believe I am most qualified for the position and could be far more efficient, effective and insightful than my opponent.
I have been a public servant on the Village of Ortonville Council for nearly 12 years. During that time I have accrued a wealth of information and experience on the management of our village. The position has tried me and challenged me. It has developed me to be a problem solver for THE VILLAGE as aWHOLE. In January I reflected on all the accomplishments I have helped bring forth in this position and realized how great the reward has been to invest in the community that I live in and love. I do not do this for the money, Since January, I have committed to rendering my VOO pay checks to 2 village charities also serving our community, OCEF and Brandon Groveland Youth Assistance.
Like many of you, I am deeply disappointed in the acidic political attacks. I have had residents share that they have been threatened, bullied or pressured by candidates or their supporters over signage. I have heard terrible misinformation passed back to me. I promise not to be that person. I promise to be the man my parents raised me to be, a man of integrity and honesty. I promise to watch over your tax dollars. Needs first, bells and whistles last. My voting record proves that to be true:
•Personally motioned to put Sewer Bond issue on the ballot for all residents to vote on—which was overwhelmingly voted down. •Voted against the sale of marijuana in the Village. • Initiated the ordinance to protect the Village owned 47 acres now named the Ortonville Wildlife Preservation Park—Protecting it from land destruction caused by motorbikes, chainsaw cuttings of live cedar and conifer trees, dumping and bon fires—this park is open to public for natural trail hiking with 3 access points. • Schoolhouse and Cedar repaving/drains. Ball St. Bridge. •New master Plan. •COVID-19 response plan. I support the future plans of: Mill St. resurfacing /drainage project-Spring 2021. •Sidewalks on Oakwood connecting Pinewood Sub to Village-2021. •Sherman Park Concession stand/Ball field updates-2020. •Crossman Park drain allowing local businesses to update their septic system.
I’m excited about the prospect of winning this seat and the potential a stronger Council can bring to this Village. Good luck to all those on the campaign trail. Be safe. God Bless, Dan Eschmann Village President Candidate
Vote Haynes
Dear Editor,
I recommend Rebecca Haynes for Brandon School Board. She has a past, present and future with the district and a vested interest in continuing to make it excellent. She and her husband have three children, grades 6-9, currently enrolled and a recent high school graduate. The family is involved in academics, sports, and extra-curricular activities through the district. Rebecca has a degree in elementary education, a master’s degree in Reading Recovery, has subbed in various buildings in the district, and has served on various focus groups over the past several years. She runs her own small business. She is a dynamic, friendly and determined woman. I have known her for over 10 years and regard her as someone with integrity that I respect. The school district needs people who will make financially sound decisions that are in the best interest of students while considering the consequences to staff and the community. Rebecca can evaluate options and make decisions. She is comfortable with a leadership role and when her convictions are strong, she isn’t easily swayed by public pressure or opinion. She will be a great addition to the Brandon School Board. Vote Rebecca Haynes this November. Theresa Bills
Vote Trump
Dear Editor,
Will you be voting for misery or prosperity on Election day?
Biden Says he will raise taxes. Trump: Wants to pass another tax cut. Biden Will implement much more regulation on oil/gas industry resulting in much higher prices. Trump: Continue to support oil/gas industry by fostering an environment of investment and exploration
Biden: Continue with his 47 year record of selling out American jobs to the highest bidder.Trump: Continue his America First agenda.
Biden: Bow to the radical left Democrats forcing countless crippling new regulations on all aspects of life including the absurd “Green New Deal” which is just a fancy name for give the Democrats Trillions of dollars and complete control everything you do.Trump:
Believes in fostering an environment for robust investment and individual prosperity. Biden:Allow countless millions more of unaccounted illegal immigrants to pour through the southern border.Trump: Secure and defend the southern border. Biden: Support the radical left’s attack on police officers.Trump: Has the support of nearly all police unions around the country. Biden: Thinks you are a racist.
Trump: Thinks a prosperous country helps to unite the country. Biden: Supports the Democrats efforts to silence anyone who doesn’t push their radical agenda; through force (Antifa, BLM), College/University manipulation, unchecked social media censorship, forced reeducation and coercion of public and private sector workers, unchecked lying in the media.Trump: Believes social media should have its immunity from lawsuits revoked and universities that censor students should not receive taxpayer funding. Biden:
Is going to support the radical left’s effort to end the filibuster(allowing for 1 party rule of the Senate) and packing (raising the number above 9) the Supreme Court with progressive judges so the Unconstitutional laws they cram through the Senate will pass uncontested
This election isn’t about whether or not your personality is compatible with a particular candidate or not, that would be narcissistic. This election is about your job and your children and grandchildren’s future. 90% of the media in this country has the same political leaning. If you hate politics and mostly tune it out than I can assure you that they have you right where they want you. When they own the information they can bend it all they want. They are manipulating and lying to you. Joe Wayda
Vote Nivelt
Dear Editor,
Over the last month, I have written letters to the editor bringing attention to issues regarding the Village of Ortonville Council.
I encouraged everyone to research and educate yourself on the candidates by attending or viewing the meetings and searching past minutes. If you made the time to do this, you now understand why I am running for a trustee seat and how important it is that you vote in this election. Trustee’s Eschmann, Skornicka and Butzu do not have the best interests of our residents and businesses in mind. If you are happy with the progress (or lack thereof) over the last 13 years then by all means vote for them. However, if you feel we can do better with your concerns and tax dollars, vote for those of us who have stepped up to the plate to give the residents and businesses a choice. Please exercise your privilege to vote. WE CAN DO BETTER. Melanie Nivelt, planning commissioner, past village council trustee and Candidate for Village Trustee 2020
No loyalty
Dear Editor,
There is a campaign that is being used by Dan Eshcmann going door-to-door for village residents as a scare tactic.
Isn’t the village council supposed to be made up of seven people as a body to work together to better the community and not as a pod to advance personal agendas?
I served on the DDA for almost two years when I learned three individuals currently running for re-election are self-serving and do not work with the team. These three names have all contributed to the unnecessary special meetings that are costing us taxpayers over $5,000 this year alone.
These three have burned through four village managers in the last five years, and we had some intelligent managers. One of them, David Trent was fired illegally in isolation of the federal Open Meetings Act. The current village manager has told me personally that he can see why we can’t keep a village manager.
These three names voted to not allow the Superintendent of Brandon Schools, Dr. Outlaw to serve on the DDA board which is a volunteer position, which he was nominated for by DDA, and appointed by the Village President, but denied by these three. Dr. Outlaw wanted to serve the community, to better it but they voted no.
When Council has the opportunity to vote to support local businesses with contributions to findings and grants, these three vote no. Consider these facts when you vote this election. VOTE NO on Eschcmann, Sconica and Butzu who do not have a strong track record of residential and business loyalty. Jason Kratt

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