Supervisor resigns prior to term completion

By David Fleet
Atlas Twp. —On Monday night the township board of trustees voted 5-0 to accept the resignation of supervisor Shirley Kautman-Jones. She will step down March 31. The board then voted 4-0 to appoint deputy supervisor James Busch as interim supervisor to complete Kautman-Jones term which expires on Nov. 20, 2024. Kautman-Jones did not vote.
After more than three decades in public service, Kautman-Jones said it’s time to achieve other goals.
“I’m a life-long volunteer,” said Kautman-Jones. “I’ll still be involved with the township. Jim Busch is an amazing person, I met him during the high-speed internet committee meetings last year. I seek individuals with the township’s best interests in mind and those who really care about the community. If I could pick an individual who would lead Atlas Township Jim is that person. It’s my hope the community supports Jim in the 2024 primary election this August.”
In 2008 Kautman-Jones, who had served on the Goodrich School Board from 1994-2003, township planning commission and was on the Goodrich volunteer ambulance service board, was first elected Atlas Township Supervisor. She was reelected in 2012 and served until 2016 when she lost reelection. In January of 2017 she was appointed by the Genesee County Board of Commissioners as chairperson of the Genesee County Board of Road Commissioners (GCBRC). In 2020 Kautman-Jones was reelected township supervisor.
“I’m on the other side of the hill,” she said. “Now I realize I’m getting to that peak in life. I’ll continue to work with the Goodrich Library, Goodrich/Atlas Township Historical Society and I want to clean my house.”
On April 1, 2024, Busch, who had served as township deputy supervisor since October 2023 stepped in as supervisor.
A 1983 Utica High School graduate, Busch served in the US Navy from 1983-1992. He earned a Bachelors of Science degree majoring in information security and work for various companies from 1993 to 2023, retiring from Bose Corporation.
“I am both humbled and honored to lead Atlas Township,” said Busch. “I look forward to serving our community and continuing the great work previous supervisors have started.”
Jim and his wife built their forever house in Atlas and relocated from Grand Blanc Township in 2019.
“Both Bridget and I have met many wonderful people and are proud to call Atlas Township our home,” he said.
After moving to Atlas, he volunteered to help at the township and was placed on the Atlas Township ZBA, Board of Review (BOR), served as an election worker and Master Plan Advisory Committee.
Following his retirement from Bose in 2023, he served as deputy supervisor to assist with several township projects. He worked with the 911 Consortium, Genesee County Road Commission, Genesee County Drain Commission, researching available grants for the Atlas Township including the fire department and most recently working to help restore the Ladies Library in the Village of Goodrich.

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