Fruitport Twp. supervisor faces challenge

The race for supervisor and four trustee seats are contested in Fruitport Township next week. Township Supervisor Brian Werschem is being challenged by a former Fruitport Township supervisor, Ron Cooper.
Alex Doty
Oct 30, 2012

“I enjoy the job and I think that I do a good job,” said Werschem, 43.

Werschem, who is running for a second four-year term, said stability is important and he has been able to steady the township so it can provide necessary services to residents.

He said issues that were important to him included having a strong police and fire department, and making improvements to the township’s water system.

“The water issue has been a heated topic for decades,” Werschem said.

Cooper, 68, was the township supervisor from 1996-2000 and again from 2004-08.

During his time in office, Cooper said he converted five roads from gravel to asphalt, added 11 extensions to the township water trunk lines, established a soccer park on Sheringer Road, extended bike paths and renovated the bathrooms at Farr Field, and balanced a $500,000 budget deficit.

Cooper noted that the government’s job is to protect its citizens — one of the main reasons he is running for supervisor.

Also on the Nov. 6 ballot in Fruitport Township, five candidates are running to fill four seats on the Township Board.

Marjorie Nash, 72, is running for re-election.

“I think we need some average taxpayers like myself," she said. "That’s why I started running back in ’84. I still feel like I am the average taxpayer.”

Nash said the bigger issues include keeping public safety a top priority, dealing with the township’s water situation and making improvements to streets.

“We’ve got to improve our roads, but we hardly have any money,” she said.

Charles Whitlow, 67, is also seeking another term on the board. He's been a trustee for the past 20 years.

“We’ve got some real important issues coming up," he said.

Whitlow said there were two issues he was interested in: a casino on Harvey Street and a new township hall.

Sherry Yonkers, 65, is a newcomer candidate who has had previous experience serving the township.

“I was the township clerk for 20 years,” she said.

After being voted out of office, Yonkers worked for the City of Hudsonville and then cared for her parents for 10 years. Yonkers said she is eager to get through the election and, if elected, get familiar with the issues facing the township.

“I think I have some opportunity to give back to the community,” she said.

Candidates Ronald Becklin and David Markgraf didn’t respond by press time.
 

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