Port Sheldon supervisor faces challenger

A longtime supervisor and a newcomer challenger will face off for the Port Sheldon Township supervisor seat on Tuesday.
Marie Havenga
Nov 5, 2012

 

Timothy VanRaalte, who is running with no party affiliation, is challenging Republican incumbent Howard Baumann Jr.

Baumann, 53, of 7490 152nd Ave., has served as township supervisor for the past 17 years.

“We are very careful with the money here,” he said. “We like to plan ahead and we carry a good fund balance in case of a rainy day.”

Baumann said he would like the opportunity to continue with projects that are under way, including a new restroom facility and boardwalk at Kouw Park and a bike path connection to Hemlock Crossing Park on West Olive Road. He identified road improvements and maintaining a stable millage rate as other priorities.

“We don't have anything controversial going on,” Baumann said. “I just want to continue serving the community and continue with some orderly development of the township.”

VanRaalte, 59, of 6971 152nd Ave., said he wants to bring fresh ideas to the five-member board.

“The government here has been running unopposed for a long time,” VanRaalte said. “They vote themselves raises and I don't agree with that. That should be a voter's choice.”

If elected, VanRaalte said he would like to improve communication with township residents and clearly explain new ordinances and policies.

He said he was upset when township officials told him they couldn't afford to regularly plow the cemetery during the winter. He also said he is frustrated that board members typically vote alike with no dissenting votes.

“If I'm elected, I'm not going to rubberstamp everything,” VanRaalte said. “I've lived here for 45 years and I never ever went in and complained about anything. But I read an article and it hit me hard. It said if you're not happy with local government, the only way you can change it is by running.”
 

 

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