Tuesday, Apr 24, 2018
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Numerous offices on Monroe ballot

A veteran township clerk and a retired Marine Corps Reserves colonel are running to become the next Monroe County clerk-register of deeds.

Voters have the choice of electing Democrat Sharon Lemasters, of Carleton or Kathy Powers, a Republican from Monroe who retired from the reserves in 2003, to replace Geri Allen, who retired earlier this year.

The candidates, who won primary races in August, are seeking election to an office that pays $76,512 a year.

Mrs. Lemasters, 54, said her experience as Berlin Township clerk, an elected office she has held since 1993, has prepared her for the duties of the office.

It is somewhat similar to what I am doing now, but it will be on a much larger scale, she said. During the last 16 years, I have built professional and support relationships with all the city and township clerks throughout the county. I think the county clerk needs someone who has experience.

Mrs. Powers, 58, said the experience she obtained in the military and private industry has prepared her for the fiscal and organizational challenges of the office.

She was a manager of information systems for a subsidiary of Blue Cross/Blue Shield from 1982 to 1987.

I think it makes me by far the superior candidate. My opponent doesn t have the experience in assessing organizations, reviewing current business practices, and utilizing software productivity tools to create cost-effective business practices, Mrs. Powers said.


Voters also will choose among candidates running for prosecutor, sheriff, treasurer, drain commissioner, and four of nine commissioner seats.

Prosecutor William Nichols faces a challenge from Republican Tim Laitur, who is a former prosecutor for the city of Monroe. The prosecutor is paid $107,120 a year.

Mr. Nichols, 48, of Temperance, was elevated to prosecutor in 2004 after serving as chief assistant for four years and assistant prosecutor for seven years.

As prosecutor, Mr. Nichols, a Democrat, began crime prevention seminars for schools and community groups, created a program that recoups prosecution costs from offenders, and instituted diversion programs for nonviolent offenders.

We are focusing our priorities on serious, violent, and repeat felony offenders while at the same time using diversion programs for first-time nonviolent offenders, he said.

Mr. Laitur, 53, of Monroe, handled misdemeanor and traffic code violations as a city attorney for 15 years. He said he convicted more than 2,000 offenders for drunken driving.

If elected, Mr. Laitur said he will make better utilization of the assistant prosecutors who he said have years of experience in trying cases. He also wants to develop a system on working out plea agreements.

I think that you are serving the public when you put the best possible resources on the issues, he said. Plea agreements should always be in the best interest of the public and not in the best interest of the defendants.

Three-term Democratic Sheriff Tilman Crutchfield, 62, of Monroe, faces challenges from two opponents: Republican Charlotte Reaume, 54, a retired sheriff s deputy from Carleton, and Libertarian Justin Yeary, 18, of Monroe. The sheriff s salary is $90,478.

Treasurer Kay Sisung, 48, a Democrat from Maybee, faces a challenge from Republican Julie Selvidge, 45, of Newport. Ms. Sisung is paid $68,000 annually.

In his bid for re-election to drain commissioner, Democrat Daniel Stefanski, 59, of Monroe, is running against Republican Al Bain, 54, of Otter Creek Road. The drain commissioner is paid $70,681.

Four of nine seats on the Monroe County Board of Commissioners will be decided on Tuesday.

The District 4 contest pits incumbent Democrat Floreine Mentel, 72, of Monroe, against Republican Nicholas Turner, 22, of Monroe.

District 5 Democrat William Sisk, 57, and District 7 Democrat John Fowler, of Albain Road, will defend their commission seats against Marty Selvidge, 66, of Monroe, and Michael Humphries, 47, of LaSalle, respectively.

In District 6, incumbent Democrat Jerry Oley, 43, faces challenges from Republican Larry Merkle, 61, and David Roberts, 64, who is running as an independent. All nine county commissioners are paid at least $14,420, with the eventual chairman and vice chairman of the board receiving extra stipends.

In Bedford Township, voters will have choices for clerk and trustee.

Incumbent Democrat Robert Schockman, 59, faces a challenge in the clerk s race from Republican George Welling, 58, and Dennis Steinman, 60, who is running as a write-in candidate.

Mr. Steinman, who has been a trustee for 28 years, was defeated by Mr. Welling in the August primary for the right to present the Republican Party in the election. Mr. Schockman is seeking a third term.

Seven candidates are vying for four trustee seats, including the one held by Mr. Steinman. Republicans Paul Francis, 63, and Rick Steiner, 48, and Democrat Larry O Dell, 63, are incumbents defending their seats against Republicans Tom Covrett, 39, and Nancy Tienvieri, 59, and Democrats James Goebel and Gail Hauser-Hurley, 56.

Erie Township residents will elect two new trustees. Democrats David Cousino, 56, and Michael Warren Grodi, 35, who defeated incumbents in the August primary, will face Republican Gary Wilmoth.

Ida Township voters will decide the race for supervisor between incumbent Ronald Iott, 59, a Democrat, and Republican E. Scott Desbrough, 41.

In Whiteford Township, voters can replace all five members of the township board. Supervisor Pamela Dressel, 63, a Republican, faces a challenge for re-election from Democrat Carla Smith, 50, while incumbent Republican Timothy Hill, 59, is running against Democrat Henri Lavimodiere, 60, for treasurer.

Trustees LeRoy Bunge, 84, who is a Republican, and Democrat Larraine Dressel, 59, are opposed for re-election by Republican Robert Dickerson and Democrat Donald Sahloff, 67.


Frenchtown Charter Township has an additional 1-mill, five-year levy for public road, bridge, and culvert improvement.

Contact Mark Reiter at:markreiter@theblade.comor 734-241-3610.

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