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Published: Wednesday, 10/20/2004

Monroe County: 2 townships without contests


Two Monroe County townships, except for the "Kerry/Edwards" or "Bush/Cheney" signs scattered about, just don't show that a major election is coming up next month.

That is largely because, either as a result of things going well or an unwillingness of others to get politically involved, there are no contested township board elections in LaSalle or Raisinville townships.

There are still major issues to deal with, such as the proliferation of manufactured housing and the stresses they put on local government services; and declining state revenue sharing payments that threaten the solvency of smaller townships that lack the financial wherewithal to weather such storms.

They also must find a way to pay their share of the ongoing maintenance and usage costs of Monroe County's new $9.3 million emergency radio system.

LaSalle Township supervisor Larry Rutledge, 61, of Yargerville Road, is finishing his 16th year in office and is seeking a fourth term. Mr. Rutledge, a Democrat, is an officer on the executive board of the Michigan Township's Association, and is in line to become its president in 2007.

Township clerk Rick Feick, 60, a Democrat and former county commissioner who lives on South Otter Creek Road, is seeking his second consecutive term, while fellow Democrat and township treasurer John Zorn, 61, of North Otter Creek Road, seeks to keep the job he has held since 1972.

LaSalle Township's two trustees, Republican David Anteau, 60, of LaPlaisance Road, and Democrat Lyle Curley, 69, of North Suder Road, are trying to hold onto the positions they assumed in 1996 and 2000, respectively.

Raisinville Township voters will face almost the same slate they elected in 2000, except that former Supervisor John Klocek, the first Democrat to hold the post in Raisinville Township since the Great Depression, has moved out of state and was replaced by fellow Democrat Gerald Blanchette, 51, of Bluebush Road. Mr. Blanchette is seeking his first full term in office.

The remaining four board members are seeking another four years in the positions that they have each held for years. Three Republicans, clerk Janet Kuehnlein, 64, of Stadler Road, treasurer Rosemarie Meyer, 56, of Stewart Road, and trustee Robert Oberski, 74, of West Dunbar Road, are likely to hold their seats, as is Democratic trustee Keith Henderson, 38, of Gruber Road.

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