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Leelanau County Commission Candidates Respond to Michigan Land Use Institute Survey

July 18, 2008 | By Jim Lively
Great Lakes Bulletin News Service

On August 5, 2008, voters in Leelanau County will vote in a primary election to narrow the slate of candidates for a new board of county commissioners. With rapid population growth and aggressive residential and commercial development occurring in the county, it is crucial that voters clearly understand the positions of the candidates on land use issues.

All of the candidates for the Leelanau County Board of Commissioners were given the opportunity to answer the exact same five questions on important land use issues facing the county. Candidates were asked to limit their responses to 100 words. We have reprinted the responses of all candidates who returned completed surveys.

Commission candidates were asked the following questions:

  1. The Leelanau County General Plan recommends directing future growth to villages and settled areas of the county. As a county commissioner, what practical steps, if any, would you support the county taking to direct new development to areas of higher density? Specifically, would you support county financing of the necessary sewer and water infrastructure to allow for more people in these areas?
  2. The 11 townships and three villages in Leelanau County have limited resources for planning and zoning, while the county has professional planning staff but limited land use authority. What specific services should the county planning department provide to townships and villages to help them with their planning and zoning responsibilities? Do you see opportunities for the county to offer more leadership and support on land use issues?
  3. Many working families in Leelanau County live far from their jobs, schools and commercial centers. As gas prices continue to increase, transportation costs are placing a heavy burden on county residents. What specific policies and programs can Leelanau County undertake to help residents with housing affordability and transportation costs?
  4. Leelanau County has many older homes with failing septic systems that degrade water quality. A proposed health ordinance would require health inspections at the time a house is sold. Would you support this ordinance?
  5. Earlier this year, the Leelanau County Board of Commissioners voted to join five other counties in support of the regional Grand Vision planning Process. What opportunities do you believe the Grand Vision will create for Leelanau County? As a commissioner, how will you ensure that the final recommendations from this citizen-led process are put into action?
Click here To Find Your District
Last Name District Party
Howell 1 R
Watkowski 1 R
Heinert 2 R
(This candidate did not answer)
2 R
(This candidate did not answer)
2 D
Bunek 3 R
(This candidate did not answer)
3 R
Freeman 3 D
Tonneberger 4 R
Shiflett 5 R
Andersen 6 R
(This candidate did not answer)
6 R
Semple 6 R
Marshall 6 D
(This candidate did not answer)
7 R
Cruz 7 D
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