By Lauren Evasic
And Julianne Pitcher
Meridian Time staff writers
MERIDIAN TOWNSHIP—Six candidates are running for Meridian Township supervisor, clerk and treasurer. Two candidates are competing for each position.
All are four-year terms.
The candidates running for Meridian Township supervisor are Andy Such and Elizabeth Ann LeGoff.
“The supervisor chairs the township board and oversees management through the township manager,” said Republican Such, who has lived in the township for 33 years.
Such, who has served on the board for 12 years, said his governing style promotes inclusiveness and cooperation.
Such said Meridian Township must work with other local governments on a more aggressive response to the increasing deterioration of the transportation system.
“We cannot thrive when roads and bridges continue to deteriorate. We need to expand promotion of non-motorized transportation, including our continuing effort to be part of a metropolitan trails system,” said Such.
If elected as supervisor, Such said he has two primary goals. “I hope to protect and enhance our quality of life, working with our existing tax rates, and I also want to bring greater openness and civility to township government,” said Such.
Democrat Elizabeth Ann LeGoff has been a township resident since 1966 and was elected as Meridian Township trustee in 2008. LeGoff has also worked with the cable and planning commissions.
LeGoff said she believes the most important issues Meridian Township faces is the “stagnant economy.”
“Encouraging new businesses to locate in the township is an important issue,” said LeGoff. “I will work closely with the business community.”
Jim Hershiser and Brett Dreyfus are running for clerk.
Republican Hershiser has spent 16 years on the Meridian Township Board of Appeals, where he has served as chairman. He has also served 12 years on the Ingham County Drain Office Board of Determination. Hershiser said being a business owner in the private sector has taught him how to budget and manage business.
According to Hershiser, the most important issue facing Meridian Township is declining property tax revenue.
“As clerk, I will promote development from the residential side and controlled growth from the business side,” said Hershiser. “I also will look at ways to cut our spending by looking at different service and product options that are available.”
Hershiser said that, if elected, he will be a steward for the board members “having respect for one another and being understanding of each others’ views on issues.”
Hershiser’s opponent, Democrat Dreyfus, is a Meridian Township trustee and said he is too busy to discuss the upcoming election. More information on Dreyfus can be found on his website.
Shane Goodale and Julie Brixie are running to be township treasurer.
According to Republican candidate Goodale, a township treasurer is on the township board as the financial head for the township. As financial head, the clerk is responsible for collecting real property and personal property taxes. The clerk also issues checks for expenditures and deposits the revenues in banks and depositories, said Goodale.
Goodale has been a Meridian Township resident since 2005 and has a business and legal education. He has also previously worked on the planning commission.
Goodale said, “With my business background, I will be able to make sound business decisions not only as an investor for the township but also as a board member. As a board member with this experience, I will be better able to promote and direct development in the township.”
“Because of my legal education, where I have mastered topics of law that have a direct relation to issues and problems of a treasurer, I will be better prepared to manage and handle problems that arise with the township,” said Goodale.
Goodale said one of the most important issues the township faces is the number of vacant business spacesp.
“I will address this issue by bringing a business background to the board that is not currently there. With this experience, I will better be able to guide the township to promote business growth by promoting more business friendly policies and ordinances,” said Goodale.
Democrat Brixie is running for re-election, having been the Meridian Township treasurer for four years. The Michigan State alumna has been a township trustee for eight years and co-founded and co-chairs Capital Area Treasurers.
Brixie said, as treasurer, she “collected over $1 million in delinquent personal property taxes and taxes from receiverships and bankruptcies.”
According to Brixie, one of the biggest issues Meridian Township faces is that declining property values and revenues make it challenging to provide services at the high level residents expect.
“I will continue to look hard to find ways to provide services with the money we have available,” said Brixie.