Why did I get involved with the Oshtemo Residents Association?
For 85 years, my family has enjoyed well water on our property. We have 4 generations living on the same 40 acres. When my home was built, like everyone else on the street, we drilled a well. After we built our home, the township installed a water pipe down our street as part of the KL landfill loop (From KL to 4th to Stadium to 1st to KL).
Two years ago my daughter and her husband built a home next to mine (same 40 acres). My daughter applied with the county for a well permit and one was issued, but later they discovered the township overrides the county. Although there is no danger of our water becoming contaminated, the township required my daughter to connect to the public water and to pay over $8,000 for the privilege. We asked the township if my daughter could pay the $8,000 fee for the infrastructure but also drill a well. They said "no".
I'd been thinking of running for public office for a few years and I'd already committed to running in the 2020 election. Now I was looking for ways to stop this kind of local government overreach legislatively.
When I heard about the sewer expansion project I decided to make sure the township was legally crossing its "t"s and dotting its "i"s. When I went to township meetings to start asking questions I found a large group of people pleading with the township to not force them to connect. Some were in danger of losing their homes due to the incredibly high connection privilege fees. These people were going through what my daughter and her husband went through and I wanted to do something to help. The group that eventually started the Oshtemo Residents Association noticed me standing up to the township, asked me to join their group, and since then we've accomplished some pretty great things together. We've identified our legal arguments, ran a GoFundMe campaign, hired a legal firm, created an incorporated organization with over 250 members, mediated with the township, sued the township, required them to republish the bond notice, and now collected enough signatures to require the township to put the bond issue on the ballot.
Do I have political aspirations? Absolutely.
Does helping this group help me politically? Only if I do a good job.
Am I doing this to get elected? Honestly, that is part of it. I want to show people what I'm capable of, what I care about, what I'm willing to fight for, and how hard I'm willing to fight for it.
How else will you know if I'm worthy of your vote?