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Sault Sainte Marie City Commissioner {_getChooseLabel(this.selections.length)}

Sault Ste Marie City Commissioner CandidatesFour year term

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  • Candidate picture

    Chad Amo

  • Abby Bell

  • Candidate picture

    Jodi Bosbous Rath

  • Christine Cadreau (write-in)

  • Candidate picture

    Greg Collins

  • Shane Miller

  • Candidate picture

    Caine Vandermolen

Biographical Information

Please explain why you are running for city commissioner and the relevant qualities and skills you would bring to this position.

Protection of clean water and air is part of the Sault Ste Marie Master Plan 2019-2038. What would you propose to do in support of this objective over the next four years?

What do you see as the most important challenges facing our city and how would you address them?

Where are your favorite places to spend time in the Soo?

Why are our roads so bad that I worry when my kids ride their bikes down the street? Why is it a fight to try to develop land that has been untouched for years and nobody wants? There are so many big and small questions.

I know I am not the only one with questions and frustrations. I no longer just want to question things; after all, if you want change, you need to be involved. I want to help guide our city in the right direction for the future. I want to be a voice for you, the people of Sault Ste. Marie.

I earned a degree in advertising and public relations from Michigan State University. I then worked for advertising agencies for the next 7 years and started my own company in 2011.

I was born and raised in Michigan and spent 8 years living in the Indianapolis area. Living in different cites and states allows me to bring an outsiders’ perspective to help make the changes and decisions for our city to grow and improve.
We live in a beautiful area! Sault Ste. Marie is blessed by its location. Protecting our water and air is vital to maintaining the things that make the Sault so special.

Fortunately, we have an incredible organization here in town that is focused on conservation, the Chippewa Luce Mackinac Conservation District. We need to continue our efforts and support, as there is so much to do. Simply working to reduce dumping into storm water drainage and planting trees and shrubs along the Ashmun Creek can be very impactful. There are also source pollution sites that need attention.

We need to make it a priority to support the conservation districts efforts. We need to be proactive in seeking grants to help prevent and reduce pollution. We need to be educating our community about the many simple ways each of us can help out.
The two major issues facing our city are infrastructure and budget.

Maintaining our roads is a constant battle as a result of our severe weather every winter. It seems like every day I am avoiding potholes or wondering why neighborhood streets have not been properly fixed in 30 years. I see ditches that cannot drain properly sit filled with water all summer, and flood the roads every spring. We should have a drainage system that can accommodate our harsh weather.

Our parks are another vital aspect of our infrastructure. We have gorgeous park locations on the water that are being completely neglected, with playground equipment that is nearly 40 years old and dangerous.

The common answer when asked about such problems is “its not in the budget”. True, the city only has so much money. However, this does not mean that we should avoid tackling existing problems, but rather be more creative with allocation of money we do have and procurement of grants to help fund our needs.
During the summer I love to take advantage of the water, whether it’s swimming with my kids, paddle boarding or kayaking, it does not get much better. There is also a good chance you will find me trying to sneak in 9 or 18 holes at the Country Club or Tanglewood. I also love going downtown with family and friends to do a little shopping, grab an ice cream and watch the boats going through the locks.

In the winter, I love going to the Laker hockey and basketball games with my family. I have also discovered a love for ice fishing on the St. Mary’s. We are so fortunate to live in a community that offers such a wide range of activities.

We moved to the Sault to be closer to family. It has truly become home. I am proud to live and raise my children in this great city. It would be an honor to be on the city commission and work to help our city achieve its full potential.
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My dream since I was young was to be on city commission. I was taught that if you want to make a difference and make a change, you need to get involved. I watched my dad lead, volunteer, talk with his community members and truly love this city. I know the importance of leadership and representation. I want to represent our city, our people and our community. The city of Sault Ste. Marie needs a strong voice, I am that voice. I want to hear your concerns, your ideas, and your questions. I feel that my experience and background in marketing, communications, budgeting and government structure makes me an asset to the commission. I bring new ideas and energy. I want to better our community and grow our infrastructure. We need to bring in new businesses, build on what we already have and look for new ways to bring in new families to Sault Ste. Marie.
I believe we have to protect our planet. Climate change is real. On the city level, I will support any business that is trying to do their part for cleaner water and air. We should look to have more recycling containers available in our city neighborhoods, businesses and public places. I will be diligent with the Essar Steel Algoma Plant in guidelines of clean air and pollution. Our city needs more awareness efforts and partnerships to help make our great planet last and keep our town beautiful.
I believe every city and community has their own challenges. For Sault Ste. Marie, I feel our location, although one of our biggest assets, is also a challenge. How do we entice new businesses, new families and tourists to come here? Our economic development is a must for our city. We need to support businesses and bring in new development. We also can’t be afraid of change and we need to be open to new ideas moving our next generation forward.
I have so many places I love in the Sault. We have a unique atmosphere and culture, and I just love it! Spending time with family and friends, being outdoors, shopping in our businesses and watching local sporting events are some of my favorite things to do. Taking advantage of every season is something I love to do-and there really is something for everyone! Sault Ste. Marie is a diamond in the rough and I can’t wait to help it shine.
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I’m no career politician or bureaucrat. I’m passionate about our community and want to do my part to ensure Sault Ste. Marie has a healthy future. Graduated from Sault Area High School in 1986. Received my undergraduate from the University of South Florida in 1992. Received Masters in Business Administration from Lake Superior State University in 1993. Started my financial career in Florida. Moved back to the Soo in 1998 working for the Sault Tribe of Chippewa Indians. Helped create the budget department, was the Budget Officer for 7 years, and the Vice President of Development for Greektown Casino for 1 year. In 2008 became a financial advisor working for PNC Financial Services covering Northern Michigan. In 2013 created independent financial advisory company. Decided to invest in the city of Sault Ste. Marie and located main office here. My skills include: budgeting, accounting, financial services, investments, financial planning, construction management, and development.
We must spur construction projects that incorporates protection of clean air and water. We need to develop or revise existing building code policies that will encourage the use of materials and methods that lead to this goal. Most of the air pollution we encounter comes from the Steel Mill in Canada. This will have to be addressed by working closely with our Canadian partners. We have a state of the art water treatment facility. There are no near term issues with this facility. A concern is the waste management facility. It is old and is going to have to be updated in the near future. We also have a $6,000,000 capital improvement project earmarked for 2023 to build retention basins. The retention basins will act as a buffer during severe collection during high flows of rain and thaw events. It will be financed and will increase operating costs and maintenance. We must look for alternative funding sources to cover the costs and not just pass the cost on to citizens.
Most issues that are facing our city center on economic development. Our population has continuously decreased since the 1960’s and 1970’s due to loss of industry and manufacturing. This has led to lower income and less financial stability for citizens. This is in direct correlation to the declining population. It has led to less home ownership within city limits. Currently 56% of the city’s population rents versus owns their home. This means that 44% of the population pays for 100% of city property taxes. By creating an economic friendly development community we will be able to bring back industry and manufacturing. This will create higher paying job opportunities for citizens. This will lead to more home ownership and stabilize the declining population. Which in turn stabilizes our declining tax revenue needed to build and maintain city infrastructure. We can no longer be complacent need to look to the future and focus on what we want to become.
My favorite places in Sault Ste. Marie that I spend most of my time at are: the Pullar Stadium, George Kemp Marina, Sherman Park, and Downtown Sault Ste. Marie.
Thank you for this opportunity to tell you why am running to retain my seat on the board. I have been involved in politics since 1982 in a variety of ways. At an early age I wanted to be involved in helping people and supporting my community. In the last 35 plus years I have ran campaigns and helped raise money for charitable causes. The most recent event I was involved in was a fundraiser at the end of August to raise $ for the DAV van that takes Veterans to Dr. appointments. We raised 1675.00. I was appointed to the City Commission in Dec. of 2017. Since then have seen and heard the good and the not so good things that take place in SSM. I am proud of my Voting record and am humbled when people tell me I am doing well. making sure we keep our community clean and safe and that people know that I am always ready to listen and help where I can. With our city manager form of govt. sometimes things are out of our hands at first but I think Commissioners do the best we can,when possible.
Protecting our Great Lakes and keeping our drinking water safe is not only important but it is everyones responsibility. In the last couple years I have been appalled when it is shown how much waste and garbage goes into our lakes and oceans. The amount of plastics is horrifying. This should be a top priority at the City, State, and Federal levels. Locally we should do as much recycling that we can. I personally dont buy bottled water but have tried the boxed water but we have some of the best water in the state coming out of our taps here. Keeping our water and sewer equipment working well and updated when needed is another way to keep bad things going into our lakes and waterways. Sometimes that gets expensive but it is very important.
City infrastructure is very important. Working closely with agencies like MDOT to keep our roadways safe and making sure that we get our fair share of road $ should be a priority. I am excited to have been appointed City liaison to the EDC. Under director Holts leadership, everything possible is being done to attract companies and people that want to come here and spend money and create jobs. If you have never been in the SmartZone building, stop in and ask to look around. the group of fine people in there are working hard to attract good paying jobs to settle here. We dont need anymore pilot programs for housing projects that the city collects little or no taxes for long periods of time. I opposed the project behind Maloneys Alley and was happy when the company that wanted to do the same thing at Malcolm school didnt get funding. We need to get private investors here that want to create jobs and ADD to the tax base. A safe,clean city that has good jobs should a PRIORITY.
Taking a walk thru the Locks is fun and interesting to me even after all these years. I think we take the Locks for granted because we live here. There are great shops on Portage Ave. and Ashmun St. that I love to shop in. I spend time in the VFW. I am an Aux member there and enjoy the company of the members. I enjoy playing billiards and being on the VFW pool team is a lot of fun.
I actually wanted to get involved when I was about 17 because I felt things needed to change. I saw the city manager at the time and spoke with him and he encouraged me to join one of the boards of the city and eventually run for commission if I wanted to make changes. As soon as I turned 18 I joined the community services board which filters a lot of parks and req related items. I eventually became the chair, then had to take a year off as my term end was nearing. This year I've joined it again. Now with nearly 8 years of board experience I'm running for commission. With my years of experience in our local government I understand the processes and procedures that we have to go through to keep the good momentum we have and to redirect what is going down the wrong path.
Making sure the residents have clean water is a basic service the city provides. Of course we have seen the effects of when a government fails to do that. I take that seriously and will work with the DPW and do anything I can to make sure we have the necessary maintenance to sustain a proper water system in the city. I will also work with the DPW and the parks department to ensure that anything within the purview of the city is done to keep our beaches, parks, and city accessible and clean
I believe one of the challenges we face is putting ourselves in the correct position during, and following the lock project. I believe we will have to do everything we can to repair what we have that's come into disrepair, and to invest in recreation and city assets to retain as many newcomers to the city as possible. We will also have to be certain that we are in the proper budgetary position nearing the end of the project to ensure we dont feel the effects of a possible vacuum..
Birdseye is probably my #1. I frequently walk all over downtown however. At least during the warmer months that is. I tend to walk a little less during the winter.