Muskegon County Commissioner
Bachelor of Arts Degree, University of Chicago; Graduate School, University of California - Santa Barbara
Muskegon County Commissioner since 2007; served one term as a board member on the Montague Area Public Schools; and High School Mathematics teacher for 2 years in Chicago area, 30 years at Holton High School,
1. Use taxpayer revenues wisely and maintain the county's strong bond rating. This is addressed through setting policy priorities and spending within our means. Government's function is to address public needs and to respect taxpayer dollars in meeting those public needs.
2. Encourage economic growth with a skilled workforce. Today's economy requires workers to have specific skills and it requires a community to consider the human, environmental, and logistical resources that it can offer businesses and manufacturers to locate and stay in the community. To that end, vital investments include educational options, improving access to technology (expanded broadband), safe commerce routes for water and land access, and maintaining open lines of communication between all sectors to hone and meet our priorities.
3. Common sense land policies that respect our environmental niche and our need for good-paying jobs. This requires respect for our resources to ensure longevity for the future.
It’s important to ensure that our children and grandchildren, and all our citizens have access to quality education, good public health, a pristine environment with safety in our water, woods and common areas, supportive public safety, and public transportation so that we continue to ensure that our county is a great place to live, work, and play. My support for these priorities is unwavering. Working with local, state, and federal partners to leverage a return of taxpayer funds in the form of aid for schools, road funding, grants for public health, public safety grants, and other opportunities is my style. I've always been collaborative and find that worthwhile projects happen between those who keep an open mind with their eye on the goal, In addition, the Land Bank is also an important tool to first-time home buyers, and to helping keep high property values in our communities. I'm a strong proponent of it.
One long thread of my being has been to clean up White Lake after the Hooker Chemical and DuPont Corporation dumped toxic elements into the environment. My late wife, Mary, and I spent 30 years working with many others to shutdown those polluters and to clean up the environment. I'm happy to say that the lake has been de-listed as a toxic hot-spot; notably, there were once 24 Superfund sites in Muskegon County that were identified by the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency. As a County Commissioner, I have fought to ensure that we are vigilant in maintaining our environment as we meet our energy needs. That's why the County is exploring the use of solar power for county government's needs at the waste water facility. It is not only good for the environment, it will save taxpayer money. We are creating a cross-channel loop to ensure safety and an uninterrupted water supply north of the Muskegon River.
We know the transition of our environment from its early years as a timber producer, to manufacturing, to agricultural giant. We've witnessed the careless pollution of a pristine environment that pitted jobs and economic development against public health and recreation. Then, we paid for it with costly erosion of our pure land, water, and air, and devalued property. I believe that it's vital to retain public access to community resources such as clean lakes, rivers, beaches, and parks. That's why I support:
1) Increased recycling, 2) exploration of solar power for public energy needs, 3) expansion of municipal water and sewer systems, 4) expand smart public transportation, 5) continued acquisition of lands to allow citizens access to local recreational opportunities and to preserve that opportunity for future generations.
Kim Cyr for Muskegon County Commissioner
Mona Shores High School
Muskegon Community College
Grand Valley State
Worked with area businesses to increase efficiencies, manage projects, and optimize supply chain
1. Fiscal Responsibility with Transparency
The Muskegon County board of Commissioners has a fiduciary responsibility to the taxpayers of Muskegon County. Honesty, integrity, and openness are critical to the good function of any governmental body.
Encourage open meetings, Zoom meetings, and publishing meeting summaries in Muskegon Chronicle.
The most pressing issue is the lack of available workers and the quality of the workforce. We could work with our educators to train students on entering the workforce and also in basic life skills.
3. Environmental Quality
Muskegon County has excellent natural resources; beaches and dunes, inland lakes, rivers and streams, and forest lands. We must all be good stewards to protect and preserve them. We should continue to re-purpose our Brownfield sites.
Develop and integrated system for preparing students for the workforce. This would include educators, business leaders, workforce employment specialists, and career tech centers. This group would collaborate to define, address, and solve the problems they see.
We need to be sure we are monitoring our natural resources to see the ongoing conditions of the water, land, and air. We should investigate the possibility of developing alternate sources of energy at a cost that is competitive with current energy costs.
We have many great natural resources that make our county a great place for tourism and recreation. We could support these by possibly adding more camp sites in the area.
Upgrading and improving the local parks as their condition is not good currently. Lack of maintenance has taken it's toll.
The internet/cell phone coverage is weak in the northern townships.
We could add funding to the White Lake Chamber of Commerce. They do an excellent job of promoting the county for tourism/recreation.