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VOTE411 Voter Guide

11-17 St Joseph City Commissioner {_getChooseLabel(this.selections.length)}

  • Candidate picture

    Fran Chickering Retired (Attorney)

  • Candidate picture

    Al DeBrito Safety Security Manager Lakeland Health

  • Michael C. Garey

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    Peggy Getty Clinical Implementation Project Manager

  • Candidate picture

    Mary Goff City Commissioner

  • Candidate picture

    Laura A. Goos Human Resources Professional

Change Candidates

Biographical Information

If elected, what will be your top two priorities and how would you address them?

Campaign Phone (269) 983-7949
Age 65
Education A.B. Duke University Law Degree: Vanderbilt University
Family spouse: Bill Chickering; 2 grown children; 1 grandchild
Community Service Past Boards: Women's Service League Berrien County Council for Children Berrien County Legal Services Indian Hills Garden Club
One immediate and serious concern is the state proposal to remove the City’s ability to regulate short-term rentals, which we have done in a way that best meets our community’s needs. We will continue to hold community meetings to raise awareness and engage our residents to forcefully oppose this elimination of local control that will prove destructive to our neighborhoods. Secondly, the Commission will need to determine how to fund capital improvement projects. Over the last 4 years, utilizing grant funding, we have assessed, inventoried and prioritized much needed upgrades to water, sewer and streets infrastructure. We have to now be fiscally responsible in how we find short and long term funding solutions, whether they be increases in water and sewer rates, continuing to seek grant funding for streets or considering whether our current street millage, which is inadequate to fund capital improvements, should be increased over time in a way that does not unduly burden taxpayers.
Campaign Phone (269) 208-0304
Education See narrative below
Training See narrative below
Family See narrative below
Community Service See narrative below
Military Service None
Hi, I’m Al DiBrito. My family and I have been St. Joseph City residents for approximately18 years. I retired from the FBI in 2012 after 24 rewarding years. Prior to working for the FBI, I was a police officer in the Chicago area for almost 10 years and from 2012 to 2014, I was the Deputy Director for St. Joseph’s Department of Public Safety.

Our current City Commission should have been better prepared and should have planned for these infrastructure upgrades instead of waiting and giving community members few options. If elected, I will NOT vote for a property tax increase but instead insist the City work within its budget. In an attempt to remedy some of the current commissions’ failures I will advocate for the following:

• NO new property taxes • Term limits • Reduce overtime and nonessential staff • Ethical standards • Encourage residents for committee appointments • Search for medical first responder and water rescue options
Candidate has not yet responded.
Age 55
Education Studied Secondary Education at the University of Michigan 1980-1984
Training For the past 12 years, I have been a project manager for a national medical software company. I manage multi–million dollar projects and work with limited project budgets. Much of what I do is problem-solving among the different constituencies that often have competing or conflicting goals. I work with them toward joint solutions that target the best overall outcome. The skills necessary to perform this work translate directly to those needed to effectively govern on the City Commission.
Family Husband - Michael Children: Michael - wife Mallory and son Jude (St Joe, MI), Jeff- wife Aimee (Indianapolis, IN)
Community Service Southwest Michigan Symphony Orchestra Volunteer, USO (United Service Organizations) Volunteer, St Elizabeth's Maternity Home Volunteer Childbirth Instructor, Marine Moms Support Group Organizer
I will ensure the concerns of year-round residents are heard and heeded. Tourism is critically important to St. Joe and I will be actively involved in supporting legislation that will allow St Joe to keep more tourism dollars in our City to help cover the cost of being a host city. I support the Commission actively opposing legislation that takes away local control over short term rentals. This bill is bad for our neighborhoods! Parking, bike trails and our public library are important local issues that have been ignored. Multi-use space can be helpful in solving parking problem, private dollars can help support a bike trail and I believe the residents would show their financial support for our public library, if asked. We also need to continue the work done by our Public Safety Department and reach out to build a strong relationship with Benton Harbor. I will work to improve the use of technology to allow residents to remain informed and involved. I’ll be Vocal for the Locals.
Campaign Phone (269) 983-1328
Age 76
Education Bachelor's Degree WMU Speech Therapist RN Degree LMC
Training Former Mayor of St. Joseph City Commissioner since 1987 Insurance Agent Roy H Liskey, Ins
Family Husband Carl Goff 3 Adult Children, 2 Step children 7 grandchildren
Community Service Child & Family Services Auxiliary, First Congregational Church, Ex-Officio member SJ Today Board, Chair of the SJ DDA
We need to continue work on infrastructure-water lines, sewer, roads. The city continues to seek grants and low interest loans for various projects as well as planned budgeting for the future needs. Many projects are State mandated items without providing assistance in the financial payments for them. It is extremely important to make sure we take care of what we have now, such as our park areas, before taking on new issues. Develop a downtown Master Plan for careful visioning for the area is very important. Input from residents, businesses and other entities will help the city design the development that will protect our "quaint city on the Lake". Defining what areas should be open space to protect our Lake view and where proper development should occur are a part of this process. Items such as parking, housing, retail and a pathway to the beach area from the top of the Bluff are a few areas I am very interested in seeing addressed.
Campaign Phone (616) 318-1608
Age 47
Education Bachelor's of Arts; Employment Relations - Michigan State University
Family I've been married to my husband, Ron Goos, for 17 years. We have three children; my step-daughter, Rachel, our daughter Emma and our son Jacob.
Community Service Currently serving as the President of the Board of Directors for the Box Factory for the Arts since 2014. In addition, I have served on the Board of Directors of the Box Factory for the Arts since 2013 and for the Safe Shelter, a local domestic violence shelter in 2007-2008. I also volunteer for the SJ Band & Orchestra Parents, Children's Music Workshop and other organizations in our community.
My first priority would be to get input from both City Staff and the Residents on what is working and what is not. I believe the residents want to feel heard. Far too often I hear residents saying that they don't believe their interests are being addressed. We have infrastructure challenges - and some great plans in place to repair - but what are we doing to ensure residents understand what's in it for them? We need to gather this feedback and adjust plans as needed. Secondly, I want to make sure that we are prioritizing budget items, based on the feedback, that enhance residents' and visitors' experiences within the City. That includes good roads, quality systems, addressing library challenges, adequate parking and creating a system that works for everyone. With those priorities established, we need to communicate, communicate, communicate to the residents on what is happening in our City. logo


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