Three seats on the Vicksburg Village Council are up for election in the non-partisan election Nov. 8 for four year terms.
Village President Bill Adams, incumbent, is being challenged by Denny Olson.
Other candidates are incumbents Colin Bailey, Gail Reisterer and Chris Newman who did not return a statement. Carl Keller is the challenger.
The village president is paid $50 per meeting. Council members are paid $35 per meeting.
Bill Adams, 71. Married 51 years to Carolyn Adams, 2 children, 5 grandchildren, lived in Vicksburg School District for 46 years.
QUALIFICATIONS: Village of Vicksburg Council President since 2013. Vice President of Engineering, Research and Marketing, Flowserve Corp , 43 years, retired. Bachelor of Science Engineering. Vicksburg Rotary Club member, WMU Board of Advisors. My goal is to make Vicksburg one of the best small communities to live, play and work. I want to continue responding to the needs of the people. We are now in a position to strengthen our economic base with a five-year financial strategy that will evaluate reducing taxes, water and sewer rates. The Village is the number one growing community in the State, and over 400 new jobs have been created in the last couple years. To continue, we have to work as a team both inside the Village and with neighboring governments. A strong, revitalized downtown and thriving business district has already begun but there is more to do. Developing proper planning, communication and execution is the cornerstone of trust. As we finish the final goals of our strategic plan, we will again be engaging all citizens’ opinions this spring as we update this plan. Efforts will continue in:
Exceptional public safety services, and continue cross-training police officers as first responders on medical emergencies and fires, and develop new response processes with our fire board.
Quality water, roads and sewer systems upgrades continue, including a $1.2 million SAW grant evaluating the condition of our sewers.
Enhancements to our parks and recreational assets to be the best in the area, and complete our Vision Campaign to fund these upgrades. The current profit of $100,000 from Angels Crossing Golf Course is projected to double in the future and will be reinvested in the community.
Carl Keller. My name is Carl Keller and I am running for Village Trustee. My wife Kerissa and I have lived in Vicksburg for 26 years. We moved from Grand Rapids and chose Vicksburg, as it reminded us both of the communities we grew up in. I am originally from Allegan and my wife is from Pittsford. We met at Central Michigan University and we were married while still in school. We have been blessed with two children and have proudly raised them here in Vicksburg. While they were growing up, I was very involved in Little League and Rocket Football, serving on both boards. I am also a member of the Vicksburg Lions Club (Past President) and have participated in the Vicksburg Rotary Showboat. I have been very involved in my church.
I received my bachelor’s degree in Public Administration from Central Michigan University and began a carrier in the Electrical Industry shortly after graduation.
I still believe that public service is a noble cause, especially at the local level. Now that our children are grown and moved into the world, I believe it is time to give more back to this community that has provided so much for my family. I have begun this a few years ago, when I accepted an opening on the Planning Commission. I have worked with not only other board members, but also our citizens to do what make sense for our village to grow. I like to cut thru the “Boiler Plate” double speak when it comes to village issues and break them down to a fundamental level that make sense.
If I am fortunate to be elected Village Trustee, I will also keep the best interest of the village, as a whole, in all my decisions. I thank you and I would appreciate your vote.
Colin Bailey, 32. Married for 3 months to Lindsay Bailey, and have lived in Vicksburg over 4 years.
QUALIFICATIONS: Vicksburg Village Council since 2012, Village of Vicksburg Financial Steering and Advanced Telecom Committees. General Manager, DL Gallivan Office Solutions. Lake Michigan College and Western Michigan University, Computer Information Systems. Big brother for Big Brothers/Big Sisters Kalamazoo. Being part of the Village Council these past four years, I have come to realize how important it is to have a team of individuals that really cares for our community. In four short years we have made a dramatic impact on the look and feel of Vicksburg. The accomplishments are too long to list; we have turned a community that was in financial turmoil into a well-oiled machine. The policies set in place by this council have secured our financial future and we are now reaping the benefits. I enjoy being associated with the fastest growing community in the State, thanks to a group of people that truly care about our Village. Vicksburg can become a place of choice for business and entrepreneurship with independent businesses creating a dynamic downtown district, and larger companies providing stability. We can also become one of the first fiber ready communities in Michigan and attract more jobs to Vicksburg.
I pledged four years ago that I had no agenda and that I would use the morals and values I have gained throughout my life and apply them to the decisions I make for the community. I have kept my word and will continue to work with the people of this community to grow, alleviate anyone’s worries and assure them that our future is in good hands. We have to work as a team to continue providing a small town atmosphere with opportunities for personal and business growth.
Denny Olson, 62. Wife: Karen Nay (Olson). Married 8 yrs. Father to 4 adult children, 7 grandchildren. Vicksburg resident for 7 1/2 years. 1972 Graduate of Vicksburg High School. Self taught in business. Owner of 2 businesses. Manager in charge of 2 businesses. 5 1/2 year leader of 9 Michigan “Guardian Angel” Safety Patrol Chapters.
I decided to run after a long and thoughtful process after I saw what I considered to be actions by the South Kalamazoo County Fire Authority that were not in the best interest of the people of Vicksburg to remove Fire Chief Tracy McMillan from his position. I neither agreed with that action or the way that it has gone about and I have stood fast against it.
I feel there are way too many backroom handshake deals going on that need to be brought to light so the people of Vicksburg can decide for themselves what is in their own best interest. I consider the “Angels Crossing Golf Course” one of those deals and it is time for the Village of Vicksburg to rid themselves of this and take the money from its sale and invest it in our village’s sewer and water systems, parks, sidewalks and roads.
What I promise is a transparent government, a Village that responds to its citizens and their concerns and one that is open and honest with all of its dealings.
I offer business know-how, a background in dealing with volunteers and politicians, and a straightforward no-nonsense way of doing things.
Thank you for taking time to read this and please exercise your right to vote on Nov. 8th.
Gail Reisterer, 75. Married for 40 years to David Reisterer, 1 step daughter, 3 grandchildren, lived in Vicksburg 52 years.
QUALIFICATIONS: Vicksburg Village Council since November 2015. Speech Therapist, Vicksburg Community Schools, 29 years. Bachelor of Arts, WMU. Vicksburg District Library Book Sale Chairperson, Harvest Festival Volunteer Coordinator, Vicksburg Historical Society docent, Ladies’ Library Auxiliary member. My goal is to make Vicksburg a strong vibrant community that can weather whatever comes its way, as it has since its founding. I am an active community advocate, and want to continue being part of a strong team in Vicksburg to provide a safe environment for children to grow up, create high paying jobs to raise a family, and beautiful parks and recreational opportunities to enjoy with family and friends. I want to continue the work I have begun with creating opportunities for our aging citizens to stay in Vicksburg and receive the care they need throughout their life and stay close to their families. To expand offerings for our students to engage in enhanced arts and science programming and activities to provide a future full of choices. One of the most important things is to be truthful, open and transparent in government, listen to the community and be good stewards of their needs. We have to work as a team to support the community, and I plan to continue my efforts in:
Attracting healthcare developers to provide facilities for our aging population to stay in Vicksburg with their families, and listen to citizen needs so we provide exceptional care and create a “Hometown for Life”.
Provide additional programs for students to enhance their learning opportunities to meet the future needs of our young people.
Develop a range of recreational activities for young adults to enrich their lives and learning experiences.
Tim Frisbie, 56. Married for 30 years to Susan (Craddock). Raised 2 young VHS graduates. We have lived in Vicksburg for over 40 years.
QUALIFICATIONS: Vicksburg Village Planning Commission for 8 years serving as Chairperson my last years. Sales Director, for ClydeUnion Pumps SPX. Lincoln Technical Institute, Management Certificate, University of Michigan. Sales Leadership, Dale Carnegie. Certificates Lean Management in SixSigma. Founding Member South County Inter-municipal Committee.
My goal is to continue the transformation that the Village leadership has begun, to be transparent to all residents with accountability for its actions. Having worked in the service industry for my entire career, understand what it means to serve during my sales career. Have been responsible for budgets, profit and loss, and employee engagement. Business is not a democracy, but I lead by listening to all opinions, and facilitating the ideas, thoughts and desires of others. Taking all lessons learned during my lifetime and forming opinions to make good decisions. Good or bad, I learn from both.
I believe we are the right size… no, the perfect size community. I do think the Village will grow, which is natural or you decline, but growth needs to come from planning and creating a stable future. Long term I want to ensure a good water and sewer infrastructure, support our exceptional school system (which just keeps getting better), cultivate additional activities in our parks with recreational opportunities, and create a strong business community. I will work to support and continue the fine work of the new leadership in the Village as a team that continues to focus on lower taxes, cost of government, and supporting the residents and business owners.