Residents across Michigan and the United States will head to the polls on Tuesday, November 2, not only elect a variety of new candidates to public office, but to also decide some ballot issues as well.
Every 16 years, Michigan voters are asked whether they want to rewrite the Michigan constitution, and that proposal will be on the ballot again this year as proposal 1. The last time it was redone was in 1963, and it is the fourth constitution in state history. Most candidates oppose calling a constitutional convention, because the cost has been estimated at $45 million.
Another proposal on the ballot would ban all felons from office if they have been convicted of certain felonies in the previous 20 years.
Here in Cedar Springs, there is an uncontested race for City Council, with incumbent Ken Benham and newcomer Neil Gomez running for the positions.
In Nelson Township, there are two people vying for the position of treasurer—current treasurer Katy Austin, and current deputy clerk Lisa Heydenburg.
Incumbent Katy Austin has lived in the township for most of her life. She grew up on Pine Lake, attended Cedar Springs Public Schools, and currently lives on Becker St. She is the proud mother of Olivia (age 7) and Alaina (age 4) and haa been married to Shawn for 11 years.
“I am running for Treasurer because I truly enjoy being a public servant and working with people as a problem solver,” she told the Post. “I am the best candidate for the job because I have the most experience.”
Austin said she has been the Township Treasurer for the past year and has taken every educational opportunity in an effort to provide the residents with the best service possible. “I also have an extensive background in accounting,” she added.
Austin she thinks the most pressing issue that Nelson Township is facing is how to grow as a community, and how they can encourage people to move there. “I am so excited for the opportunity to be elected by the residents!” she said.
Lisa Heydenburg, the current Nelson Township deputy clerk, is also running for the treasurer position. She has lived in Nelson Township for 17 years, and has been married to her husband, Al, for 22 years. They have 3 daughters. Twins Erin and Sarah, 17, are seniors at Algoma Christian, and Emily is almost 11 and a sixth grader at Algoma Christian.
Heydenburg said she wants to run for office because “It is the next logical step for me. It’s not just a job for me; I like working in and for my community. Being elected as Treasurer would mean I can be even more involved in the future of the township.”
She says she is a good candidate for the job because she has worked at the township as Deputy Clerk for 5 years and has been the Secretary for the Planning Commission for over 3 years, and has attended many board meetings during this time. “I have knowledge of how the township office works and I am able to assist residents in most areas, from voter registration to building permits. I have also worked at every election for the past 16 years,” she added.
What does she think is the most pressing issue facing the township? “Right now I think whether or not the Village of Sand Lake disincorporates because it will affect the whole township,” she said.
Residents will also be voting for many state offices including Governor, Lt. Governor, Secretary of State, our US House 3rd District representative, our 73rd District State Representative, 28th District state senator.
To compare the candidates check out a voter’s guide at one of the following websites: