Howell Township Trustee to Seek County Commission Seat


Howell Township Trustee Michael Tipton, who has been a leader in exploring what local governments can do about potential fracking operations, has announced he will run for a seat on the Livingston County Commission.

Tipton, of Howell Township, filed his nomination papers on April 9 for the Democratic nomination for the District 5 County Commission seat. District 5 includes the City of Howell and Cohoctah and Howell Townships.

"Our county commission needs to be a voice for the concerns most important to the citizens of our diverse district -- from better roads, to public safety, to a clean environment. I want to be that voice," he said.

The only Democrat in the race, Tipton has been working in a bipartisan fashion on the Howell Township board, which includes Democrats, Republicans, and an independent. Once in dire financial straits due to infrastructure projects in subdivisions that were never finished, Tipton and the board have worked together to successfully manage the township's finances.

"A township board that reflects the balance of our community is working in Howell Township and it will work at the county level, too. We went from the threat of having an Emergency Manager to now having full fiscal stability – without raising taxes or fees" Tipton said.

In 2013, Tipton ran against Republican Don Parker Esq. after Commissioner Jay Drick resigned before his term even began.

"Last year in the special election Mr. Parker spent over $10,000 telling us that the only issue that mattered in Livingston County was a low tax rate. This year he has not only supported a $14 million jail millage that will increase taxes, he has taken a leadership role to promote this tax increase for a cause that has no return on investment and will do nothing to stimulate the economic growth we need," Tipton said.

"At the same time, he has insisted the county can do nothing about improving our roads, keeping road patrols by sheriff deputies, and responding to the threat of fracking, even though the people are demanding action on all three. I strongly believe the county commission can influence these important issues and I am willing to fight to have these issues addressed."

Tipton has served on the Howell Township Board of Trustees since November 2012. He serves as the township's liaison with Livingston County's Spencer J. Hardy airport, ran the township's Clean-up/Recycling Day, and has pushed for the township to sell land rather than raise taxes to cover the cost of bonds for water and sewer projects in subdivisions that were never finished during the recession.

In the face of a surprise fracking operation in Conway Township, Tipton urged townships to explore options for regulating activities and worked within Howell Township to assure laws were in place to discourage and control fracking activity within its borders.

Tipton moved to the City of Howell in 2003 and bought a home in Howell Township in 2004 while commuting to his job as Purchasing Manager for Capital Area Transportation Authority (CATA) in Lansing. From 2007 to 2011 he held Purchasing Agent positions with SNC-Lavalin and Bechtel Corp, working on power and nuclear clean-up projects from Washington State to Minnesota, Canada, and Dubai and points in between. Prior to that, Tipton received a Bachelor’s degree in Economics from the University of Missouri and for 20 years held progressively more responsible procurement positions with McDonnell Douglas Corp. (now Boeing) in St. Louis, MO, Long Beach, and San Jose, CA.

Now retired, Mike is married and his wife, Judith, is the Associate Director of Development for Michigan State University’s School of Human Medicine. They have four grown children and two adorable granddaughters.

Anyone wishing more information about the campaign may contact Tipton at or call 517-672-0556.

(Paid for by Livingston County Democratic Committee, 10321 Grand River Road, Suite 600, Brighton, MI 48116. Labor donated. Not authorized by any candidate or candidate committee.)

Brighton Township Man Running for County Commission

A Brighton Township man who says he is concerned with the bare-bones direction of the Livingston County Commission has announced his candidacy for a seat on the commission.

Bruce Schneider filed his nominating papers as a Democrat for County Commission District 1 with the Livingston County Clerk’s office on April 7.

“I am very concerned about the direction our county commission is taking. It appears we are headed toward a county government that only wants to do the bare minimum regardless of the needs in our community," Schneider said.

Schneider pointed to comments made recently by Commission Chair Carol Griffiths that the commission plans to eliminate non-mandated services, including road patrols, in order to pay for operating a new jail.

"Where are they going with this philosophy? How many things are we going to lose? They don't take care of the roads already. If they take away road patrols by deputy sheriffs, who's going to come when you need police services, when you have a car accident? Many of our communities are small and can't afford their own police protection and the state police doesn't have the staff to respond," he said, adding that leaves Livingston County residents vulnerable.

Schneider said the bare-bones approach the county commission is proposing could also threaten social services, such as mental health services and services for the elderly. "They are totally losing the concept of what government is supposed to do," he said.

A veteran of 27 years in law enforcement for Wayne County government, Schneider said those years gave him an understanding of how county government works and wants to bring that experience to the county commission.

Schneider currently is a member of the Federal Emergency Management Administration National Disaster Response Team.

His career includes 21 years for the Wayne County Sheriff’s Department, where he rose to the rank of police lieutenant, responsible for traffic patrol and investigations, field training and executive protections with managerial responsibilities for a staff of 110.

Schneider also worked 6 years as a police executive lieutenant for Wayne County Airport Police. In that position, he was responsible for support services, the water rescue team, and critical incident response. As a commanding officer he was responsible for planning and control of the 120- member Airport Uniform Police Division, which had a budget of $5.5 million.

After Sept. 11, 2011, Schneider spent four years working for the U.S. Department of Homeland Security as an assistant federal security director for the region of northwest Ohio. He had final authority for the full range of managerial responsibilities for a staff of 95 and held a federal security clearance.

Schneider received numerous awards and commendations for meritorious service from the communities and departments in which he served.

Schneider is a member of the Livingston County Red Cross Disaster Response Team and is a past member of the Northwest Ohio Regional Federal Anti-Terrorism Task Force, Toledo Emergency Management Board, Lucas County Ohio Emergency Management Committee, and the University of Findley and University of Toledo Academic advisory committees.  He is a past president of the Adams Elementary (Livonia) Parent-Teachers Association, Livonia Swim Club,   and Lake 13 Farwell Mi. Home Owners Association. He also has coached basketball for 6 years and enjoys a hobby of amateur bee-keeping.

Schneider received a master’s degree in management from Eastern Michigan University in 2000. In 1997, he graduated from Eastern Michigan University’s Police Staff and Command School.  

Schneider has been married for 38 years to his wife Amelia. The couple have lived in Brighton Township since 2006 and have three adult children who live and work in the Livingston County area, and one grandson. Schneider is a member of Saint Patrick Catholic Church in Brighton.

County Commission District 1 includes the city of Brighton and all of Brighton Township except the southern third, containing the precincts of 3, 5, and 8.

(Paid for by Livingston County Democratic Committee, 10321 Grand River Road, Suite 600, Brighton, MI 48116. Labor donated. Not authorized by any candidate or candidate committee.)





Mark Schauer, Michigan's next governor, will deliver the keynote address at Livingston County Democrats' 31st annual Winans Dinner!

The Friday, May 16, event represents a homecoming for Mark, who was born and grew up in Howell.

"We're excited that Mark Schauer will join us for our largest gathering of the year and to kick off the summer and fall campaign for 2014! " said Judy Daubenmier, chair of the Livingston County Democrats. "Coming from a community like Howell, Mark represents the very best of Michigan's values.

"Having the Democratic Party's gubernatorial candidate from our county will spur us to do everything we possibly can to turn out the vote for him in November.

"That's why we have made 'We Vote, We Win' the theme of our 2014 dinner. It's a simple equation -- when Democrats turn out to vote, Democratic candidates win."

Daubenmier said the party is determined to avoid a repeat of the 2010 election results, when some Democratic voters stayed away from the polls and Republicans won control of Michigan state government. The results have been disastrous for Michigan working families, with local schools losing $1 billion, seniors paying taxes on their pensions, and our roads being allowed to crumble.

The Winans Dinner is a key part of making sure our party and our candidates have the resources they need to win in November and reverse those policies, Daubenmier said.

Mark's solid middle-class background growing up in Howell is a perfect fit for Livingston County. His father was a teacher and his mother a nurse. He played high school football at the linebacker position and graduated as his class valedictorian in 1980. To put himself through Albion College, Mark pumped gas and flipped hamburgers. Besides a bachelor of arts degree from Albion College, Mark also has a master's degree from Western Michigan University and a master's from Michigan State University.

When Michigan’s economy took a beating and his neighbors were struggling, Mark made it his life’s mission to help them fight back. He ran a nonprofit agency in Calhoun County with over 200 employees – which helped seniors and children, and provided unemployed workers the tools to get back on their feet.

In 1994, Mark took his fight for his community to the next level, serving on the Battle Creek City Commission. Mark served in the Michigan House from 1997-2003 and in the Michigan Senate from 2003-2009, where he was elected by his peers to the post of Minority Leader. As a state lawmaker, Mark earned a reputation for fighting back against the outsourcing of Michigan jobs.

Mark was elected to represent Michigan’s 7th District in the U.S. House of Representatives in 2008, where he was instrumental in passing tougher Buy American laws, helping to rescue the auto industry, ensuring quality health care for millions, and working to make college more affordable for middle-class families.

Mark and his wife, Christine, live in Battle Creek. Mark spends his free time herding his rescue dogs, Shelia and Shep, and chasing after his five grandchildren. His father, Robert; sister, Anne, and her family still live in Howell.

The dinner will also be an excellent chance to meet Livingston County's local candidates as well, including Shari Pollesch, Democratic candidate for the 22nd State Senate seat; Timothy Johnson, Democratic candidate for the 42nd State House seat; Jordan Genso, Democratic candidate for the 47th State House seat, as well as candidates for Livingston County Commission. Candidates for the 8th Congressional District seat have been invited as well.

The Winans Dinner will be held at Lakelands Golf and Country Club, 8760 Chilson Road, in Hamburg Township. It begins with a social hour at 6 p.m. and dinner at 7 p.m. Included are live music, valet parking, a cash bar, snacks, a sit-down meal, dessert, and silent auction. Vegan, vegetarian, and gluten-free options are available with advance notice.

Early-bird tickets are $55 per person if reserved by April 18. Tickets reserved after that date are the regular price of $65 per person. Student tickets are $20.  You may reserve tickets and pay on-line with a credit card through ActBlue, a clearinghouse for Democratic causes, using this link: Have your name listed in the program as a patron by adding just $15 per name.

Or you may send a check to Livingston County Democrats, 10321 Grand River Road, Suite 600, Brighton, MI 48116. Please include the number of tickets, and the names of attendees so that name tags can be prepared.
If you would prefer to pay at the door, email, giving the number of tickets you would like and the names of attendees so that nametags can be printed. Checks only at the door. We regret that campaign finance laws do not allow us to accept cash.
Reserve soon to qualify for the reduced early-bird rate!

 (Paid for by Livingston County Democratic Executive Committee, 10321 Grand River Road, Suite 600, Brighton, MI 48116. Labor donated. Donations are not deductible for federal income tax purposes.)


Brighton-Area Democrat Running for 42nd State House Seat!

A teacher with nearly 20 years of experience in special education has announced that he will run for the Democratic nomination for the 42nd House seat in Livingston County.

Timothy Johnson said Friday he is planning to file his papers for the Democratic nomination with the Livingston County Clerk's office soon.

"The quality of life is no longer improving for 99 percent of the people in Michigan. A few powerful special interests are dictating state policy and private morality for the majority. I want to reverse those trends by speaking up for the rest of us," he said.

Johnson said he would use his skills as a teacher to develop a community that wants to work together for the common good rather than be divided by partisan differences.
"I have met many great folks here in Livingston County.  Most of them I would be proud to call my neighbor. However, there are many I have not met. While there is much that we share, I fear there are too many issues on which some of us disagree and we have allowed these to fester to the point we are no longer able to communicate.  I would like to see us all come together as a community and strengthen our common bonds rather than accentuating our differences," he said.

The most critical issues facing the area, Johnson said, are more funding for public schools; increasing spending for Michigan infrastructure, including roads and bridges, and protecting the environment, especially greater regulation of fracking.

"The policies of Lansing Republicans are stealing our children's education at the K-12 level and placing the cost of higher education out of the reach of many of them," he said.
Education policies dictated from Lansing are erasing local control and promoting a style of teaching that replaces the development of critical thinking skills with memorizing facts, Johnson said.

Johnson teaches at the Detroit Behavior Institute/Capstone Academy, which is a 98-bed residential facility that treats children with mental health and related disorders. Some have been ordered to undergo psychiatric treatment by the juvenile courts while others have been referred by the state's child welfare system.

He previously taught at Hawthorn Psychiatric Center for four years, where he was union representative for UAW Local 600 for two years.

Johnson grew up in Taylor, Mich., graduated from local public schools, and worked in a local steel mill and owned an automotive body repair business from 1982 to 1986. He obtained a bachelor of science degree in education and writing from Eastern Michigan University in 1995.

His wife Mary Melissa graduated from Brighton High School. They have been married 12 years, have three children, and have lived in Genoa Township for two years. He has been a lifetime member of the National Rifle Association since 1990 and is a former competitive shooter with the Police Pistol Combat League.

Anyone wishing more information about Johnson's campaign may contact him at or follow his campaign on Facebook at Timothy Johnson 4 Michigan House (

Johnson is the only Democrat to announce for the 42nd House District, which  includes the city of Brighton and the townships of Brighton, Genoa, Green Oak, Hamburg, and Putnam.
(Paid for by the Livingston County Democratic Committee, 10321 Grand River Road, Suite 600, Brighton, MI 48116. Not authorized by any candidate or candidate committee. Printed in-house, labor donated.)

Shari Pollesch Running for 22nd State Senate Seat!

Brighton attorney Shari Pollesch has announced that she will seek the Democratic nomination for the 22nd state Senate seat.
Shari is committed to policies that put people before special interests, children’s education before political agendas, seniors before corporate tax cuts and a clean environment before big energy profits.   As a voice of reason in Lansing, Shari will work to reverse policies that are unfairly burdening the middle class and will fight for a smart government that puts people first.

“I am running because there has been no real progress in Lansing on issues that improve people’s lives.  Unemployment in Michigan was 9% three years ago and it is 9% today.  Instead of focusing on revitalizing our economy, protecting seniors or fairly funding our local schools, my opponent has been sponsoring regulations like whether the local pub can sell me a beer in a glass with a logo.  Michigan needs a new direction that will only come through new leadership; leadership that can be trusted to work for people.”
Shari was raised by a single mother who often worked two jobs to support Shari, her two brothers and her sister.  Ultimately, Shari’s mother went on to become a small business owner setting an example of hard work, courage and determination.

After receiving her Bachelor of Arts degree from Olivet College in 1981, Shari taught preschool in the Eaton/Ingham County Head Start program.  Witnessing the hardships and inequality of poverty suffered by her students, Shari developed a passion for social justice, which led her to law school. She graduated from Thomas Cooley Law School with her Juris Doctorate and entered private practice in 1989
As a partner with Ken Burchfield and David Park, Shari has used her strong listening, advocacy, and negotiating skills to help hundreds of Livingston County residents and small businesses resolve their legal issues.

In addition to her busy law practice, Shari has served on the boards of the Michigan League of Conservation Voters, the Key Development Center, which provides outpatient substance abuse treatment, and the Livingston County Concert Band.  She helped found the Community Unitarian Universalists in Brighton, served as its second board president, and currently chairs its Social Justice Committee. She also chaired the health care reform initiative of the Michigan Unitarian Universalist Social Justice Network and served as a member on a coalition for implementation of the Affordable Care Act.

Shari and her husband, Rodger, live in Hartland Township where Shari raised her two daughters, both of whom graduated from Hartland Consolidated Schools and from Michigan colleges.

Shari will officially kick off her campaign on January 15, 2014 at Cleary’s Pub, 117 E. Grand River, Howell, Michigan from 5:30 to 7:00 p.m.  You can learn more about Shari’s campaign by visiting Shari’s web site,,,  or by visiting her Facebook page, Shari Pollesch for Senate,

Or, you can contact the campaign by calling (810) 224-0560.

The 22nd state Senate seat is now held by Joe Hune. Lines for the district were redrawn after the 2010 census. The district now includes all of Livingston County and approximately two thirds of Washtenaw County, west of the city of Ann Arbor, including the townships of Lyndon, Webster, Northfield, Sylvan, Lima, Scio, Sharon, Freedom, Lodi, Saline and Bridgewater Townships, the Villages of Dexter and Manchester, and the city of Chelsea.

(Paid for by Livingston County Democratic Committee, 10321 Grand River Road, Suite 600, Brighton, MI 48116. Printed in-house, labor donated. Not authorized by any candidate or candidate committee.)