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Wednesday, March 13,2013

Election coverage 2012: Meridian races

New and old faces seek township positions

by Sam Inglot

Editor's note: See here for our endorsements in these races.

Tuesday, Oct. 30 — For the first time in 12 years, Meridian Township will elect a new supervisor.'


Republican Supervisor Susan McGillicuddy left the seat open after deciding to run for state representative. Republican candidate Andy Such, 66, is the director of Regulatory and Environmental Policy for the Michigan Manufacturers Association. He touts 12 years of experience on the township board, work with the state and an entrepreneurial background. His challenger, Democrat Elizabeth LeGoff, 76, is a retired state health surveyor and has served on the township board for one term. She has experience as a former planning and cable commission member.


The clerk’s race features Republican Jim Hershiser, 61, who owns a dental equipment repair and sales business and Democrat Brett Dreyfus, 51, a one-term township trustee and owner of a video production company. Hershiser has been on the Zoning Board of Appeals for 16 years and says he wants to encourage economic development without raising taxes. Dreyfus said he has an “in-depth knowledge of township issues” and helped develop the township master plan, giving him an edge over his opponent. He said he would be well suited to be the clerk because of his background in communications.


Fresh out of Cooley Law School, Republican Shane Goodale, 38, is challenging incumbent Democratic treasurer Julie Brixie, 46, for her job. Goodale says his education in law gave him a thorough understanding of property, tax and constitutional law. He said he would try to make the position part time. Brixie said the Sierra Club and the Lansing Regional Chamber of Commerce as well as organized labor groups have endorsed her. She said she voluntarily cut her salary by 20 percent when she was elected and wants to continue to expand online services.


For township trustee, nine candidates are running for four open seats. Several candidates have served on the board in the past. Republican Mary Helmbrecht, 70, is the township clerk. Fellow Republican Tom Klunzinger, 68, a medical transcriptionist, has also served on the board. Rounding out the Republicans are Bruce Little, 55, a property tax assessor and James McGillicuddy, 72, a surgeon, who’s wife, Susan, has served as board supervisor for 12 years. The field of Democrats includes Brixies’ running mate, Milton Scales, 57, who retired as director of criminal investigations for the Michigan Department of Environmental Quality. Also a former employee of the state is Ronald Styka, 65, who served as assistant attorney general for nearly 40 years. John Veenstra, 74, is seeking reelection to his fourth term as a trustee. And there’s Angela Wilson, 39, a self-described professional volunteer who has helped lobby on education issues at the state legislature. Will White, 62, is running as a Libertarian. He owns The Travelers Club International Restaurant & Tuba Museum.

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