Emmet Responsible Government hosting county commissioner forum – Petoskey News-Review

Emmet Responsible Government hosting county commissioner forum – Petoskey News-Review

HARBOR SPRINGS — A local grassroots organization will host four of the candidates running for a seat on the Emmet County Board of Commissioners in a small forum event on Friday. 
Wid Lyman, member of Emmet Responsible Government, said Rich Ginop, Brian Gutowski, Charles Laughbaum and Don Mapes will be in attendance at the forum at 7 p.m. Friday, Sept. 23, at the Northern Lights Recreation conference room in Harbor Springs.
Emmet Responsible Government describes itself as a grassroots organization dedicated to supporting policies and public officials that, in their opinion, are best for the present and future wellbeing of the county and its residents.
Lyman said the goal of the forum is to give the candidates “a format and a platform.”
“We wanted everybody to have a platform but only these four responded,” he said. “We were going to do a whole evening of it, but since we only got four we’re just making it a very short time just for the four of them.”
Of the county’s seven commissioner districts, five have contested races in the upcoming November election. 
In District 1, Democrat Mike Adams and Republican Charles Laughbaum are competing for the seat. In District 3, the race is between Democrat Anne Serafin and Republican Don Mapes. District 4’s race is between Democrat Jeffrey Boda and Republican Rich Ginop. In District 5, Democrat Cyril Drier is facing off against Republican Brian Gutowski. The final contested race in District 6 is between Democrat Jaime Jankowski Brants and Republican David White. 
Incumbents Neil Ahrens and Matt Koontz are running unopposed in Districts 2 and 7, respectively. 
Lyman said the forum will be part of the group’s larger meeting, and is expected to last 30-45 minutes. The candidates were given four topics of conversation to prepare ahead of time, including affordable housing, transit, the proper role of county government and how to spend American Rescue Plan Act funds.  
More information on the upcoming election can be found at emmetcounty.org/officials-departments/county-clerk/elections

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