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Fire board member declares candidacy  for New Hartford Township Treasurer

By Nancy Albright

 Steve Starner, current Hartford Fire Board member, has thrown his hat into the ring to become the new Hartford Township Treasurer.  Mr. Starner, 65 years-old and a widower with two grown children, has been a Hartford Township resident since 1980. He graduated from Benton Harbor High School and went on to earn a degree from Ferris State University.  Mr. Starner has been active in the Hartford community for many years, serving as a board member for Hartford Public Schools, the Hartford Public Schools Foundation for Quality Education, and the Hartford Downtown Development Authority.  He was also President of both the Hartford Business Association and the Hartford Chamber of Commerce. He has served on the Advisory Committee to the Michigan Blueberry Growers Association for 20 years, and was a Reserve Sheriff’s Deputy for Van Buren County for 11 years, as well as Committee Chairman for Boy Scout Troop 610.  Starner served in the United States Army prior to starting his professional career. He currently owns the Starner Blueberry Farm, which his parents bought in 1952.  He has worked as Field Service Engineer, Service Training Manager, and Reliability Engineer for the Clark Equipment Company; Product Manager, Service and Engineering Manager, and Product Marketing Manager for Eaton Corp; and a licensed contractor specializing in home repair and renovations for All About Construction.  Mr. Starner is active in many organizations, including American Legion Post 362 and the Farm Bureau, and is a firearms instructor and lifetime member of the National Rifle Association.  Mr. Starner issued a written statement to attendees of the June 9 Hartford Township meeting declaring that, “I feel that the residents of the township are being underserved by the current treasurer. If elected, I will have regular office hours, which will include both daytime and evening hours, and if those are not suitable, I will meet when it is convenient and fits your schedule. I will publish my personal cell phone number and email address. I will return phone calls.  I believe I can contribute to the discussion of how the township can grow and continue to be a great place to live and raise a family. After many years working for large corporations, owning my own businesses and serving in the public sector as a volunteer, I am very well-prepared to handle the position of Township Treasurer.”

City Clerk Julie Sweet appointed as new Hartford Council for Recreation member

 Hartford Township Clerk Julie Sweet was appointed to the Hartford Council for Recreation at the June 9 Township Hall meeting.  The Council strives to provide Hartford kids with sports programs designed to teach athletes valuable lessons – such as the game is not about winners and losers – that will last a lifetime.  The Recreation Council organizes baseball, softball, football and cheerleading teams with help from many community sponsors. The township passed a resolution to fund the Recreation Council in the amount of $5,000, which will further the organization’s endeavors to provide area kids with structured sports programs.  Visit the Hartford Council for Recreation website at www.hartfordrecreation.org and the Facebook page for more information.

May was a busy month  for the Hartford Township Sheriff’s Department

 In other news, Deputy Sheriff Phil Scuiletti reported that Hartford Township was one of the busiest areas in Van Buren County in the month of May, fielding 202 calls for service.  The Sheriff’s Department began cracking down on seatbelt and drunk-driving offenders beginning Memorial Day weekend, and plans heavy enforcement on holiday weekends throughout the summer.  Deputy Scuiletti also reported that Van Buren County is planning to expand the courthouse and renovate the county jail, as well as considering the possibility of relocating the Uniform Response Division to the Community Mental Health facility on County Road 681 in Hartford Township.

Township reminds residents  that county-wide road millage up for renewal

Township officials would like to remind Hartford City and Township residents to vote for the 2016 Road Millage Proposal on August 2.  The 0.9769 millage, if passed, is a four-year renewal that Van Buren County voters have approved since 1978. The millage will generate funds for planned area road improvements and may not cost homeowners much.  For example, a homeowner owning a property with a taxable value of $61,000 (market value $122,000) will pay just $60.00 per year.  Millage funds are used exclusively to improve county, village and city bridges and roads in Van Buren County to help save the lives of all those travelling through the area.  Funds are not used for snow removal, potholes, equipment, traffic signals, and operating costs, which are funded by fuel taxes and registration fees.  Currently there are three bridges that are being worked on in the Hartford area. Road Commissioner Rick Boze stated that the millage program is, “very worthwhile.” “We do a lot with it and probably have the best bridges in the state of Michigan because of it.”  Go to www.facebook.com/VBCRC for updates on Van Buren County Road Commission activities, and don’t forget to vote on August 2!  Township Supervisor Ron Sefcik stated at the meeting that, “As always, the cemeteries are looking lovely with decorations.  Please review the cemetery rules that are placed in both Maple Hill and Pioneer cemeteries.” Visit the Hartford Township website at www.hartfordtownship.org to review the Cemetery Ordinance.

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