I enjoyed discussing the challenges and opportunities facing the 99th Legislature with Tim Skubick and my future colleagues on Off The Record last week!
Hello, my friends. I have several pictures from last night’s unforgettable swearing in ceremony, but I am very excited to share with you this one of your 85th House District staff team! These caring professionals are going to be assisting me to be your voice in state government. I am honored to have Rachel Hoekstra leading our team as Legislative Director. Rachel comes to the role with over a decade of House and Senate service, most recently in the office of the Senate Majority Leader, and will ensure that we hit the ground running from day one. Madi Sholtz will serve as our staff assistant, helping with constituent casework and special projects. Madi is known to many of you from her work on the campaign and hails from Marion Township. Mark Agnew will serve our area as District Liaison, helping to ensure a strong ongoing presence locally. Mark is a Chesaning native, longtime Owosso resident, owner of Agnew Graphics, and a rock solid advocate for veterans and numerous charitable causes. Ciera Love will serve as Constituent Relations Director and manage the beast we know as “Ben’s schedule.” Ciera managed my House campaign over the past year and a half. She previously served as an intern in the House in addition to ongoing leadership roles within Youth in Government and as a Dale Carnegie graduate. I enter this position as State Representative on January 1st feeling confident in and blessed by these talented leaders who have come together to serve you. Look for a further update soon once our office contact information is finalized! Merry Christmas!
Farewell to the mayorship! The first and last meetings I held as mayor were with the Boy Scouts – thanks to Troop 85 for making my final night special.
As Thanksgiving approaches, my family and I have so much to be thankful for. Thank you to the people of Owosso for the opportunity to serve on the city council and as your mayor over the past nine years. Being mayor of the hometown I love holds memories for me which will be treasured for the rest of my life. Looking at where Owosso is poised to go in 2017 and beyond is truly exciting as we see continued renewal in our downtown, our industrial parks, our neighborhoods, our recreation offerings, and our charitable activities. Owosso and so many other communities are beginning to believe in themselves again and we are seeing many great things as a result.
Thank you to the voters of the 85th House District for their overwhelming support of my bid to serve as the next state representative for our area. My success this last Tuesday is due to you and I will give this new opportunity for service the same diligence and care I strove to give each day in my local service as mayor.
Our state faces many challenges. I enter my new role in January with a firm belief in local control and local solutions rather than burdensome state rules and unfunded mandates. I remain committed to more skilled trades vocational education opportunities for all ages so our economy can grow and prosper as our skilled workforce expands. There are also many possibilities in agriculture as we consider all that could be achieved with an emerging ag processing sector along with other ag technology jobs which support our family farms.
Through collaboration and hard work, we will ensure Michigan’s comeback reaches everyone. Thank you to all those who prayed for, volunteered, encouraged and ultimately voted for me. My family wishes yours a joy-filled Thanksgiving and Christmas.
Mayor of Owosso, 2009-2016
State Representative-Elect, 85th House District
Whirlwind first day as your representative-elect. A highlight for me during hour after hour of training was a warm greeting from a longtime friend and staff mentor during my early years, Mr. Tim Sneller. Like me, Tim was elected to the House on Tuesday with a strong background in legislative staff service. He will represent Burton, Mundy and Grand Blanc in Genesee County while I will represent Shiawassee County and southern and western portions of Saginaw County. We hail from different political parties and couldn’t care less. While we know we won’t always agree on policy, we will work as a team for the betterment of mid-Michigan and are already discussing opportunities for projects together. Problem solving over partisanship – let’s revive some more of that in Lansing. Orientation for the 99th Legislature continues tomorrow.
And so begins the most unique week I will likely ever have in public life. For the next 6 days I am both mayor of Owosso while also State Representative-elect for the 85th House District. We again won in a landslide. Thank you for allowing me the opportunity of further service to our area. More exciting news soon as I announce my staff team and initial legislative bill priorities in advance of taking office on January 1st. For now, I simply look forward to reacquainting myself with my family as we eagerly await the Thanksgiving and Christmas seasons. Thank you all.