2015-03-05 / News

Third Annual Health Fair this weekend County clerks oppose February elections

By Carrie RaCosta
810-452-2645 • cracosta@mihomepaper.com


Genesee County clerk John Gleason (left) and Lapeer County clerk Theresa Spencer answer questions at their news conference. 
Photo by Carrie RaCosta Genesee County clerk John Gleason (left) and Lapeer County clerk Theresa Spencer answer questions at their news conference. Photo by Carrie RaCosta DAVISON — The Davison Downtown Development Authority will hold the 3rd Annual Davison DDA Health Fair on March 7, from 10 a.m.- 3 p.m. at the First Baptist Church in the gym located at 208 E. Fourth St., Downtown Davison.

The Fair will be filled with information on Healthy Living from doctors and dentists, summer camps and classes, health screenings and demonstrations, Relay 4 Life and exercise, community service clubs and pet care.6 Points Mentioned

Healthy living includes outdoor activities, see what’s happening at the new Lake Callis Recreational Complex and For-Mar Nature Preserve.

Admission is free and there will be door prizes given away. Enjoy the day at the Davison Health Fair. Details: Visit www.DavisonDDA.org. — G.G.

List of vendors

Advanced Physical Therapy Rehab, American Red Cross, Angels Light, The Art of Dentistry, Beauty byTaylor, Camp Copneconic, Cora Rehab, Crim Fitness Foundation, Davison Farmers’ Market, Davison Relay for Life, DCER - Davison Community Enrichment & Recreation, The Disability Network, Do Terra, Dr. Lambaria, Dunkel Veterinary, GNC, GENESEE COUNTY PARKS - FOR-MAR, Hurley Medical Center Health & Wellness, LAKE CALLIS RECREATIONAL COMPLEX, Maxwell Physical Therapy LLC, Michigan Blood, Mid Michigan Phlibotomy, MSU Extension Healthy Eating, National Kidney Foundation of Michigan, Reverence Home Health Hospice, SAGE - Safe & Active Genesee for Everyone, Scentsy - Rachel Hoover, Swartz Ambulance, Walgreens, Watkins Products, Wildtree, YMCA and Young Living Essential Oils. — G.G.

GENESEE COUNTY

John Gleason was joined in his Saginaw Street office in downtown Flint on Feb. 27 by Lapeer County Clerk Theresa Spencer as part of an ongoing effort to bring awareness to a poorly-timed voting month, that both clerks passionately believe should be eradicated.

The joint news conference was held with faith and hope that the voting public the two clerks work for become further informed of the numerous negative consequences of these late winter elections with regard to financial waste, social loss, and further poor legislative decisions as a result.

According to Gleason and Spencer’s shared inside perspective and data research, poor turn-out elections held nearly year-after-year in the month of February have been a consistent financial waste for taxpayers and city employees, as the funds needed to hold them with training sessions prior, staff on the premises during, testing machines, the ordering of all needed supplies, plus the amount of hours post-election in related work is simply not worth it in time, or dollars.

Most importantly, these elections often serve as a source of social peril as the impact of votes of a few on behalf of the many prove destructive, unfair, and leave major opportunities for progressive change or advancement in a status of stagnation or future neglect.

On Tuesday Feb. 24 under 4,000 votes were cast in elections for school boards in Grand Blanc and Westwood Heights, and a Medical Marijuana proposal for Montrose. Less than 4,000 voters of the 42, 817 registered came out to the polls. “The facts speak for themselves,” said Gleason.

“The trend across Michigan is to support Medical Marijuana, and yet this lost 120-88. If they had this in the summer, I believe it would’ve passed. Montrose was fooled,” he said.

Lapeer didn’t hold a February election this year, but Spencer reviewed statistics from the last one held in 2012.

“In 2012 there was only a 20 percent voter turnout. Low, but not untypical. The cost of that particular election was $57,000 which was reimbursed by the state but still are held with taxpayers dollars. The statistics speak for themselves. To scan back and see the turn out, it’s remarkable,” she said.

Spencer also recently dealt with a hotly contested Medical Marijuana proposal from Lapeer’s past November election. She is well-acquainted with the close numbers sweeping the state in a contagious manner.

Spencer and her staff were requested to perform a manual recount of the votes for and against the decriminalization of marijuana, as it lost by a mere six votes in Lapeer County.

Several months ago Spencer relayed the rationale and necessity of manual recounts even during the modern realm and existence of fine-tuned tabulator machinery.

When numbers are close, the what if question deserves to be addressed.

Although time-consuming for those working in Spencer’s office, a recount makes sense, and is available for a solid purpose. It has importance.

In the case of this last government recount in Lapeer for marijuana, the results did not serve the pro-legalization advocates grandest wishes.

Nonetheless, vocal proponents for the hopeful passing of the proposal were grateful the recount option is a right of theirs by request, to the benefit of the entire voting population.

“There were a number of examples throughout the state where issues were not passed because of only a one vote difference,” she said.

Of the particular ballot items timed and chosen for February elections, Gleason said, “It is hijacking democracy. It is non-inclusive. It is harmful. This is intentional. I know. The February election is dedicated to the non-voter. They target the non-voter.”

“They are most thought out and grievous. They orchestrate these (February elections) seeking the low turnout for results they want, utilizing and wasting the tax payer dollars. There is a lot of questionable strategy. The policy makers put money first,” said Gleason.

He then used a football analogy to further his point. “It is like a visiting team, playing the Green Bay Packers. When you hit their turf, you know you’ll lose.”

Only nine percent of Genesee County residents voted on Feb. 24.

Gleason asked those present at the conference to try to remember the last time an important issue for social change or dire need was on a Presidential Election ballot, or in August, when far more voters turnout or are available to make it to the polls.

“Hardly ever,” he said. “It just doesn’t happen, and there is a reason for it. My next step is to get on the phone with legislators.”

“I love voting. I have since I’ve been 18. For 40 some years, and I will not miss one chance to vote until I die. Spencer and I have an obligation to get everyone to vote. Spence is great. I could have called any direction. I followed the sunrise,” said Gleason.

While exuding that light-filled energy, Spencer said, “It took the chicks a long time to a get a chance to vote. If I can, I’ll take it.”

After a warm smile of elation with her rights as both an American and as a female voter, she said, “Our process isn’t perfect, but it’s better than any place on Earth. It just still needs some work.”

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