BELLAIRE - In a very surprising move, Antrim County District 7 Commissioner Laura Stanek stepped down from her position as Commission Chair during the Antrim County Board of Commissioner’s annual organizaitional meeting last week.
The Jordan Township dairy farmer, the first woman ever elected to Antrim County’s Board of Commissioners, had served as chairperson of the board for the past two years since longtime Commission Chair Jack White’s retirement in 2010.
Of her decision to step down, Stanek would say only that she “felt it was time to give someone else a chance”. Stanek, a Democrat who has served as Commissioner of Antrim County’s largest district since 1997, said that “although she had met some resistance” to the idea of stepping down as Chair from other members of the board, she “felt it was for the best”.
After Vice Chair Bernie Blackmore, of Mancelona’s District 8, indicated that he was not interested in serving as Chair, longtime District 6 Commissioner Mike Crawford was unanimously elected to the position. Blackmore will continue to serve as Vice Chair.
Recently returned to the Board of Commissioners by voters during November’s general election, when he faced off against freshman Commissioner Brenda Ricksgers as the result of district re-apportionment,
Crawford said that he appreciated the board’s vote of confidence, and would try to do what he could to bolster Antrim County’s economy and “bring jobs back to the area while protecting our natural resources.”
Single, Crawford is a fourth generation Antrim County resident and third generation builder who was the first Antrim County Commissioner elected to the Michigan Association of Counties’ Board of Directors four years ago, a position he was just re-elected to. Crawford also serves on the Michigan Workman’s Compensation Loss Fund Board of Directors and as a member of the Antrim County Petoskey Stone Festival’s sub-committee.
A resident of Helena Township, Crawford also has a son, Logan, who attends Bellaire High School.
After being sworn in to office by newly elected County Clerk Sheryl Guy, all of the Commissioners, including new District 9 Commissioner Marcus Christian, took their seats by signing the county’s oath book.
Also approved during the meeting was a series of resolutions passed annually regarding the county’s affirmative action plan, public distribution of minutes, department annual reports, expenditure approvals,
designation of depositories, and delinquent property tax administration fee waivers for veterans, senior citizens, and those with disabilities.
After a brief discussion, meeting dates and times were also set for 2013, with an agreement by the board to continue existing committees and decide on committee chairs by this week’s regular monthly board meeting.
A letter from the Antrim County Road Commission presented by Marcus was also briefly discussed, which ended with a concensus that further discussions on a county road millage would be prudent.