To the Journal editor:
I am writing in support of John Kivela, running for the House of Representatives for the 109th District. John has been the city of Marquette's mayor since 2009, and has been active in various areas within the community for a number of years. He has demonstrated his desire and ability to make it a better place in which we can work, recreate and raise our families.
As the Township Supervisor of Marquette Charter Township, I've had the opportunity to work with John on a number of issues important to residents of our respective communities. I can say that throughout our time working together John has always put the needs of the people first, looking at the bigger picture of how our actions will impact the Marquette community as a whole, not just his municipality. For far too long, many elected and appointed officials held at "us vs. them," mentality, resulting in distrust, missed opportunities and expensive litigation. Under John's leadership, we have been able to find common ground that resulted in expanded opportunities to put the people's best interests first.
While knocking on doors last week to support his bid for election, I had the chance to have some great conversations with folks concerning our representation in Lansing. It's no secret that we are often an afterthought to most of the politicians down there. They think we are a nice place to see pictures from, but they wouldn't want to spend any money there. I was surprised by the reaction of a few people who told me they couldn't vote for John Kivela because they are Republicans. As a conservative Independent, I struggle with the concept of anyone voting straight ticket for any party. That's the type of voting that has become all too prevalent in local, state and national politics that has led to the gridlock we are facing everywhere.
I urge all of you to consider the candidate first. My friend John Kivela will consider the issues before him and how they will affect the people back home, ask his consultants how they feel about a piece of legislation, and then cast his vote. We may not always agree on a piece of legislation, but I guarantee you John will have voted his conscience, not his party - and that is all too rare in politics today. Please consider John Kivela as your next state representative.
Dennis Liimatta, supervisor