HOWARD’S GOALS FOR EATON COUNTY AS COMMISSIONER IN 2013


My GOALS and Priorities for my first year on the Commission are:


1. Bring about greater diversity and promote greater EEO opportunities in county government - especially in the service areas impacting Delta Township. Each year many, many people visit in Eaton County from surrounding areas and from across the state. A diverse county government presence would certainly make them feel even more welcome when they visit and work here. Improvements in diversity reflected in our county government workforce would enhance the reputation and acceptance of Eaton County, and make more people interested in visiting here and possibly moving here or bringing their businesses and more jobs to Eaton County.


The 2010 US Census data shows that Delta Township is quickly becoming a pretty diverse community. The census data shows that Delta Township where the 4th District is located is one of the more diverse areas in mid-Michigan - reflecting substantial numbers of residents of all racial and ethnic backgrounds. Our county government workforce and our local police presence should reflect that growing diversity in Eaton county. Follow the link to see more about my ideas and goals on diversity initiatives here in Eaton County.


2.  Encourage economic development in Eaton county and economic development in Delta Township - especially along the Saginaw Highway corridor. Economic development initiatives are good for everyone here in Eaton County. People from all areas of the county commute each day within the county and the Tri-County region to work in the businesses which are developing in Eaton County. Citizens in all areas of Eaton county benefit from development elsewhere in the county and area. The demographics and resources of Eaton County favor an aggressive economic development policy here.


Eaton county has a good set of human and natural resources to support greater economic development and growth which will benefit us all. Historical investment by large businesses - such as General Motors with the new car factory in Delta Township - reflects the attractive nature and potential of Eaton County for even greater economic development and growth. Follow the link to see more about my ideas and goals for economic development in Eaton County.


3.  Facilitate an expansion of public transportation services throughout Eaton County and in Delta Township to establish fixed routes and services. A good public transportation system encourages economic development and significantly enhances the life quality of many of the residents of Eaton County - both young and old.


The topic of public transportation has been before the citizens of Eaton County on more than one occasion in the past few years. The voters recently renewed a millage to support continuation of basic EATRAN public transportation services. I would like to see those services enhanced and expanded.


A fixed service route between Charlotte and the Lansing/Delta Township area would contribute to greater cohesion and interaction between residents of Eaton County who live in areas which are not close or adjacent to each other. That expanded public transportation system would also benefit us all by allowing residents in other areas of the county to have better and regular cheap access to shopping areas and work areas in other regions of the county - including here in the 4th District which is Delta Township.


I especially support the establishment of a fixed public transportation route with regular schedules which provides better access between the large apartment complexes adjacent to the Saginaw Highway corridor, the Canal Road corridor, and the businesses along those corridors in Delta Township. Greater collaboration between EATRAN and CATA would enhance economic development and growth by promoting regularly scheduled access to the Lansing Mall, the Marketplace Blvd shopping area, large businesses such as Walmart, Meijers, and Krogers, the Delta Township Library, and the numerous hotels near the intersections of Canal Road and Saginaw Highway.


Eaton County and Delta Township residents should have a reliable and regularly scheduled public transportation option which will allow them to interact with CATA services to access shopping areas in Delta Township, as well as downtown Lansing where many Eaton County residents work or visit. Expanded public transportation should also give Eaton County residents greater regular access to LCC, and East Lansing – including public transportation access to MSU and the athletic and performing arts activities on the MSU campus!


In 2010 the County and Delta Township commissioned a consulting study which explored the benefits of a public transportation system for Eaton County and Delta Township. A copy of that study, entitled “Proposed Public Transportation Plan” by Grimes Transportation Consulting, LLC, is available for review on the board issues page of this website. Follow the link to the site page entitled Public Transportation Issues.


4. Work with our newly elected Sheriff to make sure that Eaton County and Delta Township remain safe places to live, work, and play. I have encouraged the Sheriff to begin a review of ways to increase diversity in the composition of the staff in the Sheriff’s department and the County Jail. I especially intend to encourage the Sheriff to take steps to enhance the diversity of his staff serving the residents of the 4th District here in Delta Township.


As funding sources are identified, I would like to see the Sheriff’s department expand it community policing roles to interact with residents and our children to instill better understanding and respect for law enforcement in the County - especially among our young residents. I believe that it is important that our Youth are exposed to positive role models and diversity experiences through community policing efforts.


The safety and protection of Eaton County residents is one of the most important functions of our county government. I am pleased to serve on the Public Safety committee of of the Eaton County Board of Commissioners. For additional information relating to these initiatives, click on the link to view the Public Safety and Courts website page.


5.  Keep costs to tax payers down while prioritizing services to assure fair distribution of government resources throughout the county. Like other residents of Eaton County, I cringe when I pay Eaton County taxes each year - until I realize what a wonderful return I am getting on my tax dollars here in Eaton County each year.


I am committed to taking actions to keep the taxes and expenses of Eaton County residents reasonable. Hopefully my votes and actions while on the Commission will be those of an advocate for reasonable, constrained expenditures of the Eaton County tax revenues. But that constraint will hopefully be balanced by a need to make sure that county government provides services which our residents want and need.


6.  Working to maintain and enhance Eaton county’s infrastructure including roads, parks and recreational areas.


I am learning more about the infrastructure needs of Eaton County. I am sure that we all enjoy and benefit from safe roads and public facilities. I am committed to taking actions that maintain our roads and county infrastructure. I am supportive of present efforts to enhance the Eaton County Park system - so long as that enhancement or expansion occurs at reasonable cost and is done according to a plan that benefits the residents of Eaton County. Some of the park and recreation projects now being considered have potential not only to enhance the lifestyle of our residents, but to draw other people into the area for recreation opportunities and thereby enhance economic development and business growth opportunities within the county. For more information on projects relating to Eaton County park and recreation initiatives, follow the link to take a look at the Parks and Recreation page on this website.


7.  Encourage Eaton County agribusiness initiatives. Eaton County farms and agriculture businesses contribute significantly to the well being of residents here in Eaton County. We are blessed to have many hard working farmers and persons in the agriculture business within our community who not only provide us with plentiful nutritious foods at reasonable prices, but who also bring many dollars into Eaton County in support of our overall economic development and well being.


While agriculture initiatives are not my personal background and I have limited experience in agribusiness issues, I recognize the importance of this sector of the Eaton County economy. I plan to follow the lead of other Eaton County Commissioners who are more experienced in this area and to be supportive of all cost-effective initiatives to enhance and encourage further agribusiness development and related economic growth for Eaton County.


8,  Bring a fair share return of Federal Government and State Government Resources back to Eaton County.


Eaton County residents have long paid at least a fair share of the tax burdens of this country and state. I am committed to Eaton County government taking steps to assure that a fair share of the benefits and projects funded by federal and state tax dollars are returned to Eaton County to benefit our residents and to enhance economic growth.


9.  Make decisions as an Eaton County Commissioner which enhance fairness in the workplace, including fair decisions affecting collective bargaining and compensation of  workers in this county - including workers employed by Eaton County government. I myself was a long time state government employee, and I recognize the dedication and challenges faced by government workers who try to feed their families while concurrently providing the best service possible to the public and consumers.


I support Eaton County Commission initiatives which “Protect Working Families,” and which maintain fair and balanced interaction between workers and employers in workplaces here in Eaton County.


10.  Maintain a viable and meaningful safety net and system to protect the health and welfare of residents of Eaton County.


I am on the Eaton County Board of Commissioners Committee on Human Services. That committee and related assignments focus on protecting the health and welfare of Eaton County residents - especially those residents who may need assistance and support from government and their neighbors during “tough times.” I commit to working with the Eaton County Commission to initiate policies and actions which protect our citizens while providing them with resources to get better control of their lives and economic circumstances. I also support initiatives which focus on protecting our residents and children from the harmful and dangerous threats associated with drug abuse and addiction.


To see some of the initiatives of Eaton County which relate to this goal, follow the link to the Human Services page on this website.


11.  Be productive and helpful to the governing process, and to my fellow Eaton County Commissioners as they work with me to try to make decisions and reach outcomes which are in the best interests of ALL the people of Eaton County.


While I am a Democrat elected to a partisan position on the Eaton County Board of Commissioners, I hope to reach out to all my fellow Commissioners to reach goals which are more public policy oriented and less partisan. My goal is to inform myself on issues being considered, to be supportive of the goals of my colleagues where possible, to make decisions which I believe are in the best interest of Eaton County as a whole - while being an advocate for my constituents on issues which are especially important to the residents of the 4th District in Delta Township.


Home Howard's Calendars Contact Howard About Howard Howard's Goals County Programs & Issues

As your newly elected Commissioner for the 4th District in Eaton County, I have identified a number of “goals” which I hope to lead the Commission in addressing in 2013. Those goals are, of course, subject to change as the year progresses. Some of these goals may not be fully achieved during the time I am representing the 4th District on the Eaton County Board of Commissioners. But I want, with your help and support, to start working towards achieving these important goals.


I solicit and would appreciate your comments and suggestions relating to Goals for Eaton County. Your input and suggestions may result in adding goals or re-prioritizing goals for this year. If you have suggestions or comments, send those to me by clicking on this COMMENTS link.


At this point in time my 2013 goals as an Eaton County Commissioner are: