Monday, June 16, 2014

West Coast Chamber Forum: 90th State House District

West Coast Chamber Hosts Local State House and State Senate Candidates

In the 90th, Haveman and Garcia seem to lead the pack, but Kroll and Harmsen have skin in the game...

Daniela Garcia addressed the crowd first, saying she was born and raised in Holland, and because she is the daughter of two educators, "she takes direction well," while responding to the directions from the event's host, Michael Hill of the West Coast Chamber.

"I have a decade of public policy experience," Garcia said. "I have worked in education and healthcare police at the federal and state level."

Garcia emphasized the need for a strong education system, and said that workforce training will help boost the economy. "Recruitment and retention of talent is very important," Garcia said.

Garcia also emphasized the need to include Kent County in decision making and planning.

"We aren't just a district, we're a region," Garcia said. "I hear the concerns of business owners here and in Kent County and the important thing is the economy."

Garcia closed by saying "I am a fiscal conservative with a heart for the community, I ask for your vote on August 5th."

Next up was Bob Harmsen, 2008 challenger to Joe Haveman, the State Rep. now retiring because of term limits, causing this seat to be vacant. 

Harmsen, a West Ottawa and M-Tech grad, said he was an engineer whose job is to fix things, and Lansing is broken.

"If Lansing gets involved in things they don't know about, it will hurt us," Harmsen said. "I think I can make a difference."

After Harmsen, Zeeland attorney Geoff Haveman spoke.

Haveman said that he grew up on a dairy farm in Blendon Township, graduated from U of M law school, and owns his own law firm in Zeeland. He is also on the Ottawa County Executive Committee.

The main reason he is running is for the future of his kids and to "continue the reinvention of Michigan... make it a more free, more prosperous" state.

Haveman says he knows the concerns of the real people of the district and he can be an advocate for them in Lansing. He wants taxes low and burdensome regulations removed.

Haveman encouraged Cahmber members to call or email him anytime to talk about issues important to them, and asked for their vote in August.

Last up was David Kroll, a Baker College graduate who said he liked what State Senator Meekhof said earlier that morning about Prevailing Wage laws.

Kroll told the crowd that he had worked "on a turkey farm, in a factory, in a retirement home, picking my CDL... I know what it means to work. In my family, if you aren't up at 7, the day is shot."

Kroll said Lansing needed to control spending and focus on infrastructure.
He also said we need to look at what taxes we can reduce...

These candidates will meet again Tuesday June 17th in Hudsonville for the Hudsonville Chamber Forum, and it should be good-stay tuned!

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