Commissioner Schaub faces challenge from Rushton in Primary
Incumbent James A. Schaub Sr., is hoping to continue in the seat he has held for the past four years. He is being challenged by Debra L. Rushton of Elmwood Township.
A 1975 graduate of Suttons Bay School, Schaub and his wife, Rosanne, have been married for 36 years. They have three children and nine grandchildren.
Rushton is married to Gary Rushton, a fourth generation county resident, with whom she has five children. Rushton owns and operates Rushton Dental Laboratory and Rushton Boat & RV Storage.
She currently serves as chair of the Elmwood Township’s Election Committee; is committee chairman for the Boy Scouts of America and corporate officer for MSDS of Michigan.
RUSHTON: As your commissioner I will avail myself as necessary, exercising due diligence in providing an opinion or a vote that will be in the best interest of the Leelanau County citizens I represent.
SCHAUB: I have been a commissioner for four years. I make sure I am well prepared for every meeting. It takes many more hours than people see. As a commissioner, I do not set aside a certain number of hours each week because you never know what is going to come up. Being a commissioner is not a job, it is a commitment to the people of Leelanau County.
RUSTON: Aggressive targeted promotion priced at or below market demand will bring interested buyers to the table. Taxpayers voted to move the county seat with the understanding that income from the sale of the Leland property would offset the cost. This prime property, developed, would bring in higher revenues that would help offset the costly annual expense of the new county seat. Struggling taxpayers are on the hook. Sell! Generate the revenue; relieve the taxpayer.
SCHAUB: There are two lots for sale at the former Courthouse property. One at $125,000.00 and the other at $1,407,000. If no qualified bids are received, I believe we have two options. We could lower the minimum bid on both lots, or we could lower the minimum bid on the $125,000.00 lot and break the $1,407,000.00 lot into smaller parcels making them more attractive to local buyers.
RUSHTON: Life experiences are our best teacher. As an emergency medical technician/firefighter, I had to immediately analyze the situation, exercise good judgment in decision making, problem solve, plan, direct and monitor with confidence while maintaining trust among victims and my colleagues. As a successful 35-year dental laboratory owner, I had to successfully master personal and academic skills, to include management practices, budgeting and financial management to succeed in this very competitive technical-professional environment.
SCHAUB: The best qualification I have is my love of Leelanau County. I want to keep Leelanau County the healthiest county in the state. I am pleased we are the 4th safest county in the nation. As chairman of the finance committee I have brought many ideas to the full board to reduce the budget. Since I took office in 2009 the budget has been reduced by over 11 percent saving taxpayers over $1,200,000 per year.
RUSHTON: Leelanau residents suffer the unintended consequences. The cost of uninsured legal expense, increased annual insurance premiums, and the possibility of costly payouts in this economic crisis hurt our existing and deter future businesses and property owners alike. In or out of the courts, the people of our community want this issue settled before the next elected sheriff takes office forcing him in a position that will weaken his command and undermine this department’s effectiveness.
SCHAUB: As a county commissioner I am part of the negotiating team to settle this lawsuit. Therefore, I cannot comment on a settlement. However, I will state that the trial has been set for this fall. I will also state that regardless of the outcome of the settlement or trial, Leelanau County will not incur any more costs from this lawsuit because we have already paid the deductible in this case.
Job duties, compensation
The Board of Commissioners is the governing board and policy-making body of county government. While many of its powers, duties and responsibilities are prescribed by law, and diffused through the wide-spread use of commissions, boards, committees, and independently elected county officers, the board is in charge of developing and approving county policy and setting the county budget.
County commissioners receive a base salary of $5,000 or $7,700 for the board chairman. In addition, they are paid a per diem of $40 for half-day, or $70 for full day meetings. Commissioners are also eligible for health benefits through the county. If they chose to “opt out” of the health insurance program, they would receive a pay out of up to 50 percent the cost of coverage. The amount ranges from $209 per month to $565 per month.