The following are Berrien county proposals and elections for municipalaties and schools:
Four candidates will vie for three trustee positions on the Village Council.
Incumbent trustees Milt Sluder and Larry Nye are running for new four-year terms, while current Trustee Mona Himmelein is not seeking re-election. Leonard Krone, a former council trustee, and Mike Price have filed for election to the council.
The top three vote-getters will win the trustee posts.
Council President Bob Getz, 65, has filed for re-election to a new two-year term and faces no opposition. He joined the council in 1996 and has been president since 2002.
Nye, 78, a former council president, has been on the council since 1975. He’s worked at Nye’s Auto Tech for 62 years. Nye and his wife, Joan, have two children, and he is a 1958 graduate of Lakeshore High School.
Sluder, 62, on the council since 2005, is Baroda Garage foreman for the Berrien County Road Department. A 1974 graduate of Berrien Springs High School with an associate’s degree from Southwest Michigan College, he and his wife, Terri, have three children.
Krone, 68, left the council in the 1980s to work full time in the village’s Public Works department and retired as director last July. He is a 1969 graduate of Lakeshore High School. He and his wife, Katherine, have one daughter.
Price, 32, is a general contractor, owns Lightning Construction in Baroda, and belongs to the Coast Guard Reserve in Michigan City, Ind. A 2004 graduate of Lakeshore High School, he attended the welding program at Southwest Michigan College and attended Lake Michigan College. He and his wife, Christina, have one daughter.
Benton Harbor schools
Lue Buchana, Matt Bradley and Patricia Rush are unopposed for three four-year trustee seats. No one filed for a two-year, partial term.
Three Village Council incumbents face one challenger.
Trustees Jesse Hibler, Lonna Johnson and Sandy Swartz are vying with Jack Davis for three four-year seats. Also on the ballot are President Milt Richter and Trustee Kristin von Maur: Richter is unopposed for a two-year term and von Maur is unopposed for a partial two-year term.
Hibler, 42, is seeking his first full term after being appointed to fill a vacancy. He is the owner of the Hibler Design Studio in Berrien Springs.
Johnson has served for over six years, having been appointed in 2012 and then elected to a four-year term in 2014. She works in the Friend of the Court office in St. Joseph. She and her husband, Roger, have three grown children and own a restaurant in downtown Berrien Springs.
Swartz, 68, is retired from the Berrien Springs Public Schools and works for First Student. She has served on the council for 18 years. She chairs the council’s public utilities and Shamrock Park committees.
Davis, 79, is seeking a return to the council where he served for four years from 1969 to 1973. He is retired from Pennelwood Resort and running the Shamrock Park campground. He and his wife, Pat, have two grown daughters.
Berrien Springs schools
The district is proposing a $19.73 million bond issue to fund construction of a performing arts center and an athletic center at the high school. The levy would be up to 3.96 mills over 20 years, though school officials expect the tax to average $3.56 mills.
School officials note that the new levy would replace a 1.66-mill bond levy expiring this year, meaning the net millage hike is 2.3 mills or less.
Trustees Peggy Bormann and Eric Stoub are unopposed for two six-year seats.
Voters will decide $40 per parcel assessment to support road maintenance and repairs. The four-year levy would raise $97,500 in its first year.
Mary Duis, Jerry Tibbs, Jason Spitler and Dennis Hinsey are unopposed for four four-year trustee slots.
Four candidates are unopposed for four-year seats: Sarah Buist, Jan Trapani, Linda Gideon-Kuhn and Stacy Stine.
Susan Collins and Sue Janoskey are unopposed for two, six-year Library Board terms.
Eric Ramso and Tishia Roberts are unopposed for two six-year trustee terms.
Voters will decide a four-year, 1-mill renewal of Dial-A-Ride property tax. It would raise $86,920 in its first year.
Seven people are seeking three City Commission seats. One of the seven, Mayor Brenda Hess, has announced plans to leave the city and asked people to not vote for her.
Those running for new four-year terms are incumbent Dan Vigansky and challengers Sean Denison, Cameron Downey, Chris Geisler, Spencer Miller Jr. and Mark Weedon.
Vigansky, 63, is seeking his second term. He works for FedEx and he and his wife, Jackie, have six children.
Denison, 47, is the director of regional services at North American Signs in South Bend. He and his wife, Stacey, have one daughter.
Downey, 53, owns property in downtown Buchanan and works at Michiana Rental Properties and Modineer.
Geisler, 30, is a Marine veteran and a Buchanan city firefighter.
Hess, 51, is finishing her first term. She bought a home in Buchanan Township and wasn’t able to get her name off the ballot.
Weedon is the transportation general manager for J.B. Hunt Transportation.
Miller did not respond to request for information.
Four people are seeking two school board seats.
Incumbents Kelly Bates-Laesch and Ruth Writer are being challenged by Gwen Branch six-year terms.
Bates-Laesch, 41, is seeking her second term. She works for the Berrien County Sheriff’s Department. She and her and husband, Fred, have one son.
Writer, 71, is seeking her second term. She is a retired teacher from the Buchanan schools. She and her husband, Wayne, have two grown sons.
Branch, 55, works as the controller for Modineer Co. in Niles. She and her husband, Mike, have two children. She has served for two years as a Republican precinct delegate.
Chris Carlson is running as a write-in. He and his wife, Rachel, have three daughters. He works for a small technology company in Dowagiac.
Republican Sheila Reitz is unopposed for partial, two-year term for clerk.
Four candidates are seeking three four-year City Commission seats. Incumbents Nathan Clements, Linda Freitag and Marsha Hammond will face challenger Fred Reeves.
Clements, 33, has been a commissioner for three years. He is employed as a trade customer support worker for Whirlpool Corp. and is the co-owner/operator of Clements Property Solutions. He lives with his wife, Kelly, and daughter.
Freitag, 65, has been on the commission for over 20 years. She is a medical assistant for Berrien Regional Associates in Neurology in St. Joseph. She has a son and two stepdaughters. She lives with her husband, Siegfried.
Hammond, 67, has been on the commission for 17 years. She is a retired Coloma restaurant owner and is former assistant manager of Gordon Food Service in Benton Township.
Reeves, 77, has been a Coloma resident for over 60 years and hasn’t held elected office. He is retired from the Berrien County Sheriff’s Department with 25 years of service. He lives with his wife and has three grown children and two grown stepchildren.
Running unopposed for two-year terms are Clerk Martha Darling and Treasurer Kelly Clements.
Voters will decide an 18-mill nonhomestead levy for operations for four years. The tax does not apply to primary residences.
Incumbents Nicole Cottier Hickman, Heidi Ishmael and Douglas LeClear are unopposed for three four-year seats.
John Glassman is unopposed for president while Jeff Rice and Robert Stanczyk are unopposed for two trustee seats. All terms are two years.
Eau Claire schools
Three incumbents are seeking four four-year seats: Darrell Ferguson, Anita Harner and Tom Ferry.
Residents will decide a two-way race for Village Council president and a four-way race for three trustee seats.
Incumbent President Paul Palmer is being challenged by Kenneth Chappell for a two-year term while incumbent Trustees Doris Foster and Steven Schmitz are being challenged by Jessica Merrill and Joni Rochman for four-year terms.
Palmer, 62, is seeking his third two-year term. He had served 11 years as a trustee. He works at Accu-Die & Mold in Stevensville. He and his wife, Chris, have two grown children.
Chappell, 54, is on the Galien Township Library Board. He is a Galien native and a military veteran.
Foster, 83, is seeking her first full term after being appointed two years ago. She is retired from a Buchanan company and served as village treasurer. She has four grown children.
Schmitz, 59, was first elected in 2008 and then was appointed to the council in 2016. He works at Federal Mogul in South Bend. He and his wife, Kim, have three grown children.
Merrill, 53, is a hair stylist at Envy Hair Studio in Niles. She has one daughter.
Rochman, 60, works at the Villager and served on the Galien Township Planning Commission. She and her husband, Steve, have four grown children.
Linda Crowther and Joyce Hickok are unopposed for two six-year terms on the Library Board.
Voters will decide six-year levy to support library. The measure is to renew the existing 0.9757 mill and add 0.0243 mill to a 1-mill total. The measure would raise $48,836 in its first year.
Indepdendent Sarah Rodreguiz is unopposed for two-year, partial clerk term.
Jason Beckrow and Rachel Wade are unopposed for two six-year trustee seats.
The village is seeking a 1-mill boost for general operations for five years. The addition would generate $73,942 in its first year.
Phillip Bonello and Linda Stein are unopposed for two, two-year trustee seats.
Four people are seeking two four-year City Commission seats.
Ray Kirkus has lived in New Buffalo for nearly 20 years. He has served on the New Buffalo Planning Commission and the Zoning Board of Appeals.
Lou O’Donnell has been a city councilman since November 2014 and is the mayor. He served on the Planning Commission prior to that. He is a member of New Buffalo American Legion Post 16 and the New Buffalo Rod and Gun Club, is a past commodore and director of the New Buffalo Yacht Club, past President of the Bridgewater Place Condominium Association and has years of experience presenting plans to multiple city councils, planning commissions, and zoning boards of appeal.
Mark Robertson, a 1974 New Buffalo High School graduate, has been married to his wife Mary for 32 years. He has lived in New Buffalo for over 55 years. Robertson has more than 30 years’ experience working in the construction field. He was appointed to fill a vacated City Council position in October 2016. He serves on the Cemetery Board and is an alternate member to the Galien River Sanitary District.
Candidate Kevin Huber did not respond to requests for information.
New Buffalo schools
Five candidates are seeking four six-year terms.
Incumbent Pano Arvanitis and his wife Beth have three children. He owns CME Home Lending and is an eight-year board member.
Incumbent Loren Croskey and his wife have four children. He was appointed to fill a vacancy in 2017. He has a background in consulting and financial services.
Incumbents Roger Lijewski and Frank Magro and challenger Tricia Newton did not reply to requests for information
Four City Council seats are at stake with two incumbents facing challengers.
Seeking re-election without challengers are 1st Ward Councilwoman Gretchen Guentert and 3rd Ward Councilman William Weimer. All four council terms are for four years.
In the 2nd Ward, which covers the central east side, incumbent Robert Durm is being challenged by Travis Timm, while 4th Ward incumbent Tim Skalla is being challenged by Jessica Nelson. The 4th Ward covers the west side.
Durm, 53, has served 23 years and is seeking his sixth full term. He works at Four Winds Casino. He and his wife, Gail, have four children.
Timm, 26, is a sales associate at the UPS Store in Niles and is a substitute teacher. He is single.
Skalla, 66, has served since 2001. He works at Niles Precision Co. He and his wife, Candace, have two grown children.
Nelson, 40, works remotely as the program manager for the Center for Business Intelligence at the University of Wisconsin. She and her husband, Charles, have two sons.
David Fish and Mark Wortham are unopposed for two six-year trustee terms.
The township is seeking $60 per parcel for four years to maintain and repair roads. The assessment would generate $84,000 in its first year.
Republican Karen Basham is unopposed for two-year, partial term as clerk.
Gina Edwards and Eric Santiago are unopposed for two four-year trustee terms.
River Valley schools
The district seeks to create a 0.75-mill building and site fund, also called a “sinking fund.” The five-year tax would generate $590,760 in its first year.
Joan Bell and Timothy Smith are unopposed for two four-year trustee slots.
St. Joseph Twp.
Republican Patrice Rose is unopposed for two-year, partial term as clerk. Republicans Edward Meny and Thomas Milnikel are unopposed for two two-year, partial trustee terms.
St. Joseph schools
There are four St. Joseph school board seats up for grabs. Three of the four available seats carry six-year terms. The fourth seat is a four-year term.
Scott R. Gane, J.T. Inman, Kathy Weykamp, Brett Wier and Kerry Wright are all running for the three available six-year terms.
Richard Dyer is the lone candidate for the four-year term.
Gane, 58, is a vice president of a protected service group at Huffmaster Companies, which is based out of Clawson. He earned certification and attended Kalamazoo Valley College and Grand Valley State University. Gane and his wife have two grown daughters, a son and nephew who lives with them.
Inman, 44, is vice president of small business at Capital One. Inman was appointed to the school board four years ago and has a bachelor’s degree with DePauw University. He and his wife have three daughters.
Weykamp, 47, is a principal at Edgewater Resources in St. Joseph. She earned a masters from the University of Georgia and a bachelor’s degree from Michigan State University. Weykamp and her husband have twins.
Wier, 40, is vice president of lending at United Federal Credit Union who has a bachelor’s degree from Ferris State University, he and his wife have two daughters.
Wright, 38, is a broker and owner of Evergreen Real Estate in St. Joseph. The incumbent trustee earned his undergraduate degree from Albion College and his masters from Aquinas College. Wright has a wife and three daughters.
Dyer, 60, is the president and CEO of Edgewater Bank and Edgewater Bancorp in St. Joseph. He got his bachelor’s degree from Kalamazoo College and his masters at GVSU. He and his wife have two grown sons.
Board President Amy Porritt-Peirce and Secretary Denise Reeves chose not to run for re-election.
Five candidates are unopposed in respective seats: Bruno and Debra Trapikas are unopposed for president and clerk, respectively. The terms are two years. Renata Mais, Robert Lawrence and Andrew Povlopoulos are unopposed for four-year trustee terms.
The township is seeking to resume 2 mills for four years for road repair and maintenance. The levy would generate almost $144,000 in its first year. The previous 2 mills had been eroded by Headlee rollbacks.
Democrat Jill DeLucia is unopposed for two two-year Parks Board terms.
Village President David Grosse is being challenged by Tom Flint for the two-year post. Meanwhile six people are seeking three four-year trustee seats.
Grosse is a lifetime village resident, save for 12 years in Virginia. He served on the council from 2000-2004 and was first elected president in 2008.
Flint has served on the village Sesquicentennial Committee and has been a Flag Day Committee member for the past five years. He is a past president and an active member of the Harbor Country Rotary Club. Prior to moving to Three Oaks, Flint spent his career in sales and sales management after earning a degree in business and psychology.
The trustee candidates are:
Incumbent Steve Graziano is an 8th grade history teacher in Lakeshore schools and owns Mr. G’s Driving School. He’s a member of the Masonic Lodge 239, Sons of the American Legion and a former River Valley Schools board member. He joined the council in 2008. He has four kids with his wife Theresa.
Incumbent Nick LaFlex works at Moersch Hospitality Group in Baroda and had a career in finance.
Challenger Dustin Blaszczyk has a bachelor’s degree from Purdue University and a masters from Indiana State University and is in law school at Western Michigan University. He worked for over 10 years in the environmental testing industry.
He’s a trustee on the Three Oaks Township Public Library Board of Directors and has served on various village commissions.
Challenger Colleen Newquist, 57, and her husband, ceramic artist Michael Weiss, have been members of the Three Oaks community since 2012. Newquist led communications teams at the University of Chicago for 25 years, where she managed large staffs, complex projects, and multimillion-dollar budgets.
A communications consultant since 2016, she works with universities and related nonprofits around the country, including the University of Chicago, Ohio State, Virginia Tech, and Loyola University Chicago, where she served as vice president of marketing and communications for a year.
Incumbent John Kramer and challenger Becky Thomas didn’t respond to requests for information.
Five candidates are seeking three four-year City Commission seats. Incumbents Larry Hehl, Rick Kinzler and Deah Muth will face challengers Michael Bumstead and Jennifer Helms.
Helh, 66, is a retired businessman of 45 years. He has served on the City Commission for two years and was previously on the Planning Commission. He is divorced and has three grown children.
Kinzler, 71, is seeking a second term. He is a retired customer service representative and sales manager for Reliable Disposal. He has two grown children. He and his wife, Laurie.
Muth, 43, is the building secretary at Watervliet Middle School. She has been on the commission since 2012. She lives with her son, who is a freshman at Watervliet High School.
Bumstead, 57, has lived in Watervliet for 16 years and has not held elected office. He is an analytic solutions developer at Spectrum Health Lakeland. He lives with his wife Tena. He has three daughters and one granddaughter.
Helms, 63, is recently retired after 43 years in the utility industry. She is making her first run for elected office. She is divorced and has two adult children.
Eric Laws and Amanda Morlock-Fisher are unopposed for two six-year trustee seats. John Oliphant is unopposed for a partial, two-year term for trustee.
Voters will decide a four-year, 1-mill renewal for fire protection. The tax would generate $85,874 in its first year.