COVERT — Two incumbents and a challenger are on the ballot Tuesday for two Covert Township trustee positions.
Democrat incumbent trustees Kenneth Harrington Sr. and Lonzey Taylor will square off against Democrat challenger Dawn Alspaugh for the two, four-year seats.
Alspaugh, 55, is seeking a first term as trustee.
“I am running for the position to bring more positive thinking and look forward to making our community great, a place people want to live and raise their kids and to attract more business,” she said.
Alspaugh, who is office manager for Jack’s Excavating & Trucking LLC, said the closing of Palisades power plant poses the biggest challenge for the township.
“If I win the seat, I look forward to working with the board to try to attract business and residents to come to our community to live and raise a family. I will strive hard to make Covert great and help it grow.”
In addition to her job as office manager, Alspaugh is a member of the township’s Board of Review and the Covert Housing Commission. She also is active with the Van Buren Youth Fair.
Harrington, 57, has served as a township board trustee for the past 12 years.
“I am running for re-election because we have much more to accomplish,” he said. “As a 12-year board member, I am well-equipped to help the board make informed decisions to help the township continue to grow and become a better place to live and do business. I am committed to serving the taxpayers through transparency and the proper use of our tax dollars.”
Like other candidates, Harrington said the township will need to come up with new ways to generate revenue that will be lost when Palisades closes.
“The CR 378 corridor from Interstate 196 remain underutilized,” he said. “The potential for commercial/industrial development in the 378 corridor is waiting to happen. We may provide tax incentives for current and future business owners, and seek out potential grant enhancement opportunities. We must remain fiscally conservative, ensuring that the decisions we make are in the best interest of our taxpayers.”
Harrington, who is employed full-time as an investigator for the Michigan Department of Corrections, is a member of the Michigan Corrections Organization and the Michigan Township Association.
Taylor, 62, hopes to win a second four-year trustee term trustee.
He said he wants to continue to “be a voice for the township residents.”
He, too, thinks the township will face tough economic times over the next several years.
“The biggest challenge will be the reduction in our tax base due to Palisades plant closing,” he said.
Taylor, who has worked at Palisades for the past 44 years, is currently a lead repairman there. He also has served as a volunteer for the Covert Township Fire Department and has an EMT license. However, he is currently on a leave of absence due to serving as a township board member.