Our world is relentlessly changing. Climate change, land use changes and decades of under investment are challenging our drainage system. The 800 miles of drains in Allegan County need aggressive upgrades. Wind driven flooding of the Kalamazoo River must be addressed with a major structure at the river mouth.
1. I will use modern tools like Geographic Information Systems and landscape modeling to target improvements. The office will plan for disaster management by modeling for the climate change driven storms affecting us today, rather than trusting the outdated models of the 20th century.
2. I'll reach out to the community to identify local needs and explain the role of the Drain Office. I'll prioritize education on best practices for landscapes and farms.
3. I will provide hands on leadership for our drain crews, spending at least one day a week in the field. I will make sure these crews are equipped for safety and efficiency.
4. I will ensure the public has full access to all information the Drain Office can legally release. Substantial effort will be made to raise the public profile of the office and it's powerful role in government.
I was born and raised in Michigan. I have a BS degree in Environmental Issues and a one year certificate in Grass Based Dairy from UW Madison. I came to Allegan county in 2005 with my wife and founded Sand Lily Farms. We adopted a daughter in 2010. I’ve enjoyed working with area farmers through the Allegan Conservation District the past 12 years as a board member or employee. I also served a term on the Fennville Public School Board and the Clyde Township Planning Commission.
I was born on Mackinac Island
I'm a huge nature nerd. We have a little prairie at the farm and it thrills me to add new plants over time. I am constantly poking around for creatures with my nets and pans. I want to be the LORAX!