Five candidates enter Flushing Township Trustee race

FLUSHING TWP. — At the Aug. 4 primary, five candidates will be vying for four spots on the Flushing Township Board of Trustees.

Four incumbents have entered this year’s primary election, including current Flushing Township trustees Jenifer Almassy (D), William Westenbarger (R), Sharilynn Willette (R) and Linda Minarik (R). Bill Bain (R) is the lone challenger in the candidate field.

Almassy, a high school English and business teacher at Reese Public Schools, was elected to the township board in 2016. She has taught for 24 years at Reese and has been a Michigan Education Association Board Member for 10 years.

Almassy said that running for reelection to the township board was an easy decision.

“Sitting on other organizational boards has helped me to look for commonalities versus differences, (to) respect those that think differently than me, and act on problems for the township professionally and treat each person as a professional,” she said. “As a person to ask a lot of questions, to understand situations, I look for different ways to resolve problems, and continually work to make sure that when we need to purchase services that we look first within our local community businesses and our residents.”

Westenbarger, elected in 2016, is a General Motors retiree and former EMT volunteer with Twin Township ambulance. He also served six years in the United States Navy as a jet mechanic and worked for GM for 31 years. If reelected, he said that he will “continue to do the right thing for residents.”

Minarik, owner of Minarik Farms in Flushing Township, was elected in 2016.

Willette, a longtime election inspector for Flushing Township, was appointed to the township board in 2018 to fill out the remainder of former Trustee Dan McGrath’s term. She has also served on the township’s Compensation Committee.

Bain, a retiree from AC/Delco and Flint Truck Assembly, currently serves on the Flushing Township Parks and Recreation Committee and has served as an appointee to the Genesee County Metropolitan Alliance. Bain said that he is running for office to serve residents and help the township obtain Safer Grants from the state to install solar powered school crossings at Flushing Middle School. He is also working to bring a Memorial Garden and Walkway to Flushing Township for parents of deceased children, along with a Veterans Memorial and Walkway.

Flushing Township Supervisor Fred Thorsby (R), Flushing Township Clerk Wendy Meinburg (R) and Flushing Township Treasurer Terry Peck (R) are all running unopposed in the August primary.