DAVISON — Residents Gary Peppin and Matthew Smith will square-off Nov. 3 to fill the 9th District Genesee County Commission seat, which represents Davison, Davison Township, Richfield Township, Forest Township, Genesee Township and Otisville.
Peppin, a Democrat, and Smith, a Republican, will vie for a 2-year-term as county commissioner after the announcement earlier this year that current commissioner David Martin would not seek another term after he decided to run for the 48th District State House of Representatives seat.
Here is what the candidates had to say in their own words:
Gary Peppin, Age: 64
Education: Davison High School Class of 1974, Associate degree from Mott Community College 1976, Bachelor’s Degree of Economics from Michigan State 1980
Accomplishments: As a member of Davison City Council from 2011 to 2016, I was involved in efforts to save the water department from bankruptcy, helped create a capital improvement plan, and was co-chair of the Main Street widening and modernization project for downtown Davison. I served on the Policy Committee where we created new ordinances, updated old ordinances, and rewrote the city purchasing policy. I am a lifetime member of the Genesee County Small Cities and Villages Association, for which I was chairperson from 2015 to 2016.
As a long-time member of St. John the Evangelist in Davison, I have served as a reader, Eucharistic Minister Captain, and have been involved in the church’s Sports Council, Evangelization, and Building committees. I was chairperson of three major building projects, including the St. John Family Center, St. John Cemetery Mausoleum, and St. John Gathering Space Addition.
As a previous business and sales manager, I have 36 years of business experience that has taught me countless skills such as teamwork, dedication, and working to meet the needs of others. I am also proud to have achieved the General Motors Mark of Excellence award for sales and customer service.
I currently mentor and coach at Pierce Elementary in Flint and volunteer at the North End Soup Kitchen.
Tell us what your goals are for the community if elected? My personal commitment as County Commissioner is to provide constituent services to the people of the 9th district. My goal for the Board of Commissioners is to produce budgets that effectively and efficiently allocate monies that provide services to meet the needs of the people of Genesee County.
Matthew Smith, Age: 24
Education: University of Michigan; Administration; Criminal Justice, Mott Community College; Associates; Communication, State Certified with MASB in: Policy, Labor Relations, Finance, Parliamentary Procedure, and Municipal Governance.
Accomplishments: Current Elected official; Trustee; Davison School Board, Small Businessman; Smith & Smith Carpet (Family Company), Supervisory Committeeman for ELGA Credit Union; Board President; Genesee County Neighborhood Watch, Board Secretary; Right to Life, Eucharistic Minister; Lector; St. John’s in Davison, Former On-Air Journalist for WNEM-TV5.
Tell us what your goals are for the community if elected? My priorities as your next County Commissioner include addressing our county debt crisis, keeping our promises to our retirees, reducing crime to keep our community safe, increase economic growth through new business investments and consumer spending to boost our local economy, tackle blight and abandon homes, fix our crumbling roads and infrastructure, stand up and support our Senior Citizens, Veterans, Law Enforcement, and First responders, maintain our Animal Control Facility to protect our furry friends, promote discovery with our county parks and recreation, implement an open door policy with community updates, invest in the future generation through skilled trades and apprenticeship programs, expand career opportunities, and provide the proper funding to the Health Department to put an end to the coronavirus. Since you’ve elected me to your school board, I’ve increased transparency and accountability; making local government work better for you, and as your next County Commissioner; I’ll do it again. No matter if you are a Republican or Democrat; I will make certain that every hard-working taxpayer has a strong voice in their County government. The outgoing County Commissioner, David Martin has done an excellent job and I’m honored to have his endorsement to build on the progress he has started in the 9th District. I look forward to chatting with you on your doorstep and earning your vote.
The Genesee County View will run more candidate profiles over the coming weeks for the various races through the county.