Chick Janet 350h 297p

1.  Why are you running for office? 

I never consciously thought about why.  I just felt and still feel the right thing to do is to participate.  I have always been intrinsically motivated to champion people and their issues and be a part of initiating changes that have value and improve situations.  It is what I have been doing in my day job for the last 24 years.  So stepping up to volunteer for the Blue Skies Committee, being Vice Chair of the Planning Commission and Trustee on our Board of Trustees is a natural extension.


What is your platform? 

Balance.  If I have to choose one word to describe a platform it would be balance. I have been advocating balance in our township before I had considered becoming part of it's government.  We have issues in Northfield that have been contentious for many years.  There is rarely only one way to see or resolve an issue.  I care deeply about Northfield Township and our residents. I seek to be part of improving the quality of life for each of them by way of providing those things an engaged responsible government can from services to amenities, job opportunities from farming to commercial and industry and housing options compatible with our character.  A balance of opportunities for everyone in all walks of life. 


What is your approach to building consensus in groups with divergent perspectives?

I would like to see the township offer on a scheduled basis Citizen Workshops.  This way the public would know there will be opportunities to talk one on one with the board in round table sessions about those things that are important to them.  The caveat would be that angst and anger be left at the door.  These would be discussions not arguments.  Talking with each other not at, and actively listening on both sides.  These would be opportunities for idea sharing, problem solving and compromise.   It will only work however if we have a diversity of the public participating and all the board members.


Would you support a local ordinance requiring the Board to notify residents and get approval before spending more than $250,000 on a particular project?

It is a worthy discussion.  The only issue I can envision is that it could delay a decision that is imperative to move on quickly.  My concern is that the township would miss an opportunity that would be important to the residents or that a delay in an item needing an immediate decision might have a harmful impact on the township.


Would you support a millage for natural feature, farmland and open space preservation?  If yes, what would you do to make that happen?

Yes. I would be active in promoting a millage for the preservation of natural features, farmland and open space.  The millage proposal would have to be very detailed with specific areas delineated to avoid legal questions.

Are there any capital improvement projects you would support with taxpayer dollars after essential services are covered?

The Van Curler property.  Develop the property for public uses and a focal point for our Downtown.  Creation of multi-use areas for walking, picnicking, encourage food and entertainment venues, even shopping opportunities.

Do you support the current 5-acre zoning in our agricultural areas? If not, what zoning would you prefer?

I do support 5 acre zoning in many areas of our township.  My concern is the amount of 5 acre zoning we have.  I have spoken with three planners and two attorneys and they have all indicated that if push comes to shove we may not be able to defend the large amount of 5 acre zoning we currently have.  Anyone could challenge this issue.  The response from those I asked was that whoever challenges the issue, whether a land owner that wants to sell, a developer that wants to force the issue or an individual that has an interest in doing so would likely win.  These of course were comments not "opinions". 

Why would we want to put ourselves in the position of a costly protracted legal proceeding?  It may never happen but it could and I am all about prevention, so if we can be proactive and make the change to do that ... why would we not at least talk about it?  We and the residents of our township should know and understand all elements and possible consequences of an issue.  I fully understand it is a controversial subject, yet we should never be afraid to discuss any item. 


Are you familiar with our township’s Master Plan and do you support its vision for our community?  If not, what would you change?

As a member of the sub-committee tasked with creating the current Master Plan I am very familiar with it. We held successful visioning sessions and charrettes with an amazing amount of public participation.  It went through many changes and thoughtful discussions before the final version was recommended for approval by the Planning Commission and passed unanimously by the Board of Trustees.  It is a good document.  I stood behind it then and I stand behind it now.  I am however not averse to reviewing the Plan as conditions and circumstances in the township change and it is not unusual to do that.  It truly is a liquid document.  That does not mean I would arbitrarily recommend changes to it without a lot of public input and at least many months discussion to substantiate any changes.  I am very proud to have been a part of it's creation.


Do you think the Master Plan should be altered to accommodate a developer?

Not at first glance.  The developer's request would have to be very, very close to the standards dictated in the Master Plan and then it would have to go through a lot of deliberations, which would still not guarantee approval.  However, if any developer comes to the township with a request, we are obligated to give that request due diligence and take it through the process to it's conclusion regardless of how far off it varies from the Master Plan.  That is good governance.


Do you think sewers should be extended and the sewage plant expanded to promote residential development in our agricultural areas?

I do not think sewers should be extended for the sole purpose of encouraging residential development in the AG area.  I do think they should be extended when property owners petition the township to do so. We want to be responsive to those property owners who wish to recognize the increase in value of their property and investment as well as the convenience by the addition of access to a public sewer system.


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