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Candidate touts professional experience

By Ben Newland
April 26, 2012 at 10 p.m.

Garrett Boersma, president of Commercial Resources, is a candidate for Dist. 6 city commissioner on a platform of fostering economic growth and renewing focus on essential services, such as infrastructure maintenance and emergency services.

Boersma believes Marshall must take steps towards remedying the city's infrastructure problems and enforcing existing building codes, in order to foster an environment conducive to economic growth.

"Marshall has tremendous potential," said Boersma. "To realize this potential, we need to make sure we are meeting our obligations to all of our citizens and creating a community that is friendly to business and encourages investment."

He stated that friends throughout the community have voiced concern over the state of city roads, but Boersma does not favor the choice he believes is forced upon voters through Prop. 3.

"Our community should not have to choose between streets and economic development," he said. " However, I have confidence in our citizens' ability to make an informed decision. I will support whatever decision the citizens make, regarding Prop. 3."

Rather, Boersma suggests that the city must develop long-term, financially-sound solutions to street maintenance.

Another priority he considers paramount is enforcement of existing building code and creating a strategy to encourage development of abandoned property or buildings.

"Many of these properties generate zero property tax revenue," said Boersma. "Some of them are dangerous. All of them represent a problem and, in some cases, a menace for the neighbors in the area."

Boersma believes ensuring the strength of emergency services, such as Marshall's police and fire departments, is of the utmost importance.

"Our police and fire services are the foundation that ensures our community and local economy works," he said. "Our relationship with these professionals is of the utmost importance."

If elected, Boersma would explore ways competitive salaries could be offered to emergency personal.

"I think having the highest quality individuals on our emergency services' staff is critical," he said.

However, Boersma added such a measure would have to be considered in the greater context of the city's available budget.

He feels the city must consider all financial actions carefully, including the current level of obligations, which has severely impacted the amount of available funds even after grossing the highest revenues in many years.

"We must be both careful and cautious in issuing certificates of obligation," said Boersma. "We must be watchful in voting on any long-term debts."

Boersma believes that his professional experience as president of Commercial Resources would allow him to bring a unique skill-set to the commission.

Elections begin with early voting from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. April 30-May 6 and 7 a.m. to 7 p.m. May 7 and 8. The general election will be held 7 a.m. to 7 p.m. May 12.



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