September 2, 2014

Daniels withdraws name from election

Two time incumbent decides to not run

Posted

By Kevin Drescher

Staff Writer

STANDISH—After two consecutive terms on the Arenac County Board of Commissioners, incumbent Ray Daniels has decided to withdraw his name from the race.

Citing how much time that the duty of being a commissioner takes, Daniels said he feels like it’s just time for him to take a break.

“I put my petition in to run and you have three days to withdraw after that. On the third day I pulled it out,” he said. “It takes an awful lot of time. I could see myself doing it again a few years down the road again (but) I just need to step back for a term.”

Along with owning his own business, called Daniels Septic Service and Port-A-Jon Rental, Daniels said that the time he spends on the commission also takes time away from his business.

“That certainly plays into it,” he said. “When I’m down there I am paying someone else to do my job.”

With county budget issues seemingly never-ending, Daniels also felt that he may not have enough time to commit to such an important issue.

“It’s going to be tough, and it’s going to take a lot of time,” he said. “I just don’t feel like I have enough time to do it properly.”

With his current term ending Dec. 31, Daniels still has a little work to do, including helping the board get through the negotiations of the Chemical Workers Union contract, which he says will take a lot of time and patience on both sides.

“It’s the Chemical Workers — that’s the one that expired last year. I’ve seen what they would like, and quite frankly, it’s a lot,” Daniels said of the contract that expired on Dec. 31 last year. “In my mind I would like to stay status quo, but people don’t want to stay status quo. I am sure the people working at the prison would have liked to stay status quo.”

Though he said he’s not worried that he would have fallen victim to a recall, like three Standish Sterling School District School Board members did this year, Daniels said that it crossed his mind when he decided to withdraw his name.

“I am not worried about being recalled,” said the lifelong county resident. “But I don’t like what happened at the school.”

With the budget always being such a hot button issue, Daniels also urged the community to give the board a chance.

“We’ve got tough times ahead of us. Please be patient with the board,” said the business owner of 34 years. “ I hope they realize how much time people spend on the budget. We’ve got some pretty dedicated employees working in the courthouse (and) we’re very fortunate.”

Daniels also said that he hopes that those same employees understand if the board asks them to take a furlough day or decides to take back some holiday pay benefits.

“I hope they can be patient too. Now we’re nearing a furlough day or asking for some holiday’s back,” he said. “I hope they realize that we’re not trying to hurt them at any stretch. Or job is to make the money go.”

One thing that Daniels would liked to see the Board of Commissioners do, is to hire a part-time county manager so the board can spend more time making policy decisions and not county management decisions.

“The county commission is supposed to be a policy making board. But instead we’re a policy making board sometimes, while we handle management,” he said about how he wishes the board hire a county manager. “I don’t know where the money would come from (but) the commissioners are left with doing the management.”

As he parts ways with the commission, at least for a couple of years, Daniels said that he would like to thank the residents of Arenac County.

“I would like to say thank you. I enjoyed my time down there,” he said. “Gee, I learned a lot.”

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