Chris Barnett Announces Candidacy for Orion Township Supervisor Position
Business development is his No. 1 goal, he said, if elected this year; John Steimel also announces he's running for re-election as trustee.
Dozens of people retreated to Oscars Bar & Grill in Orion Township on Thursday night to give their support to current Orion Township Trustee John Steimel who is running for re-election this year.
At the gathering Chris Barnett, an active Orion Township community member, took the opportunity to announce he is running to unseat current Orion Township Supervisor, JoAnn Van Tassel.
The Orion Township Board of Trustees terms end Nov. 20 of this year and both Barnett and Steimel noted they have hopes to make a refreshing change to the current township initiative. Barnett, 34, who currently sits on the township's Planning Commission, said he does not have a political agenda and if elected will approach running the township as if it were a business.
"I've had a lot of encouragement from a lot of people in the community; and it's something I'm really interested in and really passionate about," Barnett said of the running for the supervisor position. "I wouldn't consider myself a politician but more of a community activist."
Barnett said his passion for the community and seeing a need to stimulate the area's economy is what made him decide to run for office. He noted that his campaign, which will officially kick-off on April 21, entails three B's:
- Business development: As a businessman himself, he thinks that the township needs a strategic management plan to bring businesses, jobs and growth to the area.
- Better engage: He thinks there is a need to get more residents involved, especially the younger demographic.
- Broaden resources: He noted there is a need to broaden the resources and amenities that Orion Township uses and has to offer.
"I'm excited about getting some new blood like Chris," Steimel said. "I like having enthusiastic people and he is very good at getting other people involved, so he'll take a more community-wide approach."
Along with drawing in the business community, Barnett wants to see a stronger connection between the township and Lake Orion Community Schools in the future. He noted among the programs he would like to look into, is creating a youth and government program to get an even fresher perspective.
"I have some ideas on how we can try to get all the different sectors in the community involved," Barnett said. "None of this is about me, it's about trying to move our community forward, and it takes a team of people to do that."
Currently Barnett, along with being a Planning Commission member, is Lake Orion High School's PTO President and Vice President of the Lake Orion Optimist Club. Barnett's campaign kick-off is scheduled for 6:30 p.m. April 21 at Clansman Gaelic Pub at Canterbury Village.
For more coverage of Steimel's kick-off party see: 5 Orion Township Candidates Focus on Bringing Business to Area.