Get to know Grand Haven's Mayoral Candidates By Alex Doty / adoty@grandhaventribune.com

Mike Fritz

Age: 64

Occupation: Owner/partner of Fritz Auto Body with my brother Dave, and have been in business for over 37 years now.

Education: Graduate of Grand Haven High School and various trade schools.

Elected Offices Held: City Council (14 years), Mayor Pro-Tem (8 years), NORA chairman and Vice Chairman (13 years).

Community Involvement:I was part of the Blue Ribbon Finance Committee for our Infrastructure, creating bonds for both; part of the Audit Committee, Brownfield Redevelopment Authority, Economic Development Corp.; avid member/volunteer of many organizations around the city; sponsor of many different youth programs and leagues; Tri-Cities Kids league.

I have been instrumental in helping raise money for many projects around town, a few include the boardwalk, Musical Fountain, Coal Tipple, catwalk, and our lighthouses. Our lighthouses, in particular, the endowment fund was created when my father passed away. That fund led to our city owning and continuing to help preserve one of our finest assets of our city. I was also a big proponent in helping build and develop our skate park.

Why are you running for mayor? I've been on Council for many years, and have accomplished a lot within that time frame. I'd like to serve the people in a bigger capacity, and continue helping our City. I love Grand Haven, it's more than a city to me, I'm the 4th generation of my family to call this place home. I want to continue to shape our city in ways for the next generation.

Single biggest issue facing our city right now? I feel our biggest issue is our infrastructure. We have $40 million of work to do.

How do you plan to address this issue? There are numerous ways, through grants, bonds and prioritizing projects with the rates we have set and working within our means.

Why should voters choose you? I have served many years, and continue to help make our city what it is today. I feel I represent the whole city, I have many family members on all sides of town, and listen intently to all issues that arise. If you have an issue or want to voice a concern, I am easily accessible. You can always find me at my place of business, Fritz Auto Body, around town with my wife, or send me a message through my Facebook page. I feel it takes a community to keep our city running, and every opinion is always a concern to me. I am transparent, and once I start something, I like to see it through to the end, as you can see with the projects I have taken on and accomplished in the past. I have proven over the years that I am dedicated, easy to talk to, I like to stay true to our heritage but look to other alternatives to adapt to the times. I’ve owned a business in the city of Grand Haven for many years, and I know how important that is for our city to thrive. We have a great manufacturing industry here, and we need to continue to promote it.

What sets you apart from your opponent? Accessibility, transparency, gathering of accurate information to make sound decisions for Grand Haven. I like to have more community involvement for making decisions on projects that are long term.

Geri McCaleb

Age: 70

Occupation: Seamstress / semi-retired

Education: GHHS; Bachelor of Science degree from GVSU with a major in earth science and minor in history.

Elected offices held: Grand Haven City Council (two terms), Grand Haven Mayor (three terms)

Community involvement: One of the perks of being mayor is the privilege of meeting and working with so many great people. Besides that, I have been involved in the Eastown Association; MSDDA; NORA; Infrastructure Taskforce; Catwalk Committee; EDC/Brownfield Board; Audit Review Committee; Loutit Library 50-Year Anniversary Celebration; Coast Guard Festival; Lynne Sherwood Waterfront Stadium; short-term rental discussions and decisions; various ribbon cuttings, open houses, etc.

Why are you running for mayor again? I love advocating for Grand Haven and representing community members to continue to make Grand Haven a great place to live and work. There is still much to do. I have been involved in several projects from the beginning that I want to see to completion such as Lynne Sherwood Waterfront Stadium and getting the Catwalk back on the Pier. We have put a dent in renewing our infrastructure but there is still a lot to be done and the challenge is in finding ways to finance these very costly but necessary projects. Another question that needs resolution is our legacy costs. We continually are looking for good employees. As we compete for personnel we need to be able to offer a competitive wage and benefit package that is desirable and within our ability to support; always keeping in mind the finances of the tax payer who pays for these employees. These are just some of the questions we face and I would like to continue to be part of those discussions.

What is the single biggest issue facing the city right now? I don't think there is a single issue but several as I have stated in the previous question of why I am running. We have made forward strides in our infrastructure but there is much to do. The question is how do we pay for it. How is the best way to handle our Legacy costs. Grand Haven has a vibrant and strong industrial base but we have little free land to expand that base. We need to continue to have a reliable and affordable source of power for industry as well as general population so we need to look at the future of our Sims Plant.

How do you plan to address this issue? There is an old proverb that says there is wisdom in a multitude of counselors. The best way to tackle any issue is to find the facts, weigh the options, and then make the best decision for the community. We have done that and continue to do that with our infrastructure. We had an original task force and have a present one that is looking at what our options are today. City administration is looking at options now to see how best to address the question of legacy costs. Regarding power needs, the BLP Board has been hard at work researching options. The issues are complicated, solutions are expensive so these decisions can not made lightly. The BLP Board and City Council, both elected by the citizens, will work together for the best solution for the future.

Why should voters choose you? In the six years I have been mayor I have worked hard to bring people together to tackle the issues we have before us. I believe working together and tapping into the collective expertise and wisdom of civic minded people is the best way to provide a good outcome for everyone. You are not going to make everyone happy all the time, but I have always felt if you do your homework and are honest with folks about the decisions you make, whether they agree or disagree, they will respect that.

What sets you apart from your opponent? Rather than trying to draw distinctions, I would like to answer this question by pointing you back to the previous question which asks why should voters choose you. If you like what I have done as mayor for these past six years, if I have represented the city well, I will work hard and continue to do the same if reelected.

Created By
Alex Doty

Report Abuse

If you feel that this video content violates the Adobe Terms of Use, you may report this content by filling out this quick form.

To report a Copyright Violation, please follow Section 17 in the Terms of Use.