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Friday, November 4, 2011

Holland City Council Candidate Scott Troeger's Message to WMP Readers

I am proud to call Holland my home. I have lived and traveled throughout the world and chose to settle
in the community that welcomed my great-grandparents. With the exception of college and active duty
military service I have been an active member of my community since 1975.

It is easy to claim that you believe in cooperation between governments and/or business. However, I
can point to specific instances where I have demonstrated leadership in that arena:

1. As an Officer in the Michigan National Guard, I led when we assisted Tulip Time during parades
with traffic control and medical emergencies.
2. I was a Trustee of the Holland School Board when we finalized the relationship with the City of
Holland to create the joint fueling facility that has saved the taxpayers significant funds.
3. Also during my tenure as President of the School Board, we had the groundbreaking opportunity
to work with the entire staff of the District to make significant cuts in the budget. Furthermore,
we were able to open mid-contract bargaining sessions and negotiate reductions in pay for
everyone. This phenomenal cooperation allowed the District to maintain programs and staffing
that would have otherwise been cut.
4. As a member of one of the area Public Safety Teams I led the effort to raise (to date) more than
$10,000.00 to purchase a rescue boat and equipment. All of the funding came from business
organizations and no public dollars were spent. (see story in Holland Sentinel Archives dated
Nov. 25, 2003)

As a member of Holland’s City Council I would be especially conscious of the public trust in the
expenditure of funds. I have a particular sense of pride in the fact that I was on the Board during the
last major building program for Holland Public Schools. Major portions of that project were completed
not only early, but under budget. The monies saved allowed additional improvements to facilities not in
the original plan and benefited the students, staff and our community.

The current economic realities are causing hardship to the families of Holland and beyond. I believe we
must focus on:

1. JOBS. Every tool available must be used. Those tools include:
a. Tax abatements. Business development costs money. If Holland has the ability to
attract employment we must give industry the chance to save on their investments and
create well paying jobs.
b. Organization such as Lakeshore Advantage, Hedcor and the Chamber of Commerce.
These groups need support to seek and attract business and industry to Holland.
c. Reliable and affordable energy and water. Peter Garforth was quick to point out that
Holland has the unique ability to generate electricity at the municipal level. We need to
use this to our advantage. The BPW has an exceptional track record for reliability in its
power, water and wastewater treatment systems. Even after suffering major storms,

Holland recovered its utilities quickly.
d. Transportation of goods. Holland is located in an area with abundant transportation
options. We have easy access to road networks, air cargo possibilities, Great Lakes
shipping and even rail. We need to promote all of these advantages and continue to
improve on their accessibility.

2. PUBLIC SAFETY. Holland has cut deeply into our public safety services. The current term being
used is “minimal staffing”. Public safety is not satisfactory when conducted at minimal levels.
Options are available to provide “optimum staffing” and we must explore them.

The Professional Firefighters of Holland’s Department of Public Safety has endorsed my
candidacy because of my long term commitment and beliefs.

3. OUR ENERGY FUTURE. The Sustainability Committee has recommended a course of action and
an outline for Holland’s energy future. The plan needs to be adopted… soon.

Our community needs education and the opportunity to participate in implementation of the
program that will carry us for the next forty years. We need to remember that the plan must
adapt to changing technology and new opportunities as time passes.

Everyone needs to take ownership. This ownership includes citizens, business, educational
institutions, churches and government.

4. FILLING VACANCIES OF SENIOR CITY STAFF. The current leadership of full-time city staff has too
many “interim’s”. Filling these positions is critical for our future.

Qualifications for both City Manager and BPW General Manager have to include:

a.
b.
c.
d.

Superior fiscal responsibility skills.
A commitment to long term planning.
A collaborative spirit.
The ability to introduce innovative opportunities that will continue to make Holland a
preferred destination for well-paid jobs.

(See quote: http://www.hollandsentinel.com/feature/x1764488103/Holland-city-council-
candidates-weigh-in-on-energy-new-manager-more)

I believe my demonstrated commitment and proven record are a benefit to Holland. My understanding
of current issues provides me with the ability to join Holland’s City Council and immediately participate.

Mr. Troger can be found on Facebook HERE

***Regarding the Holland Sentinel saying he supported the gay rights measure before council:

"I do not know why the Sentinel reported me as being in favor of the ordinance.  The July article you referred to is in regard to the League of Women Voters forum that was held before the primary.  If you were to watch the tape of that forum, you would see that I outlined objections to it.  In fact, you might even notice that one or more of my competitors thanked me for the issues I brought out."

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