ELECTIONS 2022 – Get to Know Your Buchanan Candidates

ELECTIONS 2022 – Get to Know Your Buchanan Candidates

VOTE ~ VOTE ~ VOTE


* The Buchanan Chronicle DOES NOT take any political positions nor does it support any particular candidate. We strive to present each candidate fairly and evenly, so as to facilitate informed voting for all. *
* The Buchanan Chronicle DOES deeply encourage every eligible voter to cast their vote this year on Election Day: Tuesday, November 08, 2022. *

~ No matter your opinion, it is important we all participate in the election process, this way it can most accurately reflect our community and our collective opinions, whatever they may be. ~


~ Buchanan City Commission ~

Candidates for “Council Member at Large”

(You will “Vote for not more than 3”)
Sean Denison – Anthony Houser – Monroe S. Lemay – Daniel R. Vigansky – Mark W. Weedon

Sean Denison

Originally from Pennsylvania, I moved to the Midwest in 1995 after graduating from college with a degree in Political Science. I currently reside in Buchanan with my wife Stacey, who is the Principal at Ottawa Elementary and my daughter Sydney who attends Buchanan High School.

I am the Director of Regional Services at North American Signs in South Bend, where I am responsible for the daily operations of the company throughout the Michiana area.  Up until 2021, I was also the owner of Timberline Rack; a company I founded in 2007 that designed and installed lumber storage equipment to retail lumberyards throughout the United States, Canada and the Caribbean.

I am running for the position of City Commissioner for two reasons. First, I believe my professional experience in business management – balancing budgets, cutting costs, and attracting clients and customers – would be beneficial not only to the commission but to the community as a whole. Secondly, as a tax payer living in the City of Buchanan, I would like to ensure that our tax dollars are being spent in a way that is both responsible and effective.

Over the last four years, I have served as City Commissioner and Mayor.  I have been an active member of the Planning Commission, The Zoning Board of Appeals, and the Buchanan Area Recreation Board.  

The next few years will be challenging ones for our community.  Infrastructure projects will disrupt our downtown.  Decisions on the future of city owned properties will need to be addressed.  Economic development opportunities will continue to be a top priority, and will require intelligent, thorough consideration.  If elected, it is my hope to continue to bring a businesslike approach to the City Commission. To offer logical, respectful discussion on difficult topics and develop common sense plans to address them. I am grateful for the opportunity to have served the last four years, and would appreciate your vote on November 8th.  Thank you.


Tony Houser

Anthony “Tony” Houser is the Executive Chef, and partner of River St. Joe Brewery at Flatwater Farms. He graduated at the top of his class from the Escoffier School of Culinary Arts with a Dual Associates Degree in Culinary Arts and Operations. Tony is a lifetime Region resident with a drive for small town politics. He is currently the President of the Main Street Project in Buchanan. He is a Co-Founder of a not for profit designated to help improve parks and recreation in our community. 

As a city Commissioner Tony will continue to help move his community in the same forward trajectory. Buchanan is making a comeback, and this is due to the hard work already put in. We need to keep that momentum going. This will ensure that our kids have a great community to grow their future families. I will help to continue the economic redevelopment while keeping the Historical integrity that this city was built on.  

As I am only one voice, I will be the voice of the 4200 plus citizens of the City of Buchanan. Every decision made will keep every citizen in mind, using the peoples voice.  There are so many infrastructure plans in the works, and they are necessary. However, if we are to go into them wisely, we can make the best financial decisions as well as plan. A plan that is the least impactful on the day to day while the projects are being done. 

At the same time, we need to be looking into getting help for the private citizens to offset the cost of making necessary upgrades to their homes. Revitalizing our residential areas are just as important as redoing our downtown. Federally funded owner-occupied rehab grant programs are one of the ways to help here. These programs help raise property value while bringing our tax dollars back to our community. 

Even when I disagree, my tone and attitude will be one of respect for my fellow commissioners and the citizens of Buchanan. I feel Buchanan is on the right track, all we need to do is keep moving forward. We will do it with kindness and respect for our fellow community member. If you have any questions, you would like me to touch further, please feel free to reach out at VoteTonyHouser@gmial.com.

 Also check out and like my Facebook Tony Houser for Buchanan City Commission   @VoteTony Houser


Monroe Lemay

As a Buchanan resident, I have always been interested in community advocacy.  Every job I have held in Buchanan has always been in the capacity of service to others.  From my work at the funeral home to restaurant work, the chamber of commerce, the art center, the senior center, and most recently as a full-time caregiver for a parent with Alzheimer’s.  All these settings, which involved leadership positions, lead me to volunteer in several of our local organizations and gave me the exposure and experience that one needs to be proficient in the position of commissioner.  In each organization I have served, Diversity, Inclusion, and Equity were always at the forefront of my application and philosophy.  As a city commissioner, I plan to apply and invoke these three words into action throughout my leadership, starting with my decision to run this November.  

I believe all our constituents and citizens should be represented and served equally, however, currently that is not the case.  The female population in the city of Buchanan is 54% according to the latest census data, yet our women have no representation on the city commission.  Currently, we have five fine gentlemen overseeing our city, none of whom have been advocates for women’s needs.  At city hall alone, there are eight female employees, our police department has five female employees.  Our city is run by a very smart, compassionate, and capable woman.  most of our community volunteers are women, they all deserve adequate and fair representation, which I plan to provide.  I understand our diverse perspectives and feel that I can effectively serve our richly diverse community through empathy and understanding.  

I have never been quiet about my passion for the elderly, children, minorities, teens, the LGBTQ+, and those in our community who have not had a voice strong enough or loud enough to fight for themselves.  I will advocate and be their voice and I will push back and fight for these individuals when needed as I have many times in the past in the most humanitarian way possible.  

My name is Monroe Lemay and I am running for city commission, I ask that you trust me to serve you as your next city commissioner. 


Dan Vigansky

Dan Vigansky here. We’re two years into a new Commission and Buchanan is still a mess. I’m running to try to bring fiscal responsibility, City accountability, and economic development. I’ve been a Commissioner and I know how the City works and doesn’t work. 

Fiscal Responsibility: Buchanan received around $1.7 million in ARP — American Recovery Plan funding. We should be using this on infrastructure funding. Instead we’ve been spending around $9700 a month on legal fees, $87,190 since the beginning of this year. Worse is spending $28,000 a month on accounting services, or $252,774 this year so far. We’re about to approve a $5 million bond issue for a new Department of Public Works building with no building plan in place.We’re paying $5000 a month rent because the City Commission has yet to adopt a plan. And another bond around $24 million to replace the collapsing Front Street water system. Taxpayer’s will be paying this off for the next 30 years. 

City Accountability: Four years ago we had a referendum on doing a City Hall housecleaning. We’re in the second year of cleaning up an accounting nightmare which was allowed to go on under the watch of the current City Commission. It’s taken almost two years and we’re still paying outrageous amounts to the accountants who messed everything up. This has gotta change. 

Economic Development: Buchanan lacks small scale factory space for new businesses and start-ups. We have the Feed Mill and River Street properties that need to be developed into light industrial, warehousing, and distribution use. We need focused promotion and business recruitment. We need a budget and a plan. We need to stop producing feel good videos that reach a small number of viewers. Why can’t the City of Buchanan figure out how to market itself? and to whom? Throwing money in the air and hoping it sticks does nothing for Buchanan. 

These three areas are why I’m running for Commissioner. I can be reached at 269 362-0799 if anyone wants to talk. And please, Vote for Dan Vigansky!


~ Buchanan Community Schools – Board of Education ~

Candidates for “Local School District Board Member”

(You will “Vote for not more than 2”)
Jennie Brackett – Harvey J. Burnett – Mary Macigewski – Tra’sha Myers – Donald F. Ryman

Jennie Brackett

Jennie is a Buchanan graduate, class of 1996. After graduating from Grand Valley State University and marrying her high-school sweetheart –Phil Brackett, also a Buchanan graduate– she eventually settled back in town, wanting all three of her children to graduate from the Buchanan school system. The family has been in their home near downtown Buchanan for 13 years. Jennie has served in leadership roles in different volunteer organizations in every school building in the school district. She served on the PTM at Moccasin, the PTO at Ottawa, the PAK at the Middle School, and is currently serving as the Band Booster President, previously serving the Band Boosters as the Volunteer Coordinator. During that same period of time, Jennie has involved herself in the community at her church, in Girl Scouts, and in the Buchanan College Club, as well as in organizations serving the larger community, including the Berrien County Youth Fair. Jennie has also served on school bond committees, fundraising committees, and has chaperoned more field trips than can be counted!

Jennie is employed at the University of Notre Dame in the Office of the Registrar where she has worked for over 20 years. Much of her job involves detailed policy reading and implementation, and Jennie enjoys pouring over details, organizing, and working on ways to better the University. Jennie also has a Master’s Degree in Educational Leadership, so she has a lot of experience in education and leadership. Recently, Jennie completed a stint as the President of the Indiana Association of Collegiate Registrars and Admissions Officers.

Jennie would like to serve on the School Board to help shape the district to best serve all the students in the community. She feels it is important to make sure all students are given opportunities to succeed and pursue their best selves, whatever their goals. Jennie likes to hear community feedback and to try to find solutions to make our district even better. It is important to Jennie that we keep a positive perspective, making forward progress for our students and our community.

The best way to reach me is via email: jennie.brackett@gmail.com My social media site (Facebook) is: https://www.facebook.com/Brackett4SchoolBoard


Harvey J Burnett, Jr.

Harvey J. Burnett, Jr. is currently the Board President for Buchanan Community Schools and has served on the board for over 22 years. He remains committed to ensuring that children who attend Buchanan Community Schools will continue to receive a high quality education, as have other opportunities to participate in other school activities (i.e., sports, various clubs, etc.).

One of his major focuses is the passing of the upcoming bond in order to provided needed building improvements at the high school and Moccasin Elementary. The passage of the bond will play a critical role in improving the education environment for Buchanan students in the pursuit of academic excellence in a global society.


Tra’sha Myers

Hello! My name is Tra’sha Myers, and I am seeking to be part of the Buchanan School Board. My professional career lies in Human Resources where I am a strategic partner to Senior Leadership and Colleagues. I chose to run as an answer to a question I kept asking myself…Why don’t this? Or Why don’t that? I plainly asked myself one day, why don’t I? I believe making a change is in all of our capabilities. Change is choice and every choice results in a behavior or action. This is my action. 

To be part of the Buchanan School Board, I see opportunity to collaborate and make strategic decisions that can aid in our children growing into productive citizens. Safely. In that collaboration, I would like to accomplish: Developing stronger mental health programs. Creating a culture that provides safe spaces to have hard conversations, where transparency and accountability live. Analyzing and implementing a more inclusive learning style, one that accommodates students who are more auditory, visual or tactile learners.

Thank you for being part of the community of Buchanan, and I appreciate you voting. 


Make a Voting Plan TODAY

Voting Details from City of Buchanan – Election Information website:

  • How do I register to vote?
  • Can I register to vote online?
    • Yes! As of December 3, 2019 you can register to vote by clicking this link.
  • How can I be an Election Inspector?
  • How can I get an absentee ballot?
  • How do I qualify for an Absent Voter Ballot?
  • How do I verify my registration information and view my ballot?
    • To view your registration information and view your ballot, you can go to the Secretary of State Website and fill in the proper information.
  • I’ve moved, where do I vote?
    • If you’ve recently moved, you must be sure to fill out a registration form for your new precinct, or when you change your address at the Secretary of State’s Office your information will automatically be updated.
    • You will receive a new voter registration identification card by mail.
    • If you have moved within the City, you can simply call the City Clerk with your address change information and your file will be updated.
  • What are the requirements to vote?
    • You must be a citizen of the United States and a resident of the State of Michigan
    • Must be at least a 30 day resident of the city by election day
    • You must be 18 years of age by Election Day
  • What time are the polls open?
    • Polls are open from 7:00 a.m. until 8:00 p.m.
  • Where do I vote?
    • The City of Buchanan has two (2) Precincts:
      • Precinct #1 is at City Hall, 302 N. Redbud Trail
      • Precinct #2 is at the Redbud City Center, 131 S. Oak Street
    • If you are not sure which precinct is yours, you can look on your voter identification card or call the city clerk.

2020 Reader’s Digest Nicest City in America – Buchanan, MI!

About The City of Buchanan: The City operates under the Commission–Manager form of government as prescribed by the City Charter. Under this model the City Manager is responsible for managing the day-to-day operations of the City, with the Buchanan City Commission’s main function being legislative and setting important policies that chart the future course of Buchanan. The City Commission is made up of five (5) members who serve four (4) year terms. The Mayor and Mayor Pro-Tem are selected at the first meeting in November following the City election. Current City Manager: Heather Grace ~ Current Mayor: Sean Denison.

www.cityofbuchanan.com

  • Typical Hours at City Hall:
    • Monday – Thursday : 9am-4pm
    • Friday : 9am-1pm

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