Bacon, Miller running for county board’s district 7 seat

October 24, 2022

Bacon, Miller running for county board’s district 7 seat

By Rob Alway, Editor-in-Chief

Neighbors Ron Bacon and Ed Miller are seeking election Nov. 8 for the Mason County Board of Commissioners Seventh District seat. Bacon, a Republican, is the incumbent and has held the seat since 2019. If elected, he would be serving his third two-year term. Following the 2023-2024 term, commissioner seats will be extended to four years, consistent with most other local seats. Miller, a Democrat, last ran for the seat in 2020. 

The Seventh Commission District includes Branch, Custer, Logan, and Sheridan townships. Both Bacon and Miller reside in the Village of Custer. 

Background

Ron Bacon

Bacon: Has lived in Custer his entire life. He is a graduate of Mason County Eastern Schools. “My wife and I raised our family in Custer and our adult children are now raising their families in Custer.” 

Bacon works as an agent for Magee Insurance in Pere Marquette Township. 

Bacon served 36 years on the village council and then two years as Custer Township supervisor before he decided to run for county commission. 

Miller: Moved to Custer in 1969 after graduating from Michigan State University. He taught at Mason County Eastern Schools for 34 years, which included 18 years as athletic director and 12 years as a coach. He also worked for Michigan State Parks for 41 seasons, including one year at Silver Lake State Park, 26 years at Mears State Park and 14 years at Ludington State Park. He currently is chairman of the Mason County Democrats, secretary of MCE Board of Education and is on the Mason County Sports Hall of Fame Board of Directors. 

Ed Miller

Reasons for running

Bacon:  “It’s in my blood. I’ve always wanted to serve and help people.” 

Miller:  “I want to be the voice for rural Mason County. Nothing against my opponent but I will speak up. People who know me know that I’m not afraid to give my opinion.” 

Issues

Broadband

Bacon: “It’s disappointing that the countywide internet vote failed.” Bacon was referring to a vote by the county commission to hire Truestream Fiber to map out broadband services and lack of services in Mason County and create plans for adding services throughout the county. “During the pandemic we learned just how important broadband is to our residents. The students were homebound and needed it for school. Medical patients needed it to speak to their doctors. It’s no different than electricity, in my opinion. It’s a need.” 

Miller: “I know the commission has been talking about it and I know that there needs to be a cooperative agreement. We can’t just have one company and only hit so many customers. We need to work with electric utilities such as Consumers Energy and Great Lakes Energy.” 

Transportation

Bacon: “The state came in and opened it up for everybody then dropped it on the locals.” 

Miller: “I think countywide transportation needs to be brought up again. There is service between Ludington and Scottville and now also service along the US 10 corridor in Amber Township. But, the service shouldn’t stop at Scottville. I think it’s time the county commission steps up and pushes public transportation for the entire county.” 

Other issues

Bacon said the Brownfield Redevelopment Authority issue has been an important topic. Recently, the cities of Ludington and Scottville created their own joint board while Pere Marquette Charter Township also formed its own board, separating from the county’s brownfield board. The reasons given by the three municipalities was the restrictions the county’s authority had placed on brownfield development above and beyond the state’s guidelines. “The county has never turned a brownfield down,” Bacon said. “Some people have disagreed with the guidelines but they have always gotten things done.” 

Miller: Miller stated that he is concerned about the Council on Aging and its discussions of consolidating the county’s senior centers. 

“I think we need to not forget the rural senior centers in Tallman, Free Soil and Scottville. I heard at one time that Ludington wants to build a new senior center and utilize it as a community center. They certainly have a need for that service but we need to protect the autonomy of the senior centers.” 

Miller said that housing is also a topic that needs to be addressed throughout the county, not just in the City of Ludington. “We don’t have affordable housing on the eastern side of the county either. “

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