To help our community members make informed choices in the upcoming election, we asked candidates running for important local, state, and national seats to participate in our Forum to help you get to know them better. Today, meet Anthony Bates.
Seeking election as a Kalamazoo County Commissioner to represent District 7, Anthony Bates hopes to be the voice for change. “As the next Commissioner, I will not only listen to these issues but act upon them, because issues concerning livelihood, infrastructure, farming, community values, business growth, and the environment are not just important to me—they are important to the district.” As Commissioner, Anthony plans to achieve his priorities through hard work and communication. When it comes to Anthony’s interests, his favorite movie is the 1982 version of “Blade Runner,” and some of his favorite artists include Skrillex, Deadmau5, and Avicii. Meet Anthony Bates.
Anthony M. Bates
Kalamazoo County Commissioner
DISTRICT POSITION REPRESENTS
WHAT IS YOUR MOTIVATION FOR RUNNING FOR OFFICE?
I want to be the voice for change that, so far, my community has not had. We, the people, deserve to be heard, and our concerns noted. As the next Commissioner, I will not only listen to these issues but act upon them, because issues concerning livelihood, infrastructure, farming, community values, business growth, and the environment are not just important to me—they are important to the district. As a Commissioner, I will find solutions to our most troubling problems. Everyone deserves a chance at a better life, one where you do not have to worry about the necessities and public works. These issues affect everyone. I will make sure the community’s voice is heard, and I plan to work hard to bring change to the 7th district.
PLEASE LIST YOUR TOP PRIORITIES WITHIN THE RESPONSIBILITIES OF THIS ELECTED OFFICE.
The top three out of the six priorities that I have listed would be livelihood, infrastructure, and environment. Working to improve each of these three categories will help to improve the lives of thousands of residents in Kalamazoo County. These three policies are connected because one will not survive without the other. Our livelihood, how we live, and what opportunities that are given to us to reach higher goals, is affected by our health. Our health is affected by the environment and having access to clean drinking water and fresh air to breath which is supplied by our infrastructure. I look to help improve how we live.
HOW DO YOU PLAN TO ACCOMPLISH THESE GOALS WITHIN THE RESPONSIBILITIES AND RESTRICTIONS OF THE OFFICE?
Hard work and communication. Communication is the most important thing when it comes to building Kalamazoo County up. Staying in contact with local municipality leaders monthly to work on ideas that can impact their communities in a positive way is the first step. There needs to be a strong working relationship between leadership at all County levels.
HOW DO YOU PLAN TO SUPPORT THE GROWTH OF THE ECONOMY IF ELECTED?
The current situation has put a financial strain on County services. Any time an event occurs that can repeat the current financial situation puts the County government in a tough spot. Cutting jobs should never be an option; cutting the budget should be a last resort. As a Commissioner, I would look to create a way that we can increase the County reserves so our government could last a minimum of six months without any incoming revenue. We need to look into future planning and projects and find ways that we can continue to improve our County while also setting money aside for an emergency. We need to be able to draw in new business to help the County grow. The airport project is one of the things that will help that.
FAVORITE CAMPAIGN SONGS
Let’s go with favorite artists: Skrillex, Deadmau5, and Avicii—to name a few.
Anything by James Patterson. I love mystery novels.
“Blade Runner” (1982 release)
The Primary will be held on August 4. The General Election will be held on November 3. Anthony Bates is seeking this seat as a Democrat.