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 Jason Weirsma.
Running to represent Kalamazoo County as the Kalamazoo County Drain Commissioner, Jason Wiersma has worked directly with the current drain commissioner in his role as the county’s Soil Erosion and Sediment Control Agent for the past three years. As county drain commissioner, Jason plans to “position the office towards proactive management instead of a more reactive approach to drain issues. I will encourage the implementation of modern stormwater techniques and partner with local and state agencies to combat flooding for the health and safety of all Kalamazoo County residents.” If elected into this role, Jason would support economic growth in the Kalamazoo community by encouraging partnerships and seeking grant opportunities. Jason also shared with us that his favorite book is “The Urban Treasure Hunter” by Michael Chaplan, and when it comes to his favorite food, he said there’s nothing better than “anything my wife makes.” Meet Jason Wiersma.
Kalamazoo County Drain Commissioner
DISTRICT POSITION REPRESENTS
WHAT IS YOUR MOTIVATION FOR RUNNING FOR OFFICE?
I am running for Kalamazoo County Drain Commissioner because it is vital to have a candidate with knowledge, experience, integrity, and empathy. I provide these key qualities for this elected position. I have worked for over three years directly under Pat Crowley, Kalamazoo County Drain Commissioner, as the county’s Soil Erosion and Sediment Control (SESC) Agent. I work with homeowners, builders, local municipalities, other agencies such as the Road Commission, and EGLE (Environmental and Great Lakes Energy) in efforts to protect the waters of the state and adjacent properties during construction activities. I provide public education, assist flood mitigation, federal permit inspections, and county drain inspections. I am looking forward to doing even more to serve the residents of Kalamazoo County and meeting the needs of our community.
WHAT ARE YOUR TOP PRIORITIES WITHIN THE RESPONSIBILITIES OF THIS ELECTED OFFICE?
I will provide responsible stewardship for all of Kalamazoo County drainage districts and will position the office towards proactive management instead of a more reactive approach to drain issues. I will encourage the implementation of modern stormwater techniques. I will partner with local and state agencies to combat flooding for the health and safety of all Kalamazoo County residents.
HOW DO YOU PLAN TO ACCOMPLISH THESE GOALS WITHIN THE RESPONSIBILITIES AND RESTRICTIONS OF THE OFFICE?
I will be working with state and local officials and Kalamazoo County residents, providing guidance and addressing public concerns. I will manage this department with integrity and resourcefulness. I will work to develop a program that provides systematic preventative maintenance and rapid response to drain issues. In my current role as the SESC Agent for Kalamazoo County working for the Kalamazoo County Drain Commissioner, I have improved inspection and safety protocols, implemented updated technology to promote efficiency, and fostered open dialogue to develop long-term relationships with these governmental departments, officials, and the residents of Kalamazoo County, and look forward to expanding on this.
HOW DO YOU PLAN TO SUPPORT THE GROWTH OF THE ECONOMY IF ELECTED?
A successful Kalamazoo County Drain Commissioner works with many governmental departments and officials impacting growth in the economy. This office encourages more partnerships, especially in seeking grants. In conjunction with the Kalamazoo County Road Commission on projects and permitting, the office provides vital infrastructure for Kalamazoo County residents. This office works in tandem with the Michigan Department of Environment and Great Lakes Energy (EGLE) at the state level on construction projects and in efforts to protect our state’s natural resources. This office also works directly with homeowners, builders, developers, and local units on construction projects that directly impact economic growth and value-added improvements for the residents of Kalamazoo County.
FAVORITE CAMPAIGN SONGS
U2’s “Beautiful Day” and George Benson’s “Give Me the Night.”
Sci-Fi! “Star Wars: Episode IV – A New Hope.”
“The Urban Treasure Hunter” by Michael Chaplan.
Anything my wife makes. She is an amazing cook!
The Primary will be held on August 4. The general Election will be held on November 3. Jason Wiersma is seeking this seat as a Democrat.