A resident of Macomb Township for the past 17 years, Michael D. Koehs has served as township clerk since 2002 and will run for re-election against challenger Cathy Imbronone in August.
Koehs, 62, has also served on the township's Planning Commission and been involved in numerous civic and charitable organizations, such as the , Central Macomb Optimists Club and Knights of Columbus.
The father of two and grandfather of two, Koehs served in the U.S. Army during the Vietnam War and later worked in the Macomb County Sheriff's Office for 23 years.
Macomb Patch recently spoke with Koehs to learn more about the incumbent Republican clerk looking to serve the township for a third term.
Patch: What led you to run for clerk initially?
Koehs: I started working for Macomb Township when I was appointed Deputy Clerk by Norm Snay, who was the Township Clerk at the time. I was Norm’s Deputy Clerk for over five years. During this time I learned a lot about elections, records management, minutes and agendas, and all of the other things that go on in the Clerk’s Office. I really liked what I was doing. When Mr. Snay retired in the middle of his term, the Board of Trustees appointed me to fill the vacancy. I wanted to continue to work at the Clerk’s office because I found the work rewarding and I enjoyed serving the public. I was only four months away from receiving my certification as a Municipal Clerk when the Board appointed me. It takes over three years to complete the certification process.
Patch: Why have you decided to run for re-election?
Koehs: The reasons I am seeking re-election as Township Clerk are to 1) ensure that this community remains financially sound, 2) to provide efficient government services to the public and 3) to continue to improve our local quality of life. My training, certifications and experience in the duties of Township Clerk and as a Board Member distinguish me from any other candidate. Macomb Township is fiscally strong and efficiently operated. My purpose for running is to keep it that way.
Patch: What changes or improvements would you make if re-elected?
Koehs: We (my staff and I) are constantly monitoring the applications and processes of the Clerk’s office. We continue to review them in comparison with changes in the laws and ordinances and with the suggestions, comments and demands from the general public. We make improvements as we find the need for them. We seek out new technology, such as our newly implemented document imaging system, and try to apply this technology to make our operations more efficient. This will remain an ongoing process.
Patch: Of what personal and professional accomplishments are you most proud?
Koehs: While earning my certification as a Municipal Clerk was a proud moment, even more so was my graduation from the Michigan Township Governance Academy. There are over 6,500 Township officials in Michigan and only 112 have graduated from this Academy. It takes from 1 to 3 years to complete all 16 projects required for graduation. But my proudest professional accomplishment is my staff. They all have specific skills relating to their job and yet they are all cross-trained to assist each other when the demand is high. I am also very proud of my record for providing quality elections to the residents of Macomb Township. On a personal note, I am very proud of my family. My wife, my children and my grandchildren are more than I could ever have hoped for.
Patch: Is there one individual who has been most influential in your life?
Koehs: My wife of 43 years, Cheryl, has provided the most influence on my life. She is the one who keeps me on track. Also, the guys I served in Viet Nam with have and, and continue to have, a strong influence on my life.
Patch: What are key ways Macomb residents can make a difference locally?
Koehs: Macomb Township residents make a big difference by being involved. If they want to make an impact, I would encourage them to participate in their churches, their civic and charitable organizations and in their community by volunteering their time and resources to contribute to improving the quality of life for all of us.
Patch: What do you like most about the Macomb Township community? Do you have a favorite place in Macomb?
Koehs: What I like most about Macomb Township is its people. I have met so many good people that have moved into Macomb Township from all over the country. They come here because of our schools, our services, our low taxes and our quality of life. My favorite spot is the park at on 25 Mile Road.
Patch: What are your hobbies, or interests?
Koehs: My hobbies and interests are spending time with my grandchildren, traveling, riding my motorcycle, and reading, especially about history. I also like music and drawing.
Macomb Patch intends to interview all candidates with ties to, or oversight of Macomb Township. Look for an interview with Koeh's challenger, Cathy Imbronone, on Thursday. Other candidate interviews can be found in our Election 2012 guide.
All candidates are also scheduled to participate in a , open to the public, on July 19 from 6-8:30 p.m. at the Clinton-Macomb Public Library main branch.