A 46-year Macomb Township resident and current trustee, Janet Dunn is one of two challengers who have entered the race for township supervisor against incumbent Mark Grabow.
Dunn, 70, has served as a public official for the past 17 years and worked in the township’s assessing department for 11 years before that.
An avid volunteer with the , , local schools and St. Vincent de Paul Society, Dunn is also the mother of four and grandmother of eight. She is running as a Republican.
Macomb Patch recently spoke with Dunn to learn more about the trustee looking to become Macomb Township's first female supervisor.
Patch: What led you to run for supervisor rather than trustee?
Dunn: I have lived in this township for 46 years, raised my family here, and been involved in township government for 28 years. I have been a part of this community through volunteer work with church, school, girl scouts, parks and recreation and the library. I feel it is time to now pursue a leadership position and use my experience and energy to better serve this community on a full time basis.
Patch: Why did you choose to run for public office initially?
Dunn: When I retired as the assessing officer for Macomb Township, I realized that I had many years of experience in what local government can and cannot do. I wanted to use my experience to make this township a great place to live.
Patch: Why have you chosen to continue this service?
Dunn: I continue because it is very rewarding when the citizens of this community, that am in contact with, tell me repeatedly that the Township Board is doing a great job and to keep up the good work.
Patch: What changes or improvements would you make if elected supervisor?
Dunn: If I am elected I would certainly want to get acclimated to the position first. That I am sure would take some time, especially the technology that has escalated since I last worked in an office. But one thing I would really like to pursue is development of more park land. Another issue near and dear to me is the library. Both projects would depend on lots of investigation, research and budgets.
Patch: Of what personal and professional accomplishments are you most proud?
Dunn: Proudest professional accomplishment was the State of Michigan Level III Assessor Certification. The testing for certification is probably the hardest I have ever encountered and I am very proud of being able to attain that level.
Proudest personal accomplishments are my children and grandchildren. They have exceeded my expectations for them and I am a very proud mother and grandmother.
Patch: Is there one individual who has been most influential in your life?
Dunn: My Dad was a person who only had an eighth-grade education, but who was probably the smartest man I've ever known. He had a lot of good old fashioned common sense and when I'm having a difficult time with something, I think "What would Dad do?" He's been gone a long time, but I consult with him- a lot!
Patch: What person–professionally or personally–do you most admire?
Dunn: Personally – my grandmother. She raised seven children on a farm doing a great deal of the work herself with very few tools, no money, and no education. She could make things out of whatever she had at hand, preserved food for the family, taught her sons how to drive to the market and sell the
produce, and taught her daughters the skills needed to make families of their own. She was brave and gutsy and flew in a stunt airplane on her 60th birthday.
Patch: What are key ways Macomb residents can make a difference locally?
Dunn: The best way to make a difference locally is to be involved. Volunteering is probably the most rewarding thing I do on a regular basis. It makes me feel useful and fulfilled. However limited your time, you can make a difference to somebody somewhere.
Patch: What do you like most about the Macomb Township community?
Dunn: Mostly I like the diversity of the community. The Township still has some farmland with farm fresh vegetables and fruits, multi denominational churches, parks and related recreational facilities, schools – elementary through high school – industrial and commercial to provide employment, and the actual
physical location being in the center of Macomb County.
Patch: Do you have a favorite place in Macomb Township?
Dunn: My favorite spot would be and the reason is this: when the park was in the planning stages a neighbor (who has since moved to Florida) complained that the park was a waste of money and no one would
ever use it. I have since offered to buy a plane ticket for this person to come back on a nice warm spring day to see all the activity and people young and old using it. It is one of the best projects the township has ever invested in.
Macomb Patch intends to interview all candidates with ties to, or oversight of Macomb Township. Q&A interviews with the candidates for supervisor will be posted in alphabetical order: Dunn, incumbent Mark Grabow and Charles Missig.
For more candidate interviews and election information, visit our Election 2012 guide.
All candidates are also scheduled to participate in a Meet the Candidates forum, open to the public, on July 19 from 6-8:30 p.m. at the Clinton-Macomb Public Library main branch.