New Baltimore-Chesterfield Patch is profiling candidates for Chesterfield Township's elected positions. Learn about them here in a series of profiles.
Name: Christine Bell
Political party: Democratic party
Years lived in Chesterfield: I have lived in Chesterfield Township for 41 years.
Occupation: I am an attorney, licensed to practice law in Michigan.
What position are you running for: I want to retain my seat as a Chesterfield Township Trustee.
How many terms have you served? My second term will begin in 2012.
What are your biggest accomplishments while serving on the board? I voted to cut expenses in budgets and contracts, pay raises in particular. I cooperated with other officials and opposing candidates respectfully, even if our opinions differed. I have supported our Fire and Police Departments, supplying them with essential equipment and benefits. I have evaluated drafts of contracts and other documents, and offered my professional opinion. I have been accountable for my behavior. I have answered questions honestly. I have encouraged residents to attend board meetings and express their ideas. I have listened carefully to both compliments and criticism.
If reelected, what specifically would you like to see done during your term? Communication between all seven board members must be improved. Occasionally the four trustees do not receive information promptly. We must try to find tenants for the many empty spaces in our strip malls. And, as always, we must support our fire and police departments.
What do you think the community's biggest challenges are and how can the community overcome them? I am anxious to see property values increase. We need to make our township an inviting place to buy a home, raise a family, start a business. Start-up costs, such as water tap fees and building permits, should be reasonable amounts. We should follow-up with newcomers, answering their questions, to help them get settled comfortably.
How would you propose making the police and fire funds financially stable? A grant would be helpful! All expenses must be for essential items only. Perhaps will pass. Even if they do pass, we must continue our practice of slashing all unnecessary expenses, including pay raises.
How would you make changes, if any, to community services? Chesterfield Township residents, especially veterans and senior citizens, should be made aware of all free or low-cost benefits and activities available to them.
Describe yourself: I have been married since 1968, have three adult children, and three young grandsons.
What are your hobbies/causes you're passionate about? As a transactional attorney and a former English teacher, I appreciate the importance of a carefully drafted document. I care about misspelled words and improper grammar.
What’s one fact about you that would surprise people? I have a quirky sense of humor!