Election Q&A county council: John Nolting

What about your background and experience qualifies you to serve on the Jackson County Council?

I worked over 40 years managing supermarkets, which taught me how to manage personnel and budgeting. I have learned how to set budgets and work within those budgets. These past four years serving on the Brownstown Town Council have taught me a lot how local government works and the needs of the taxpayer.

What is the role of the council and its members?

The role of the council is to set budgets, controlling the taxpayers’ money and spending their money wisely.

What is the top issue facing our county, and how would you address it?

Taking care of the county’s infrastructure, making sure that it is in good shape and stays in good shape. I feel that a long-term plan should be put in place so that there is a road map letting the council and commissioners know where the county is headed in the future with their spending needs.

What steps should the council take to keep the budget balanced and not have to dip into savings?

The council should be no different than a family — we all need to spend within our means. I am not a fan of raising taxes, but sometimes, this does have to be addressed. I feel that the local option income tax should be looked at and passed by the county council. The council needs to see that the various departments within the county stick with their budgets and not overspend.

What are the biggest financial challenges facing the county, and how would you address them?

Our biggest challenge is keeping up with roads and bridges. As the state legislature gives the county less money each year in tax revenue, this becomes a bigger challenge each year for the county council. This makes it extremely important that the council is frugal with its spending.

Jail overcrowding is an increasing concern. How can the problem be solved? Do you support a jail expansion?

There definitely is a problem with jail overcrowding. The majority of the arrests are drug-related. If we can get the drug trafficking within the county under control, this would alleviate a big portion of our jail overcrowding. Now, I know that this is simplifying the problem, but it is a start to the problem. I know that the sheriff’s department is working with the drug trafficking within the county. I do feel that the jail needs to be addressed and included in the county’s long-term plans. If the jail needs to be expanded, then yes, I am in favor of expanding the jail.

Is open government important? Why or why not? How will you ensure that the council is open and honest with the public?

Open government is important because it is the public’s right to know what is happening within the government. I feel that the council meetings need to be open to the public and the media, and the public needs to be made aware of the time and date of the council meetings. If an individual has a question of the council, then that person deserves an answer.

Nolting file

Name: John L. Nolting

Age: 70

Party: Republican

Residence: Brownstown

Family: Wife, Helen Nolting; daughters, Mary Hitzeman and Sarah Edwards

Occupation: Retired from PL Marketing

Political experience: Currently serving second term as president of the Brownstown Town Council