Lapeer County Community Foundation

Lapeer County
Community Foundation

264 Cedar Street
Lapeer , Michigan 48446
Office: 810-664-0691

Envisioning Lapeer County 's Future

Lapeer County Community Foundation in partnership with

Lapeer Development Corporation


Envisioning Lapeer County 's Future:
A Summary

What will it take?
1. Convene Leaders and Visionaries
2. Organize Work Groups for ideas
  A) Government
  B) Education
  C) Economy
  D) Health Care
3. Bring the ideas together
4. Share the Vision with others

A Call to Action: Keep the light on the need for change!
1. Lead with vision
2. Join the "flat world" with technology
3. Collaborate across traditional & non-traditional political boundaries
4. Be willing to do things differently
5. Reduce bureaucracy
6. Support entrepreneurs & small businesses
7. Focus on health care
8. Value & support quality education & continuous learning
9. Make transportation work for all

Where do we go from here?
1. Take personal responsibility for change
2. Take the Visions on the road
3. Send the Visions to the appropriate organizations
4. Create timelines for action plan development
5. Find the energy for implementation
6. Reconvene and assess your progress

Envisioning Lapeer County 's Future

Government Work Group:
  • Ron Cischke
  • Steve Francis
  • Mal Johnson
  • Greg Harper
  • Kevin Keane
  • Jimmy King
  • Gerald Oakes
  • Lenny Schneider
  • Millicent Warren
  • Jan Watz
Government Visions Summary:
  • Act as a service provider
  • Intergovernmental cooperation is a necessity
  • Balance layers of regulation with quality of life
  • Identify and reduce obstacles to job creation
  • Ask what business should government be in
  • Right people in office to lead change Need regional planning for a new look - uniform planning codes & processes
  • Small business is vital
  • Connected to Economy & Transportation - look to others for models

Government: Visioning the Future

Government Work Group:

Ron Cischke, Steve Francis, Mal Johnson, Greg Harper, Kevin Keane, Jimmy King, Gerald Oakes, Lenny Schneider, Millicent Warren, and Jan Watz

Group definition of " government " : For the purpose of Lapeer County Visioning, Government means State of Michigan , Lapeer County and our local jurisdictions of 18 townships, 2 cities and 7 villages. (We recognize the federal government's role and intergovernmental relationship, but for our local visioning purposes do not see an ability to impact the federal level).

Vision concepts for "government"* :

1) "Intergovernmental roles" - need to reduce overlaps, and bridge disconnects.

  • Eliminate tolerance for "turf wars"/ build intergovernmental relationships
  • Role definitions (refined among layers of multiple governments)
  • 4 "Cs": Communication; Cooperation; Coordination; Consolidation
  • Program "reforms" vs. "line-item cuts"

2) Government as a "service" provider to its citizens

  • Reinforce primary role to "serve"
  • Reforms needed to re-focus on this role
  • Market successes and educate community on available services
  • Explore "privatization" opportunities where more efficient and effective

3) Government as a "regulatory" function for society

  • Safeguard against "over-regulation"
  • Reforms needed at all levels of government
  • Some "enforcements" are civil/private party and affect personal freedoms
  • Identify and minimize those that unnecessarily impede economic development
4) Visionary and Courageous Leadership required
  • Election Reforms -term lengths and limits needed to help foster this
  • Major reforms needed; not continued one-time fixes of symptoms
  • Sense of "urgency" needed

5) $$$ Focus on Economy- avoid impediments

  • Business investment in Michigan must be the priority of government
  • Must stop trying to "pick winners"; open to all legitimate business opportunities
  • More "flat tax" structure vs. "incentives game"
  • Small business as vital as large employers
  • Invest in enhanced marketing of Michigan (tourism and employment).

* Many of these reforms will require statutory and possibly constitutional changes. If government leaders do not make the necessary changes through their own initiative and authority, the citizens may have to afford strong consideration to a State Constitutional Convention option that will be before the Michigan voters in 2010 (required once every 16 years by our current State Constitution) to direct governmental reform. Risk is that all constitutional issues are open, and confidence is low that elected representatives in this current historical period can improve Michigan 's structure, at least without creating worse unintended consequences.

Envisioning Lapeer County 's Future

Education Work Group:

  • Evan Bontrager
  • Paul Bowman
  • Gaye Butterfield
  • Ralph Deshetsky
  • Wanda Dowdall
  • Melissa Johnston
  • Nick Holowka
  • Joe Keena
  • Don Poniatowski
  • Rael Scramlin
Education Visions Summary:
  • Increase parental value for education and learning
  • Regional Magnet High School
  • Stress performance
  • Focus on building blocks - reading, math, writing
  • Get entire community to support life long learning
  • Flat world - Lapeer needs to be competitive
  • Reduce stigma of learning technical skills
  • Identify what isn't working and address it

Education: Visioning the Future

Education Work Group:
Evan Bontrager, Paul Bowman, Gaye Butterfield, Ralph Deshetsky, Wanda Dowdall, Melissa Johnston, Nick Holowka, Joe Keena, Don Poniatowski, and Rael Scramlin

Top 10 Visions for Education:

1. Small class sizes-less than 20- in primary and elementary grades
2. Science lab in Primary and elementary schools
3. Establish Magnet High School and Middle School with specific curriculum and flexible school year
4. Reading specialist in every school building
5. Foreign Language teachers in primary/elementary curriculum
6. Smart Boards in every primary/elementary classroom
7. Encourage math/science majors in college with scholarships
8. Create an atmosphere where education is valued by giving positive reinforcement to education endeavors. - Accentuate the positive
9. Maintain green space
10. Scholarship program throughout county where top % students get full and rest get partial paid

Other Education Visions:

  • All 4 year olds must go to Pre-K
  • Kindergarten starts at age 5 by September 1
  • Para educators in every primary/elementary classroom
  • Air Conditioned buildings - year around school
  • Create an atmosphere where education is valued by giving positive reinforcement to education endeavors. - Accentuate the positive.
  • Create Foundation scholarships based on field of interest rather than need.
  • Help support and pass a countywide millage for Mott Community College
  • Lobby State Universities to open branch sites in Lapeer County
  • Promote articulations agreement between county high schools and local colleges so students can take advantage of 2+2 programs in trades
  • Foundation to support and subsidize children/youth art activities at the Lapeer Celebrates Art Festival
  • Subsidize local coffee houses and bookstores to retain interest of young adults
  • Provide programs for very young kids (4-7) that will enable them to succeed in future years. Provide them with programs that give them all the help they need early to provide a foundation for the entire school experience.
  • Provide extensive extended day experience for all students. Make the school a fun place associated with learning of all kinds. Coordinate programs with cities, villages, parks, etc.
  • Continue to fund GED and high school completion programs
  • Work towards having a state wide recycling program and educate people to conserve our natural resources
  • All LCISD schools to be on the same calendar
  • Paid tutors for at risk students
  • Every student in grades 7-12 involved in extracurricular activity (i.e band, drama, athletics etc.)
  • More available computer access
  • Free child care for working parents with children in the district
  • Revitalization of the L.I.T.E.S. program
  • One Lapeer High School brings more elective classes and the town together
  • Smaller Class sizes in K-12
  • Gifted Programs - sciences and arts
  • Large sports/pool facility within school open to public for small fee to help pride and interest in school for all
  • All Day Kindergarten
  • Autism program - social integration
  • Improve Special Education Programs
  • Educate children early on about environment and bullying
  • Improve School designs - standard of education for children with autism can be improved by better classroom design. Schools should feature more diverse learning environments, greater technology and be more integrated with their communities

Envisioning Lapeer County 's Future

Economy Work Group:

  • Kim Brown
  • Rick Burrough
  • Randy Cutler
  • Don Dube
  • Phil Kaatz
  • Dale Kerbyson
  • Pat Lamoreaux
  • Jim Ligon
  • Patricia Lucas
  • Chuck Madden
  • Charlie Mann
  • Marvin Pichla
  • Tim Roodvoets
  • Ashley Winter

Economy Visions Summary:

  • Entrepreneurial conduit
  • Government needs to be welcoming to business
  • Promote recreation & environmental qualities as a draw
  • Balance trade off of lower taxes & specific service level
  • Reduce bureaucracy
  • Get business friendly people in office
  • Additional resources to help businesses
  • Support small business in a variety of locations
  • Regional Medical Hub
  • Focus on technology & education

Economy: Visioning the Future

Economy Work Group:
Kim Brown, Rick Burrough, Randy Cutler, Don Dube, Phil Kaatz, Dale Kerbyson, Pat Lamoreaux, Jim Ligon, Patricia Lucas, Chuck Madden, Charlie Mann, Marvin Pichla, Tim Roodvoets, and Ashley Winter

The Economy Work Group collected an impressive list of items that the membership thought would enhance the economy in Lapeer County . From that list the members ranked the items within a major heading and then sub concepts that would advance toward that goal. The top seven concepts are listed below.

(1) Entrepreneurial conduits
1.1 Incubator
1.2 Tax Abatements
1.3 Tax Free Areas - similar to a renaissance zone
1.4 Greater Access to Capital

(2) Medical MECA - Medical complex - Regional Healthcare

(3) Focus on Technology
3.1 Local Web Sites - available in 5 different languages - and linked - a connected community
3.2 Complete World Wide Web access

(4) Focus on Education
4.1 Bring in international student studies campus- Asian, European, etc.

(5) Lapeer Branding
5.1 Marketing Lapeer County - Discover the Possibilities (a fertile area for investment)
5.2 Pix - holding a big show (major artist) Arts and Culture - expanding entertainment
5.3 Art Trail

(6) Promote Outdoor Recreation and Environmental Education
6.1 Connect our parks
6.2 Pedestrian friendly - Walkable Community

(7) Regional Conference Center

Envisioning Lapeer County 's Future

Health Care Work Group:
  • Gary Bates
  • Bart Buxton
  • Curt Carter
  • Kathryn Lawter
  • Dahna Loeding
  • Amy Planck
  • Stephanie Simmons
  • Father Douglas Terrien
  • Mike Vizena
Health Care Visions Summary:
  • Improve coordination of health care for better delivery
  • Increase number of health care professionals trained here
  • Find ways to entice health care professionals to stay, live, and work here
  • Increase flexibility in the workplace
  • Salaries need to be competitive within region
  • Increase personal responsibility for wellness and health care
  • Identify business connections for wellness, prevention and early screening support
Halth Care: Visioning the Future

Health Care Work Group:
Gary Bates, Bart Buxton, Curt Carter, Kathryn Lawter, Dahna Loeding, Amy Planck, Stephanie Simmons, Father Douglas Terrien, and Mike Vizena

Based on the discussion at the meetings, the work group would like to offer the following ideas for consideration:

1. Lapeer County needs cost effective, accessible, and quality health care for all its citizens.
  • Efforts to address health care needs of the uninsured should be prioritized.
  • Need to support efforts by health care organizations to recruit and retain skilled providers based in the county.
2. Cost effective health care implies that wellness, prevention, and early screening and intervention services are available, accessible, and utilized by county residents.
  • Efforts should be made to teach and foster wellness behaviors in children. Partnerships with schools should be pursued.
  • Groups need to work cooperatively to improve effective communications with county residents to access available screening and early intervention services.
  • Access to public transportation is a barrier in much of the county for low income persons, senior citizens, and persons with disabilities. (Outside the six municipalities currently within the GLTA service district).

3. Improve the coordination of health care
  • Create opportunities for communication and dialogue among public and private payers and providers of health care services.

Envisioning Lapeer County's Future

Transportation Work Group:

  • John Biscoe
  • Mike Blazo
  • Bruce Cady
  • Mary Beth Callahan
  • Della Hammond
  • Cory Mabery
  • Bill Ogden
  • Chuck Schiedegger
  • Art Sieting
  • Peter Whitman
Transportation Visions Summary:
  • Continue M-24 project
  • Public support for improvements & payment
  • Address business "product to market" transportation needs to attract new ones
  • Encourage bus, taxi, & airport transportation offerings
  • Access funds at State & National level with grassroots support & willingness to pay
  • Word "tax" is a show stopper - road costs are an investment.
  • Clear up the "who and how" of roads & $'s

Transportation: Visioning the Future

Transportation Work Group:
John Biscoe, Mike Blazo, Bruce Cady, Mary Beth Callahan, Della Hammond, Cory Mabery, Bill Ogden, Chuck Schiedegger, Art Sieting, and Peter Whitman

Transportation Vision:

  • Complete the M-24 project
  • Resolve the M-24 / DeMille issue
  • Extend Fish Lake Road
  • Grade separation for railroad track on M-24
  • Blacktop Baldwin Road south of Pratt Road
  • Install TCD (light) at Turrill / M-24
  • DeMille / John Connolly extension
  • Extend DeMille to East Street
  • Continue E/W connect on Kings Mill from Fish Lake to Norway Lake
  • TCD (light) on M-24 @ Newark
  • Synchronize TCD lights (second Planning) on system with appropriate volume
  • Synchronize traffic lights on major roads
  • Extend Lake Nepessing to Oregon Road
  • Extend Suncrest Drive to Genesee Road
  • Add passing land (M-53) north of Imlay City
  • Add passing lane (M-53) south of Imlay City to Almont
  • Improve N/S alternative Roads
  • Sustain or create lobby efforts for local projects with MDOT
  • Examine MDOT signage for business locations where appropriate
  • Develop private sector involvement in bus transportation


  • Work on establishing truck stop on I-69
  • Signage on I-69 re: business opportunities in Lapeer (attributes: R.R., Interstate Hwy , major N/S Michigan primary roads)
  • I-75 / I-69
Bus Transportation
  • Coordination between government units / Inter-County / and providers
  • Taxi - Expansion of system and promotion of
Air Transportation
  • Urge Mayfield to maintain / expand airport
Rail Transportation
  • Continue Amtrak service
  • Extend spurs into Industrial Park(s) for access to, where appropriate
"Rail to Trail"
  • Continue development and coordination between developing entities


Lapeer County Community Foundation
264 Cedar Street
Lapeer, MI 48446
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Office: 810-664-0691