TUSCARORA TOWNSHIP — Dawn Webb, acting clerk for Tuscarora Township, has announced her candidacy for the Aug. 2 primary election.
She will run against Township resident Jay Reidsma — both as Republicans — for her current position on the township council.
Although she was not born and raised in the area, Webb has retired to the Indian River community after spending many summers here with her family.
“I grew up in a small community just east of Flint, the oldest of six children,” Webb said. “I’m married to Jeff, my high school sweetheart. We have two married sons and four grandchildren.”
Webb holds a Bachelor of Business Administration in General Business and a Master of Business Administration in International Business, both from the Baker College Center for Grad Studies. She worked as a co-owner and operator of two video stores in the Davison area, then worked as a production control and logistics inventory analyst for General Motors. She was also a senior raw materials buyer for General Motors for 20 years, until retiring to the Indian River area in 2019.
Most recently, Webb served as Tuscarora Township Clerk, having been appointed to the position in June 2021, when former Township Clerk Dolly Rodriguez resigned. Rodriguez had been elected in the 2020 elections.
“I ran for Tuscarora Township Trustee in 2020. There were four Republican primary candidates for this election, trying to fill two board positions,” Webb said. “I lacked 28 votes to pass the primary.”
In the August 2020 primary election, current Township Administrator Robert Kramer received 488 votes, Administrator Janet Vance received 282 votes, and Webb received 255 votes. There were also 157 votes for candidate Cheryl Sowles and two votes for a write-in candidate.
“Losing this race didn’t stop me from working to make things better for people in our community,” Webb said.
In September 2020, Webb worked with Tuscarora Township Supervisor Mike Ridley and Tuscarora Township Treasurer Bobbi Balazovic, as well as the Northeast Michigan Council of Governments, Connect Michigan, Cheboygan County Commissioner John Wallace and several others, in a group. This group helped determine what needed to be done to expand high-speed Internet in the township.
“That meeting led to a Connect Michigan investigation, which uncovered errors in internet coverage maps,” Webb said. “This discovery led Spectrum to invest just under $1 million to bring high-speed Internet to more than 250 homes in the Chippewa and Waubun Beach areas.”
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Webb said the company was still working in areas on the west side of the township and had conducted tours of the Indian Woods and Grandview Beach neighborhoods, to see where the internet could be used in those locations.
Since being named township clerk, Webb has worked with Balazovic to identify areas where they can streamline processes to reduce work. This now includes the possibility of depositing the canton’s payroll directly and free of charge via the canton’s accounting software. She said bank accounts have also been consolidated, to help reduce the amount of work done and reduce the risk of errors.
“I’ve been in the job for almost a year now. I’ve learned a lot about the operational differences between the public and private sectors and I’ve been able to use some of that knowledge to make positive changes in the office,” said said Webb.
Webb believes that economic opportunity, affordable housing, and improving the local school district’s infrastructure and education system are three priorities for township residents. All three involve forming partnerships with other government units, she said, as well as those in the private sector and the community to make the necessary improvements to address these issues, in accordance with the township’s master plan.
Webb said she has been working with other township officials to secure COVID-19 grant funding for the township, as well as developing plans for where that money can best be used, including funding police patrol vehicles and upgrading Americans with Disabilities Act door openers to make it easier for residents with disabilities to access the public library and city offices.
“There’s more to do and I want to continue to focus on improvements to make things better,” Webb said. “I want to run for office because I love the challenge and excitement of working through change that improves our community.”
Contact journalist Kortny Hahn at [email protected] Follow her on Twitter at @khahnCDT.