What is a public servant? A simple definition is a person who serves the public interests. This election we have the opportunity to elect a true public servant to the State Senate -- Browns Valley Mayor Jeff Backer. As the City Attorney for Browns Valley the last four years, I have been able to work closely with and observe Mayor Backer perform his duties. He has always acted in a manner focused on doing what is best for the city.
He was the main force behind the revamping of the city's ordinances; insisted that existing ordinances concerning rental units and public nuisances, which were being ignored, be enforced; and hired a City Administrator to modernize City Hall and better serve the public financial and utility needs. None of these moves personally benefited him, and some times he wasn't very popular for his actions. But these actions always served to make local government a better servant for its citizens. He will be leaving the City of Browns Valley a much better place than it was when he joined the City Council.
Mayor Backer also possesses the tremendous leadership skills that go along with excellent public service. A perfect example of this is how he led Browns Valley through the flood that devastated the community in 2007. Mayor Backer worked tirelessly, coordinating with the governor's office, seeking emergency legislation from the state legislature, and holding numerous public meetings to not only give needed information to the public, but also to learn of their needs and meet them. Those who lost their homes received emergency shelter until another permanent residence could be found. Utilities were restored to local residents. Damaged structures were torn down and removed. He worked around the clock, getting little sleep and putting aside his own private business in order to serve the public. Today, there is little evidence that a flood ever occurred. All thanks to Mayor Backer.
Jeff Backer is a true public servant, and this is why I am strongly supporting him. I ask that you join the legion of "Backer backers", and vote for him, too. -- Matthew P. Franzese, Traverse County Attorney, Wheaton