Trese Servitto-Smith has a “Master Plan”
Updated: Jul 22
One of Three Candidates for Bruce Township Clerk, Servitto-Smith Targets Repairing Relationships
Trese Servitto-Smith is seeking to bring civility back to the Bruce Township board so that the community she loves can maintain it’s rural beauty while being prepared to face the challenges of the present and future. That preservation starts with a plan; “Our Master Plan is how we preserve the rural atmosphere and control the growth.” She continues “Many hours have been invested in reviewing and updating it which addresses our industrial corridor, the water and sewer district, and the residential development ..as a board member I would listen to the recommendations from the planning and zoning board on development as well as the concerns of the residents that will be impacted by it.” Sevtitto-Smith wants the residents to be a part of seeing that plan carried out and wants to encourage civic engagement in part by making the board meetings more accessible and interactive. She’d like to see some of the technological elements like zoom video and taking phone calls, necessitated by the Covid-19 pandemic to become a permanent part of the procedures.
“We have been doing this through the Covid (pandemic), but I would like to see it continue.” She adds that to improve transparency and communication, she’d like to see the minutes or a synopsis posted in a local paper.
Like many of the candidates running for election in Bruce and Washington Township, improving intergovernmental relationships between the two townships and the village of Romeo is at the forefront of Servitto-Smith’s mind. She believes the new leadership will have to start by apologizing to the residents for letting things go as far as they have. Most importantly she believes there needs to be better communication between the various township or village boards. “I have been going to board meetings since 2008 and I have yet to see our board invite the other community leaders to our meeting to sit down and talk.” Trese explains, “We used to share a cable station between Bruce, Romeo and Washington. Then WBRW was left with funding only from Washington Township. That left Bruce Township and Romeo having to find a new media source. Bruce is under contract with the Village of Romeo for sewer treatment, but Bruce wants to tell them how to run their plant. Romeo is under contract with Bruce Township for Fire & ALS but Bruce doesn’t want to hear about contract concerns.” And the clerk candidate concludes her assessment with a message of unity and optimism, “ It always seems to be a ‘take it or leave it’ attitude. The three communities worked together in the past, we can do it again. We just need to listen to the concerns of each other.”
It’s not just the relationship between the communities, but the relationships within the community that needs repair according to Servitto-Smith. She has seen a lot of bullying over the last three (four-year) terms and says it has to stop now. “I’ve seen a lot of what I feel is unacceptable behavior at those board meetings which has made me uncomfortable as I’m sure it has other people.” This behavior isn’t just rude, but counterproductive and a distraction she says, “There are so many important issues to be addressed like the water fund deficit, the retirement fund deficit, providing a safe election during this Covid pandemic and providing internet service for the northern end of our township, just to mention a few. But instead, so much time is wasted bickering at the table over petty things.”
Trese highlights the perpetual personal attacks as the most troubling element of the dissention. “Probably the most hurtful and unacceptable behavior is when our leaders disrespect the residents...people are afraid of the backlash for speaking up or the bashing that happens on social media.” And while she does see the advantages of social media and wants to use it to improve information distribution throughout the community, she knows there are two sides to that coin. “I will say this much about social media, I think it’s a great way to get information out to the public...it can be very helpful, it can also be quite harmful when used inappropriately like spreading rumors, gossip, and mistruths.
Bruce Township is a place Trese and her family are proud to call home. “When we first moved out here, my children were very young. They loved going to the local farms to see the animals. My favorite thing to do is go for walks around the neighborhood, enjoying the quiet community and hoping to see some deer...Plus, we have some great neighbors that we like to sit with by a bonfire. There are so many things we have enjoyed here that we couldn’t have in the suburbs. Bruce is a beautiful community.” ese Servitto-Smith sees the value in listening to and offering a variety of perspectives to find the best solution.
“I know there is a solution out there, we are just not open minded enough.” She wants your vote for Clerk to help change that.
Article Courtesy of Macomb Underground