John Schwalm, Trustee
What is your preparation for municipal leadership?
I was involved in the Jewelry Industry for nearly 20 years. Serving The Witmark Corporation, Baribeau & Sons Jeweler’s and nearly 35 West Michigan jewelry stores. I loved it! But, I enjoyed teaching Business classes even more. I believe I understand the challenges small businesses face daily, I earned my Master’s Degree in Management and Administration. I have enjoyed teaching Management, Marketing, Finance, Ethics,,,,, at the college and university level for 25+ years. My strength is motivating and bringing out the best in people. As a township board we have dramatically improved customer service. When you visit our new library, senior center, or township office, you will be greeted by a smile and how can I serve you attitude! We have hired great people and I am honored to work with a wonderful township board. Our administrative team is very small for over 50,000 residences, but their dedication and expertise is second to none . Millage rate only 2.75 mills. No debt!
What challenges is your township facing?
Georgetown has experienced explosive growth. Recently, we paid cash for a new $5,000,000 sewer line. We must continue to plan and budget for continued infrastructure needs in the future. I believe we can remain debt free and have an excellent quality of life. Our parks and trails are awesome! We have added two new Splash Pads that are incredibly popular with young families. I believe beautiful parks, our new library, improved walk ability, and excellent schools attract young families that will invest in their homes and our community. Georgetown is a wonderful place to work, play, and raise a family. We should promote community spirit and values by encouraging participation in community activities. We have an excellent Grandvill/Jenison Chamber of Commerce which promotes business growth and “Music in the Park”. City to Shore Realty transforms a park (Charlies’s Dump) into a giant Slip and Slide, attracting 1,000’s. Crime is low in Georgetown Township and community pride is very high!
How will you work with the community to share information and seek input?
I am active on social media and frequently receive emails from concerned members in our community. I enjoy participating in community events and organizations. I look for opportunities to share information and answer questions. As a local teacher, I have been blessed to meet and share ideas with thousands of families. Frequently, I have students in class that are children of former students. My life is communication and sharing ideas. People tend to stay in our area because of the high quality of family opportunities and community values. I believe we need a community newsletter published at least once a year. The Advance NewsPaper was an excellent way to inform and motivate community involvement. Our web page is very good, but many older citizens like a hard copy to read and discuss. Social media will frequently not have the correct information. We need to continue a strong web presence and publish a newsletter to better inform our citizens. Our staff is very helpful with answering questions.
Why should people vote for you!
I am very fiscally responsible and believe in budgeting for the future. I have taught Dave Ramsey courses for years and use those same skills at the township and in my personal life. I am a good listener and I am open to different opinions. I treat everyone with respect and honor our elderly. I was a driving force in the controversial Veteran’s Flag Plaza which passed by one vote. I believe in capitalism, freedom, our public and private school systems, and I am pro-life!