Monroe County Commissioner Jason Sheppard, 35, of Temperance, has officially announced his candidacy for a run at the 2014 Michigan State House of Representatives seat that will be vacated by candidate for State Senate, Dale Zorn.
Currently in his second term as a County Commissioner, Sheppard serves as Chairman of the Physical Resource Committee and is a member of the Finance Committee, 911 Board, Streamlining Development Committee and Economic Development Committee (EDC).
Sheppard considers it an honor to serve the community and be a voice for Monroe County citizens. He has worked diligently to balance the budgets, preserve and expand the number of the county’s police officers and has worked with businesses to find incentives to grow and retain the area’s workforce. “Economic Development is my passion and it is a key component of our State’s future success. Michigan’s economy is emerging again and it is my mission to continue to discover opportunities that will attract new business and help existing enterprises thrive.”
Sheppard adds that he will closely analyze commerce and industry and appropriately amend programs throughout the State to better serve the new innovations coming online in the future. “We compete in a global market and one of my goals is to make Michigan the first choice for businesses.” He also shared that his experiences and interactions with the Business Development Committee and the EDC solidified the extenuating regulations that many in the business community face and, consequentially, the serious challenges that result in attracting new companies to the State.
Sheppard stated that another key component of the State’s success depends on infrastructure funding and maintenance. “Raising fees and taxing citizens does not solve the core problem. Instead, we need to examine the foundation of how our infrastructure is currently supported and implement changes to the funding mechanism that will yield an appropriate pool of resources.” He went on to share that funding is currently based on the miles of road in each county – not by the use of them. This is why highly populated counties with the heaviest traveled roads are often in the bottom percentage of the funding pool. And, money earned for roads is often reallocated for other projects throughout the state. “Let’s study the problems and explore all the avenues to arrive at a solution that will benefit the entire region.”
As part of the solution, one of Sheppard’s priorities will be talking with the community to discuss the difficult issues and to inquire about changes that they would like to see in our State government. “Elected officials should be engaged with the citizens that they are representing and actively be their voice. This has been my main goal as a County Commissioner and will continue to be my focus through the campaign season and beyond. The driving force of this campaign is to build a robust, resilient and revitalized Michigan.”
Sheppard grew up in Ottawa Lake and currently resides in Temperance with Melissa, his wife of 11 years. He is a commercial real estate agent with Signature & Associates and owns a small business that he founded 17 years ago. For more information on the campaign, visit sheppardforrep.com or e-mail firstname.lastname@example.org.