The Voter
League of Women Voters of the Midland Area
Jul 12, 7pm
Candidate Forum, District 1 County Commissioner Race
MCTV - Broadcast live on Charter 189 / Att 99

Aug 2, 7am - 8pm
Primary election

Aug 4, 9:30am
Board Meeting
Grace A Dow Library
Conf Rm A

Sep 1, 9:30am
Board Meeting
Grace A Dow Library
Conf Rm A

Sep 14, 7pm
Community Conversation
"Restoring Public Trust in State Government"
Grace A Dow Library
Community Room

Sep 27
National Voter Registration Day

Sep 27-29
Work with Delta College Political Science Program registering student voters. Details in August VOTER. Volunteers will be needed.
Educational booklet for new voters
Your Elected Officials
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Board of Directors

VP Membership

VP Program


Judy Donahue - Program
Terry Townley - Education
Cathy Heng - Print Media
Katherine Redwine - New Media
Carole Swinehart - Voter Service
Kim Steinke - Voter Service
Fran Hamburg - Director at Large



JULY 2016
President's Letter

Welcome to Midland Area LWV 2016-17 and the midsummer edition of the Midland VOTER! Our last official League event for the year was the annual meeting in May, and our 2015-16 year officially closed on June 30. However, League life marches on, and with the election season kicking off with all its attendant commitments, it's hard to recognize a lull if there was one. See items below for what has been going on these past two months.

Sue McCollister
Voter Service
VOTER SERVICE is in full swing. The LWV online voter guide VOTE411 is launched for the August 2 Primary election, with special thanks to Voter Service co-chair Kim Steinke for taking on a major share of responsibility for getting it going.

Voter Service co-chair Carole Swinehart has everything in place for the July 12 Candidate forum, co-sponsored with MCTV, for the District 1 County Commissioner race. Incumbent Al Kloha faces Jeanette Snyder for the Republican candidacy, with Heather McLaughlin and Connie Methner vying for the Democratic spot. District 1 includes the townships of Edenville, Geneva, Jerome and Warren, the City of Coleman and Village of Sanford.

These efforts will ramp up when the general election candidates are determined following the Primary - we anticipate additional forums, updating VOTE411, and of course preparing our hard copy VOTER GUIDE. We'll need greeters and timers for the forums, proofreaders for printed material and help with distribution in October. Call or email Carole Swinehart at 636-7239 or if you are available to help.

Financing the Voter Guide

The costs of printing the Voter Guide are covered by donations from local businesses, organizations and individuals. Individual donors include some of you -- our members -- for which we are so grateful.

We expect costs for printing, assembling and distributing the Voter Guides by Midland Daily News will be $2500-3000 range. In addition to inserts delivered with the MDN, we make copies available in a number of public locations in the community and to all our donors.

The Voter Guide is the face of our League for many Midland area residents. In addition to serving an important need for nonpartisan information, it is an excellent opportunity for broad visibility. If you would like to become (or continue to be) a sponsor, your support will be most appreciated. For a tax-deductible donation, write your check to LWVEF; otherwise make it out to LWV of the Midland Area (this gift is not tax deductible). In either case enclose a note stating that your donation is to support the Midland Voter Guide. Donors of $100 or more are listed on the cover of the Guide as sponsors. Thanks so much for considering this request!

Checks should be sent to LWV of the Midland Area, P.O. Box 1203 Midland MI 48641-1203.

2016 LWV National Convention Update
Over 1,500 delegates attended the 2016 National Convention of LWV which introduced the theme "Making Democracy Work for All" for the newly elected President, Chris Carson, and the other new  officers, directors and trustees.  The national program adopted by the Convention for 2016 - 2018 for Leagues from all states to advance includes:
  • Voter Protection and Mobilization
  • Election Reform
  • Money in Politics, Constitutional Amendment and Redistricting Reform (based on the position proposed by  the LWVUS Redistricting Task Force, which was adopted at the Convention).
Budget Update:
  • PMP for 2016 - 2018 remains at the current level of $32.00 per person
  • Aggressive fund raising goal is required due to unexpected investment losses in the LWVUS reserve account.  The $450,000 deficit is reflected in the 2016 - 2018 budget that was approved by the delegates, and is the target of the LWVUS fund raising efforts over this next biennium.
Update on Approved Resolutions:
  • Delegates approved a change to lower the age of membership in local and state leagues to 16.  This will likely require an amendment to state/local policies/procedures and/or by-laws.
  • Delegates approved the Washington, D.C. League's efforts to obtain statehood.  While there is little likelihood this goal will be achieved, at least in the short-term, the majority of delegates wanted to lend their support.
Highlights from Message of New LWVUS CEO:  Wylecia Wiggs Harris was recently hired by the LWVUS executive board to lead their efforts towards needed change.  Prior to accepting this position, Wylecia was the CEO of the National Nurses Association.  The key points in her message included:
  • Business as usual is no longer acceptable.  The next 18-24 months will be used to develop and implement structural change of LWVUS.  The focus will be on growth, education and streamlining procedures.  Key metrics used in making changes will be: impact, relevance and visibility.  We need to exhibit an urgency to change and develop strategic partnerships, while maintaining who we are at the core.
  • Goals for 2016 - 2018:
    • Diversify Membership
    • Become Action Oriented in our approach to developing and implementing programs
    • Be Outward Facing and enthusiastic change agents
  • Presentations by the new CEO and others at the convention can be found here  
2015-2016 Annual Meeting

Ann Manary_ Midland County Clerk
Ann Manary_ Midland County Clerk
The 47th ANNUAL MEETING on May 18 at the Midland Holiday Inn drew 38 members and guests in attendance. Following social time and dinner, speaker County Clerk Ann Manary highlighted the responsibilities of her office. As Chief Election Official for the county, her experiences and insights were of special interest to our audience.

The proposed budget and local program were approved. The following slate of officers and directors was elected for the 2016-2018 time period.

Vice President for Program:               Sharron Such
            Treasurer:                                           Karen Sherwood
            Director:                                              Judy Donahue
            Director:                                              Fran Hamburg
            Director:                                              Katherine Redwine
Annual Meeting 2016
President Sue McCollister leads the meeting
Elected to the Nominating Committee for 2016-17 were Connie Glave (chair), 
Carol Weaver, David Wirth.
They are joined by the following Board members who were not up for election this year:  Sue McCollister,  Judy McDowell, Julie Schmidt, Cathy Heng, Kim Stein ke, Carole Swinehart, Terry Townley.

All went smoothly, thanks for Sharron Such for making arrangements with the Holiday Inn and our speaker; Budget Committee Judy Donahue (chair), Carol Locker and Karen Sherwood; Nominating Committee Donna DeVinney (Chair), Judy McDowell, Maureen Pillepich, Julie Schmidt and Dave Wirth.
Annual Meeting 2016
Social Time
It was an occasion to visit with new and old League friends and guests, recognize the accomplishments and contributions of the League throughout the year, and of course take care of required business.

Annual Meeting 2016
Reviewing the Agenda
Tour of Sanford Lake Dam

Tour Guide
Sanford Lake Dam Tour
The tour of the SANFORD LAKE DAM on June 14 was a unique event for our annual finale. We had 21 members and guests learn about the workings of the dam, from which almost all of the generated energy is sold. Many thanks to Sharron Such for making all the arrangements, including lunch at Lanny's in Sanford following the tour.

We learned that the dam was built in 1923. All of the electricity - about 3 megawatts - it generates is sold directly to Consumers Power through a substation connected to the dam. The dam has been operating with the three original generators for 93 years. One of those was being replaced at the time of our visit. 

The lake level must be maintained within a close range. It is not allowed by the operating license to raise or lower the lake level outside of the range allowed by the DEQ, except in times of flood. When there is flooding, water is released to maintain the integrity of the dam. The dam operators keep in close contact with Midland County Emergency Management. Keep in mind that there are two other dams in this system - Smallwood and Edenville.

The dam is owned by Boyce Hydro. 

 If you are interested in joining, please fill out the form below, and send it in. If you have questions, please email Judy McDowell, VP Membership. 
mail to: LWV - Midland Area
P.O. Box 1203
Midland, MI 48641-1203
Any other questions or problems, email Katherine Redwine, e-newsletter editor.