Archive for November, 2014



When it comes to decision-making, Republican Dave Maturen says he tries to start with an open mind. It’s a skill he’s honed over the four decades he’s spent working as a property appraiser in Michigan.

The 66-year-old from Brady Twp. likes data. He’s studied the impact wind turbines have on property values. He’s examined roadway expansions and navigation easements. He’s appraised houses, farmland and commercial buildings.

“You walk in, hopefully, with objectivity and an open mind,” as Maturen explains, “and you start gathering data.”

Maturen will bring his appraiser’s approach to the House starting next year as he becomes the next representative for the 63rd District, which includes portions of both Calhoun and Kalamazoo counties.

Term-limited House Speaker Jase Bolger (R-Marshall) currently holds the 63rd District seat.

Maturen won a competitive primary against Vic Potter, of Marshall, over the summer to get the GOP nomination. Then, he easily defeated Democrat Bill Farmer, of Scotts, in the general election.

Currently, Maturen is the chair of the Kalamazoo County Board of Commissioners. He’s served on that board for nearly 12 years.

He gave up more terms on the county commission to take a shot at the House this year.

“After 12 years, it was probably time to move on,” he said. “It would have been easy to stay, but you don’t always want to do the easy thing.”

Before joining the county commission, he was a Brady Twp. trustee for 14 years. He ran for the county commission after redistricting added seats to the board.

And as he noted, term limits gave him the chance to run for the House.

When doors open, as he put it, you have to take advantage.

“I don’t know if you want to call it serendipity,” Maturen said.

In addition to his public service, he’s worked about 40 years in the appraisal field.

Early on in his career, he worked for the state of Michigan in the Treasury Department’s property tax division.

After 14 years in state government, Maturen decided to take a different path and start his own business.

Maturen & Associates focuses on projects involving right-of-ways. The company works on easements and helping entities that need to get “from here to there,” as he put it.

That can mean working on pipelines, roadways and airports.

And he said he realizes that his career experience could lend itself to working on tax policy in the Legislature.

One of the priorities he listed was working to make sure the state has a good tax climate that helps business succeed.

Maturen, who has a master’s degree in public administration from Western Michigan, also mentioned roads and the fact that his district is heavy on agriculture.

On top of those, he also lives on Indian Lake and is interested in environmental matters, like invasive species.



As it turns out, he won’t be the only Kalamazoo County commissioner joining the House this year. Fellow-commissioner Brandt Iden of Kalamazoo, won the 61st District seat.

Two others from the commission — Republican Phil Stinchomb, of Portage, and Dave Buskirk, of Kalamazoo — ran for the House but lost.

Being a public servant runs in Maturen’s family.

His father, Clarence, was an elected official in Essexville and he served on Bay County’s board for 17 years.

So politics was often discussed at the Maturen dinner table. Maturen also remembered the long hours his dad put in at city hall.

“It’s kind of been a family trade,” he said.

Maturen’s hobbies include playing tennis. He and his wife, Nancy, have been married for 43 years.

His appraising profession keeps him busy with traveling. And he’s made many trips into and out of city halls, township buildings and county buildings as part of his work.

“I put a lot of miles on the car,” Maturen said. “I’m used to driving a lot, so driving back and forth from Lansing won’t be that big of a deal.”

Reprinted with permission from MIRS News Service in Lansing.

parties image(Updated 12-19-14): In addition to retaining statewide elective offices and majorities in the Michigan Legislature, the Republican Party gained a small number of seats in the ranks of county commissioners, a MAC review of election results finds.

Based on unofficial election results, the Republicans now hold 396 of the 622 seats, a gain of 3 seats. Democrats hold 217 seats, a drop of 5, and candidates labeled as unaffiliated hold 9 seats, a gain of 2.

Republicans also hold a wide margin in control of county boards of commissioners:

  • 59 boards have GOP majorities
  • 23 boards have Democratic majorities
  • 1 board is tied (Alpena Co.)

Partisan control shifted in five counties due to election results: Clare (D to R); Kalamazoo (R to D); Manistee (D to R); Monroe (D to R); and Schoolcraft (D to R).

Of the 622 commissioners in 2015, 136 will be new to the office, MAC found. This turnover rate of 22 percent is consistent with historical results.

IMG_0186The U.S. Census Bureau recently presented a certificate of appreciation to MAC for work in support of the LUCA program. “The Local Update of Census Addresses (LUCA) program provided an opportunity for designated representatives of local, state and tribal governments to review addresses contained in the Census Bureau’s MAF/TIGER database.” LUCA was made possible by an act of Congress in 1994. In the photo above, David Schuler of the bureau’s Chicago Regional Office presents the certificate to Tim McGuire, executive director of MAC.

For more information about the LUCA program, visit

roadsFour of five county road millage questions gained approval from the voters Tuesday night. Eaton County’s millage proposal to levy 1.5 mills for local roads appears to have passed, the Lansing State Journal reports. Meanwhile, voters in Midland, Otsego and Ottawa counties easily approved plans to raise millions for local roads. However, Lapeer County voters rejected a roads millage. MAC congratulates these counties on their road efforts, while still noting that a permanent solution to Michigan’s transportation crisis must come from the State Capitol. Speaking after his re-election victory, Gov. Rick Snyder told the media that a transportation funding measure would be a top priority for him in the post-election legislative session. MAC supports a 1 percent sales tax increase dedicated to roads as the best method to raise the funds needed to handle the crisis.




Seven county commissioners will soon move their public service from the courthouse to the Statehouse, thanks to decisions of Michigan voters Tuesday night.

The representatives-elect are:

Grand Traverse County Commissioner Larry Inman will represent the 104th District.





Kalamazoo County Commissioner Dave Maturen will represent the 63rd District.

Kalamazoo County Commissioner Brandt Iden will represent the 61st District.

Monroe County Commissioner Jason M. Sheppard will represent the 56th District.

Oakland County Commissioner Jim Runestad will represent the 44th District.





Oakland County Commissioner Kathy Crawford will represent the 38th District.

Wayne County Commissioner Laura Cox will represent the 19th District.

All seven will serve in the now-enlarged ranks of the Republican caucus in the Michigan House of Representatives. MAC looks forward to working with them on key state policy issues affecting counties,



ranging from unfunded mandates to sentencing guidelines to transportation reform.

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