Allegan County Commission District 3: Bamberg, Thiele
District 3 includes the City of Allegan and the townships of Allegan, Monterey and Salem.
This is a two-year term.
Bamberg has resided in Allegan for just over three years and has been employed as an outpatient therapist at Allegan County Community Mental Health Services. She earned a Master of Science degree in Clinical Psychology and has practiced psychotherapy for over 30 years.
“At ACCMHS, I facilitate healing with adults who struggle with depression, anxiety, or confusion and/or have issues with addiction. Listening to the voices of Allegan County residents in the therapy room has afforded me a very clear grasp of the needs of Allegan County residents.
“I hope to have an opportunity to address meeting community needs through improving the focus county government places on them. If elected, I will be focused on:
“• Improving infrastructure in Allegan County with a special focus on ways to implement access to broadband internet in the rural areas of our county that are not currently served and improved access to transportation, affordable housing and health care options.
“• Working toward increased public access to and accountability of the Allegan County Board of Commissioners.
“• Providing strong support and advocacy of environmental protections and inviting green businesses and technologies to Allegan County.
“• Enhancing safety in Allegan schools by seeking ways to increase students’ access to counseling supports to better identify and assist at-risk youth.
“I was born and raised in Flint and my husband, Norman, is from Chicago. We met and married 36 years ago when we were both on active duty with the U.S. Army. I served for four years in the Army and we were married for most of the 20 years Norman served.
“We have two adult children, both of whom graduated from local universities—Kalamazoo College and Western—and who are both now engaged in public service.”
Thiele, married and a 40-plus-year resident of Allegan city, has represented District 3 for more than 16 years. After earning a B.A. in political science from Michigan State University and post-grad work in economics and marketing at Western Michigan University, he said he was a “corporate desk jockey” in human resources/risk management for 22 years, a self-employed carpenter for 18 years and a local retailer for seven years. Other than for elected service, he is now retired after serving long tenures on Allegan city’s Zoning Board of Appeals and Tax Review Board. He’s been chair of the county’s Finance, Health and Aging Committees, is former chair and current long-term member of the Southwest Michigan Solid Waste Consortium, was a Director of the Michigan Association of Counties for six years.
“My political orientation is framed by the following fundamentals:
“1. Democracies work best when informed people participate responsibly.
“2. A civilized society cannot function effectively without effective government.
“3. Neither traditional liberalism nor conservatism has much relevance to the challenges we have today; there is always a place for pragmatic and non-ideological solutions.
“4. As ethical public managers, we need to listen to critics closely and concentrate on fiscal accountability, effective governance, and responsible and accountable performance in each of our public tasks.
“5. Michigan county government is a political anomaly, limited in its authority and requiring that care be taken to fulfill its mandates without expanding its limits.
“The county taxpayer is best served by an efficient and economical organization that is fairly funded and rests upon a foundation of tempered fiscal and political conservatism where elected officials exhibit fairness, truth, trust, diligence and critical thinking in their performance.
“That’s what I try to do, and I expect the same from others. I urge all to vote their ideals.”