Frank and Lynn Mason run for political seats in Ionia County on different party tickets
By Emma Palova
Belding, MI – Frank and Lynn Mason not only share the same apples at Mason Orchards, but also the same passion for people and the place where they live. They’ve been married for 40 years and they have two adult children and three grandchildren. Both worked for the Belding Area Schools. But Frank & Lynn also share their differences in politics.
They are both vying for political seats in Ionia County on different party tickets. Frank Mason is running as a Republican for the Otisco Township supervisor, Lynn Mason is running on the Democratic ticket for the Ionia County Commission, District 1. They are both running in the contested Aug. 4th primary; Frank Mason is running against newcomer Republican Desmond Pike (R) and Lynn against incumbent board chair, Dave Hodges (R).
Frank Mason, Republican candidate for Otisco Township supervisor
“I am not going to make any promises that I cannot keep, or say anything that I can’t back up.”
While no rookie to the Otisco Township politics, Frank Mason is running for an elected position on the board for the first time. Since the incumbent supervisor Joseph Daller is not running again, Frank Mason decided to throw his hat in the ring in April.
“People asked me to run for supervisor,” Frank said in a recent interview. “We have a good situation here, and I want to it keep that way.”
Frank Mason has 24 years of training experience for the top post in the township; he has served on the Board of Review, Zoning Board of Appeals and on the planning commission.
“It’s taught me how a township needs to be run,” he said. “Since, I’ve retired I have time to put into the supervisor position.”
Otisco Township with the city of Belding in its center and the newly rebuilt Whites Bridge as its focal point, is a rural township with amber waves of grain, apple orchards, soybeans and cornfields.
“I want to make sure we keep the rural integrity of the township,” Frank said.
With potentially three to four new members on the township board, this may take some leadership and cohesiveness to work on the same page, according to Frank.
Some of the township issues include the maintenance of roads. However, there is a dedicated millage for the roads.
Frank considers the following among the top priorities for the township:
Improving coordination between all staff and elected officials, following the township Master Plan, promoting and preserving the rural character of the township.
He will also make himself available to the citizens by having regular hours at the township hall.
“I think it’s important to keep our township a place where people are proud to live,” he said.
COVID-19 has made campaigning tougher. For a month, Frank knocked door to door keeping social distance, but when Gov. Whitmer issued the executive order to “Mask Up, Michigan,” on July 10, he stopped.
“I have covered most of the township and answered questions on the questionnaires for the papers,” he said.
The team also put up signs around the township in Belding schools’ colors.
Frank is familiar with most of the people in the township due to his involvement with the Belding schools. He worked as a bus driver for 15 years, and a game manager for 30 years.
“I am not going to make any promises I cannot keep, or say anything that I can’t back up.”
Lynn Mason, Democratic candidate for the Ionia County Board of Commissioners, District 1
“People consider me an advocate even though I am not there, so why not be there.”
Unlike her husband Frank, Lynn Mason is a veteran politician. She was surprised when Frank announced his candidacy for the Otisco Township supervisor two weeks prior to her own filing.
She served four two-year terms on the Ionia County Board of Commissioners from 2006 to 2014.
In 2014, Lynn gave up the commissioner’s seat because she ran for the State House, she ran again for the State House in 2016.
“I came in second,” she laughed in a recent interview.
Lynn Mason, a retired educator from Belding Area Schools, was the president of the Belding Education Association (BEA) during her teaching career at BAS. She served on the negotiating team.
Lynn is running for the District 1 commissioner seat because she is tired of seeing what the current board is doing.
“There are no checks and balances,” she said. “They all have the same opinion.”
According to Lynn, due to the lack of check and balances, the Ionia County Board of Commissioners agreed to dissolve the Ionia County Road Commission last year.
“If I am elected, I have decided to build relationships first between the management and the employees,” Lynn said.
One of the purposes why Lynn is running is to protect the rights of the citizens.
Lynn cited as an example putting together a policy for expressing action on the county property.
She offers to the board her experience and advocacy.
“People know that I am a trustworthy source,” she said. “They consider me an advocate even though I am not there, so why not be there.”
Lynn said when she’s a commissioner, she’s always there. Based on her previous experience, she plans to use the following slogan in her campaign:
“What are we going to do with Lynn?’
Lynn supports both millages for seniors and for 911.
For a complete list of candidates go to:
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