COLDWATER (WTVB) - Local politics and state budget issues were topics aired out at last night’s Coldwater City Council meeting. Speaking during the public comment period at the beginning of the council session were Branch County Treasurer candidate Ann Vrablic and State Senator Bruce Caswell.
Vrablic is running in the August Republican primary against Jennifer Whitney as long time County Treasurer Sandy Thatcher is retiring. Vrablic has been the District Court account clerk for the past 15 years and she addressed the matter of her candidacy reportedly representing a conflict of interest. Vrablic said that stemmed from the fact that her husband is a Branch County Commissioner and her sister is the County Clerk. Vrablic said she wanted to offer assurances that the duties and responsibilities of those offices are distinctly different and that they are each governed by standards and laws which prevent any kind of malpractice or fraud from occurring. The winner of next month’s GOP primary for Treasurer is expected to capture the office in the November general election with no democratic opposition for the post. Meanwhile, Senator Caswell reviewed Governor Snyder’s proposed transportation infrastructure package, which includes gas tax and registration fee increases. Caswell said what he’s heard from people around his senate district that they would prefer a one percent increase in the sales tax and have that constitutionally dedicated to the transportation fund to raise approximately 1.1 to 1.2 billion dollars which would take care of the long term problem the state faces. He admitted he didn’t know its fate would be but believes the 20 bill package is dead until next year.