Andrew Nowicki, an environmental educator with a deep interest in environmental protection, is seeking the Democratic nomination for Livingston County drain commissioner. He is the first Democrat to run for the post since 1996. With his filing, Democrats have now fielded candidates for five of the six county-wide offices for the first time in as much as a half-century.
Nowicki said that the job of drain commissioner is one of the most important in the county.
“This job does not attract a lot of attention, but it is too important to allow it to go to the same person election after election without giving voters a say on how the job is being done,” Nowicki said, “especially since the drain commissioner has the power to require property owners to pay special assessments to pay for drain projects.”
“Water is a vital resource, but without proper management, too much water can cause major damage. Climate change is leading to increased precipitation, and we need a drain commissioner who is prepared to keep our homes safe.”
Livingston County has more than 450 miles of drains, many of which are maintained by the drain commissioner. They are vital for draining farmland and protecting homeowners and other property owners from flooding.
The drain commissioner also manages nine dams in the county; weed control in lakes; soil erosion; and some community sanitary sewer systems, and oversees the county’s solid waste management plan, which includes hazardous waste disposal days and encouraging recycling.
Nowicki said the drain commissioner’s job can have environmental impacts as well as protecting farmers and property owners from flooding.
“I have a professional background in understanding the interactions of humans and ecosystems. I’ve experienced changes in our county firsthand in the time I’ve lived here,” he said.
“I’ve seen the negative impacts that past and continuing mismanagement have brought to our county, from declines in local wildlife and ‘Do Not Eat’ fishing advisories, to poisoned water, and E. Coli in our rivers. Livingston County needs a new approach led by environmental professionals who will defend our public health.”
Nowicki, who grew up in Cohoctah Township, graduated from Fowlerville High School and earned a BS degree in zoology from Michigan State University. He now lives in Brighton and works as an environmental educator at the Howell Nature Center. He has experience working as a wildlife technician conducting biological surveys. He is a member of the Livingston Area Environmental Coalition and is chair of the Michigan Democratic Party’s Environmental Caucus.