Pledging to bring more open communication between voters and the Livingston County Commission, Steven J. Savela of Hartland is running for the District 3 seat as a Democrat. District 3 covers all of Tyrone Township and all but the southeast corner of Hartland Township.
Savela, a Navy veteran, is a senior service advisor at Convenience Auto in Ann Arbor. He is married and lives in the village of Hartland.
“We love our community,” Savela said. “There are so many good things going on with gracious and welcoming people. I’m proud to say I live here. But there are many issues that remain unaddressed by our current county commission. I want to take on those issues because we deserve better from our leadership.”
Savela said one of his top priorities will be fixing the county’s infrastructure. Michigan’s rural roads are rated 18th worst in the nation and its bridges are the 15th worst, according to the Detroit News. In Livingston County, a 2016-2017 report from the Southeast Michigan Council of government says 50.5 percent of the county’s major roads are in “poor” condition.
“Repairing our roads would create a stimulating environment for current and future businesses making them more profitable,” Savela said. “Besides repairing roads, we also should concentrate on creating long lasting roads and bridges that will be there for future generations.”
Savela said Tyrone and Hartland residents are often unrepresented on the board due to poor attendance by the incumbent. “During these absences, there were important votes that affect all of us, but there was no one to speak for us,” he said.
Savela also promised to open up lines of communication with district residents. He pledged to hold town hall meetings in four locations throughout the district twice a year, to which all residents would be invited. He also promised to set up an open forum on social media, giving those who can’t make the meetings a voice, too. And he said he would publish a mailing address so that those who can’t make the meetings have a voice as well.
“In my personal and professional life, I’ve always said , ‘if I don’t know, I can most certainly find out,’ which means that I can and and will answer your questions and deal with your concerns,” he said. “We are all in this together. Let’s act like it and make a better future for all.”
Savela, who has lived in Livingston County for 15 years, has a grown daughter and two grandchildren. He serviced in the U.S. Navy from 1982-1986, rising to the rank of 3rd Class Petty Officer attached to VS-28 onboard the USS Independence and USS Forrestal. He saw action in Grenada, Beirut, the Persian Gulf, and twice in Libya. After his time in the service he attended Jones College in Jacksonville, Fla., majoring in business management with a minor in broadcasting; he later attended Jackson Community College for a tool-and-die apprenticeship.