Gregory defeats Stoner for commissioner seat


OSCEOLA COUNTY — Voters elected two new members on the Osceola County Board of Commissioners.

Challenger Mark Gregory received 622 votes to 2nd District incumbent Tammy Stoner's 446 votes.

"I was happy when I saw I won," Gregory said. "It's nice to know I have the support of the community."

The Rose Lake Township resident is a graduate of Pine River High School, owns a small business in LeRoy and has been a part of the LeRoy-Rose Lake Fire Department for many years.

"I wanted to run for county commission because I want to try and make a difference," Gregory said. "I want to bring more unity to the board and be a voice for the 2nd District."

He cited equal coverage of emergency medical services as the most important issue at this time and said he will work toward the goal during his two-year term.

EMS coverage for the county was a topic about which Stoner was passionate. She has served as a commissioner for two terms, or four years, and has no regrets about her time on the board or running for re-election.

"I'm looking forward to catching up on my personal life and things in my business that I've put on hold," Stoner said. "My only concern is the EMS project going back to nothing. But I'll still be just as vocal as I have been and I'm going to keep following through with the EMS issue."

She learned a lot during her years as commissioner and believes she dedicated an exceptional amount of time to be the best she could be in the position.

"I've learned things don't happen as quickly as people think they could or should," Stoner said. "And how huge a roll the state can play in handling county details."

Newcomer Jack Nehmer ran unopposed for the 3rd District seat formerly occupied by Ron Sikkema and was elected with 708 votes.

"I went to a lot of meetings when the emergency medical services issue was going on, and I was approached by Ron about possibly running since he wasn't running for re-eleciton," Nehmer said. "I decided to be on the ballot because I thought I might be able to make a difference."

Nehmer was raised in Reed City, but moved to Marion while working for the U.S. Post Office in the village. He also is a former Marion Village President, president of the Marion Eagles Club and a former member and president of the Marion Fire Board. Now, he and his wife run the Veterans Memorial Campground in town.

Nehmer believes his experience as a leader will assist him in while on the board.

"I look forward to working with all of the other people on the commission and I hope we'll be able to move forward with the EMS service in the northwest quadrant," he added.

Jill Halladay of the 1st District, Alan Tiedt of the 4th District, Roger Elkins of the 5th District, Pam Wayne of the 6th District and Larry Emig of the 7th District ran unopposed and also were re-elected. Halladay received 938 votes, Tiedt received 738 votes, Elkins received 723, Wayne received 754 votes and Emig received 752 votes.

Terms will last for two years and begin Thursday, Jan. 1.