The Battle Creek City Commission will be meeting Tuesday night for a special meeting, to consider Ward 5 Commissioner Dave Walters’ replacement.

Ten people submitted their applications to be considered for the position, and those ten will give a brief statement before the commission on why they should be chosen. The Commissioners could either vote to appoint one of them that night, or they could delay the vote until a later date. However, Walters' replacement needs to be picked by August 17 regardless.

Whoever is chosen will fill out the remainder of the current term, which ends in 2020.

The potential appointees are below.

Anthony Gryboski has a work history including stints working as a laborer, and then general manager, at Gryboski Forest Products; he served four years at a technician in the US Air Force before being honorably discharged in 1989. Afterwards, he attended Trinity Bible College and earned a Bachelor's in Bible/Missions. He currently serves as a stay-at-home dad, and says he wishes to served because "I don't necessarily think the world [his children] will inherit will be a better place than the one I did. I'd like to try and improve my little corner of it."

James Lance is a lawyer with Kreis Endrle in Battle Creek, whose "primary practice" involves civil litigation, real estate, and estate planning/elder law. Before becoming a lawyer, he spent time working in the Michigan Supreme Court, and the Michigan Governor's Office. Lance, who has a BA in Psychology and Anthropology in addition to his law degree, has served on the board of directors for the Boys and Girls Club of Battle Creek and Mid-Michigan Junior Achievement.

Jeanine Deal has an educational history including time at Eastern Illinois University and Kalamazoo Valley Community College. Calling herself an "activist", she says she served as the director of "a non-profit group focused on advocating for children" and also has worked in schools and hospitals. She says that she would bring a "new perspective" to the Battle Creek City Commission.

Elizabeth Garcia is a new Battle Creek resident, who serves as an Education Manager at Voces, the local organization dedicated to helping the Hispanic/Latin@ populations of Battle Creek. She's also served at a Board Member for Community Action. Garcia says that she is "passionate about putting time and energy into our community", who will be able to bring "different points of views" to the City Commission.

Jill Anderson currently works as a self-employed consultant for projects involving historic preservation and exhibit curation, and has a history of working for various boards including the Teton County History Preservation Board and the "KHOL Board". Anderson says that she has a "wide variety of experience working and volunteering for non-profits", and says that she is an active community member between her job and volunteering.

Abi Fukuyama is a teenager who has become quite active in Battle Creek recently. She has served on Battle Creek's Youth Advisory Board and the BC Pride Board of Directors for two years, and was recently appointed to Battle Creek's Blue Ribbon Advisory Committee. Fukuyama says that she has a "deep love for my city and community that I live in", and believes she is qualified due to her history of leadership. She's currently attending Kellogg Community College after attending Lakeview High School.

Edward Guzzo has lived in Battle Creek "for most of the last 20 years", and has worked in financial planning and business management at the Kellogg Company. He spent 8 years in Washington D.C, first at the US Department of Commerce and then as part of the legislative staff for Congressman Nick Smith. He also has a history of volunteer work, including with the Calhoun County Convention and Visitors Bureau, Rotary Club of Battle Creek, and the Battle Creek Area Catholic Schools. Guzzo says that his "personal style" will be a good fit for the City Commission, as he works "collaboratively".

Larry Rizor has lived in Battle Creek's Ward 5 "since its creation", and currently is retired after a career in architecture. He has a history of serving in various appointed positions, including the Historic District Commission and Planning Commission. Rizor says that he is qualified because he has "served the community and its organizations for over 40 years".

Raymond Yager moved to Battle Creek as a teenager, and currently works as a fitness director and business owner at the Minges Creek Athletic Club. He also has a history of coaching, serving as Varsity Cross Country and Tennis Coach at St. Philip High School. Yager says he has "a passion for the community", who wants to "serve this community in more depth."

Shane Farlin has served with the Disabled American Veterans, the VFW, the American Legion (including a year as an executive officer at Battle Creek's Post 298), and as a Youth Mentor at MCMAMS MYCA. Farlin ran against Dave Walters in the last election, and after his loss he says he "refocused my attention to local youth and veterans in our community". Farlin says he has run "several successful businesses and lead men and women through many challenges" throughout his career.


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