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Responses from Distict 11 Candidates

Name: Mark Grebner
What office are you running for? Ingham County Commissioner Dist. 11
Campaign phone number: 517-351-6682
Campaign email:
Campaign website: nNne
Campaign social media: None

1. The best available climate science shows we need to drastically reduce emissions by 2030. Ingham County policy and action should align with the goals set by Federal, State and local governments. What is your timeline for Ingham County's transition to renewable energy? How would you support efforts to implement community solar and to increase the use of geothermal and wind energy?
Unlike many counties in Michigan, Ingham County has no zoning powers.  We control only our own operations, with virtually no influence on land use or energy use by private or other public entities.

I'm sure you're going to receive many responses which involve active cheerleading, but in my long tenure on the Board of Commissioners, I've consistently limited my work to things we can actually accomplish.  These can be divided into two general areas. 

First, our own policies should look toward transitioning away from fossil fuels in a responsible way.  We should lean in favor of renewables whenever the cost isn't excessive, and the short-term cost to our budget is reasonable.  I'm speaking of heating and cooling county owned building, fueling county owned vehicles, and constructing and maintaining township roads and drain infrastructure.

Second, Ingham County happens to have a great deal of influence over CATA.  As soon as the cost premium for electric buses comes down to a reasonable level, I'm sure CATA will adopt and deploy them.  We were actually very early experimenters in the field, going back forty years or so, but such systems as existed then proved infeasible for practical reasons.


2. Transportation is one of the largest sectors for carbon emissions. This has the immediate effect of creating poor air quality. As Ingham County grows, we must look for ways to make transportation more affordable and less polluting. Expanded public transit, EV infrastructure, and improved bike/walk safety are all critical parts of the solution. What policies and initiatives do you support to make Ingham County less car-dependent and more walkable, bikeable, and with improved access to public transportation? What funding would you put in place to implement these initiatives?
I accidentally touched on this in #1 above.

The Lansing area happens to have the strongest, best-funded public transit system in Michigan, and I have spent over forty years putting it together.  I have wrangled a seat on CATA's Board of Directors for myself, which I use to continue pushing CATA toward effective and efficient provision of transit services.

People in the urbanized area (Meridian, Delhi, Lansing City & Twp, East Lansing) already pay 3.6 mills for public transit - the highest levy in Michigan.  As a result we have the highest per capita ridership of any urban system in the state.  We provide services that would be - and are - the envy of most other metropolitan areas, in terms of frequency of service, hours of operations, and low fares.

I suppose I can't claim exclusive credit for this, but I can't think of another effective public transit advocate in the Lansing area.  Can you name someone else?

3. Climate change disproportionately impacts frontline communities, especially low-income and Black, Indigenous & People of Color (BIPOC) communities. What actions do you support to address these imbalances?

I have no idea what effective steps Ingham County could take in the field.  If somebody proposes something specific, I'd probably sign on.  I'm not big on vacuous rhetoric.

4. There is unequivocal data that the health of underrepresented communities are disproportionately affected by environmental factors such as air pollution, PFAS poisoning, flooding, and climate change. What can Ingham County do to address the health impacts of environmental contamination?

We run an effective, competent Health Department.  Do you have a specific concern that we should address?  Or do expect Ingham County to atone for the incompetence and indifference in Flint and Birmingham Alabama?

We already respond competently and earnestly when presented with issues.  My plan is to continue as we have.


5. Federal funds are often directed to benefit Low Income Disadvantaged Communities (LIDAC) and can help achieve climate justice goals. Accessing this funding on behalf of Ingham County will help those in Ingham County who need that support and will bring equity to energy costs, transportation, food accessibility, and human health. Where would you like to see Inflation Reduction Act (IRA) and other Federal investments made in regards to affordable clean energy? What can be done to ensure the process of obtaining rebates and tax credits is easy to access for those who are seeking the assistance?

I've simply run out of patience.  Feel free to endorse the Republican candidate.  


6. How we handle waste plays an important part of reducing emissions. How will you support waste reduction efforts, such as improved participation in recycling, removing organic waste from the waste stream and promoting composting, and a single-use plastics ban?
<No answer.>

7. What do you see as the biggest roadblocks to addressing climate change through local policy? If elected, how would you collaborate with elected officials at all levels of government, businesses, individuals, and other community stakeholders to address these roadblocks?
<No answer.>


8. Conventional norms of development and landscaping are definitively linked to plummeting populations of pollinator species such as birds, bats, and bees. What actions can Ingham County take to conserve and restore biodiverse habitats? What steps can Ingham County take to make such considerations the standard for land use?
< No answer.>

9. Private homes, businesses, and agricultural operations often use chemical pesticides, herbicides and fertilizers that run off into water, causing great harm to aquatic wildlife and, left unchecked, can cause mass die-offs. What responsibility do Ingham County officials have towards water and wildlife?

<No answer.>

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