Meet the candidates for Isabella County Road Commission: Melinda Salchert, Bill Hauck, Terry Turnwald


Melinda Hovey Salchert (on the left), Terry Turnwald (in the middle), Bill Hauck are candidates for Isabella County Road Commissions.

Editor's note: This article is not an endorsement of any candidate.

Three candidates are running for the Nov. 8 elections on the Isabella County Road Commission.

Melinda Hovey Salchert is running for the Democratic party. Bill Hauck and incumbent Terry L. Turnwald are running for the Republican party. 

Voters can choose two candidates who are going to serve on county road commission for the next six years. 

Melinda Hovey Salchert

Hovey Salchert was born in Alma, raised in Rosebush and now lives in Mount Pleasant. Hovey Salchert went to West Shore community college for marketing and art but switched her major to nursing. Hovey Salchert is also a graduate from Mid-Michigan community college. 

Hovey Salchert worked as a nurse for 24 years. 

Hovey Salchert shared that when she was 18, she worked for her father’s excavation business -- which meant preparing land for building projects.

The reason Hovey Salchert decided to run for road commissioner is because she believes everyone has a responsibility to serve the community in which they live. 

Hovey Salchert said she was raised locally and she is familiar with the local environment and economy that will help her when obtaining the position.

If elected, the first thing Hovey Salchert said she would do is listen and observe to get a better understanding of how the road commission operates. 

“One aspect I do hope to help with is to provide the general public with opportunities to learn what the road commission does as well,” Hovey Salchert said. 

“It’s very important for our own health and that of those around us that we try new things,” Hovey Salchert said. She said for herself she tried running for office, volunteering, entering a new interest and mentoring.

Hovey Salchert said people should vote for her because she cares about the roads that lead them home.

Bill Hauck 

Hauck has lived in Isabella County his whole life. He went to Michigan State University to study agriculture.

Hauck has been running his business, Bill Hauck Painting, for 30 years. 

The past six years, Hauck has been a member of Union Township Board of Trustees (UTBOT) and Isabella County Road Commission (ICRC). In his lifetime he also served on Township Zoning Board of Appeals (ZBA), Isabella County Parks board, Rosebush Manor board and boards at Sacred Heart Parish (Parish Council chairman, School Boards, Athletic association and Fish Fry). 

Hauck said his experience, leadership and integrity qualities will help him when holding the position. 

Hauck has attended the road commission’s bi-month meetings and worked with UTBOT, state representatives and road commission on projects helping secure critical funding for road commission projects.

Hauck shared a recent road project, Isabella Road Safety, in which they updated left hand turn lanes, crosswalks and traffic lights.

Hauck named the current major project to be the intersection of Lincoln and Broomfield roads. He said the drain issues were fixed there, left hand turn lights and six-foot-wide paved shoulders for pedestrians and bikes were added. 

“If elected, I would take pride in helping continue the great work the ICRC is doing,” Hauck said. He added that many ICRC board members asked him to run for an open spot in these elections. 

Hauck said employees of the road commission and Union Township board members and staff helped him sponsor his campaign. 

“When elected I first need to get my "feet wet” on the ICRC board and see how things are done,” Hauck said. 

Then he said his job will be to secure funding for daily operations and road projects for the ICRC. 

Another Hauck’s priority is to find out how to help electric vehicles fund roads. 

“With the rise of electric vehicles ownership, they need to help fund road projects too,” Hauck said. 

Hauck said his expectations for these elections are “to be elected and serve the residents of Isabella County.”

Terry L. Turnwald 

Turnwald is from Shepherd and owns a farm in the country. He has a secondary education, licenses and certificates. 

On ICRC Turnwald served for 12 years, and now he is running for his third re-election. Throughout the years Turnwald obtained positions as a chairman, a vice chairman and a commissioner. As a chairman, Turnwald said his responsibilities were to set agenda, run meetings, contact people, meet with managers and deal with lawsuits. 

Turnwald said he has been working on road repairing projects on Mission Road, roads south of Mount Pleasant and around Clare.

If elected, Turnwald said he will “make sure the roads are good for county members” and work on finishing his projects that were started. 

Turnwald said he has a lot of experience in how the road commission operates since he served there two terms. He got his experience from serving on multiple boards and working on improving roads. Turnwald said he improved a lot of roads in the past, and he is hoping to win these elections "to keep the road commission going and to keep the roads going." 

In addition, Turnwald said people often miss that on the ballot they can vote for more than one person. Turnwald encouraged voters to remember to put their vote for two candidates in the road commission.