November 1, 2014

County commissioners service ends after four years

Matt Keeton
Daniels and Branda hold a discussion with the other commissioners during their last meeting.
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ARENAC COUNTY — After serving four years as Arenac County commissioners, both Raymond Daniels and Ronald Branda will not be returning to office in 2011.

Daniels said he decided not to run for reelection in the last election. He will be replaced by Virginia Zygiel, who served as Arenac County commissioner until 2007. Branda was defeated in the primaries by former Standish Township Supervisor Jeff Trombley.

Daniels said he is ready for a break from the position. However, he said, that does not necessarily mean he will not run for the office again.

“I could see myself doing it again in the future,” Daniels said. “I just decided to not run this time around. It takes up a lot of time.”

Daniels has served on the Arenac County Board of Commissioners since 2007. He said he served as a trustee in Clayton Township for 18 years prior to his election as commissioner.

Arenac County Commissioner Mike Snyder said Daniels brought a calm attitude to the board when it was needed most.

“Ray came in as a very calming, settling influence,” Snyder said. “He came in when the board came off a very tumultuous period.”

Commissioner Joseph Sancimino said Daniels did well at getting everyone to work together.

“Ray was really good at facilitating communication between people,” Sancimino said.

Branda said he enjoyed his time serving the county, even though he came in at a hectic time.

“I enjoyed working with the people there,” Branda said. “When I first ran for commissioner, I didn’t realize how much there was to it. The last couple years, we’ve really been tightening our belts.”

Snyder said he felt Branda handled the budget well over the past four years.

“He handled (the budget) in an absolutely extraordinary manner,” Snyder said. “He’s just a first class gentleman.”

Arenac County Commissioner Joseph Sancimino said both Daniels and Branda did a good job bringing the budget under control.

“They were very dedicated,” Sancimino said. “They were very sincere. They spent a lot of hours looking at the budget. They left the county in a better position than when they came in.”

Snyder said both Daniels and Branda did everything that could have been expected of them.

“Both of them will be sorely missed,” Snyder said.

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