Skibbe wraps up first year as supervisor
ALPENA — It has been almost a year since Nathan Skibbe took over as Alpena Township supervisor and he has taken all the challenges that have been thrown at him and taking it all in stride and helping the township grow.
“I knew that this job was going to be a monumental task,” Skibbe said. “Did I know the level of said tasks? To some extent, yes, but to some other extents, no. I’m just steadfast in my approach as supervisor.”
Skibbe said supervisor position is for bettering himself, it’s bettering the community where he lives.
“There’s usually a lot that goes on and sometimes it’s hard to have a set schedule,” he said. “Part of me appreciates that because every day presents new tasks and challenges, so it keeps me on my toes.”
Skibbe has been working this past year on finding inefficiencies, correcting those inefficiencies and developing a solid platform so the township can move forward.
He was elected November 2016 and took over for Marie Twite who was the supervisor for 24 years. Skibbe knew about all the challenges that would come after replacing someone who had been supervisor for 24 years.
“It’s a unique position to be in because I worked for the township prior to running for office,” Skibbe said. “I got to see some of the the inefficiencies from the inside and that was really the driving force for myself to really run. Alpena is my hometown and I want to do everything in my power to make my hometown as good as it can be.”
Skibbe said replacing someone who was in office for 24 years adds its own level of complexity to the position.
“It comes with it’s own set of challenges because there’s a culture that develops in that much time,” he said. “I knew going in that one of the biggest things that I would face and one of the biggest oppositions I would face would be that culture so I was steadfast in knowing that.”
According to Skibbe, all of the departments are starting to be on the same page and work together for a common goal rather than work for individual goals.
“They have the same amount of resolve that I do,” he said. “Some of the pre-existing employees have been in their independent departments for numerous years so they now have the comfort of knowing that they can come to the board or come to me without any retribution and have encouragement. Recommendations are now being heard and it’s now a more efficient and transparent township government.”
Skibbe and the rest of the township have goals set for this upcoming year, including working on building an efficient and transparent accounting measure system that is almost resolved. Skibbe said that will give the township a better direction and feel for where it stands as a municipality.
“I would like to see the projects that have been set aside get more life,” he said. “We have the opportunity to develop some of our nature preserve areas, and when I say that, I mean develop in terms of ecotourism and it will be a slight impact but sustainable.”
Skibbe wants township residents to know they can contact him if they ever have concerns about Alpena Township.
“I’ll always make myself available,” he said. “A lot of our residents have been born and raised here, so I want to give our hometown the best opportunity to advance into the future.”
Skibbe said he is up for the challenges that will come in the future.
“I’m definitely up to the task and we’re doing the work that should be done for the township. I walked into a very set aside independent township where it’s not beneficial to the community as a whole to take that standpoint,” he said. “We need to have the same vision and direction and we’re moving forward daily to get there. It’s going to take a little while to get there, but we are moving forward diligently to provide the best services to our public.”
Julie Goldberg can be reached via email at firstname.lastname@example.org or by phone at 358-5688.