A group of local business owners are starting a Main Street group and met with Representative Adam Hattersley from District 59 (second from left). Local business owners are invited to participate in upcoming meetings.

As the 2018 election season came to a close, a group of local entrepreneurs from the Brandon area met with newly elected Representative Adam Hattersley (Dist. 59).

Business owners from the automotive sector as well as others are starting a Main Street group and invite local business owners in the community to participate. The purpose of these meetings will be for the business owners to meet with local elected officials to discuss issues that directly affect how their business is done.

Bob Clarke, Owner of Clarke Automotive Systems, said, “The government becomes increasingly important in my business, and without true representation I’m not going to be able to be successful in the future.”

He said the group is forming to call elected officials to explain what is on the legislative table and to tell the business owners what the issues are. “This is an extremely important time for the country and we need to be able to have this kind of forum instead of what we see played out.”

This is not a political organization and Clark hopes that the local business owners can work with elected officials no matter their political affiliation to help benefit both sides.

As the representatives gain a better understanding of what local businesses need, it is the hope that this information can be useful when the representatives return to the state house or to Washington, D.C.

This was Hattersley’s first meeting with local constituents. He was very interested in what the business owners had to say despite the fact that his term had not yet officially began.

“We’re already out there meeting constituents, no matter what side of the political fence they sit on,” he noted.

Other business owners at the meeting included Neal Kahn owner of Olin Mott Tire; Mark Yencarelli, who recently purchased Velocity Lube & Repair; Julie Arndt, owner of Minuteman Press; and Matt Chipman, a retired army veteran. There were a few other interested business owners that were not in attendance. Jeff Eakens, Superintendent of Schools, also plans to participate in the group.

For information on its next meeting, contact Bob Clarke at 685-2939 or Bob@clarkeauto.net.

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Michelle has been with the Osprey Observer for almost nine years, and her current position is Assignment Editor. She resides in Bloomingdale with her husband Phil, two sons, Philip and Matthew, and Tigger the cat.