LWV holds forum for Benzie County candidates
BENZIE COUNTY, Michigan: On July 11th the League of Women Voters held a candidate forum to field questions to Benzie County Probate Court candidates. The four candidates discussed issues concerning truancy, family abuse, speeding up the docket, and alternative justice. 
- David J. Bedells is an attorney who served as a Judge Advocacy General for the Army National Guard in Michigan. He was also deployed to the middle east to act as business law attorney-advisory for the Department of Defense. He holds a B.A. in humanities from Michigan State University and a J.D. from the University of Detroit. During the forum he commented on the topic of truancy, saying it was up to the parents to get their kids to get to school, but when necessarily the court would step in to make sure the parents fulfill that duty. When discussing child advocacy Bedells said monitoring was important with the return of the child to the family as the main goal. 
- Billie Jo Clark has practiced for 19 years and holds a B.S. from Ferris State University and a J.D. from Thomas M. Cooley Law School. Clark is an advocate of the Treatment, Prevention, Recovery Program which uses alternative justice rather than simply giving more jail time. On the topic of truancy Clark said that parent/student mentoring was key in solving problems. Clark believes counseling to be the best resolution for child abuse in Benzie County.
- John B. Daugherty has practiced for 23 years and is currently the prosecuting attorney for Benzie County. He holds a B.A. from Calvin College and a J.D. from Thomas M. Cooley Law School. Daugherty agrees that truancy is a serious issue and plans to work with parents and the school to resolve problems. If elected he intends to take a harsh stance toward child abuse perpetrators. 
- John D. Mead currently serves as a district court attorney/magistrate, a position he was appointed to earlier this year. He holds a B.S. in Criminal Justice from Grand Valley State College and a Master of Public Administration from Central Michigan University. He also holds a J.D. from Thomas M. Cooley Law School and a LL.M. in Agricultural Law. If elected he plans to save the court money and the people more time by getting civil cases through quickly using mediation when applicable. 
|This article was written by Kevin Kelly, an Assistant Staff Writer for the State Courts Project on Judgepedia. He can be reached at email@example.com.|