He may not be tanned, but a former Oxford Village councilman is rested and ready to serve on another local board.
On Monday morning, Elgin Nichols filed as a trustee candidate for the Oxford Township Board.
He’s running as a Republican and will appear on the Aug. 2 primary ballot as one of five candidates for four trustee seats. The other candidates are Jack Curtis, Patti Durr, Melvin “Buck” Cryderman and Margaret Payne.
Nichols, who was appointed to council in May 2012 and served until November 2014, believes all boards need “fresh input from time to time,” otherwise, they run the risk of becoming stagnant.
“I think new ideas are always good for a community,” he said.
Nichols is no stranger to the township form of government. Prior to landing in Oxford, he lived in Bay County and served on Kawkawlin Township’s board of trustees, planning commission and zoning board of appeals.
He prides himself on being open-minded, independent and fair.
“I don’t have an agenda. I don’t have any commitments to anyone,” Nichols said. “I’ve always made decisions based on (the) factual information that’s on the table and if it’s not all there, I dig for it.”
Nichols has plenty of experience in the private sector as well. He spent 34 years as the owner and operator of Nichols’ Appliance, which had four stores in Bay City, Saginaw and Standish, more than 100 employees and did about $4.5 million in business annually. He also owned a television/radio studio and ad agency, and a kitchen design business.
As a licensed builder, Nichols is very familiar with state codes.
If elected, he would like to work on enhancing communication and cooperation between the township and village.
“There needs to be greater unity,” Nichols said. “I could probably pull them together.”
When it comes to the areas of planning, growth and development, Nichols wants the township and village to better coordinate their efforts because what happens in one municipality, directly impacts the other.
“People have to understand that the township and village are one,” he said. “We’re all residents. We all pay the taxes.”
Nichols would also like to see the two municipalities work together to tackle, and potentially resolve, Oxford’s traffic issues, particularly when it comes to the M-24 corridor, which continues to grow in terms of vehicular volume and new businesses.
“That’s an issue that’s been outstanding for some time, but nobody seems to be addressing it,” Nichols said. “At least have some kind of a plan. It’s not going to go away. It’s just going to get worse.”
Some folks might be wondering why Nichols decided against running for council when his appointment expired.
Basically, he looked at the composition of the council back then and felt that “very little, if any, headway” could be made addressing the critical financial issues facing the cash-strapped village because he and his fellow officials weren’t on the same page.
“They’re all attempting to do what they feel is (right), but they need to get out and talk to people,” Nichols said.
Nichols keeps himself busy by working as the technical supervisor for Oxford Community Television (OCTV). When he’s not flitting around behind the scenes applying his expertise in electronics, he’s in front of the camera as the co-anchor of “Oxford News This Week” and the co-host of “Minutes by Minute,” which he also produces. He’s been with OCTV for about five years.