Supervisor’s Office

JB prof picture

Jorja Baldwin, Supervisor

Email: [email protected]
Mailing Address: 3720 Keewahdin Road, Fort Gratiot, MI 48059
Phone: (810) 385-4489 x1100
Website: www.fortgratiottwp.org
Official Fort Gratiot Facebook: www.facebook.com/fgtwp
Personal Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/electjorja
Cell Phone, Call or Text: (810) 689-4453

My name is Jorja Baldwin. I was elected to the position of Supervisor of the Charter Township of Fort Gratiot on August 7, 2012 and I took office on November 20, 2012.

Fort Gratiot Township is unique for many reasons. We are bordered by 2 significant bodies of water; Lake Huron to the east and the Black River to the south. We have the largest commercial corridor in St. Clair County. We have a population of over 11,000 consisting largely of seniors and families. And now we need to make sure that while considering what Fort Gratiot is made up of, we provide the stability, services and programs that will benefit everyone for many years to come.

My Story…
I attended the YMCA Warm World Program, and attended Keewahdin Elementary, Fort Gratiot Middle School and Port Huron Northern High School. My parents, Jill & Greg, were born in raised in St. Clair County and have been Fort Gratiot Residents for almost 40 years. I also have a younger brother, Charlie.. In 2008, I married my husband Scott and his two children, Alexander & Allie, who we raise together with their mother, Heather, and her husband Bryan. Together, Scott and I have a son, Beck, who was born in 2009.

I began my employment with Fort Gratiot Township on May 23, 1995 as a part-time building department clerk. In 1996 I began taking courses at Baker College in Port Huron to gain architectural, construction and engineering knowledge. That training eventually led me to be well versed in CAD applications, which I still implement today. If you have ever gotten a map from the Township, chances are I created, or at a minimum maintain, that map. During that time I also became a licensed residential builder through the State of Michigan.

Working closely with the building official and zoning administrator, I started to get more involved with ordinances. Ordinances are a tool used by a municipality to help maintain the public health and safety and preserve general enjoyment of the community. With the commercial boom that began in 1989 maintaining a steady pace and the residential growth gaining speed, I took on more responsibilities in planning and zoning and held the position of code enforcement officer. I was also appointed deputy supervisor to then-Supervisor Madelyn McCarthy and began attending meetings in her place when needed. These meetings brought to my attention grant opportunities, some of which we eventually applied for. One such grant I worked on was from MDOT, and we received funds to put in place some of the bike path pieces on the west side of M-25/24th Avenue between Krafft and Keewahdin roads.

I left the Township for other opportunities in 2000 only to return in 2003, splitting my time between the reception desk and the assessing department. I then went on to receive levels 1 and 2 (now known as MCAO) State of Michigan assessing certifications. I gained valuable knowledge during the training for the State certification and continue the annual education required to keep my certification valid. I work closely with the assessing department and still handle some assessing responsibilities, such as lot splits and combinations and verifying legal descriptions.

In 2005 I became the zoning administrator, and in 2009 I became a Certified Zoning Administrator through Michigan State University. In this position I am responsible for a wide range of Township issues; from helping a resident with the requirements for a shed to working with the developers on large commercial projects. I create and maintain maps necessary for the Township; such as hydrant maps, water and sewer maps, and street maps. I write new ordinances and amend existing ordinances based on the community’s needs that I then propose to the Planning Commission and the Board of Trustees. I review the projects that go before the Planning Commission and Zoning Board of Appeals, and prepare both committees agenda packets, notices and minutes.

In 2011 I became a Certified Floodplain Manager through the Association of State Floodplain Managers and recognized by the State of Michigan Department of Environmental Quality. According to the ASFPM, I am one of 73 certified floodplain managers in the State of Michigan, and the only certified person in St. Clair County. In 2010, FEMA revised the flood insurance rate maps for Fort Gratiot Township, which affected well over 600 property owners. Between my experience and knowledge of the area, and the training I received to become certified, I believe I have been able to successfully assist anyone who has come in with questions.

If you have any questions or concerns, please don’t hesitate to contact me.

2015 WPHM 1380 live radio broadcast with Paul Miller:
Friday, June 5 @ 7:10 AM
Thursday, August 6 @ 7:40 AM
Thursday, September 3 @ 7:40 AM
Thursday, October 1 @ 7:40 AM
Friday, November 6 @ 7:10 AM
Friday, December 4 @ 7:10 AM

 

Core Competencies: The Building Blocks of Township Government
To ensure that all township officials have the opportunity to learn what they need to know to carry out their statutory  duties as well as understand effective township management practices, the Michigan Townships Association  has identified “core competencies.” Essentially, they are the “nuts and bolts” that each of the four elected offices at the township level should know and/or be skilled in to successfully perform their duties.

The list should not be construed as all-inclusive; rather they should be considered an overview of the knowledge and skill sets that an individual should possess. Note that each checklist is dynamic in the sense that it will change over time, adapting to legislation, legal issues, and other factors that impact township government and the responsibilities of the elected official.

The core competencies address two goals: (1) to create a more-informed, better-educated cadre of township officials who are more confident and competent in carrying out their roles and responsibilities as leaders in their communities; and (2) to generate greater effectiveness on the part of local government. Below are the core competencies for the Supervisor. Please visit the Clerk, Treasurer, and Board of Trustees pages to see the core competencies for those positions.

Township Government Operations
~Demonstrates knowledge about township (general law or charter) government responsibilities, functions and powers
~Identifies the major functions of each branch of government—local, state and federal—along with their relationship to one another
-Understands the statutory duties and responsibilities of the office of township supervisor
~Aware of the roles and responsibilities of other elected and appointed offices in the township
~Demonstrates knowledge of the various committees, boards and commissions serving the township, including their roles and responsibilities
~Understands how township policies and procedures are set
~Demonstrates knowledge of how ordinances are lawfully adopted and legally enforced

Interpersonal Skills
~Communicates effectively
~Listens attentively
~Works effectively with individuals, departments, and committees to achieve desired outcomes
~Possesses knowledge of what constitutes ethical behavior
~Manages adversity and hostility effectively

Leadership Abilities
~Possesses vision, especially relative to the township’s needs or potential
~Leads effective board meetings and is knowledgeable about parliamentary procedure
~Possesses effective policy-making skills and decision-making skills
~Utilizes consensus-building techniques
~Possesses persuasive/influential abilities
~Motivates others to achieve desired outcomes
~Utilizes public relations skills to position the township positively

Management Skills
~Makes decisions consistent with desired outcomes
~Utilizes strategic planning to attain objectives
~Develops and oversees the budget
~Understands purchasing policies and the bid process
~Possesses knowledge of personnel administration
~Understands the collective bargaining process, including legal framework (only applicable to some townships)
~Negotiates issues and contracts effectively

Township Issues
~Possesses knowledge about current issues affecting townships
~Aware of legal matters that could impact the township
~Understands the elements of risk management
~Aware of financial matters affecting the township, including revenue sources
~Possesses knowledge about land use
~Understands the planning and zoning process
~Possesses knowledge of township services and their policy implications