May 17, 2022
By Tom Tolen / email@example.com
A man whose ancestry was among the early settlers in the Brighton area, and who left his mark on this generation himself, has been named Livingston County Republican of the Year.
Green Oak Township’s John Conely was selected for the honor by the local Republican Party’s 38-member executive committee and the results were announced at the annual Lincoln Day dinner last Thursday. A packed crowd of about 750 party goers attended the event, which was held at the Crystal Gardens Banquet Center on the Grand River in Genoa Twp.
Livingston County Republican Party Chairperson Meghan Reckling said the Republican of the Year award is open to anyone in the county, even non-Republicans. There were eight nominees for the award this year. All Republican elected officials in the county, including members of the Board of Commissioners, serve on the committee. County Republican Party Vice Chairman Joseph Riker presented the award to Conely. Conely will receive a crystal elephant – representing the Republican Party – in recognition of his award.
Reckling told WHMI there were several people nominated for the award, but Conely stood out from the others, saying that, in particular, “John has done a lot for the Brighton School District.” Accepting the award, Conely expressed his thanks to the executive committee, saying he was deeply honoured. Conely told WHMI that it has been a pleasure to serve the community for these many years, especially its youth.
Reckling cited Conely’s involvement in robotics and automotive shop programs, and he was also an early proponent of a STEM curriculum – integrating science, technology, engineering and math – which led to the new STEAM center. STEAM is simply STEM with the arts added to the acronym. Conely was also a volunteer mentor for many years for the Science Olympiad. He is also a Trustee of the Brighton Area Schools Board of Education and is in his third term. Conely initially served on the school board for two terms, but chose not to run for re-election in 2018. However, in 2020 he decided to run again and was elected for another four terms. years. His current term expires in 2024.
Reckling said Conely has been popular among local Republicans during the COVID pandemic for his strong opposition to requiring students to wear masks. Conely owns Conely Auto Sales on the Grand River and a car wash and oil change business. Conely Square, a large townhouse development on Flint Road nearing completion, was named in his honor after he sold the land to the developer.