LANSING, Mich. — Eric Schertzing has served the people in Ingham County as treasurer for more than two decades. Now he says he’s ready to embark on a new chapter.
“The thing about this work, while it’s very satisfying, it is hard work and that’s a lot of years of labor, but it’s been really nice to hear some of the reflections that comes from the community,” Schertzing said.
Schertzing said he and his wife, Nancy, plan to pack their bags and head to Washington, DC, in part so that she can continue training in restorative justice work. He may be looking for another job.
“I would love to take some of the treasurer work and land banking and housing work to work on a nationwide basis if someone will have me,” he said.
The people of Ingham County elected Schertzing as treasurer six different times, but he started with the county eight years before that.
In the 1990s, Schertzing was Deputy Drain commissioner.
“He did a lot of work coordinating the assessment process, the maintenance process and the public improvement process, and he did a lot of work with all of the infrastructure with the county,” said Ingham County Drain Commissioner Patrick Lindemann. “He just did a lot of work in our office.”
Other elected officials said Schertzing always took pride in his work and did it with a smile. They also say he was a servant, especially when he was doing work with the Ingham County Land Bank.
“The land bank movement in America goes back for about 40 years,” Schertzing said. “We’re 16 years old and are the second land bank county formed in Michigan. There’s about 43 of them today. It really takes unloved properties like run down houses and figures out a better future.”
As treasurer, Schertzing serves as the chair of the Land Bank, but he doesn’t mind getting his hands dirty and helping bring the homes up to par.
“I got a gentleman up on North MLK. He’s a reentering citizen. He was in prison,” Schertzing said. “I’ve been helping him paint the exterior of his house. He bought that house in cash from the Land Bank. I helped him get a job to get the cash.”
“He’s very caring,” said Lansing Mayor Andy Schor. “He really wants to help people and he’s gone pretty neck deep into trying to help folks.”
Schertzing’s term was supposed to be done in 2024, but he says it felt right to leave early.
“I’ve got a wonderful chief deputy Alan Fox that I heartily endorse as my successor,” Schertzing said. “I don’t get to choose that. He will take over as an interim when I leave.”
“He’s got the biggest shoes in the world to fill and no one is going to fill them, but I hope to continue the work he’s been doing,” Fox said.
Schertzing says before leaving office, he hopes to get a housing trust fund going, which he says will improve housing development in the county.