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Harper Woods

Harper Woods mayor, council seats on ballot

October 22, 2013

In the Advertiser Times coverage area, voters will cast ballots for mayor, three full-term City Council seats and a partial term on the council. Candidates were asked, in 150 words or fewer, to state the top items they would wish to accomplish if elected and how they would go about accomplishing them. If a candidate went over the word limit, ( … ) replaced the rest of the answer. (I) indicates the candidate is an incumbent. The answers are printed verbatim.

Harper Woods Mayor
One candidate is running for a four-year term.

Kenneth Alan Poynter (I)
Age: 71
Occupation: Public school educator and coach (recently retired after 45 years)
Municipality of residence: Harper Woods
For how long: Part of community for entire life
Education: Harper Woods High School graduate; Valparaiso University (B.A.); Purdue University (M.S.); Wayne State University (Education Specialist)
Previously held elected offices: Harper Woods Mayor 1997-present; Harper Woods School Board 1982-1997
Top goals: 1) Multi-year budgeting must become a priority enabling Harper Woods to better plan its future.

2) Harper Woods must remain a safe, clean, secure city and a great place to live.

3) Excellent city services must be maintained.
Through goal-setting, a systematic approach can be adopted for addressing community needs.  The mayor, city council, and citizens must work together as a team.  Careful monitoring of a multi-year budget and always thinking in terms of what is best for the entire city are essential. City government must always be cost-effective, pro-active, and responsive to citizen needs. Innovation, creativity, and developing new models of delivery are essential to keeping Harper Woods a strong, safe, clean, secure community. It is critical that citizens become involved and take an active, positive role in the city’s future. I am committed to Harper Woods for the rest of my life.

Harper Woods City Council
Four candidates are running for three four-year terms.

Tom Jenny
Age: 44
Occupation: Crew Chief, with the city of Grosse Pointe Woods
Municipality of residence: City of Harper Woods
For how long: Over 15 years
Education: High School Diploma and some College Credits
Previously held elected offices: This will be my first Publicly Elected Office
Top goals: I am looking forward to being a Harper Woods Council Member, I feel that Harper Woods has to continue to move forward as a whole, united community, I would like to help to create more family friendly events allowing us to come together more often. Running Harper Woods with a Public Safety will help to cut costs as having crossed trained professionals only makes since. I feel it is important to maintain a well run and up to date infrastructure, keeping the lines of communication open between Council, administration and employees.  Public Service has to keep providing our residents the services they deserve. As a City Employee, myself for over 25 years, in a neighboring community, I have a perspective of seeing both the ‘ins and outs’ of a municipality, how it is run, and what it takes to keep both the employees and residents happy.

Valerie Kindle (I)
Age: Not provided.
Occupation: Retired
Municipality of residence: Harper Woods
For how long: Over 11 years
Education: Wayne State University School of Labor, Presently attending WCCC University Center.
Previously held elected offices: Precinct Delegate for Detroit and Harper Woods.
Top goals: One of the things I would like to accomplish is to provide an avenue for teen employment for youths in our Community. Another would be to continue to work with our City Manager to maintain City services and Public Safety for everyone. Thirdly but not least on my list would be to maintain the beauty and peace that I fell in love with when I moved to this Community. I believe that all of these can be accomplished by working together with Residents, other Elected Officials and Government Agencies.

Hugh R. Marshall (I)
Age: 52
Occupation: Practicing lawyer for over 20 years in the areas of protecting abused and neglected children, vulnerable and developmentally disabled adults, mental health and estate planning.
Municipality of residence: Harper Woods
For how long: 21 years
Education: Bachelor of Public Relations, Mt. St. Vincent University 1986, Baccalaureate of Laws, University of Windsor 1989, Juris Doctor, University of Detroit, 1990.
Previously held elected offices: First elected to City Council in 1997.
Top goals: (1) balancing the budget with reduced property taxes and State revenue sharing while continuing to provide excellent City Services; (2) maintaining rapid response by Public Safety; (3) re-allocating resources to ensure a maximum visible Police presence to combat crime and to send a strong message to would be criminals that Harper Woods has a zero tolerance for crime and will aggressively investigate and prosecute offenders. In so doing, the only focus is the protection of our law abiding residents.

Vivian M. Sawicki (I)
Age: 56
Occupation: High School Teacher
Municipality of residence: Harper Woods
For how long: 26 years
Education: BA cum laude Univ. of Detroit; 20+ post grad hours Wayne State University.
Previously held elected offices: Harper Woods City Council person
Top goals: The absolutely most important work that the council must take up is stabilizing our budget. It will be vital to the future of the city to make certain we cut our healthcare and pension costs while still providing a safety net to our hard-working ,employees and retirees.

Another very important thing that must be accomplished is maintaining our community’s excellent services. Our residents have come to depend upon our police, fire, ambulance, and d.p.w. services. Our services are the backbone of this community, and I am committed to keeping them. Finally, providing opportunities for Harper Woods residents to enjoy our parks, our recreation offerings, and all the things that make Harper Woods special is important.

Harper Woods City Council
One candidate is running for one partial term ending Nov. 9, 2015.

Daniel S. Palmer (I)
Age: 49
Occupation: Attorney
Municipality of residence: Harper Woods
For how long: 16 years
Education: Bachelors Degree – University of Michigan; Law Degree – Wayne State University
Previously held elected offices: 12 years – Harper Woods City Council
Top goals: I am running for re-election for Harper Woods City Council to continue to help the city navigate through serious financial challenges, while continuing to offer excellent city services and a great living environment. I have been a strong supporter of the public safety model as a way to most efficiently utilize resources to fight crime and keep our citizens safe.

I also support the strengthening of our city code of ordinances, and their sensible and consistent enforcement. Residents know that we all need to do our part to contribute to making Harper Woods an enjoyable place to live. The city must continue to assist in this effort by passing and enforcing laws that are helpful in this effort. 

Finally, I want to continue the city’s efforts to spread the word about the many advantages our city has to offer, both in the quality of life it offers, and its strategic location.

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