Meet the candidates

Troy residents to choose new mayor

Troy Times | Published April 24, 2013

The state attorney general and the secretary of state have mandated that Troy hold a special election May 7 to fill the seat of mayor. Six candidates are running for the spot. Following are profiles of the candidates, who 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, (… ) replaces the rest of their answer. (I) indicates the candidate is an incumbent. The answers are printed verbatim.

Faris Alami

Age: 40
Occupation: CEO of a technology company
Troy resident for: Since 2004 (8 years)
Education: Here are few educational items: Liberal Arts Associate
Previously held elected offices: None
Top goals: As Troy’s next mayor, Alami plans to focus on three areas in his “Building the Future: TROY” vision. First, enhance the quality of life. He will collaborate with the city manager, council members, and business and community leaders to further enhance the environment for residents, including young families who build the next generations of Troy. Second, operate the City of Troy like a business. Open the door further to new businesses that will broaden and diversify the products/services offered in Troy and the employment opportunities. Alami plans to launch innovate ways to engage the business community with the city and work to remove roadblocks to business startup. And third, keep Troy diverse. It is well known that a diverse community is a strong and prosperous community.

Jon Desjardins
Did not return questionnaire by press time.


David Elsas

Age: 49
Occupation: Electrical Engineer
Troy resident for: 24 years
Education: Bachelors of Science in Electrical Engineering, Registered Professional Engineer
Previously held elected offices: None
Top goals: I want to keep Troy SAFE, GROWING and FISCALLY SOUND.  To do this, it all starts with the budget. For our citizens’ safety, I will focus my efforts on keeping the funding needed to allow our Police and Fire Departments’ staffing levels to remain at or above the International City/County Management Association’s (ICMA) recommendations. To help our City grow, in both residential and commercial areas, I will also focus on having the funding available to keep our City’s roads in good condition and securing Federal and State matching funds for road improvements. Both of these goals can be accomplished with a fiscally sound budget based on the City’s General Fund estimates presented at the Special Study session on 2/4/2013. Further, in accomplishing these goals over the next three years, we will continue the City’s Policy of maintaining a minimum of 15% in our unassigned Fund Balance.

Marty Knollenberg

Age: 49
Occupation: Owner of Allstate insurance agency in Troy and a Laundromat in Hamtramck
Troy resident for: 13 years
Education: BA in History Albion College
Previously held elected offices: Oakland County Commissioner 2003-2004, Oakland Parks Recreation Commissioner 2005-2006, State Representative 2007-2012
Top goals: To accomplish these three goals, I will:
1. Re-Energize Promotion. Troy has a lot to offer. We have a highly educated workforce and vast resources. Our schools are excellent and crime is low. I’ll be an ambassador for Troy and lead the effort to actively attract new businesses and jobs.
2. Re-Energize Teamwork. I’ll approach every problem first by listening. I’ll cultivate a climate of cooperation and proactive problem solving between the city and job providers.
3. Re-Energize Unity. Troy’s negative political environment hurts our local economy. The uncertainty of a divided community chases away businesses and jobs, which, in turn, strains the city budget.
I’m committed to uniting our city and building a ‘Team Troy’ to advocate for the best ideas of all of our citizens.

Dane Slater (I)
(appointed by the council)

Age: 62
Occupation: Retired Captain from the Troy Police Department 35 years
Troy resident for: 23 years
Education: Michigan State University Bachelor of Science, Criminal Justice 1973, Southern Police Institute 1986, Northwestern University School of Staff and Command 1991, Central Michigan University Institute of Police Excellance 1996
Previously held elected offices: Elected to Troy City Council November 2009
Top goals: I want Troy to be fiscally sound by continuing our rolling three year budget with a 5 year outlook. Cities and counties cannot survive today without looking ahead as trends and revenue change. Public safety and our infrastructure are priorities while we are fiscally responsible with the taxpayer’s money.
Continue working together as a team on City Council, recognizing independent ideas and enhancing communication. Partner with businesses, schools and residents to communicate our message that Troy is the best place to live, work and have fun. 
Attract residents and business to the City of Troy by Continuing best practices and sound government. Be positive, the future is bright and we need to communicate this message. Redevelopment is crucial as we evolve in the next 5 years. I believe in a strong City Council and City Administration team working together. This same teamwork is required to keep our taxes low and (…)

Scott T. Welborn

Age: 41
Occupation: Social Studies Teacher
Troy resident for: 9 years
Education: BAE in History from Pacific Lutheran University (1993), MS in Education from
Western Oregon University (1999). 
Previously held elected offices: Foss Hall President (Pacific Lutheran University), Residence Hall Council Chairman (PLU), Ferndale Education Association Building Rep. (Ferndale High School), FEA Secondary Director, FEA Negotiating Team.
Top goals: Troy as a Safe City: Troy has been ranked as one of the safest cities in the country, but has recently dropped from #1 in Michigan to #3. The police force has been cut to pre-1980 levels, and this has a lot to do with this problem. A priority for me is to increase our police presence by adding officers, including putting officers in our schools.
Business Growth: We all have seen the empty buildings and properties that have popped up throughout the city over the last few years. Our business occupancy rate has been on the decline. This is a priority for all of us to address. I will aggressively promote the city and look to recruit new businesses to occupy these vacancies. I also feel that we need to work with owners of some of these properties that might be repurposed so as to attract new businesses. This (…)