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West Bloomfield, Orchard Lake, Sylvan Lake, Keego Harbor

October 23, 2013

Voters to decide city councils, ballot proposals

In the West Bloomfield Beacon’s coverage area, voters will decide three city council races and several ballot proposals in the Nov. 5 election.

Below is the exact language of the ballot proposals as they appear on the ballot, as well as profiles that candidates submitted for our voter guide. 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, (…) replaces the rest of their answer. (I) indicates the candidate is an incumbent. The answers are printed verbatim.

City of Orchard Lake Village City Council
Three candidates are running for one three-year term.

Mark B. Hoffman (I)
Age: 62
Occupation: Engineer/Program Quality Manager - Retired
Municipality of residence: City of Orchard Lake Village
For how long: 32 years
Education: BS – Mechanical Engineering
Previously held elected offices: Orchard Lake City Council
Top goals: Public Safety – Maintaining our “top notch” Police Department, and our operational agreement with the West Bloomfield Fire Department.

City Operation – The city has an outstanding staff, and great city services (we have the best roads in the winter).  City Council needs to insure that everyone is always looking for new and innovative ways to manage the city’s short term and long term costs.

City Ordinances – The Zoning Board of Appeals (a council function) needs to insure that a resident’s variance request not only considers the desires of the applicant, but also the impact on current residents, and our city’s Master Plan. We must not forget that the vast majority of our residents have found ways to improve their property within the ordinances. In summary, residents need to recognize that sometimes their requests must be denied.

Jerry Kosmensky
Age: Not provided
Occupation: Builder/Developer for over 40 years
Municipality of residence: Orchard Lake resident
For how long: 42 years
Education: Not provided
Previously held elected offices: Mayor or Councilman since 1988
Top goals: Importance that city residents need come first

Lake noise control, safety and water quality issues

Traffic control management

Improve our City roads

Retain our Police Department

Beautification of our commercial districts and roadways

Bruce H. McIntyre
Age: 83
Occupation: retired president & publisher, The Oakland Press
Municipality of residence: City of Orchard Lake Village
For how long: 30 years
Education: 2 yrs. college & extensive military education
Previously held elected offices: 13 years city council, 8 of them as mayor
Top goals: 1. We must maintain high-quality services with tighter resources. City revenue dropped one-third during the recession. It will come back very slowly. We must control a tendency to overspend. For many years we reduced of flattened the tax rate but twice recently it was raised. That trend should not continue.

2. We should seek more collaboration with neighboring communities. Citizens want to keep our police department but there can be savings in other services through partnerships. Small cities shouldn’t duplicate everything.

3. The City should do more to inform citizens on current issues, with more frequent and detailed communication. I conducted a citywide survey at my own expense this year about potential outsourcing of police services and the results helped cause the idea to be dropped.

 

City of Keego Harbor City Council
Two candidates are running   for one three-year term.

Tom J. Berman
Age: 34
Occupation: I currently serve as Chief Business Development Officer & General Counsel to Reverie, an international bedding company headquartered in Bloomfield Hills, Michigan. 
Municipality of residence: Keego Harbor
For how long: I built my house in Keego Harbor 8 years ago and I was born and raised in nearby West Bloomfield.
Education: I graduated High School from Detroit Country Day School and received my Bachelor’s Degree (B.A.) in Criminal Justice from Michigan State University and I received my Juris Doctor (J.D.) from the University of Detroit Mercy School of Law.
Previously held elected offices: Keego Harbor Precinct Delegate
Top goals: If elected, I intend to devise comprehensive strategies regarding our infrastructure, the budget, and business development because these decisions will have an enormous impact on Keego Harbor for decades and will shape the memories of our children some day.

At a time when the economy is struggling and property values remain low, it’s critical to budget and plan so we can provide a high level of services and infrastructure that our residents deserve without raising taxes.  I’ll help do this by making informed educated decisions on resource allocation, and I’ll aggressively seek out development in an effort to generate new revenue.

Additionally, and most importantly, I intend to bring further transparency to Council, something I understand that our residents are very desirous of.  I’ll do this by encouraging residents to get more involved through committees and appointed boards so we can all build a bright future for Keego Harbor together!

John Fletcher (I)
Age: 53
Occupation: President, National Restoration Inc, National group of Companies
Municipality of residence: Keego Harbor
For how long: Life Long
Education: HS, Some College, 3 Apprenticeship’s
Previously held elected offices: Keego Harbor City Council for 6years
Top goals: Reduce the Unfunded Pension Liabilities, since I have served on council, we have returned money to the fund balance each year. I would dedicate 20% of all future returns towards this obligation. We have already changed the multiplier obligating the employees to pay more.

Stabilize or increase the declining commercial property tax values, we are currently working with the planning commission and Oakland County planners to develop a plan to promote development in our Central Business District. I will support projects like the Magnolia by the Lakes project. Projects such as this will act as a catalyst for business development in our city.

Stabilize Water and Sewer Bills, escalating water and sewer bills is creating a hardship on our senior citizens, we need to work with the WRC to develop a plan to minimize water and sewer use, such as disconnecting sump pumps from sewers and watering in off peak times.
 

City of Sylvan Lake City Council
Four candidates are running for one three-year term.

Bob Dzenko
Age: 63
Occupation: Program Manager for Visscher-Caravelle N. A.
Municipality of residence: Sylvan Lake
For how long: Since July 2011 and for 14 years from 1990-July 2005.
Education: BS Chemistry from Lawrence Institute of Technology
Previously held elected offices: Sylvan Lake City Council Person from 1999-2005. Mayor of Sylvan Lake in 2003.
Top goals:  Taxes and the Budget: We need to be fiscally responsible with the Budget, at the same time monitor the revenue from taxes. With home values increasing, we don’t want to over-tax the residents and must keep an eye on the “up to 5%” Public Safety rate for possible reduction.

2. Public Safety: We need to rebuild the Sylvan Lake Police Department. The Tri-City Fire/West Bloomfield Fire Partnership has provided Top Notch Service for the residents. We will be renegotiating the agreement in a few years and need to confirm that it is the most cost-effective option.

3. Public School Access for the residents: We should be information central for what “Schools of Choice” are available each year. We need to continue to monitor how our Tax Dollars are used by the Pontiac School District and take any opportunity to move to another district.

Brian D. Etter (I)
Age: 45
Occupation: Senior Service Technician, Grid4 Communications Inc, Troy, MI
Municipality of residence: Resident of Sylvan Lake
For how long: For 12 years
Education: Not provided
Previously held elected offices: I currently hold a seat on City Council, and the Position of Mayor, Pro-Tem
Top goals: In my next term, I would like to see our Police Department provide Marine Patrols on our lake. I feel that Oakland County Sheriff Dept. is doing and adequate job in the interim, But conversely I feel that we, as a city, can do a much thorough job with our own officers.

I would also like to see the city move in a more greener, cost effective and less conventional power lighting model. Lighting for the community center parking lot could be lit with the use of LED lights with small solar or wind power sources instead of current hard wired electric solutions.

Some other goals I have for the city is to move our entire community out from the burden of the Pontiac School District. I would like to see this portion of Sylvan Lake move to a more positive and enhancing status of the West Bloomfield School District.

Aron Lorenz (I)
Age: 53
Occupation: Owner, WMV Automated Systems, Inc.
Municipality of residence: City of Sylvan Lake
For how long: 25 years
Education: Bachelors of Business Administration, University of Wisconsin
Previously held elected offices: City of Sylvan Lake City Council 9 years, Mayor of Sylvan Lake for years:, Planning Commission Sylvan Lake 8 years.
Top goals: Explore the avenues we have available to prevent the Pontiac School District from taxing us without representation. It is important to have our City Attorney map out our options and then choose the action that provides the best opportunity for a positive result.

The voters of our city approved a ten year millage that will assure we can continue to maintain a police unit that is dedicated to maintaining and protecting the peace we currently enjoy in Sylvan Lake. We need to better understand the options for shared services and consolidation in an effort to reduce our taxes while maintaining a high level of service.

Approximately ten years ago actions were taken to assure Ferndale Park is reserved for the residents of Sylvan Lake. It was a good idea then and it remains a good idea today. It is important to that we continue reserve the parks for the residents.  

Megan Zumbach
Age: 42
Occupation:  Account Executive for Comcast Spotlight, Advertising Sales division of Comcast
Municipality of residence:  City of Sylvan Lake
For how long:  13 years
Education: Associates Degree
Previously held elected offices:  Tax Board of Review current – elected November 2012.  Planning commission current – elected November 2012.
Top goals: There have been several priorities that I see that continue to be discussed at meetings. I would like to see a noise ordinance put in place for the City. We need to protect our city and be able to allow our residents to enjoy their property. I also would like to see our department take on their own Marine Patrol unit. I feel with the right staff we would be effective and efficient to handle our lake security. Finally although on the Ballot this coming November Liquor by the glass will always be a topic that will come up for review. I feel we would attract more businesses with the option of it and with the right ordinances in place this will be successful for the city’s progress.  


Proposals
Sylvan Lake Liquor by the Glass Proposal
Shall the sale of spirits and mixed spirit drink in addition to beer and wine be permitted for consumption on the premises within the City of Sylvan Lake under the provisions of the law governing same?
 

Walled Lake Consolidated School District — School Improvement Bond Proposition
Shall the Walled Lake Consolidated Schools, County of Oakland, State of Michigan, borrow the sum of not to exceed Sixty Seven Million Five Hundred Thousand ($67,500,000) Dollars and issue its general obligation unlimited tax bonds therefor, in one or more series, for the purpose of paying for the cost of the following projects:
• Remodeling, equipping, re-equipping, furnishing, refurnishing school buildings and other facilities to enhance security and for other purposes;
• Acquiring and installing technology equipment and technology infrastructure in school buildings and other facilities

Keego Harbor Charter Amendment Proposal No. 1
This amendment would repeal Sections 8.1 through 8.10 of Article 8, of the City of Keego Harbor City Charter, which provide for the establishment of a Justice Court and eliminate any mention of a Justice of the Peace or Justice Court in Section 3.2, 3.3, 3.11 and 7.6(g). These provisions have been superseded by the state law establishment of a district court system in the State of Michigan MCL 600.8101 et seq.
Shall the amendment as proposed be adopted?

Keego Harbor  Charter Amendment Proposal No. 2
This amendment would repeal Article 8, Section 8.12 (Constables) and Section 8.13 (Powers of the Constable – Compensation) and amend Section 3.2 (Officers to be Elected) and Section 3.3 (Terms of Elective Officers) by removing the term Constable(s) from the City Charter. This amendment removes any references in the City Charter to the office of Constable in the City of Keego Harbor City Charter.
Shall this amendment as proposed be adopted? 
 

Keego Harbor Charter Amendment Proposal No. 3
This Amendment to the Keego Harbor City Charter deletes Article 9 (Supervisors) referring to the appointment of supervisors. These provisions, superseded by state election law changes, previously governed appointment by the City Council of representatives (supervisors) on the county board of supervisors (now called County Board of Commissioners). The county is now divided into commissioner districts, each of which elects a member of the County Board of Commissioners.
Shall Article 9 (Supervisors) be deleted from the Keego Harbor city Charter?
 

Keego Harbor Charter Amendment Proposal No. 4
Shall the current Article 14 of the City of Keego Harbor Charter which contains Sections 14.1 through 14.23 setting forth detailed requirements for special assessments be deleted and, in its place, a new Article 14 be substituted which authorizes the City Council to provide the procedure for special assessments by ordinance?
 

Keego Harbor Ballot Proposal No. 1
PROPERTY DISPOSITION PROPOSITION
Shall the City Council of the City of Keego Harbor, Oakland County, Michigan, be authorized to sell or dispose of certain land:
T2N, R9E, Sec 2 KEEGO HARBOR SUB LOT 113 EXC W 45 FT 12-11-03 FR O27
Tax I.D. No: 36-18-02-477-039
Commonly known as:
2364 Fordham
Keego Harbor, MI
and the proceeds and revenue of such sale or disposition be placed into the General Fund for the City of Keego Harbor?