Warren, Center Line voters to decide local races, proposals

Warren Weekly | Published July 23, 2014

Readers in the Warren Weekly’s coverage area will head to the polls Aug. 5 to vote for primary candidates in several races, including Macomb County Board of Commissioners District 1 and the Michigan House of Representatives District 28. Voters will also cast ballots on a transportation millage. Following are profiles of the candidates, as well as the exact language of the proposals as they will appear on the ballot.

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. The inclusion of an (I) indicates that the candidate is an incumbent. The answers are printed verbatim.

Please note: Profiles were only sent to candidates in races that are being contested in at least one party in the primary.

Macomb County Board of Commissioners District 1
Two candidates are running for the Republican nomination, and three candidates are running for the Democratic nomination to compete for one two-year term in November.

Joseph G. Kozar
Did not return questionnaire by press time.

Joe Peters Jr.
*(Editor's note: Joe Peters Jr. submitted a profile for the Warren Weekly, but died July 19) - http://www.candgnews.com/news/warren-candidate-business-owner-joe-peters-jr-dies

Bill Barnwell
Age: 33
Occupation: Senior Pastor
Municipality of residence: Warren
For how long: 27 years
Education:  BA--Bethel College, Social Science 2002. MA-- Ministry, Bethel College 2005, MA-- Theological Studies, Bethel College 2006, J.D.--Thomas M. Cooley Law School, 2014 (Candidate)
Previously held elected offices: Appointed by Mayor Fouts Vice Chairman Warren Senior Housing Commission (2012-Present)
Top goals:
1. Roads-- We must put the proper pressure on irresponsible state legislators who are holding a road funding bill hostage. We must also make sure all funds are spent efficiently and wisely on the county level.

2. Seniors/New Families—Services to seniors, veterans, and others who have sacrificed and built our community must be a top priority. I have many years experience inside and outside of government serving seniors. I also am currently Vice-Chairman of the Warren Senior Housing Commission. I support Executive Hackel’s “Make Macomb Your Home” initiative and want more young families moving to our area and investing in our city and schools, which will drive up housing values and bring new jobs and investment.

3. Water Rates—With Detroit’s bankruptcy, our water rates will soar if there’s not progress with a Regional Water Authority. My many years of experience in negotiation and leadership will move this process forward.

Andrey Duzyj
Age: 59
Occupation: Owner & President, Trig Tool, Inc.
Municipality of residence: Warren, Michigan; Macomb County
For how long: 35 years
Education: Associate of Arts degree, Macomb Community College, Immaculate Conception Ukrainian Catholic High School
Previously held elected offices: Macomb County Board of Commissioners (6 years), Warren Planning Commission (9 years), Warren Tax Increment Finance Authority member (12 years)
Top goals:
1. County road improvements in Warren are needed.  County roads, like 10, 12 and 14 Mile Roads need more attention, including pothole elimination and replacement of deteriorating roads.  The county focuses on roads in northern communities, ignoring the needs of areas like Warren.  When the county cannot maintain its roads, it should give the City of Warren DPW crews the authority to maintain the roads in Warren.

2. As a county commissioner representing Warren, I will focus on improving senior citizen services that are organized, efficient and convenient to meet the needs of seniors.

3. Macomb County must cooperate with Warren police to make our neighborhoods safe from criminal activity.  This cooperation includes joint raids of drug houses, the source of most crimes.  The county Sheriff should be encouraged to make his office’s resources available to Warren police to investigate crime and rid our city of juvenile crime.

Jeremy Fisher
Age: 34
Occupation: Bankruptcy Attorney
Municipality of residence: Warren
For how long: 10 years
Education: Bachelor of Arts –Political Science/History University of Detroit Mercy 2001. Juris Doctorate – University of Detroit Mercy School of Law 2006.
Previously held elected offices: This is my first run for elected office.
Top goals:
We need to better coordinate our road repair.  We must put in place a rule that two consecutive main roads cannot be repaired at the same time.

We must improve communication regarding services.  While knocking almost 4,000 doors since the start of the campaign I have found that most voters are not aware of many of the services that the county offers.  We must do a better job of informing our seniors, our veterans and our disabled citizens of the services we already offer.

We must make government more open and responsive.  No elected official has ever had all of the answers.  As commissioner I would have monthly coffee hours in order to listen to both the concerns of citizens as well as their ideas to improve county government and services.  This would allow the county to better respond to neighborhood issues.

Please visit www.fisherfor macomb or www.facebook.com/fisherformacomb for more information.

State House of Representatives District 28
Two candidates are running for the Republican nomination, and one candidate is running for the Democratic nomination to compete for one two-year term in November.

Gordon Robert Dye
Age: 72
Occupation: Software Developer
Municipality of residence: Warren
For how long: 38 years
Education: Some College – Economics – Advanced Writing
Previously held elected offices: None
Top goals:
1) Economic Freedom Zones – EFZONES.COM

I intend to sponsor a bill to facilitate Economic Freedom Zones in certain sections of Detroit and other depressed areas of Michigan which would attract business partially from outside of Michigan.

2) Access to Markets – VOTE4DYE.COM/access

Many people are trapped by their circumstances in relation to our economic system. The problem is spelled out on the site and then specific proposals are given to provide access to markets by economically disadvantaged people.

3) Road Repair Expense – VOTE4DYE.COM/road_tax
The long term price performance of road maintenance can be improved by getting competitors involved in the inspection process. The short term needs can be largely resolved by Joint House Resolution EE, which enables Michigan to pay for road repair from the general fund.

Beth Foster
Did not return questionnaire by press time.

Derek E. Miller
Age: 30
Occupation: Assistant Prosecutor for Macomb County
Municipality of residence: Warren. Born, raised and current resident.
Education: Cousino High School Graduate, BA in Political Science from Michigan State University, and J.D. from University of Detroit Mercy School of Law
Previously held elected offices: First time running for office
Top goals:
The top three issues that I plan on working on are; improving our education system, increasing jobs in Michigan, and investing more in our communities.

By increasing education funding we will be able to lower class sizes, have universal pre-k offerings, and be able to provide a modern education that all children need to compete in a 21st century economy.

To create and attract more jobs in Michigan we need to cultivate a positive business and community atmosphere. By having a talented workforce, strong infrastructure, clean environment, good public services, and policies that are welcoming and inclusive, we will be able to improve our economy.

Lastly, Michigan needs to properly fund cities through revenue sharing so that they can provide adequate public services like police and fire. I will work to ensure that Lansing increases funding for local municipalities and invests in our infrastructure system to fix our roads!

State House of Representatives District 22
Two candidates are running for the Republican nomination, and two candidates are running for the Democratic nomination to compete for one two-year term in November.

Art Blundell
Age: 73
Occupation: Engineer
Municipality of Residence: Roseville
For how long: 13 years
Education: College
Previously held offices: District Delegate
Top goals: The top three things that I wish to do, would be 
1: Roads; Repair, replacement and improvement.

2: Removal of Common Core.

3: Making Michigan a more Business friendly place

Jeff Bonnell
Age: 52
Occupation: Retired Military, Test Driver for prototype vehicles
Municipality of residence: Macomb County
For how long: 48 years
Education: High School Diploma, some college, numerous and varied military courses, schools and certifications over a 24 year period.
Previously held offices: None
Top goals: 1.Greater Protections and Recourse for Part-Time Workers:

Part-time workers are considered by law as “at will” workers — at the will of the employer. Employers consider part-time workers as “disposable” workers. P/T workers are an essential part of the Michigan economy and need better recourse when arbitrarily terminated

2. Reduce individual taxes and road repair:
Michigan currently has a billion dollar surplus. I would use this to reduce individual and property taxes as well as fix our roads. This surplus belongs to the people of Michigan and not special interest groups.

3. Reduce Fraud, Waste and Abuse of tax payer money:
Government is wasteful and inefficient. Prison time for abusers, no matter what political party.

John G. Chirkun
Age: 62
Occupation: Mayor of Roseville, retired Wayne County Sheriff’s Deputy
Municipality of residence: Roseville
For how long: Over 30 years
Education: Attended Macomb Community College and Highland Park Community College. Graduated from the Wayne County Police Academy in 1979 and the State Police Instructor’s School in 1984. Also served in the United States Air Force from 1971-1977.
Previously held offices: Roseville City Council, November 1995-January 2009; Roseville Mayor, January 2009-present
Top goals: My top priorities are the economy, investing in public education and keeping our communities safe. I would reverse the trend of raiding the School Aid budget and work on a longer term solution to funding education, at the K-12 and higher educational level, to create an innovative workforce ready to compete in today’s globalized economy. We must strengthen economic development efforts and create a tax structure that promotes entrepreneurship and creates jobs. I would repeal the pension tax, restore the Earned Income (EITC) and Homestead Property Tax credits and review existing tax incentives. We need to reprioritize spending so that revenue sharing is restored to provide for essential police, fire and other local services that help promote a vibrant community. I support looking at all options for road funding including overweight truck vehicle fines and a 1 percent sales tax increase approved by voters that is constitutionally guaranteed for roads.

Gary McMenamin
Age: 51
Occupation: Firefighter/Paramedic; IT business owner
Municipality of residence: Warren
For how long: 9 years
Education: Bachelors Degree, University of Michigan — Dearborn; Associates Degree, Schoolcraft College — Livonia, MI
Previously held offices: NA
Top goals: Improve our economy by making our district attractive to diverse manufacturing and research companies such as distribution companies, I.T. component manufacturers, and other high-tech firms by highlighting our available workforce, a community college that is capable of providing training and development, and the partnering of business and communities to improve the quality of life in our district; reverse the current policies that are unfairly shifting tax burdens onto the working class and seniors instead of shared burden with corporations that make use of the public services and infrastructures by repealing the pension tax and rolling back business tax credits passed by the legislature; reverse the policies that are eroding our education system before we end up with educational inequality for students, by restricting the number of charter schools, requiring stronger oversight of any privatized services, and holding charter school sponsors accountable for the actions of the businesses that manage schools.

Macomb County Executive
Three candidates are running for the Republican nomination, and one candidate is running for the Democratic nomination to compete for one four-year term.

Mark Hackel (I)
Age: 52
Occupation: Macomb County Executive
Municipality of residence: Macomb Township
For how long: Macomb County, life-long.  Macomb Township, 12 years
Associate’s Degree – Macomb Community College
Bachelor’s Degree – Wayne State University
Master’s Degree – Public Administration – Central Michigan
Previously held elected offices: Macomb County Sheriff
Top goals: Leverage Macomb County’s Assets
I established the Michigan Defense Center in Sterling Heights to help promote and leverage our defense industry and wealth of advanced manufacturing and automotive companies.

Through the Blue Economy initiative, transforming our 32 miles of Lake St. Clair coastline and the Clinton River into national attractions. After hosting the first Macomb Bass Masters Tournament, Lake St. Clair was pronounced the “best smallmouth fishery on the planet.”

Make Macomb Your Home
I started the Make Macomb Your Home program to promote and enhance the county’s great quality of life - everything from our waterfront to country-side communities and award-winning schools to world-renowned companies.

Good Government
This was the first four years of our new executive form of government.  We balanced the budget, eliminated $60 million in deficit spending and consolidated public safety and emergency management in the new COMTEC facility.

www.markhackel.com , Twitter @MarkHackel or on Facebook

David John Novak
Age: 47
Occupation: Corporate Account Executive
Municipality of residence: Chesterfield Township, Macomb
For how long: 14 Years
Education: Masters of Science
Previously held elected offices: None
Top goals: Community Development: Work In a partnership with the elected County Commissioners and elected Township, City and Village leaders in conjunction with organization such as SEMCOG and MEDC along with the Chamber of Commerce to bring Business to Macomb. “Market Macomb”. 2) Economic Development: Review the budgets and cut waste. Review and recommend changes to the County Commissioners regarding spending and how these proposed cuts would affect the business of operating the County and its citizens. 3) Public Policy: Roads, Police and public safety, Emergency Preparedness, Water and Sewer issues. Parks and recreation, downtown revitalizations, Waterfronts and lake quality, overall infrastructure.

Randell J. Shafer
Did not submit questionnaire by press time.

Erin Alana Stahl
Age: 44
Occupation: Self-Employed (Independent Contractor)
Municipality of residence: City of St. Clair Shores
For how long: 15+ years (Macomb County for 20+ years)
1) MSU - Bachelors in Entrepreneurship
2) Walsh College - Masters in Finance
3) Former St. Clair Shores (SCS) Gen. Emp. Pension Board Trustee
4) Financial Peace University class leader
5) Certified Trainer – Total Quality Process Management
6) Senior Graduate of www.Land markEducation.com
Previously held elected offices: 2007 Mayor ProTem, St. Clair Shores (60,000 residents)
2003-2007 Councilwoman, St. Clair Shores
Top goals: 1) Creating an atmosphere and policies that RESPECT the rights, dignity, and worth of all people 2) Design Macomb County government into the example for other communities, of how to LIVE WITHIN OUR MEANS while strategically dumping our debt 3) DEFEND ourselves FROM ASSAULTS by contractors and special interests trying to make a quick buck.

I’ll accomplish this by:
1) Continue standing up for SCS residents and broaden my efforts to all Macomb County communities

2) Use my unique way of analyzing government budgets; getting to the problem’s root cause, rather than haphazardly throwing more money at the problems

3) Provide free FOIA information to citizens to hold elected officials and employees accountable.  Then use the inquiries to develop statistical reporting systems

4) Give citizens the truth so we can fix problems and have a higher quality of life for Macomb County families.

Macomb County Public Transportation Millage
If approved, this proposal will renew and increase the 0.59 mills formerly authorized, to 1.0 mills for years 2014 through 2017, and allow continued support to the Suburban Mobility Authority for Regional Transportation (SMART) for a public transportation system serving the elderly, disabled and general public of Macomb County.

For the purpose of providing funds in support of public transportation serving the elderly, disabled, and general public, shall the limitation on the amount of taxes imposed on taxable property located within Macomb County, be renewed and increased from 0.59 mills to 1.0 mills for a period of four (4) years, being years 2014 through 2017? It is estimated that if approved, this millage would raise approximately $24,093,287 in the first year.

State Use Tax Proposal
Approval or disapproval of amendatory act to reduce state use tax and replace with a local community stabilization share to modernize the tax system to help small businesses grow and create jobs.

The amendatory act adopted by the Legislature would:
1. Reduce the state use tax and replace with a local community stabilization share of the tax for the purpose of modernizing the tax system to help small businesses grow and create jobs in Michigan.

2. Require Local Community Stabilization Authority to provide revenue to local governments dedicated for local purposes, including police safety, fire protection, and ambulance emergency services.

3. Increase portion of state use tax dedicated for aid to local school districts.

4. Prohibit Authority from increasing taxes.

5. Prohibit total use tax rate from exceeding existing constitutional 6% limitation.

Should this law be approved?