Novi voters to choose mayor, City Council members

Novi Note | Published October 13, 2021

Shutterstock image


NOVI — In the general election Nov. 2, voters in Novi will choose from a pool of candidates running for mayor and three City Council seats.

Candidates were asked, in 75 words or fewer, to state their top goal(s) if elected. If a candidate went over the word limit, (…) replaces the rest of the answer. (I) indicates the candidate is an incumbent. The answers are printed verbatim except where material is omitted due to personal attacks or items we know to be false or that are blatant misrepresentations.

Novi Mayor
Two candidates are running for one two-year term.

Bob Gatt (I)
Age: 71
Occupation: Manager of the Oakland County Animal Control and Pet Adoption Center. Responsible for more than 150 employees and volunteers and a $4.2 million budget.
Municipality of residence: City of Novi
For how long: 33 years
Online campaign information:
Education: B.S. Degree: Wayne State University,
Business Administration/Marketing/Accounting
Master’s Degree: Eastern Michigan University,
Technology/Public Administration
Previously held elected offices:
• 2011 to present – Mayor, City of Novi
• 2007 – Re-Elected, Novi City Council
• 2003 – Elected, Novi City Council, to the first of two, 4-year terms
Top goals: 1. ​​Public Safety: I’ve kept my PROMISE to help make Novi a safer community. Results: Crime is down 51%, and property values are soaring. Novi home values have increased up to 83% while I’ve been Novi’s Mayor.
2. Roads: Under my leadership, our City Council has committed millions of dollars to improve roads, sidewalks, and pathways.
3. Senior Citizen Services: Senior transit vans run by the city are FREE of charge for trips within Novi.

Ajay V. Raman
Age: 45
Occupation: Physician Anesthesiologist; Small Business Owner/Medical Director
Municipality of residence: City of Novi
For how long: 10 Years
Online campaign information:
Education: Bachelor of Science, Benedictine University; Doctor of Osteopathic Medicine, Midwestern University; Anesthesiology Residency, Rush University Medical Center
Previously held elected offices: None
Top goals: As Mayor, my top goal is to maintain a pulse on the community and proactively address the needs of Novi’s residents. This includes making sure all future development is smart and responsible, infrastructure is kept up to date, public safety is prioritized, and trust in local government is restored by being accessible, honest, and transparent. There also needs to be a refocus on empathy and respect for one another to promote harmony instead of divisiveness.

Novi City Council
Six candidates are running for three four-year terms.

Mark Alafita
Age: 57
Occupation: Retired HR Professional
Municipality of residence: Novi
For how long: Lived in Novi/Northville community since 2004
Online campaign information:
BA Political Science, Michigan State University
Master’s in Human Resources and Labor Relations, Michigan State University
Previously held elected offices: Novi Precinct Delegate, 2020-present
Top goals: 1. Advocate for a Master Plan that prioritizes citizens’ needs, and addresses both the overdevelopment and abandoned storefront blight while also preserving Novi’s small-town appeal.
2. Improve our infrastructure, including roads, drainage, as well as development of high-tech needs for our residents
3. Invest in Safety Services, including making sure we have adequate staffing for fire protection, police and emergency services, in line with the city’s growth and expansion.

Karyn Chopjian
Age: 63
Occupation:  Co-founder, President Motif Jewelers, 38 years
Municipality of residence: City of Novi
For how long: 3 years
Online campaign information: Karyn Chopjian for Novi-Facebook
Education: Bachelor of Science in Business Administration, Wayne State University
Previously held elected offices:  precinct delegate since 2017 for District 14 and presently for District 11.
Top goals: 1. Maintain proper funding for the Police department, Fire department and Emergency 911.
2. Continue road improvements and maintenance without raising taxes, will in turn, attract more business into the city.
3. Maintain financial support for Parks and Recreation, as well as, continued support for Senior Services.
I believe that being a successful businesswoman, devoted wife, mother, grandmother and friend qualifies me to be experienced enough to look out for your interests. Endorsed by Mayor Gatt.

Justin Fischer (I)
Age: 38
Occupation: Finance Manager, Adient
Municipality of residence: Novi
For how long: Lifelong resident
Online campaign information:
Education: MBA, Michigan State University; BA, Finance, Michigan State University
Previously held elected offices: Novi City Council (2019-Present and 2009-2014)
Top goals: If re-elected, my priorities will continue to be:
1) Public safety — Prioritize investment in public safety including additional personnel and the vehicles and equipment they need to keep us safe.
2) Quality of life including investments in existing and new parks as well as sidewalks and trails.
3) Responsible Government — Fight for fiscally responsible policies which have already resulted in balanced budgets and near record rainy day funds.

Julie L. Maday (I)
Age: 51
Occupation: Novi City Council
Municipality of residence: Novi
For how long: 14 Years
Online campaign information: Facebook Page: Vote Julie Maday for Novi City Council
Education: BA
Previously held elected offices: Novi City Council Appointment (January 2021-Present)
Top goals: Public safety; continue to support our police and fire with additional resources, as needed.
Fiscal responsibility; continue to act as good stewards of our tax dollars, while keeping our taxes low.
Mental health; continue to find ways to bring mental health awareness to our citizens by engaging our seniors with our new SOS program, improve our parks and sidewalks, purchase green space, and connect our citizens with different social events.
Continue studying broadband options.

Brian Smith
Age: 62
Occupation: Sr Software Engineer/Technical Specialist Accurate Technologies Inc (ATI)
Municipality of residence: Novi
For how long: 36 years
Online campaign information:
Education: BS Industrial Engineering, General Motors Institute
Previously held elected offices: None
Top goals: Improve communications by holding regular City Council town hall meetings with residents to exchange information and ideas.
Address climate change locally by adopting Novi’s draft sustainability plan, create a Sustainability Commission to evaluate progress, set new goals, and seek federal, state, county and private funding to help meet our goals.
Expand the Municipal Broadband Committee and set a goal to provide residents with a draft plan for implementing community broadband by the end of 2022.

Ericka Thomas
Age: 47
Occupation: Software Product Manager
Municipality of residence: Novi
For how long: 4 Years
Online campaign information:
Education: Bachelor’s Degree in Information Technology, Master’s Degree Information Resource Management from CMU
Previously held elected offices: None
Top goals: My single most important goal if elected will be to work on modernizing our city. This includes ensuring that every home and business has access to high-quality high-speed internet. In today’s world our jobs and education depend on it. We need to ensure that we have an electrical grid that can sustain a future filled with electric vehicles.
I will work to make Novi a cleaner, greener, more connected community.