St. Clair Shores voters to decide City Council candidates in primary

St. Clair Shores Sentinel | Published July 14, 2021

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ST. CLAIR SHORES — In the St. Clair Shores Sentinel’s coverage area, voters will decide during the Aug. 3 primary election which six candidates for City Council and which two candidates for the 8th District state Senate seat, vacated by now-Macomb County Prosecutor Peter Lucido, will move on to the November general election.

Candidates were asked, in 75 words or fewer, to state the top items they 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 the answer. (I) indicates that 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.

For the 8th District state Senate profiles, check back to


St. Clair Shores City Council
Thirteen candidates are running for three four-year terms.


Nathaniel J. Bean
Age: 33
Occupation: Mortgage Loan Officer
Municipality of residence: St. Clair Shores
For how long: 4.5 years
Online campaign information:
Education: M.A., University of Iowa, B.Mus., Otterbein College
Previously held elected offices: None}
Top goals:
• Keep the city government primarily focused on improving basic city services, such as snow removal, beach cleanup, and eliminating rats
• Continue to find ways to lower the cost of water bills and other city services
• Phase out burdensome city regulations, such as the requirement to obtain a permit to remodel the interior of a house.
• Support the work of our police department to fight crime and keep the city safe


John Caron (I)
Age: 50
Occupation: Engineering Manager — General Motors
Municipality of residence: St Clair Shores
For how long: Lifelong Resident
Online campaign information:
Education: Lakeview High School Class of 1989.  Bachelors of Science in Metallurgical Engineering from Michigan Technological University.  Masters of Science in Engineering from Purdue University
Previously held elected offices: St. Clair Shores City Councilman since 2012
Top goals: Keeping the City’s finances strong and balanced is key to continue our investments in Police, Fire, Parks and Recreation, Senior Activities, Streets, and Infrastructure.  Absolutely No Defunding of our Police!  5 straight years of a balanced budget with a 5% reduction in the City’s millage tax rate shows strong fiscal discipline.  Continuing an efficient government will keep bringing new business developments to our community.  Encourage community engagement through our City’s boards, commissions, and committees.


Joseph M. Fuga
Age: 35
Occupation: Real Estate Investor
Municipality of residence: St. Clair Shores
For how long: 3 years
Online campaign information: N/A
Education: Bachelor of Business Administration from Northwood University.  Graduated 2008.
Previously held elected offices: N/A
Top goals: I am running for city council to offer my abilities to the city of St. Clair Shores.  I intend to continue to push for cleaning up Lake St. Clair/sewage systems, creating a united front for welcoming new businesses to the area (all areas, not just the Downtown or Nautical Mile), allowing legalized marijuana facilities in designated areas and strengthening the Nautical Mile/Downtown areas as destination spots to name a few positions of mine.


Mark A. Fuga
Age: 60
Occupation: Real Estate Broker / Investor
Municipality of residence: SCS
For how long: 2 Years
Online campaign information: N/A
Education: Some college.  Over 35 years of experience in Business Management and real Estate investing.
Previously held elected offices: No answer given.
Top goals: Mark Fuga will be a councilman with a unique opinion and new objectives to help better our city.  Mark’s primary focus will be on our business districts, offering incentives to bring in new business and stimulate economic growth while encouraging new developments within our community.  As an investor himself in the Greater Mack District and Nautical Mile, Mark Fuga has the experience and drive to inspire a new and diverse SCS.


Nicholas R. Handy
Age: 38
Occupation: Bar Manager at the Country Club of Detroit.
Municipality of residence: Saint Clair Shores.
For how long: 12 years.
Online campaign information:
Education: High School, De La Salle Collegiate.
College, Michigan State University (BA in History).
College, Wayne State University (Polish language classes)
Previously held elected offices: None.
Top goals: We need to be better about attracting businesses to St. Clair Shores.  There are too many empty buildings and lots within the city.  We also need to focus on upgrading our infrastructure throughout the city while remaining fiscally responsible.  Finally, we need to further our efforts to make sure EVERYONE feels welcome, accepted, and safe in our city.


Dustin Hoffman
Age: 40
Occupation: Marketing Consultant
Municipality of residence: St. Clair Shores
For how long: Life long, except for 2010-2014 when I was in California
Online campaign information:
Education: BA in Economics from Albion College / MBA from Michigan State University
Previously held elected offices: None
Top goals: 1. Improving the resident experience — digitizing resident services online, improved customer service at City Hall.
2. Businesses first initiative — partner with our local businesses to remove bureaucratic barriers that are preventing investment
3. Keep Lake St. Clair Clean — aggressively work with state and federal agencies to prioritize an achievable solution to preventing pollutants and sewage from entering our water ways.


Justin Maniaci
Age: 44
Occupation: State Farm Insurance Agent
Municipality of residence: Saint Clair Shores
For how long: 17 year resident of Saint Clair Shores and lifetime resident of Macomb County
Online campaign information:
Education: Fraser High School
Wayne State University
Fully Licensed Insurance Agent (Property and Casualty) (Health and Life) license
Previously held elected offices: No answer given.
Top goals: My top goals if elected to city council are to speak up more for the senior citizens of St. Clair Shores, support small business, more advocacy to “Save Lake Saint Clair and allow vacation rentals. Seniors need to have more options for transportation. They should have accessible transportation to go out to dinner, visit family, attend a city event or attend a necessary doctor’s appointment. The seniors that have lived in St. Clair Shores are (...)


Jennifer Oresti
Age: 28
Occupation: Yoga Teacher, Former Field Organizer and Healthcare Worker
Municipality of residence: City of St. Clair Shores
For how long: 4
Online campaign information:
Education: Bachelor of Science in Biology with a Minor in Spanish Language from Oakland University in 2016, Graduate of Anchor Bay High School in 2011, Certified 200 Hour Registered Yoga Teacher as of December 2017
Previously held elected offices: None
Top goals: I’m a strong, passionate, Hispanic woman running to build a more equitable & empowered future for St. Clair Shores by creating a space for and giving representation to younger and more diverse voices in our city. My top goals consist of: Establishing an Equity Committee (view current proposal @, Push for common sense solutions to ease Lake pollution, and Connect residents of all ages to better mental health and general wellness Resources.


David J Rubello (I)
Age: 59
Occupation: C&G Newspapers Sales Representative /St Clair Shores Sentinel
Municipality of residence: St Clair Shores
For how long: 59
Online campaign information: David Rubello Face Book Page
Education: Bachelor of Arts Central Michigan University
Previously held elected offices: St Clair Shores, Michigan Councilmman 2007-2011; Current 2020-21
Top goals: My goals for a second term include supporting infrastructure updates, fiscal responsibility, a vibrant business community, enhanced 9 Mile/Mack social district, senior services, and updates to our parks and recreation facilities to keep St. Clair Shores appealing for generations to come. I’ll also stay focused on protecting Lake St. Clair and serving the community as a volunteer and organizer. Thanks for your support!


Candice B. Rusie (I)
Age: 39
Occupation: Attorney
Municipality of residence: St. Clair Shores
For how long: approx. 30 years
Online campaign information: My personal Facebook page is
Education: Lake Shore High School – 1999; Wayne State University – BA in psychology, summa cum laude 2004; Michigan State University College of Law – Juris Doctor, magna cum laude 2007
Previously held elected offices: St. Clair Shores City Council, first elected in 2009 and re-elected in 2013 and 2017
Top goals: Continue park renovations.  Support Police and Fire services. Update City website.  Update ordinances. Continue fiscal responsibility and conscientious stewardship of resources. Infrastructure improvements and investment. Support measures for cleaner Lake.  Smart budgeting while maintaining/increasing services. Insist on fair bidding processes; refuse “no bid” contract extensions.  Advocate for residents; promote City Hall accountability.  Continued protection of residents’ Constitutional rights. Promote and support local businesses. Continue resident outreach on social media. Continued volunteerism and community service.


Michael Smiatacz Jr.
Age: 44
Occupation: Logistics Account Executive (Echo Global Logistics)
Municipality of residence: St Clair Shores resident
For how long: I have lived in St Clair Shores for 45 years.
Online campaign information:
Education: No answer given.
Previously held elected offices: No answer given.
Top goals: As a life-long resident of SCS, it is with great excitement that I am asking for the opportunity to work alongside my fellow citizens as a member of City Council to continue improving and moving the city I love forward.  Both my father and grandfather worked for the city for more than a combined 60+ years. I grew up here, as did my wife of 15 years.


Lawanda Turner
Age: 36
Occupation: Great Lakes Real Estate: Realtor®; Honigman: Real Estate Assistant
Municipality of residence: St. Clair Shores
For how long: 9 years
Online campaign information: Facebook: @LTurnerforprogression
Education: Marygrove: BA, Business & Social Science; Macomb Community College: AAS, Paralegal Studies; ABA, Business Administration; studied grant writing; Lawrence Technological University: Lean Six Sigma Green and Black Belt; Certification in Project Management; Studying at the University of Michigan: Urban & Regional Studies
Previously held elected offices: No answer given.
Top goals: I will continue to analyze data that reveals the cause of extended storefront vacancies. I will also look for resources that may aid in securing tenants for retail properties. I will work to launch The Marvin Blueprint (a non-profit organization designed to teach younger demographics essentials to start a small business).
I will also continue to assist with improving community relations with law enforcement and bridge the gap were members of SCS feel unwelcomed.


Angela T. Washington
Age: 33
Occupation: Account coordinator
Municipality of residence: St Clair Shores
For how long: May, 2018-current
Online campaign information: No answer given.
Education: WayneState University, 2013-2015
Previously held elected offices: No answer given.
Top goals: I am a U.S. Navy veteran and mother of two.  I served my country and now am ready to serve my community.  If the military taught me anything, it is that there is always work to be done.  I would love to earn the chance to be a part of enhancing the city parks and cleaning up lake St Clair.  I value our city and want to see it prosper for every family to enjoy.