Grosse Pointe voters to choose local leaders

Grosse Pointe Times | Published October 13, 2021

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GROSSE POINTES — In the Grosse Pointe Times’ coverage area, voters will decide Nov. 2 who will serve as their next mayors, city council members and municipal court judges. Grosse Pointe Woods voters are also being asked to weigh in on a proposed charter amendment. 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. For uncontested races, only the names of the candidates are listed.

For additional information about these candidates, visit the League of Women Voters of Grosse Pointe website at lwvgrossepointe.org or www.vote411.org.

 

Grosse Pointe City Mayor
One candidate is running for one two-year term.

Sheila Tomkowiak (I)


Grosse Pointe City Council
Four candidates are running for three four-year terms.

David T. Fries
Age: 69
Occupation: Department of Defense Vehicle Configuration Manager
Municipality of residence: Grosse Pointe
For how long: 35 years
Online campaign information: email me at ltcdavid.fries@icloud.com
Education: University of Detroit: Public & Business Administration — Communication  
Defense Acquisition University: Level III Certified Logistician
Previously held elected offices: None
Top goals: In my opinion Flooding is the number 1 threat to the City on a continuous basis.  
We need to hardwire and implement, on an annual basis, a Flood Action plan (FAP); augmented to our Federal Emergency Management Action Plan (FEMAP) with Standard Operating Procedures (SAP)
It’s all about preparedness, detailed information, reinforcement, support and team collaboration.
I am a retried certified USAF Disaster Preparedness Officer. I provided Emergency Management (EM) oversight for planning, training (…)

Maureen Juip (I)
Age: 42
Occupation: Chemical Engineer / MBA / Community Volunteer
Municipality of residence: City of Grosse Pointe
For how long: 35 years
Online campaign information: www.votemaureen.com
Education: B.S.E. Chemical Engineering, University of Michigan. MBA, Ross School of Business, University of Michigan
Previously held elected offices: Grosse Pointe City Council, appointed March 2020
Top goals: I’ve been honored to serve our Grosse Pointe community on City Council, and I pride myself on leading with integrity and a thoughtful and thorough analysis of the issues. My goals are to keep flood prevention as a top priority, to support the revitalization of the Village by leveraging the resources of the Main Street program, to solicit broad community engagement in the upcoming Master Plan Update, and to strategically optimize transformational ARPA funds.

Chris D. Walsh (I)
Age: 55
Occupation: Sr. Vice President, Morgan Stanley, GPF
Municipality of residence: City of Grosse Pointe
For how long: 22 yrs., various Grosse Pointes 45 yrs.
Online campaign information: No answer given
Education: Grosse Pointe South, BA University of Michigan, Ann Arbor
Previously held elected offices: City of Grosse Pointe City Council 2005-present
Top goals: If re-elected, I would continue to build on what we have already accomplished: Our AAA credit rating, a 100%+ funded pension fund, and upgrades to our new DPS and DPW facilities. Now, we are challenged with upgrading aging infrastructure to alleviate future flooding, which will require broad collaboration with other entities. We also need to strengthen investment in our commercial districts while continuing to provide safe and secure neighborhoods, and first-rate public works services.

Daniel J. Williams (I)
Age: 38
Occupation: Attorney
Municipality of residence: City of Grosse Pointe
For how long: 9 years
Online campaign information: No answer given
Education: B.A. English & B.A. Philosophy: North Carolina State University
Juris Doctor: Wayne State University Law School
Previously held elected offices: City of Grosse Pointe City Council
Top goals: We have several major projects that I am interested in seeing to completion for the residents; namely, completion of the Mack Ave. District Revitalization, and Main Street Program for The Village. We are also embarking on a complete overhaul of our city’s master plan, setting out our direction for the future. Finally, we need to address how and where, if possible, our city can alleviate the flooding issues that have arisen over the past few years (…)

 

Grosse Pointe Farms Mayor
One candidate is running for one two-year term.

Louis Theros (I)


Grosse Pointe Farms City Council
Three candidates are running for three four-year terms.

Sierra Leone Donaven

John Gillooly (I)

Beth Konrad-Wilberding (I)


Grosse Pointe Farms/Shores Municipal Court Judge
Two candidates are running for one four-year term.

Charles Berschback
Age: 64
Occupation: Attorney in private practice and former City Attorney / Prosecutor in Grosse Pointe Woods
Municipality of residence: Grosse Pointe Farms
For how long: 35 years
Online campaign information: www.chip4judge.com
Education: Wayne State Law School – J.D. 1983
University of Michigan – B.A. 1979
Austin High School
Previously held elected offices: None
Top goals: (1) Meet with the Court Staff, City Administration, Judge Rumora, Public Safety and defense attorneys. Obtain their input regarding what improvements can be made to maintain the Court’s high level of administration of justice.
(2) Work with the State Court Administrator’s Office to implement their new procedures utilizing virtual hearings when appropriate, in order to make the Court more available to the public and other participants. However, most hearings should occur in open Court.

Kevin M. Smith
Age: 65
Occupation: Attorney
Municipality of residence: Grosse Pointe Farms
For how long: 33 years
Online campaign information: smith4judge.com
Education: BA, University of Michigan, 1978; JD, Wayne State University Law School, 1981.
Previously held elected offices: N/A
Top goals: My top priorities will be to maintain the fair and impartial dispensing of justice and to insure that all who come before the Court are treated with respect and given a full opportunity to be heard. If elected, I will be committed to protecting the individual rights of each and every person coming before the Court while preserving the safety and welfare of our communities.


Grosse Pointe Park Mayor
Two candidates are running for one two-year term.

Michele Hodges
Age: 54
Occupation: President and CEO, Belle Isle Conservancy
Municipality of residence: Grosse Pointe Park
For how long: 21 years
Online campaign information: www.hodgesformayor.com
Education: B.S., Urban Planning, Michigan State University; Institute for Organizational Management; Economic Developers Institute; Institute for Public Administration; Michigan Political Leadership Program.
Previously held elected offices: Grosse Pointe Park City Council
Top goals: The domino for success is a strong sense of community and an organizational culture that enables us to tackle tough issues, including urgent infrastructure needs, underfunded liabilities, an obsolete marina, and underutilized school. A vibrant business community, exceptional public safety, solid financial management, transparency, beautiful parks, a culture of giving, and support for our city manager form of government are essential. I will work from a foundation of proven skill with a stewardship minded commitment.

Lauri A. Read
Age: 55
Occupation: Attorney
Municipality of residence: Grosse Pointe Park
For how long: 29 years
Online campaign information: www.read4gpp.com
Education: BA University of Kentucky, JD Washington University
Previously held elected offices: Council Member, City of Grosse Pointe Park (2017 to present)
Top goals: As core functions of city government, I will prioritize infrastructure maintenance, repairs, and upgrades, in general, and water and sewer services, in particular.
Public safety has been a priority of mine while on council. It remains at the top for me.
I am committed to fiscal responsibility and the careful and judicious spending of taxpayer funds.


Grosse Pointe Park City Council
Six candidates are running for three four-year terms.

Tom Caulfield
Age: 50
Occupation: Strategic Risk Consultant/Broker for Lockton Companies in Detroit
Municipality of residence: Grosse Pointe Park
For how long: Life-Long Resident of the Park.
Online campaign information: www.caulfieldgpp.org
Education: B.S. Management Finance, Johnson & Wales University, Providence, R.I.
Previously held elected offices: none
Top goals: My top issues (even prior to the latest flood) are crisis management, and infrastructure improvement. We need clear and effective disaster action plans for dealing with events. It is also time to take action and improve our infrastructure. Discussing or thinking about it for years is not working. In addition, the need to address our lead pipes within our water supply, transparently identify our sewer capacity, improve alleyways, and fix our crumbling marina.

Christine Gallagher
Age: 54
Occupation: Consultant — Telecommunications Strategies
Municipality of residence: Grosse Pointe Park
For how long: 13 years
Online campaign information: ChristineGallagher4CityCouncil.com
Education: BA International Affairs, Magna Cum Laude, American University of Paris
Previously held elected offices: None
Top goals: I will work collaboratively with our City Manager to promote a more effective government with sound planning and a strong budget. This year’s budget shortfall utilizing 25% of our existing surplus is not sustainable. Lead pipe replacement and sewer backup issues have identified major infrastructure needs as a primary focus. More dynamic city communication is required. There is no identifiable need for the current donor policy. We may need donor help to update the Marina.

Jeff Greer
Age: 54
Occupation: Director, Content Strategy, MRM//McCann Detroit
Municipality of residence: Grosse Pointe Park
For how long: 9 years
Online campaign information: https://greergpp.com
Education: Ph.D. Western Michigan University, 1999
M.F.A., University of Maryland at College Park, 1994
B.A., University of Maryland at College Park, 1989
Previously held elected offices: None
Top goals: My priorities include laser-focus on rebuilding water and recreation infrastructure (storm/sewer and marina) and modernizing city operations and services. Positive change will restore trust in our city operations.
Our future requires transparency, improved communication, resident engagement, disciplined fiscal oversight, and an accountable city administration. It must reject secretive, back-room deals.
The Grosse Pointe Democrats and the Sierra Club endorsed my vision of a well-run, collaborative, sustainable Grosse Pointe Park.
We can, and will, do better.

Tim Kolar
Age: 40
Occupation: State Office Administrator — State of Michigan
Municipality of residence: Grosse Pointe Park
For how long: 4 Years
Online campaign information: www.kolargpp.com
Education: MBA Candidate — University of Illinois Urbana Champaign, Gies College of Business. Accounting, Finance, International Studies — Indiana University, Kelley School of Business
Previously held elected offices: None
Top goals: Infrastructure. Promoting Our City. Community Engagement. We focus on those goals through a process of educating, evaluating, and communicating. Educating ourselves about issues and best practices using experts, both hired and resident volunteers in the community. Evaluating the options for sustainability and fiscal integrity. Communicating to get community feedback on decisions and outcomes, with those communications done on a regular and frequent basis through numerous channels.

Darci McConnell (I)
Age: 54
Occupation: McConnell Communications, Inc. (Public Relations/Marketing/Crisis Management firm)
Municipality of residence: Grosse Pointe Park
For how long: 18 years
Online campaign information: www.darciforcouncil.com
Education: B.A., English/Communication, University of Michigan 1990; completion of executive education programs at Harvard and Dartmouth.
Previously held elected offices: Precinct delegate
Top goals: I will build on the work that I’ve started in upgrading our infrastructure. I successfully advocated for just under half a million in rescue fund dollars for water system upgrades and $50,000 to reimburse residents for storm mitigation such as downspout disconnects. I will continue to be a good steward of the city’s budget; be responsive to residents’ concerns, and help keep Grosse Pointe Park a safe place to live, work and play.

Max Wiener
Age: 39
Occupation: Engineer, Owner Operator of Manufacturing Companies
Municipality of residence: Grosse Pointe Park
For how long: Nearly 7 years
Online campaign information: www.max4gppcouncil.com
Education: Materials and Metallurgical Engineering Degree from University of Toronto
Previously held elected offices: None
Top goals: Fixing the water infrastructure in Grosse Pointe Park, with primary focus on flood mitigation.
Furthermore, I want to ensure a council that is focused on the core responsibilities of running a city: Infrastructure, Public Services and Budget. The council must prioritize these issues and be supported by individuals with resumes and professional experience that can address those tasks.


Grosse Pointe Park Municipal Court Judge
Two candidates are running for one four-year term.

Carl F. Jarboe (I)
Age: 65
Occupation: Grosse Pointe Park Municipal Judge and attorney in private practice
Municipality of residence: Grosse Pointe Park
For how long: 30 years
Online campaign information:
www.youtube.com/watch?v=hQzRHxIcGdA&t=609s
Education: Michigan State University, B.A. with honors (1978); Wayne State University Law School, J.D. Cum Laude (1981)
Previously held elected offices: Grosse Pointe Park Municipal Judge since January 1995
Top goals: The Court’s mission is service to the Community. The Court’s culture is to improve lives, not make them harder. All persons are treated with dignity and respect. All cases are decided without bias, prejudice, or favoritism. Sentences are designed to discourage repeat criminal behavior. Traffic laws are enforced for the safety of the public as well as building regulations for neighborhood preservation. Sound and reasoned decisions promote a sense of fairness and equity.

Charissa Potts
Age: 39
Occupation: Attorney
Municipality of residence: Grosse Pointe Park
For how long: 10 years
Online campaign information: www.cpotts4judge.com
Education: Juris Doctorate, Wayne State Law School (2006)
Bachelor of Arts, Wayne State University (2003)
Previously held elected offices: None
Top goals: I cherish the ideals of democracy, justice, and equality. My goals as Grosse Pointe Park Municipal Judge mirror these values: I’m committed to enforcing our laws without exceptions or favors; protecting each individual’s rights in my courtroom; and ensuring equal access to justice and unbiased treatment for everyone. I recognize our changing demographics and the challenges residents face. After a quarter century under my opponent, I pledge to bring a fresh perspective to the bench.


Grosse Pointe Shores City Council
Four candidates are running for four four-year terms.

Robert Barrette (I)

Sandra Cavataio (I)

Donn Schroder (I)

John Dakmak


Grosse Pointe Woods Mayor
One candidate is running for one four-year term

Arthur M. Bryant (I)


Grosse Pointe Woods City Council
Three candidates are running for three four-year terms.

Victoria A. Granger (I)

Todd McConaghy (I)

Thomas S. Vaughn (I)


Grosse Pointe Woods City Council
One candidate is running for one partial (two-year) term.

Angela Coletti Brown (I)


Grosse Pointe Woods Charter Amendments

Charter Amendment Proposal 1
Adoption of Proposal No. 1 is conditioned upon adoption by the voters of Proposal No. 2.
Currently, the City Clerk reports to Council and is not under the supervision of the City Administrator. This amendment will amend Section 4.5 of the City Charter to allow Council to establish by ordinance that the Clerk shall work under the supervision of the City Administrator and will perform duties assigned by the City Administrator, with a corresponding change to Section 4.7 to allow oversight by the City Administrator of the Clerk’s department.
Shall this amendment be adopted?


Charter Amendment Proposal 2
Adoption of Proposal No. 2 is conditioned upon adoption by the voters of Proposal No. 1.
Currently, the City Treasurer reports to Council and is not under the supervision of the City Administrator. This amendment will amend Section 4.5 of the City Charter to allow Council to establish by ordinance that the Treasurer shall work under the supervision of the City Administrator and will perform duties assigned by the City Administrator, with a corresponding change to Section 4.7 to allow oversight by the City Administrator of the Treasurer’s department.
Shall this amendment be adopted?

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