Mayor, City Council seats on Harper Woods ballot

Advertiser Times | Published October 15, 2019

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HARPER WOODS — On Tuesday, Nov. 5, Harper Woods voters will cast their ballots for mayor, three full terms on the City Council and one partial term on the City Council. Those who live in Precincts 5 and 6 will also vote on two Grosse Pointe Public School System millages.

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.


Harper Woods Mayor
One candidate is running unopposed for a two-year term.

 

Kenneth Poynter (I)
Age: No answer given
Occupation: Public School Educator (retired after 45 years).
Municipality of residence: Harper Woods
For how long: Part of Harper Woods for my entire life.
Online campaign information: None
Education: Harper Woods High School graduate, Valparaiso University, Purdue University, Wayne State University
Previously held elected offices: Harper Woods Mayor since 1997, Harper Woods School Board 1982-1997
Top goals: Harper Woods must be innovative, creative, make structural changes, and develop new delivery models. The city must be safe, clean, secure and a great place to live. While maintaining fiscal responsibility, Harper Woods must continually be enlisting citizen input and support with attention directed to neighborhoods, education, public safety, community activities, functioning infrastructure and city services.


Harper Woods City Council
Five candidates are running for three four-year terms.

 

David M. Calus
Age: 52
Occupation: Previous Engineer and Assistant Property Manager At The Detroit Renaissance Center
Municipality of residence: Harper Woods
For how long: I have lived in Harper Woods for over 52 years.
Online campaign information: No answer given
Education: I am a Graduate of Bishop Gallagher 1984 with some college.
Previously held elected offices: No answer given
Top goals: Hello Harper Woods Family. Goals? We have many issues facing us. From the budget, to safety, to repair many years long of a broken rental system, to a dire need to have ordinance enforcement, most importantly bringing in more revenue. This election is your chance to be heard. Time to hear an official say NAY! If there is any doubt who to Vote for in this election, please remember the 4C’s: Community, Change, Care, Calus!

Cheryl Costantino (I)
Age: No answer given
Occupation: Teacher, Businesswoman (Home Renovation)
Municipality of residence: Harper Woods
For how long: Resident of Harper Woods since 1994 (25+ years)
Online campaign information: (No website for campaign, however, we have hired someone to improve the City of Harper Woods website.)
Education: Bachelor of Science, Master of Arts in Teaching, Master of Arts in Industrial Relations/HR Focus
Previously held elected offices: Five terms as Mayor Pro Tem of Harper Woods, Precinct Delegate
Top goals: My goals are to continue to: improve property values, reduce crime, balance the budget, bring the community together, increase communication with residents, strengthen city services and provide a high quality of life for our residents in Harper Woods.

Tom B. Jenny (I)
Age: 50
Occupation: Recently retired after 27 years with GPW, DPW. Currently Grosse Pointe Park Assistant Director -Water Board.
Municipality of residence: Harper Woods
For how long: No answer given
Online campaign information: tombjenny@gmail.com
Education: Courses at Macomb Community College
Previously held elected offices: Harper Woods City Council
Top goals: My intent is to continue to be an approachable member of both the community and the City Council. I will continue in my efforts to put Harper Woods and the needs of our neighbors first, while contributing my insight of the City’s infrastructure and the importance of maintaining our ‘foundation.’ My family and I have lived here for over 20 years and can’t imagine calling anywhere else HOME.

Veronica Paiz (I)
Age: No answer given
Occupation: Artist/Photographer, Volunteer, Community Activist
Municipality of residence: Harper Woods
For how long: Harper Woods resident for 20 years
Online campaign information: No answer given
Education: BFA, Wayne State University; MA Studio Arts, New York University
Previously held elected offices: Precinct 5 Delegate, Harper Woods
Top goals: An important goal as a Councilperson is to continue working to improve infrastructure and public services with resourceful funding for capital improvements (such as DPW snowplows, building repairs and renovations, and updated technology). I believe we also need to revisit potential revenue from non-tax sources, including increased State revenue sharing; which could further support Public Safety services. And I would like to improve City Hall communications with our residents.

Regina L. Williams
Age: 54
Occupation: Teacher
Municipality of residence: Harper Woods
For how long: City of Harper Woods for 11 years
Online campaign information: No answer given
Education: B. A. and Master’s Degree from Wayne State University, Doctoral Student in Educational Leadership
Previously held elected offices: Current Vice President of the Harper Woods Board of Education
Top goals: My top goal is improving public services so that residents are receiving the highest quality. I would also focus on working with neighborhood improvement committees to promote Harper Woods, beautify our homes, increase businesses and new home buyers. I believe in programs that foster stronger community relationships. I Regina Williams am passionate, dedicated and really care about this city and doing what’s right to move our city forward.


Harper Woods City Council, partial term
One candidate is running unopposed for one partial term ending Nov. 8, 2021.

 

Ernestine Lyons
Age: 33
Occupation: Business Opportunity Coordinator for the City of Detroit Government, Harper Woods Planning commissioner, Intern with the Mayor’s office with the City of Detroit,   Inclusion Analyst with the City of Detroit and currently the Business opportunity coordinator.
Municipality of residence: Harper Woods
For how long: A resident of Harper Woods for 22 years
Online campaign information: ernestinelyons.com
Education: Bachelor’s in International Relations at Wayne State University, Masters Degree in Political Science from Wayne State University. Certified Citizen Planner, Michigan State University
Previously held elected offices: None
Top goals: Creating a small business incubator, incentivizing doing business in HW. Increase focus on streamlining our website and social media, creating distinct re-branding to attract investors. Building on existing plans as we become redevelopment ready through the Michigan Economic Development Corporation, thus establishing a Downtown Development Authority. Revitalize Kelly Road and build a stronger tax base to pull from for city services. I’m the candidate with youth, experience, and fresh perspective to put ideas to work.


Grosse Pointe Public School System proposals

 

Grosse Pointe Public School System Operating Millage Restoration And Extension
This proposal would reauthorize the Grosse Pointe Public School System to levy up to 18.00 mills for general school district operating purposes on taxable property in the School District to the extent that such property is not exempt from such levy, protect the School District against the impact of Headlee rollbacks of up to 1.0 mill, and restrict the levy on principal residences (owner-occupied homes) to no more than 7.8763 mills. This authorization would allow the School District to continue to levy the statutory limit of 18.00 mills on non-homestead (principally industrial and commercial real property and residential rental property) which expired with the School District’s 2019 tax levy. Under existing law the School District would levy on principal residence property only that portion of the mills necessary to allow the School District to receive the full revenue per pupil foundation allowance permitted by the State.

As a restoration and extension of authority which expires with the 2019 levy, shall the limitation on the amount of taxes which may be imposed on taxable property in the Grosse Pointe Public School System, County of Wayne, Michigan, be increased by 19.00 mills ($19.00 per $1,000 of taxable value) to the extent such property is not statutorily exempt, for five (5) years, the years 2020 to 2024, inclusive, to provide funds for operating expenses of the school district? Of the 19.00 mills, no more than 7.8763 mills ($7.8763 per $1,000 of taxable value) would be levied on principal residences. This millage would raise approximately $22,283,000 in the first year of levy.

 

Grosse Pointe Public School System Sinking Fund Proposal
This proposal would restore and extend the authority of the Grosse Pointe Public School System to levy a sinking fund millage last approved by voters in 2014 and which expired with the 2019 levy.

As a restoration and extension of authorization which expired with the 2019 levy, shall the Grosse Pointe Public School System, County of Wayne, Michigan, be authorized to levy 1.00 mill ($1.00 per $1,000 of taxable valuation) to create a sinking fund for the purpose of the construction or repair of school buildings, the improvement and development of sites, school security improvements, the acquisition or upgrading of technology or for other purposes to the extent permitted by law, by increasing the limitation on the amount of taxes which may be imposed on taxable property in the School District for a period of five (5) years, being the years 2020 to 2024, inclusive? Of the 1.00 mill, .9687 constitutes a renewal of the expired authorization. It is estimated that 1.00 mill ($1.00 per $1,000 of taxable valuation) would raise approximately $2,998,000 in the first year that it is levied.

(Under state law, sinking fund proceeds may not be used to pay teacher or administrator salaries.)