Parks bonds, charter amendments and more on Eagle ballots

Birmingham - Bloomfield Eagle | Published October 7, 2020

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In the Nov. 3 general election, voters across the Eagle’s coverage area will choose who they want to lead their communities at the state, county and municipal levels.
Voters will also have the chance to decide whether to renew an increased parks and recreation bond for Oakland County Parks, and Birmingham residents will decide if they want to approve a new parks and recreation bond.

The villages will have proposals to weigh in on, too. Beverly Hills residents will be asked to renew an amendment to the village charter to allow for an increased tax levy limit for a period of 10 years. Franklin residents will decide whether or not to renew an existing millage to fund police services and the village general fund.

Questionnaires only appear for contested races. Unopposed candidates are simply listed by name.

Candidates were asked, in 75 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, (…) replaces the rest of their answer. The answers are printed verbatim except where material is omitted due to personal attacks, items we know to be false or that are blatant misrepresentations, or for other editorial considerations of fairness.

 

Bloomfield Township Supervisor
Two candidates are running for one four-year term.

Democrat
Dani Walsh
Age: 48
Occupation: Business Consultant
Municipality of residence: Bloomfield Township, MI
For how long: 48 years
Online campaign information: electdaniwalsh.com
Education: University of Michigan – Ann Arbor BA Kinesiology, Marketing and Communications
Previously held elected offices: Bloomfield Township Trustee
Top goals: My goals for Bloomfield Township include:
Develop a strategic plan
Lower water and sewer rates
Update business practices and technology to 2020 standards
Pass balanced budgets while maintaining services
Fix the structural deficit
Bring transparency to township operations
Create an ethics and conflict of interest policy
Develop partnerships for green space, parks, and community gatherings
End the obsession for power that plagued the board for decades
Work to rebuild bridges with residents, employees, and schools.

Republican
Dan Devine
Age: 59
Occupation: Municipal Law Attorney since 1987 and Certified Public Finance Administrator (CPFA)
Municipality of residence: Bloomfield Township
For how long: 47 years
Online campaign information: www.DevineBloomfield.com
Education: B.A. in psychology from Notre Dame (1983) and Juris Doctorate from Detroit College of Law (1987)
Previously held elected offices: Oakland County Commissioner (1995-1999) and Bloomfield Township Treasurer (2000-2016)
Top goals: Develop a Resident Focused Strategic Plan like the one implemented in 2009 which guided the Township through the Great Recession.
I negotiated $100 Million in Tax Savings through closing the old Pension and Retiree Healthcare Plans earning the Township’s AAA Bond Rating.
I pledge to lead our Township again through troubled times as the duly elected Supervisor. I will not hand off the job after election to an appointed Superintendent as my opponent would do.


Bloomfield Township Clerk
Two candidates are running for one four-year term.

Democrat
Martin Brook
Age: 55
Occupation: Attorney in private practice representing employers.
Municipality of residence: Bloomfield Township.
For how long: 18 years
Online campaign information: www.brookforbloomfield.com
Education: Bachelor’s and Master’s Degree from MSU and Law Degree from Michigan in 1996
Previously held elected offices: Trustee, Bloomfield Hills School Board 2005-2010.
Top goals: Democracy is America’s founding principal. I will protect voting and ensure its security.  I will also work to bring greater openness, transparency, and accountability to the Township. Plus, work to address fiscal challenges.  As a lawyer, I am accustomed to leading and influencing people, advocating, and mediating critical disputes. Just as I did as a Trustee on the Bloomfield Hills School Board, as Clerk I will model civility, lead with empathy, and listen to everyone.

Republican
Tom Smyly
Age: 39
Occupation: A Bloomfield Township Police Officer
Municipality of residence: Bloomfield Township.
For how long: 13 years
Online campaign information: ElectTomSmyly.com
Education: BA Psychology - University of Michigan, Ann Arbor; Grand Valley State University Police Academy
Previously held elected offices: None
Top goals: I will safeguard our electoral process, giving priority to recent absentee voting changes. I will maintain the high level of professionalism found in the Clerk’s office by serving every resident with excellence and respect regardless of political party or individual differences. Additionally, I will pursue transparency and accountability, emphasizing two-way communication between myself and residents. Finally, I will encourage fiscal responsibility while continuing to maintain the top-notch services Bloomfield Township residents have come to expect.


Bloomfield Township Treasurer
Brian Kepes (I) is running unopposed for a four-year term.


Bloomfield Township Board of Trustees
Eight candidates are running for four four-year terms.

Democrat
Stephanie Fakih
Age: 32
Occupation: Attorney
Municipality of residence: Bloomfield Township.
For how long: 22 years
Online campaign information: fakihfortrustee.com
Education: Cranbrook Kingswood, University of Michigan – Ann Arbor B.A, Fordham University School of Law J.D.
Previously held elected offices: None
Top goals: If elected to be Bloomfield Township Trustee, I will work to keep Bloomfield Township a place to love to live. I will create volunteer opportunities for Township residents, increasing engagement with elected officials and with other members of the community. Encouraging community engagement helps strengthen neighborhood bonds and ties to a sustained Township. I will also work for more transparent government operations, and promoting the Township’s premiere services and way of life to attract new (...)

Democrat
Mitsuaki Murashige
Age: 49
Occupation: Project Manager
Municipality of residence: Bloomfield Hills.
For how long: Since 2009
Online campaign information: N/A
Education: B.A. Visual Arts
Previously held elected offices: N/A
Top goals: I would like to establish transparency and clear communication. Also I want to understand everyone’s needs in this community, so I welcome ideas, opinions, criticism and complaints from all.

Democrat
Valerie Sayles Murray
Age: 61
Occupation: Retired Advertising Media Buyer (10 years), and BPS & BHS School Districts Technology Support  & Special Education Staff (20+ years).
Municipality of residence: Bloomfield Township since 1985
For how long: 35 years as a homeowner
Online campaign information: Valerie Sayles Murray for Bloomfield Twp Trustee ( Facebook Political page)
Education: Michigan State University BA in Communications/Advertising/Management
Previously held elected offices: None
Top goals: To establish a new Strategic Plan addressing soaring debt, retirement obligations, and develop a balanced budget to ensure the solvency of the Township. Audit Water Department books and settle the lawsuit. The Tax and Spend mentality of the current board has driven up debt. We must reduce excessive spending and restore resident trust. Facilitate a resident friendly board, transparent finances and welcome resident input, as I believe it should be. Thank you for your consideration.

Democrat
Linda P. Ulrey
Age: No answer given
Occupation: Director of Ulrey Family Charitable Fund
Municipality of residence: Bloomfield Township
For how long: 40+ years
Online campaign information: www.ElectLindaUlrey.com
Education: BA Michigan State University; MBA University of Detroit
Previously held elected offices: None
Top goals: Bloomfield Township has  much promise and energy to do better! My primary goal is to move this community forward/solving our problems by engaging with other creative/strategic problem solvers. Our board needs to display honesty, openness and a willingness to compromise to reach solutions. The young people of the township should see leaders that inspire them to seek public service and be better citizens of their community and the world. Lets do it!

Republican
Neal Barnett (I)
Age: 66
Occupation: attorney
Municipality of residence: Bloomfield Township
For how long: 50 years
Online campaign information: www.facebook.com/trusteebarnett
Education: Michigan State University, B.S.; Oakland University, MA; Wayne State University
Law School, JD
Previously held elected offices: Bloomfield Township Trustee 2004 - present
Top goals: Bloomfield Township has world class services. However, all successful municipalities must set goals to improve their delivery of services.
We must find ways to reduce costs without sacrificing services.
Sustain the Township’s AAA credit rating through fiscal discipline.
Execute a sound investment plan in our aging infrastructure: water, sewer and roads.
Restore personnel losses in the Public Safety Departments to anticipate the coming “silver tsunami” of aging residents.

Republican
Timothy Robert Meyer
Did not return questionnaire by press time

Republican
Michael Schostak (I)
Did not return questionnaire by press time

Republican
Don Valente
Age: 79
Occupation: Retired Business & Real Estate Attorney
Municipality of residence: Bloomfield Township
For how long: 45 years
Online campaign information: None
Education: B.S. degree in Accounting / M.B.A. in Finance / Doctorate degree in Laws
Previously held elected offices: None
Top goals: Stop taxes for spending like paying 95%/$5M each year to subsidize hundreds of employees paying $50 monthly for their family of 4 health care, automatic pay raises into 2026, 14% pension contributions with many employees paying nothing, retirement at 50, millions in longevity bonuses and cars to officials and others for their personal use 365 including their 3 day weekends off.  Share costs to pay down the $164M OPEB and $12M water overcharging debt.


Beverly Hills Village Council Member
Six candidates are running for one of three four-year terms.

James Patrick Delaney
Age: 70
Occupation: Attorney
Municipality of residence: Village of Beverly Hills.
For how long: 38 years
Online campaign information: No answer given.
Education: B.A.  University of Detroit
J.D. Detroit College of Law (MSU)
Previously held elected offices: Served two previous terms on Beverly Hills Village Council.

Top goals: *Police and Fire Services: Review services to ensure full adherence to practices and procedures established to protect the public and officers, including formalized policies on duty to intervene, appropriate use of force, and police chases.
*Infrastructure: Regular water testing, study sewer system to determine if it is adequate to handle current demand and heavy rains and maintain and improve roads.
*Voter renewal of 12.9184 millage to maintain current services.

Shane Henry
Age: 38
Occupation: Insurance
Municipality of residence: Beverly Hills.
For how long: 4 years
Online campaign information: No answer given.
Education: Michigan State, Political Science, ‘04
Previously held elected offices: None
Top goals: I moved to Beverly Hills in 2016 and fell in love with the village. In the same year I took over my family’s small business. I’ve learned two things in the last 4 years. First, a well-meaning and motivated team of people can solve a lot of problems. Secondly, the best time to innovate is now. My goal is to leverage my business experience in service of Beverly Hills. Improving the community and our governance.  

Tracy Kecskemeti
Age: 42
Occupation: Environmental Manager, State of Michigan
Municipality of residence: Beverly Hills
For how long: 8 years
Online campaign information: TracyK4BeverlyHills on Facebook
Education: B.S. Natural Resources & Environment, University of Michigan; M.S. Environmental Science, University of Michigan-Dearborn
Previously held elected offices: None
Top goals: If elected to Village Council, my top goals would be to maintain our high quality public services; bring a new voice and perspective to Council; increase communication with residents; and find opportunities to improve public services. I am not running to pursue a certain agenda or pet issue. I am running because good government depends on active participation and I have a fresh perspective to contribute.

John Mooney (I)
Age: 67
Occupation: Attorney at Law
Municipality of residence: Village of Beverly Hills
For how long: For 37 years
Online campaign information: I do not have a campaign website
Education: B.A.  Magna Cum Laude, Wayne State University; J. D. Cum Laude, WSU Law School.
Previously held elected offices: 23 years Beverly Hills Village Councilmember, 11 years President or President Pro Tem, Village of Beverly Hills
Top goals: First priority is the renewal of the Millage rate last passed in 2010. Next is the continuation of the policies that have made Beverly Hills the best community in Michigan. Those policies include: Strong support for Public Safety Dept., support of Baldwin Library, balanced budgets, attention to infrastructure, and parks. We must keep taxes as low as possible while keeping the level of services high. Increase services for children and Senior citizens especially during Covid.

Phil Mueller (I)
Age: No answer given
Occupation: Small Business Owner
Municipality of residence: Village of Beverly Hills
For how long: 27 years
Online campaign information: N/A
Education: BA, Marketing
Previously held elected offices: Village Council past 6 years
Top goals: During my tenure on Council, Beverly Hills has been consistently ranked among the top 10 cities in Michigan for Best Place to Live, Safest City, Best Place to Raise a Family.  My primary goal is to keep it that way through responsible fiscal priorities including Public Safety and oversight, water/sewer and roads, quality resources such as parks, recreation, walking/riding, library access, and maintenance of the aesthetic character of the Village.

Ryan O’Gorman
Did not return questionnaire by press time.


Bingham Farms Village Board of Trustees
Four candidates are running for three four-year terms.

Lisa Blackburn (I)
Age: 51
Occupation: Homemaker
Municipality of residence: Bingham Farms.
For how long: 5 years
Online campaign information: People may email me at Lisablack burn04@comcast.net with any questions.
Education: BS: Exercise Physiology}Masters: Community Health Education
Previously held elected offices: Elected to the Grosse Ile Board of Education in 2012. Currently serving out a 2 year appointed Trustee position on the Bingham Farms Village Council.
Top goals: I will focus on public safety to ensure our community stays safe and thrives. Our roads have begun to deteriorate and I will ensure that we are planning properly to be able to afford necessary road work. Responsible planning and budgeting will result in the ability to keep taxes low. I will continue to do my due diligence and stay focused on accomplishing projects while keeping costs low and quality high.

Carl Grenadier (I)
Did not return questionnaire by press time.

Kurt L. Jones (I)
Age: 66
Occupation: Attorney (retired but still licensed)
Municipality of residence: Village of Bingham Farms.
For how long: 4 years
Online campaign information: N/A
Education: Albion College, BA Degree 1976
Washington & Lee Law School, JD Degree 1979
Previously held elected offices: I was appointed to the Bingham Farms Village Council in 2017. I won election to the Bingham Farms Village Council in 2018.
Top goals: Encourage the development of the few remaining undeveloped parcels in the Village in a manner consistent with the Village’s zoning ordinances and character while also increasing the Village’s tax base.
Keep the millage rate as low as possible to ensure that Bingham Farms remains an affordable place to live.
Manage the fact that Village income is decreasing at a slower rate than Village expenses by only voting for expenditures that are essential.

Aaron Krabill
Age: 45
Occupation: Certified Public Accountant
Municipality of residence: Bingham Farms.
For how long: 3 years
Online campaign information: No answer given.
Education: Bachelor of Science in Accounting from The University of Akron
Previously held elected offices: None
Top goals: My goal is to help keep Bingham Farms a low-density residential community and preserve the character of the Village, which I believe differentiates it from more intensely developed neighboring communities. If elected, I will work to ensure that the interests of current residents are put above those of builders and developers looking to intensely develop parts of the Village. I also believe my extensive financial experience would be a benefit to the Village Council.

 

Bingham Farms Village Board of Trustees
Spencer Doty, (I), is running unopposed for a term ending Nov. 21, 2022.

 

Franklin Village Council President
One candidate and one write-in are running for one four-year term.

William L. Lamott
Age: No answer given.
Occupation: Retired
Municipality of residence: Franklin.
For how long: 22 years
Online campaign information: billforfranklin.com
Education: BS from Purdue, MBA from University  of Detroit
Previously held elected offices: 8 years Franklin Village Council
Top goals: Fix the village center right-of-way while maintaining the historic character. Assure that the government complies with the law and puts the residents’ voice first. Have elected officials who conduct themselves in a civil and inclusive manner, not only to each other but to the residents they represent – especially when they strongly disagree.

Write-in
Pamela Hansen (I)
Age: 69
Occupation: Organization Consultant, Hansen Jones Associates, LLC
Municipality of residence: Franklin, MI
For how long: 27 years
Online campaign information: writepamhansen.com
Education: MS Organization Development Pepperdine University
MBA University of St Thomas, St Paul, MN
BS Public Health Education, University of Minnesota
Previously held elected offices: Village Trustee, Franklin, MI  2012-2016
Village President, Franklin, MI  2016-present
Top goals: 1. Ensure residents and visitors can safely get where they want to go in the Village on foot, by bicycle - and car.
2. Economic development in the village center:  Bring back essential services businesses, restore community gathering spots and improve historic building conditions.
3. A plan in place to assure residents have sufficient, quality water in all corners of the village.  
4. Continue outstanding police, fire and local government services

 

Franklin Village Council Trustee
Five candidates are running for three four-year terms.

Katherine Erlich
Age: 50
Occupation: Pediatrician
Municipality of residence: Franklin
For how long: 49 years (My parents moved here when I was 9 months old. I moved away for my first 4 years of marriage and returned in 1999.)
Online campaign information: www.kathyerlich.com
Education: BS from University of Michigan, MD from MSU, Residency at Beaumont Hospital
Previously held elected offices: None
Top goals: Having lived in Franklin essentially my entire life, I wish to celebrate our amazing, unique town and protect it, so it will be here for generations to come. As such, we need to preserve our rural, authentic historic downtown and focus on the needs of the residents, rather than Council’s own personal agendas. We need safer walkability on main roads and more gathering places (like coffee/ice cream/market) in the downtown.

Fred Gallasch (I)
Age: 76
Occupation: Retired automobile executive
Municipality of residence: Franklin, MI
For how long: 27 years
Online campaign information: none
Education: BS: chemistry & mathematics at Hampden-Sydney College; MS: economics at North Carolina State University; PhD: economics and econometrics at North Carolina State University
Previously held elected offices: Franklin Village: trustee for 20 years; president for 4 years
Top goals: We need to update our downtown by providing safe pathways for citizens to enjoy our village. I am working council to assure that this is done in a way to preserve our historical designation. Franklin has lost several businesses. We need to develop a program to advertise and recruit new businesses. I support Franklin’s recent initiative to analyze our diversity and inclusiveness. I and several others are developing a strategy and approach to improve both.

Mark Hanke
Age: 54
Occupation: Senior manager in Automotive manufacturing
Municipality of residence: Franklin Village
For how long: 20 years
Online campaign information: MarkHanke.org
Education: Bachelor of Science in Electrical Engineering, Masters in Business Administration
Previously held elected offices: none
Top goals: 1. Support Police and Fire departments with needed upgrades and funding.
2. Bring a balanced mix of businesses back to Village Center including a coffee shop and market. As the founder of Farmhouse Coffee, I have the skills and knowledge to build a thriving business district.
3. Develop an optional municipal water plan for increased safety and home value
4. Increase inclusion within our community by outreach to new residents and supporting the diversity council

Joshua Lawton
Age: 44
Occupation: Engineer
Municipality of residence: Franklin
For how long: 11 years
Online campaign information: lawton4franklin.com
Education: BSEE
Previously held elected offices: None
Top goals: I am running so all residents feel they are part of the solution when they experience a leader that will listen to their needs, develop creative solutions for the whole community, and then allow them to vote.  My number one priority is to make the council more inclusive by answering all questions raised during meetings, replying to all letters to council, implementing village wide communications for major issues, and communicating clearly and with full transparency.

Michael Seltzer (I)
Age: 65
Occupation: Retired Marketing and Publishing CEO Owner, SKM Marketing Inc. 40 years
Municipality of residence: Franklin Village
For how long: Since 1995 -- 25 years
Online campaign information: www.re-electmichaelseltzer.com
Education: College graduate marketing
Previously held elected offices: Previously elected to Franklin Village council 2012, 2016 and appointed 2010
Top goals: I’m proud of the work we have done to benefit our community. I am passionate about this Village and the challenges we face managing a $2 million budget, being fiscally responsible and self-governing. Our 2020 Streetscape plan, a 2 year work in progress to provide safe walkability and downtown beautification for all. We have a future concern about water and among my goals is to allow voters a chance to look at options for consideration.


Birmingham Public Schools District Board of Education
Five candidates are running for two six-year terms.

Lori Ajlouny (I)
Age: No answer given.
Occupation: Former Educator 31 yrs with BPS Current School Board Trustee
Municipality of residence: Birmingham
For how long: 50+ years
Online campaign information: Facebook  @loriajlounyeducation
Education: Wayne State University BA, MAT, Masters in Education
Previously held elected offices: 2016 Elected to Birmingham School Board
Top goals: During these trying times of living under the Covid-19 pandemic, my first priority is return our kids back to school safely. With the Health Advisory Board consisting of 31 medical and health experts, we used their expertise to guide us, using a metrics system to create a safe glide pathway back to school. If I am re-elected I can hit the ground running and continue the momentum necessary to achieve a full face-to-face learning environment (…)

Luke Joseph
Age: 52
Occupation: Accountant
Municipality of residence: Birmingham
For how long: 4
Online campaign information: www.facebook.com/electlukejoseph
Education: B.S. in Accounting & Finance; MBA & Masters of Taxation
Previously held elected offices: N/A
Top goals: My top goals start with improving education. Birmingham Schools has always been in the top, recently other schools has surpassed us. My goal is to make Birmingham #1 District in Michigan and the Nation. One way is to offer International Baccalaureate.
Second goal is safeguarding the students. Increase mental health access, put an end to bullying, racism, discrimination, and violence.
Third goal is bringing teachers and parents to communicate more.
Vote Luke.

Samuel Oh
Age: 44
Occupation: Family Office Manager
Municipality of residence: Birmingham
For how long: 8 years
Online campaign information: N/A
Education: Masters in Architecture and Real Estate Development, University of Michigan
Previously held elected offices: No answer given.
Top goals: From 2019-2020, my elementary sons were victims of racism at school that went unabated.  Ironically, at the time my son’s Kindergarten class was more than 40% minority, 2/3 of those Asian-American. However, there are no Asian principals, superintendents, or Board of Education members in the BPS system. Nothing ever changes without numbers and representation at the highest levels, not just tokenism. Leadership needs to reflect today’s reality of class diversity to purposefully defend equality.

Nash Salami
Age: 19
Occupation: Non-Profit Executive.
Municipality of residence: Bloomfield Hills.
For how long: Three Years.
Online campaign information: NashSalami.com
Education: Graduated from Seaholm High School in 2019, currently studying Political Science at Oakland University.
Previously held elected offices: None
Top goals: I’m running to bring a different perspective to our school board that hasn’t been heard before. As a recent Seaholm graduate, I’m more acquainted and in-touch with the perspectives of our students and the difficulties facing them today. My top priority is to be an open collaborator on our board, to bring different perspectives from different people together when making decisions on what’s best for everyone in our district.

Write-in
William Barton Clifford, Jr.
Age: 48
Occupation: Attorney
Municipality of residence: Bloomfield Township
For how long: 14 years
Online campaign information: www.facebook.com/WilliamClif fordJr4BOE/
Education: B.S., Civil Engineering from Michigan State University
J.D., Wayne State University
Previously held elected offices: None
Top goals: The District’s handling of the return-to-school issue has destroyed the community’s trust in BPS leadership. The Board of Education and the Central Leadership Team must reestablish a positive working partnership with the community. Leadership has to start listening to the community on all matters. If elected I will listen to all interests and do my best to understand and consider the needs of parents, students, teachers, and the community.

 

Bloomfield Hills Schools Board of Education
Seven candidates are running for three four-year terms.

Dima El-Gamal
Age: 49
Occupation: Managing Principal at Stantec Consulting Michigan in Ann Arbor Michigan
Municipality of residence: West Bloomfield Township
For how long: Since 2004
Online campaign information: Facebook page @Elgamal4BHS
Education: Doctorate and master’s in Civil and Environmental Engineering from Wayne State University
Previously held elected offices: N/A
Top goals: I am passionate about mental wellness, inclusion, and implementation of the recently passed Bond proposal. I want to work with the Board (including candidates Southward and VanGemert, if elected) and the Superintendent to make BHS District the first in the nation to have a mental wellness curriculum as part of the graduation requirement. I plan to drive advancement by translating my passions into action, and will be honored to win the District Residents vote.

Nicholas Haugen
Did not return questionnaire by press time.

Renita James
Age: 44
Occupation: Departmental Analyst
Municipality of residence: Bloomfield Township
For how long: 10 years
Online campaign information: N/A
Education: Bachelor’s Degree in Political Science and a Master’s in Business Administration
Previously held elected offices: No answer given.
Top goals: Since my community desires a healthy and educated community, it is my goal to be a part of this school board to help facilitate a community for all students. My principal goals I would like to accomplish, during my term if elected, is protecting the health and safety measures of our students plus staff during this COVID-19 era, narrowing the achievement gap, while promoting more diversity, impartiality with balance and inclusion within our schools.


Siva B. Kumar
Age: 52
Occupation: Senior Director, DWH Corp (Strategic Growth & Restructuring Consulting)
Municipality of residence: City of Bloomfield Hills
For how long: since 2015
Online campaign information: www.skumarforbhschoolboard.com
Education: MS Engineering from Wayne State University,
MBA in Finance from Ross School of Business at University of Michigan
Previously held elected offices: N/A
Top goals: I’ve worked in Finance & Business Strategy at companies including Meritor, Tenneco & Ford. I’ve successfully managed projects and built up businesses in leadership roles and I’ve worked with boards over the years to manage the interests of multiple stakeholders.
I pledge to ensure safety (post-Covid) for our students and staff and use my finance skills to ensure prudent spending of the $200 million bond approved by BHills residents in August, 2020. Thank you for your vote...

Michelle Southward
Age: 44
Occupation: Works in Higher Education
Municipality of residence: City of Bloomfield Hills
For how long: 10 years
Online campaign information: michellesouthward.wordpress.com
Education: Doctoral Student
Previously held elected offices: No answer given.
Top goals: As a candidate for the Bloomfield Hills school board, my top three priorities would be (1) to support a robust mental health education program for social and emotional wellness, (2) to improve our equity and inclusion practices throughout school district and curricula to directly address the achievement gaps with established sustainable tiered interventions and targeted services for all learners, and (3) improve our community relations and communication across the district through intentional initiatives.

Jonathan Van Gemert
Age: 43
Occupation: Attorney
Municipality of residence: Bloomfield Township
For how long: 4.5 years
Online campaign information: vgforbloomfieldboard.com
Education: BA in Economics and Management, Albion College; Juris Doctorate, University of Detroit Mercy
Previously held elected offices: None
Top goals: Unprecedented times have caused distrust and uncertainty, I hope to mend that trust with decisions that are transparent and which are based on clear logic and reason. Further, I have joined a team with candidates El-Gamal and Southward, and we intend to work with Superintendent Watson to infuse the curriculum with mental wellness education, increasing student adaptability and self-worth.  Student self-analysis correlates to student success more than any other factor per meta-analysis of multiple studies.

Samuel Walker
Did not return questionnaire by press time.

 

State House of Representatives District 40
Two candidates are running for one two-year term.
 
Democrat
Mari Manoogian (I)
Age: 28
Occupation: State Representative
Municipality of residence: Birmingham
For how long: 28 years
Online campaign information: www.mariformi.com
Education: M.A., The George Washington University, Global Communication (2017) B.A. The George Washington University, International Affairs, Security Policy (2014) High School: Birmingham Seaholm High School (2010)
Previously held elected offices: None previous to being elected State Representative in 2018.
Top goals: Protect the health of my district and all Michgianders by fighting for quality, affordable healthcare, regardless of pre-existing conditions;
Enact an equitable education funding model for public schools so that all children, regardless of zip code, can access their constitutional right to education;
Prioritize local businesses over large corporations; and Continue to ensure clean and safe drinking water for all Michiganders.
 
Republican
Kendra Cleary
Age: 53
Occupation: Sales Executive
Municipality of residence: Bloomfield Township
For how long: 15 years
Online campaign information: www.choiceiscleary.com
Education: BA Michigan State University
Previously held elected offices: Precinct Delegate
Top goals:
1. Keeping our community safe and reopening our economy by focusing on how to re-engage our state workforce back into the economy and get all our citizens back to work.
2. Ensuring our kids safely receive a quality education – I don’t want to see one child left-behind because of this pandemic.
3. Environment – I am committed to working with others to come up with common-sense solutions to the environmental issues facing our state.

 

U.S. House of Representatives District 9
Four candidates are running for one two-year term.

Democrat
Andy Levin (I)
Age: 60
Occupation: Member of Congress
Municipality of residence: Bloomfield Township
For how long: 14 years
Online campaign information: andylevinforcongress.com
Education: Williams College, University of Michigan, Harvard Law School
Previously held elected offices: n/a
Top goals: As Education & Labor Committee Vice Chair, I put working families at the center of every policy decision. I want all Americans to find a good-paying job, send their children to an excellent public school, have access to quality, affordable health care, and retire with dignity. Unfortunately, this pandemic has shown how out-of-reach this American dream is for many among us. I’ll work tirelessly until we live in that “more perfect union” we’ve always sought.

Republican
Charles Langworthy
Did not return questionnaire by press time.

Working Class Party
Andrea L. Kirby   
Age: 43
Occupation: Junior Accountant
Municipality of residence: Eastpointe
For how long: 8 years
Online campaign information: www.workingclassfight.com
Education: Bachelor Degree
Previously held elected offices: none
Top goals: If elected, my top priority would be to ensure that all of the wealth that is generated by the working class are used to take care of the needs of the working class. That would mean funding public services such as public health and education among other things. This would also provide jobs for all those that want to work. The needs of the working class would be my top priority.

Libertarian
Mike Saliba
Age: 36
Occupation: Underwriter
Municipality of residence: Clinton Twp
For how long: 36 years
Online campaign information: votesaliba.com
Education: Broadcasting
Previously held elected offices: None
Top goals: JUST SAY NO TO CONGRESS! Whether it’s Democrats or Republicans in charge, Congress hasn’t had an approval rating above 35% in decades. It isn’t working! I pledge to vote NO on any bill that does not 1) Reduce the size and scope of government power, 2) Cut taxes or government spending #defundpoliticians , or 3) Increase the personal freedom of all Americans. It’s a simple promise to keep. JUST SAY NO TO CONGRESS!


United States House of Representatives District 11
Three candidates are running for one two-year term.

Democrat
Haley Stevens (I)
Age: 37
Occupation: United States Congresswoman
Municipality of residence: Rochester Hills, MI
For how long: Since 2017
Online campaign information: HaleyStevensforCongress.com
Education: American University (B.A., M.A.), Ernest W. Seaholm High School in Birmingham, Michigan
Previously held elected offices: U.S. Congresswoman representing Michigan’s 11th District since 2019
Top goals: As Chief of Staff on President Obama’s Auto Rescue Task Force, my top priority is rebuilding our economy and getting Michiganders back to work safely. We also have to make our economy more resilient by strengthening our supply chains, securing better trade deals and holding China accountable. Lastly, I plan to focus on finding bipartisan solutions to the problems we faced before the pandemic, from climate change to our underfunded public schools.

Republican
Eric S. Esshaki
Age: 36
Occupation: Attorney
Municipality of residence: Birmingham, MI
For how long: 2 years, previously lived in Troy, MI
Online campaign information: www.EricEsshaki.com
Education: Juris Doctor, University of Michigan; Bachelor of Integrative Studies, Oakland University; Associates Nursing, Oakland Community College
Previously held elected offices: None
Top goals: We must continue to reopen our economy in a safe manner, which means that we must clearly define the at-risk population and implement policies to protect them. We know that COVID-19 is a serious and deadly virus that is most dangerous to approximately 20% of the population, yet we shut down 100% of our nation and failed to protect the most vulnerable 20%. Science-based solutions are the key to moving forward.

Libertarian
Leonard Schwartz
Age: 75
Occupation: Retired professor of business law and economics
Municipality of residence: Oak Park, MI
For how long: 28 years
Online Campaign information: www.leonardschwartz.us
Education: B.A., University of Chicago; M.A., Johns Hopkins University; J.D., Wayne State University Law School
Previously held elected offices: None
Top goals: (1) End the war on herbal medicine, thereby reducing the opioid problem. (2) End foreign quagmires and trade wars. (3) Repeal civil asset forfeiture laws, which allow the government to confiscate your property without even accusing you of committing a crime.


Oakland County Board of Commissioners District 12
Two candidates are running for one two-year term.

Democrat
Kelly Dillaha
Age: 50
Occupation: Small business owner, former university administrator with 20+ years’ experience in community relations and facilities management
Municipality of residence: Birmingham
For how long: Almost 9 years
Online campaign information: kellydillaha.com
Education: B.A. and M.A. from Wayne State University
Previously held elected offices: First time candidate
Top goals: My goals are to rebuild businesses and get people back to work; strengthen Health Department services for families and seniors, including mental health and COVID testing; fight for clean, safe water; and champion a welcoming and inclusive community.
I’m experienced leading organizations through cultural and financial challenges like those facing Oakland County, successfully collaborating with community groups, businesses, educators and government. I volunteer for schools and nonprofits. I’m forward-focused, energetic, and ready to serve Oakland.

Republican (I)
Chuck Moss
Age: 67
Occupation: Writer
Municipality of residence: Birmingham, MI
For how long: 38 years.
Online campaign information: www.votechuckmoss.com
Education: BA, James Madison, MSU, 1975
JD, University of Detroit School of Law 1979
Previously held elected offices: State Representative, 40th District, 2007-2012
Oakland County Commissioner, 2001-2006
Birmingham City Commissioner, 1997-2001
Top goals: Restore Oakland’s AAA Fiscal budget accountability and Transparency Policy, balance budget without raising taxes.
Increase training and support for the County Sheriff and local Law enforcement.
Work to protect senior health and safety, both in the Covid crisis and afterward.

 

Oakland County Board of Commissioners District 13
Two candidates are running for one two-year term.

Democrat
Marcia Gershenson (I)
Age: 70
Occupation: County Commissioner
Municipality of residence: Bloomfield
For how long: 20 year resident
Online campaign information: Marcia Gershenson for County Commissioner Facebook page
Education: Graduate University of Michigan BA education
Previously held elected offices: County Commissioner since 2005
Top goals: My first priority is to continue my efforts to keep our residents COVID free and send millions of Federal grant dollars to assist our local businesses to re-open. In addition, I help residents everyday to secure their unemployment, or apply for relief money that is available. I am currently working to expand our Health Department to address the needs of families with the establishment of community Health Centers.

Republican
Max Rohtbart
Age: 29
Occupation: Independent Contractor
Municipality of residence: West Bloomfield
For how long: six years
Online campaign information: maxforoakland.com
Education: B.A. History with minor in Political Science at Oakland University, also JD candidate University of Detroit Mercy Law graduation May 2021
Previously held elected offices: Precinct Delegate 2010-present.
Top goals: Clean water by investing in our water infrastructure to stop the dumping of sewage into the Great Lakes. No gerrymandering by supporting a 2022-2030 map that follows all laws, keeps communities together, and is not drawn to keep a partisan advantage for either party. Need to also keep strong fiscal practices to keep our AAA bond rating.

 

Oakland County Water Resources Commissioner
Two candidates are running for one four-year term.

Democrat
Jim Nash (I)
Age: 63    
Occupation: Oakland County Water Resources Commissioner
Municipality of residence: Farmington Hills
For how long: 26 years
Online campaign information: www.nash4wrc.com
Education: B.S., Florida State University, 1988, Political Science and Peace Studies    
Previously held elected offices: Oakland County Commissioner, (D) Farmington Hills — 2005-2013
Top goals: To continue my work leading collaborative regional efforts to make our water, sewer and stormwater systems as efficient and effective as possible to protect public health and safety, preserve and protect our water resources, and contribute to the economic success of the region. I will continue working with community partners across Oakland County to further develop the new technologies and infrastructure management practices that will protect our water resources for generations to come.

Republican
Jim Stevens
Did not return questionnaire by press time.

 

Oakland County Treasurer
Three candidates are running for one four-year term.

Democrat
Robert Wittenberg
Age: 39
Occupation: State Representative
Municipality of residence: Huntington Woods, MI
For how long: 25 years
Online campaign information: www.RobertWittenberg.com
Education: Bachelor of Science in Business Management, Indiana University
Previously held elected offices: State Representative, 1/2015-current
Top goals: Securing the financial well-being of every resident during the COVID-19 crisis and beyond, maintaining our AAA bond rating and preventing foreclosures, and helping to recruit new businesses while supporting existing ones. I will ensure that people are able to stay and thrive in our neighborhoods. I believe an effective public servant should be both fiscally responsible and socially conscious. That is why I'll be a compassionate steward of resources for all residents across the county.

Republican
Joe Kent
Age: 62
Occupation: Tax Accountant, partner at Kent & Edwards Tax Advisors LLC
Municipality of Residence: Oxford, MI
For how long: 29 years
Online campaign information: https://electjoekent.com
Education: Bachelor’s degree, Michigan State University College of Business; M.B.A. University of Michigan School of Business
Previously held elected offices: No answer given
Top goals: Protect property rights through an impartial review of procedures leading to this summer’s MI Supreme Court ruling against the Oakland County Treasurer’s office. Stop tax increases and stop risks to the county’s AAA bond rating. Protect the county’s assets through an impartial review of investment policies. Achieve best practices for privacy, security and ease of use in online payment tools and other Treasurer’s Department online resources. Restore openness in the county’s books.
No Party Affiliation Nicholas G. Luppino (write-in) Age: 29 Occupation: Political research and development. Municipality of residence: Oakland County For how long: 29 years Online campaign information: change.org/chapter401 Education: Personal study Previously held elected offices: None Top goals: Policy fulfillment. Follow through with voting's past. Corrections and reductions to monopoly's and privateering. Restoring resource standards. Corroborating United States program intentions. Employment upkeep. Modernizing the impacts automation has had on the community.
Oakland County Clerk and Register of Deeds
Two candidates are running for one four-year term.

Democrat
Lisa Brown (I)
Age: 53
Occupation: Oakland County Clerk/Register of Deeds
Municipality of residence: West Bloomfield
For how long: Almost 30 years
Online campaign information: LisaBrown4Michigan.com
Education: Michigan State University, B.S. , Detroit College of Law, J.D.
Previously held elected offices: Started Representative 2009-2012, County Clerk/Register 2013-present
Top goals: I am running for re-election to continue providing an accessible, efficient, transparent, and fiscally responsible office to the residents of Oakland County. Now more than ever, it is vital to have a Clerk/Register with experience and knowledge in each area of this important office and continue the award winning, innovative programs I created, like PRN. I will build on my track record of success and ensure our elections are accurate, secure and fair.

Republican
Tina Barton
Age: 48
Occupation: City Clerk — City of Rochester Hills
Municipality of residence: Springfield Township
For how long: 20 years
Online campaign information: www.tinaforclerk.com
Education: Liberty University, master’s degree in Management and Leadership; Great Lakes University, bachelor’s degree in Business Administration
Previously held elected offices: None
Top goals: I will innovate, collaborate and protect. I will bring my nationally recognized, award-winning passion for working smarter and not harder. I will be a partner for our residents and Clerks. I will create a roundtable for our exterior partners such as realtors, attorneys and voter advocacy groups to review our services and processes. I will protect your finances, vote and property records. I will continue to work with security experts across the country.

 

Oakland County Sheriff
Two candidates are running for one four-year term.

Democrat
Vincent Gregory
Age: 72
Occupation:
Volunteer at Judson Center
Executive board member
Municipality of residence: Lathrup Village
For how long: Nine years
Online campaign information: www.vincentgregoryforsheriff.com
Education:
B.S., Criminal Justice, Madonna University
Previously held elected offices:
Former Oakland County Commissioner 10 years
Former State Representative 2 years
Former State Senator 8 years
Top goals:
1. Transparency. Currently, Oakland County Sheriffs do not wear body cams. I will implement policies that require officers to wear active body cams at all times.
2. Community policing. Increasing the presence of officers in the community.
3. Accountability. After my platform release, a woman was promoted to Captain. As Sheriff, I will not wait 20 years to promote a woman.
4. Integrity. I will enforce executive orders from the Governor relating to the COVID-19 pandemic.


Michael J. Bouchard (I)
Republican
Age: 64
Occupation: Oakland County Sheriff
Municipality of residence: Bloomfield
Online campaign information: sheriffbouchard.com
Education:
Bachelor of Arts with honors, Criminal Justice and Police Administration, Michigan State University
Graduate of the FBI National Executive Institute Program (NEI)
Graduate of the United States Secret Service in Dignitary Protection Program
Mid-Michigan Law Enforcement Center, Valedictorian
Graduate of the National Sheriff’s Institute
Previously held elected offices:
Oakland County Sheriff (1999-present)
Michigan State Senate (1991-1999); Elected Senate Majority Floor Leader in 1998
Michigan State House of Representatives (1990-1991)
Village of Beverly Hills Council (1986-1990)
Top goals: As a police officer for 33 years, I know better hiring and better training leads to better outcomes. We need a state-of-the-art training center built for law enforcement in the county. To hold police more accountable, we need to focus on training to produce better results. I’ll continue to focus on getting police reform enacted in the capitol. I’m proud to be the only sheriff from Michigan ever named national sheriff of the year.

 

Oakland County Prosecuting Attorney
Two candidates are running for one four-year term.

Democrat
Karen McDonald
Age: 50
Occupation: Private Practice Attorney
Municipality of residence: Birmingham
For how long: 12 years
Online campaign information: www.mcdonaldforprosecutor.com
Education: After graduating Alma College (1992) with an English & Political Science degree, I attended Wayne State University Law School, where I attained my Juris Doctorate (1998).
Previously held elected offices: Oakland County Circuit Court Judge (2012-2019)
Top goals: As prosecutor, I will reduce mass incarceration and address racial disparity in Oakland County by building a transparent, accountable Prosecutor’s Office, eliminating cash bail, holding youth accountable without unnecessary incarceration, and giving assistant prosecutors discretion to reduce or amend charges. I will also invest and participate in treatment courts and diversion programs for low-level, nonviolent offenders; create new mental health programs; and establish both a functioning Hate Crimes Unit and Conviction Integrity Unit.

Republican
Lin Goetz
Age: 53
Occupation: Attorney
Municipality of residence: Lake Orion
For how long: 13 years, Village of Beverly Hills Resident for six years
Online campaign information: www.linforprosecutor.com
Education: Thomas M. Cooley Law School Juris Doctor; Michigan State University, B.A.
Previously held elected offices: N/A
Top goals: My No. 1 goal is to protect you, your business, your family and your home. I support good law enforcement, who are there to protect and serve our community. I will implement a public integrity unit to give victims reassurance that former convictions were correct, or to correct wrong convictions. I will fight for domestic violence and child abuse victims to make sure their voice is heard in the court. I will fight for you.

 

Oakland County Executive
Three candidates are running for one four-year term. Additionally, Coulter and Kowall are running for a term that will last approximately two months from the Nov. 3 election to Dec. 31, 2020.

Democrat
David Coulter (I)
Age: 60
Occupation: Oakland County Executive
Municipality of residence: Ferndale, MI
For how long: 27 years
Online campaign information: www.davecoulter.com
Education: Michigan State University; B.A.
Previously held elected offices: Current County Executive. Mayor of Ferndale. Oakland County Commissioner.
Top goals: My top priority as county executive is to manage the coronavirus and support the economic recovery. My team acted quickly to acquire PPE, make testing widely available, and provide financial support to small businesses, schools, community organizations and local governments hard hit by COVID-19. Additionally, we’re focused on our Oakland 80 incentive to provide education and career training to Oakland County residents.

Republican
Mike Kowall
Age: 69
Occupation: Former Oakland County Economic & Legislative Liaison, family business owner and carpenter
Municipality of residence: White Lake Township
For how long: 40 years
Online campaign information: KowallforOakland.com
Education: Five-year carpentry apprenticeship, Oakland Community College, Detroit Henry Ford High School, St. Mary’s of Redford School
Previously held elected offices: Former State Majority Floor Leader, State Representative and Township Supervisor
Top goals: Mike has fought, and won, against the Administration’s plan to raise homeowner’s taxes by $1,020.00 per year. This money would have harmed seniors, and many of the homeowners and local communities around our county, taxing homeowners out of their homes. Mike has worked hard to promote sustainable economic development, protect our environment, quality of life and create an environment of fiscal responsibility.

Libertarian
Connor Nepomuceno
Age: 26
Occupation: Test Lab Technician
Municipality of residence: Village of Clarkston
For how long: Three years
Online campaign information: www.facebook.com/Nepo4Oakland/
Education: Associate’s degree, Automotive/High Performance — University of Northwestern Ohio 2016
Previously held elected offices: N/A
Top goals: Lower Cost of Living: Abolish the Property Tax, Reform Zoning/Building Codes, Deregulate Utilities
Get Out of the Way of Business: Streamline Business/Occupational Licensing/Zoning, Cut Red Tape, Deregulate Marijuana Dispensaries. Constitutional Sanctuary: Protect Oakland from the Feds, Expand Gun Rights, Protect the Immigrant Population, Free Speech on Campus, End the War On Drugs. Police Reform: End Qualified Immunity, Pursue Officer Personal Liability Insurance, Enhanced De-Escalation and Non-Lethal Apprehension Training, De-Militarization.


Oakland County Sixth Circuit Court Judge, non-incumbent position
Two candidates are running for one six-year term.

Clarence Dass
Age: 35
Occupation: Attorney and Founder, The Dass Law Firm; Previously Assistant Prosecuting Attorney, Oakland County Prosecutor's Office (2012-2016)
Municipality of residence: Bloomfield Township, Michigan
For how long: 35 years
Online campaign information: www.dass4judge.com
Education: B.A., Wayne State University; J.D., The Ohio State University Moritz College of Law
Previously held elected offices: None
Top goals: Having been a prosecutor, defense attorney and manager of a law firm, I will utilize my diverse, well-rounded experience to provide empathy for every litigant, while still upholding the law. As judge, I will seek to improve access to our courts, utilize treatment courts wherever possible and protect our community from violent crime. Whether it is a family, civil or criminal docket, I will treat each case with care and concern — always striving for justice.

Lorie Savin
Age: 50
Occupation: Attorney
Municipality of residence: West Bloomfield
For how long: 19 years
Online campaign information: wwwSavinForJudge.com
Education: University of Michigan, A.B. in Political Science & Sociology 1992; Wayne State University Law School, J.D. 1995
Previously held elected offices: None
Top goals: As a judge, my goals are to: (1) Be an effective judge that helps people resolve disputes in a meaningful, fair, and timely fashion. (2) Continue efforts to improve access to the legal system for everyone and improve civility and professionalism within the legal community. (3) Partner with community organizations that support struggling families, reduce intimate partner violence, and help our youth avoid entering the juvenile justice system.

 

Justice of the Supreme Court
Seven candidates are running for two eight-year terms.
 
Susan L. Hubbard
Age: 59 years old
Occupation: Judge of Wayne County Third Judicial Circuit Court, Civil Division
Municipality of residence: Reside in Grosse Pointe Farms, MI
For how long: Lifelong Michigan resident, grew up in Dearborn, moved to Grosse Pointe Farms 8 years ago.
Online campaign information: HubbardforJustice.com
Education: Wayne State University, B.A. Detroit College of Law, J.D. Fordson High School, Dearborn
Previously held elected offices: Elected in 1985 to Dearborn City Council — 1986-1989 Elected in 1989 to Wayne County Commission — 1989-2004 Elected in 2010 to Wayne County Circuit Court — 2011-2016 Re-elected in 2016 to Wayne County Circuit Court — 2017-present-2022
Top goals: As Justice, I will protect the constitutional rights of Michigander’s by addressing, without delay, important issues such as the constitutionality of the 1945 Emergency Powers of Governor Act. As the third generation in my family to serve in public office, I know the importance of protecting our democracy of representation of the people, by the people, for all the people. I will ensure that our system of checks and balances is upheld.

Mary Kelly
Age: 62
Occupation: Former 30-year assistant prosecutor. Current Lawyer Guardian Ad Litem for children involved in neglect and abuse cases in foster care system.
Municipality of residence: St. Clair County
For how long: 36 years
Online campaign information: MaryKellyforJustice.com
Education: Juris Doctor from Detroit College of Law; Bachelor of Science Michigan State University
Previously held elected offices: No answer given
Top goals: As a Justice on the Michigan Supreme Court, my goals will be simple: to uphold the rule of law and deliver justice for the people of our great state. The role of a judge is not to make law, but to enforce and uphold the law. The Supreme Court also administers the judicial system throughout the state, and I will ensure our court system delivers equal justice for all.

Bridget Mary McCormack (I)
Age: 54
Occupation: Law
Municipality of residence: Ann Arbor, MI
For how long: 22 years
Online campaign information: www.bridgetmarymccormack.com
Education: In 1988, I graduated from Trinity College, a small liberal arts school in Hartford, Connecticut where I earned a B.A. with honors in political science and philosophy. I graduated from New York University Law School in 1991, where I was a Root-Tilden Scholar and earned the Anne Petluck Poses Prize in Clinical Advocacy.
Previously held elected offices: Justice of the Michigan Supreme Court, 2013-present
Top goals: If re-elected, I will continue the progress of the Justice For All Taskforce, which aims to achieve 100% access to the civil justice system in Michigan. Currently, eight of 10 Michiganders can’t afford a lawyer in civil legal problems. There is also an absence of innovation and technology in courts, which costs them transparency, efficiency and access. We have made great progress recently, but we need to make processes more user friendly and efficient.

Kerry Lee Morgan
Age: 65
Occupation: Attorney
Municipality of residence: Redford Township
For how long: 30 years
Online campaign information: www.pck-law.com/attorney/kerry-l-morgan/
Education: Regent University, M.A. Public Policy, magna cum laude, 1985. Detroit College of Law, J.D., 1981. Michigan State U

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