Residents to vote on candidates for local office, proposal on ballot in Pleasant Ridge

Woodward Talk | Published October 12, 2021

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FERNDALE/BERKLEY/HUNTINGTON WOODS/PLEASANT RIDGE — In the Talk’s coverage area, voters Nov. 2 will elect candidates for local offices, as well as vote on one municipal proposal.

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.

Profile forms were not sent to candidates who are running unopposed, which includes candidates in Ferndale and Huntington Woods elections.

 

Ferndale Mayor
One candidate is running for one two-year term.

Melanie C. Piana (I)
Running unopposed.


Ferndale City Council
Two candidates are running for two four-year terms.

Laura Mikulski (I)
Running unopposed.

Greg Pawlica (I)
Running unopposed.


Berkley Mayor
One candidate is running for one two-year term.

Daniel J. Terbrack (I)
Running unopposed.


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

Steven W. Baker (I)
Age: 50
Occupation: Innovation Specialist
Municipality of residence: Berkley
For how long: 22+ years
Online campaign information: www.bakerforberkley.com
Education: Graduate, Harvard Kennedy School Program for Senior Executives in State and Local Government (2013); Masters Degree, Software Engineering and Linguistics, Oakland University (1999); Bachelors Degree, Computer Science, Oakland University (1994)
Previously held elected offices: Member of City Council, City of Berkley (2009-Present)
Top goals: •Protect Berkley’s sound finances and community services, including our outstanding Public Safety department, tremendous Public Works department, and core municipal services at Berkley City Hall. •Promote Berkley’s beautiful charm and treasured community assets, including our walkable tree-lined neighborhoods, outstanding library, and growing business districts and our vibrant downtown. •Proceed with prudent, value-driven community solutions, including enhancing our beautiful parks, deploying electric vehicle chargers, and providing modern mobile apps and innovative municipal technologies.

John Coggeshall
Age: 40
Occupation: Principal Software Engineer
Municipality of residence: Berkley
For how long: 5 years
Online campaign information: http://johnforberkley.com
Education: Studied at Kettering University
Previously held elected offices: None
Top goals: My priorities are measurable progress in the support of both our downtown and sewer infrastructure. For too long our downtown has been neglected, and you can see it in the empty storefronts. Likewise, 29% of our sewer system is below standard. We can and should be working actively with the county to get this addressed. We need fresh perspectives like mine in city hall to lead us, not more of City Council’s hand-picked candidates.

Dennis Hennen (I)
Age: 45
Occupation: Software Engineer
Municipality of residence: Berkley
For how long: 10 years
Online campaign information: DennisHennen.com
Education: BS Mathematics & Computer Science, Lipscomb University. MS Computer Science, Ohio State University. MSU Master Citizen Planner.
Previously held elected offices: Elected to Berkley City Council in 2017.
Top goals: Continue community engagement—outreach, education, answering questions, and helping people find solutions.
Support responsible growth—change and adapt, but maintain our small town feel. Continue infrastructure improvements in road, water, and especially stormwater and sewer flooding. Look at both local and regional solutions. Education and training for employees and citizen volunteers. Fiscal responsibility—plan for long term stability and only take on new obligations if we can afford them. Make sure our codes are enforced.

Gregory Patterson
Age: 38
Occupation: ​​Registered Nurse-Critical Care Unit, College Professor
Municipality of residence: Berkley
For how long: 10+ years
Online campaign information: www.facebook.com/Patterson forBerkley
Education: Master of Science in Nursing concentration in Leadership and Management
Previously held elected offices: None
Top goals: Berkley residents want to protect the neighborly feel of our town and foster a lively business district. I’ll serve as an honest representative of those who call Berkley home, while nurturing the ingenuity of our business community in support of a vibrant downtown. I’ll continue to support family-focused projects that enhance public gathering spaces and encourage efficient budgeting that protects city services and keep Berkley highly ranked for public safety.

Charles A. Tyrrell
Age: No answer given
Occupation: Operations with an emphasis in Procurement
Municipality of residence: Berkley
For how long: 34 years
Online campaign information: www.facebook.com/Chuck forBerkley
Education: BSBA — Finance Many professional certifications
Previously held elected offices: No
Top goals: The City needs to assure Equal Protections to all residents by enforcing Ordinances. Residents want progress to occur, but in a way that respects what they love about their homes, community and way of life. I have seen for myself the results of the City not enforcing building and zoning codes, on neighboring properties, resulting in property and quality of life damage.

Jessica Vilani
Age: 44
Occupation: ​​Director, Channel Relations & Strategy for Blue Cross Blue Shield of Michigan
Municipality of residence: Berkley
For how long: 7 years
Online campaign information: www.jessicaforberkley.com
Education: Bachelor’s degree in Education; Master’s degree in Management
Previously held elected offices: n/a
Top goals: My commitment is to maintain adequate funding for the essential services that has led Berkley to be recognized as a safe city and a great place to live. I will ensure that we continue the stability of a three-year budget system and manage taxpayers’ money wisely. Additionally, I will work with local and county administrations to advance Berkley’s interests when regional solutions are needed to address infrastructure needs and improvements.


Huntington Woods City Commission
Two candidates are running for two four-year terms.

Jules B. Olsman (I)
Running unopposed.

Joe Rozell (I)
Running unopposed.


Pleasant Ridge Mayor
One candidate is running for one four-year term.

Bret Scott
Running unopposed.


Pleasant Ridge City Commission
Three candidates are running for two four-year terms.

Alex P. Lenko
Age: 36
Occupation: Senior Buyer of Information Technology
Municipality of residence: Pleasant Ridge
For how long: 36 years
Online campaign information: Email alexlenko@gmail.com
Education: Bachelor’s of Public Administration from Wayne State University, Master’s of Business Administration from Oakland University
Previously held elected offices: None
Top goals: My priority when elected is to serve the people of Pleasant Ridge by putting residents’ needs first. This includes maintaining property values, infrastructure, and recreational assets. Imagine creating an aging in place strategy for our seniors and making Woodward safer, slower, and quieter. Pleasant Ridge has been my home for my entire life and I wish to see it continue as an inclusive community that is great to raise a family and attractive to retire.

Katy Schmier
Age: 44
Occupation: Mortgage — Senior Loan Officer
Municipality of residence: Pleasant Ridge
For how long: 2.5 Years
Online campaign information: KatySchmier.com
Education: DePauw University — Bachelor of Arts
Previously held elected offices: None
Top goals: •Invest in our aging infrastructure and embrace new green technologies that will give our city a strong/sustainable future. •Champion Pleasant Ridge as an inclusive and accepting community and support policies that allow all residents to feel safe and respected. •A fiscally responsible budget, balancing cost and value, while investing resources strategically in immediate and future needs. •Support Government Transparency & Community Consensus. •Build strong collaborative relationships between PR, businesses, neighboring cities and community partners.

Tom Wilkinson
Age: 69
Occupation: Retired Communications Manager, General Motors
Municipality of residence: Pleasant Ridge
For how long: 33 years
Online campaign information: Facebook @VoteTomWilkinson
Education: B.A., Political Science, The College of Wooster; Graduate School of Journalism, Kent State University
Previously held elected offices: None
Top goals: My top priority is to bring us together to address the challenges ahead. Pleasant Ridge works well because so many people care and contribute. But we have a 30-year project to replace lead service lines and old water mains. We need to secure financing and implement it efficiently. We need to address regional issues with our power grid, storm drains and roads. How do we build a great future for the city we love?


Pleasant Ridge Proposal 2021-1 Water Infrastructure Millage Proposal
Shall the City of Pleasant Ridge be authorized levy up to three and one half (3.5) mills per year, for years 2022 through 2051, in excess of its Charter authorized tax rate as reduced by Section 34, Article IX of the 1963 State Constitution, such additional millage to be used to finance water infrastructure projects including water main replacement and construction, public and private lead service line replacement, and associated restoration work within the City of Pleasant Ridge? It is estimated that 3.5 mills would provide $620,993 if levied in full in 2022.

 

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