Shelby Township, Utica voters to decide school board, bond, mayor, state ballot proposals

Shelby - Utica News | Published October 24, 2018

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In the Shelby-Utica News coverage area, voters will decide one Utica Community Schools bond proposal, seats on the school board, the next Utica mayor, state and federal offices, and three state ballot proposals Nov. 6.

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 that the candidate is an incumbent. The answers are printed verbatim except where material is omitted due to personal attacks or items we know to be false or that are blatant misrepresentations.

Profile questionaires were not sent to candidates running unopposed in the election, which includes the Utica City Council candidates.

 

Governor
Six candidates are running for one four-year term.

Republican
Bill Schuette
Age: 64
Occupation: Attorney General, conservative candidate for governor  
Municipality of residence: Midland
For how long: Since he was a child
Online campaign information: No answer given  
Education: Georgetown University and University of San Francisco Law School
Previously held elected offices: He has served as a member of the U.S. House of Representatives and Michigan Senate, and as a Judge on the Michigan Court of Appeals.
Top goals: As Michigan’s next governor, I will make Michigan win again. We will grow our paychecks and population. We will accomplish this by finally cutting auto insurance rates (currently the highest in America), improve low-ranking 3rd grade reading scores, increase vocational training for skilled trade careers, and drive a stake through the Granholm Income Tax hike, which has cost Michigan families $8 billion.

Democrat
Gretchen Whitmer
Age: 46
Occupation: Candidate for Governor
Municipality of residence: East Lansing, MI
For how long: 20+ Years
Online campaign information: gretchenwhitmer.com
Education: Michigan State University, College of Law, Magna Cum Laude
Michigan State University, BA Communications
Previously held elected offices: Senate Democratic Leader, 2010 - 2014; Michigan State Senate, 2006 - 2014; Michigan State Representative, 2000 - 2006
Top goals:
Fix our roads the right way, the first time, with high-quality materials and mix so we can get the job done right.
Make sure every Michigander has a quality public education that gets them on a path to a high wage skill.
Make health care more affordable. As Senate Democratic Leader, I negotiated with Republicans to expand health care to more than 680,000 Michiganders. As governor, I’ll take on Republicans who threaten our care.

Libertarian
Bill Gelineau
Age: 58
Occupation: Title Agent
Municipality of residence: Lowell
For how long: No answer given
Online campaign information: http://cometogethermichigan.org
Education: Wayne State
Previously held elected offices: No answer given
Top goals: Our goal is to destroy the system that only allows 2 voices (D’s and R’s) to dominate the political structures of the state. Our plan is to implement Ranked Choice Voting (see: FairVote.org).
By reducing expenditures on prisons and crony capitalism, we have the money to fix roads, make prudent investments in school counselors, and restructure school districts.
We’re the best hope to give Michigan another choice and foster sensible solutions. www. ComeTogetherMichigan.org

U.S. Taxpayers
Todd Schleiger
Age: 52
Occupation: Transportation Specialist
Municipality of residence: Lake Orion
For how long: 7 years
Online campaign information: checktodd.com
Education: High School and some online Business Courses
Previously held elected offices: None
Top goals: My Top goals to reform and better our schools, lower auto insurance by up to 70%, Lower Health insurance cost by up to 50%, actually fix our roads and infrastructure without raising our taxes.

Natural Law
Keith Butkovich
Age: 34
Occupation: Retail management
Municipality of residence: Wayne
For how long: 11 years
Online campaign information: www.facebook.com/butkovichforgovernor
Education: HS Diploma, Lamphere High School, Madison Heights
Previously held elected offices: None
Top goals: Reduce car insurance rates, eliminate income tax, more freedom and less government.

Green
Jennifer V. Kurland
Age: 37
Occupation: N/A
Municipality of residence: Redford Twp
For how long: 13 years
Online campaign information: www.kurland4michigan.com
Education: Associate’s Degree – Liberal Arts – Schoolcraft College
Bachelor’s Degree – Political Science Public Affairs – Wayne State University
Previously held elected offices: Redford Union School Board Trustee – elected 2012 to 2013 – 2018 term, served as President for 3 1/2 years, currently Treasurer
Top goals: My top goals are to make the people of Michigan’s lives better, more prosperous, and pollution free.  Addressing the statewide crisis of lead poisoning in children, growing issues with PFAs, and begin charging the true cost of doing business to corporate polluters.  We can put Michiganders to work with good, green jobs of the future in trades and by taking further advantage of the new businesses that growing industrial hemp will bring to our state.

 

Secretary of State
Four candidates are running for one four-year term.

Republican
Mary Treder Lang
Age: 58
Occupation: VP of Major Gifts at Vista Maria (On a leave of absence)
Municipality of residence: Grosse Pointe Farms
For how long: 27 and the previous 31 years in Grosse Pointe Woods
Online campaign information: marytrederlang forsos.com
Education: B.S. in both Accounting and Marketing from the University of Dayton
Previously held elected offices: None
Top goals: My top goals if elected are to improve our branch offices by increasing online services, introducing an ExpressSOS app for smart phones, expanding MI-Time, and providing self-service kiosks in Michigan based-businesses across the state.
I also want to increase elections training for clerks and poll workers along with recruiting additional poll workers to help with understaffed precincts on Election Day. I will forge partnerships with Secretaries of States nationally to learn best practices.

Democrat
Jocelyn Benson
Age: 41
Occupation: CEO & President, Ross Initiative in Sports for Equality (RISE)
Municipality of residence: Detroit, Michigan
For how long: 14 years
Online campaign information: www.votebenson.com
Education: Wellesley College, B.A., Harvard Law School, J.D., Oxford University (UK), M.Phil.
Previously held elected offices: Wellesley Town Meeting, Wellesley, MA
Top goals: I am running for Secretary of State to save people time, save them money, and protect their voice and their vote.  As Michigan’s chief elections officer I will work to make it easier to vote and harder to cheat.  The priorities I will fight for are a 30-Minute Guarantee for services; a ban on fee increases; secure elections, protecting the sacred right to vote; and taking Michigan from worst to first in transparency and ethics.

Libertarian
Gregory Scott Stempfle
Did not return questionnaire by press time.

U.S. Taxpayers
Robert Gale
Did not return questionnaire by press time.

 

Attorney General
Five candidates are running for one four-year term.

Republican
Tom Leonard
Age: 37
Occupation: Speaker of the Michigan House of Representatives
Municipality of residence: DeWitt, MI
For how long: 11 years
Online campaign information: LeonardForAG.com
Education: BA, University of Michigan; JD, Michigan State University
Previously held elected offices: State Representative, 2013-2018
Top goals: I have spent my entire career making Michigan safer and stronger, and that will be my top priority as Michigan’s next attorney general. I have a detailed plan ready to go to put a stronger focus on fighting violent crime, rooting out sexual predators and continuing to reform Michigan’s broken mental health system. And with experience as a prosecutor and an assistant attorney general, I have the right experience to put it into action.

Democrat
Dana Nessel
Age: 49
Occupation: President, Fair Michigan Foundation
Municipality of residence: Plymouth
For how long: 10+ years
Online campaign information: dana2018.com
Education: BA, University of Michigan. JD, Wayne State University.
Previously held elected offices: None
Top goals: “As I see it, the role of Attorney General is to be the last legal line of defense in protecting Michigan citizens from abuses by predatory actors. Unfortunately, our current Attorney General can and should be counted as one of those bad actors, in addition to our current President. My top priorities in office will be centered around returning the office of Attorney General to what it was always intended to be, the people’s attorney.”

Libertarian
Lisa Lane Gioia
Age: 50
Occupation: small business owner
Municipality of residence: West Bloomfield
For how long: 15 years
Online campaign information: lisaforliberty.com
Education: Bachelor of Arts with Distinction, The University of Michigan, Ann Arbor
Previously held elected offices: None
Top goals:
(1) Should the cannabis proposal pass, ensuring a smooth transition to new laws, including promoting the release of all persons incarcerated for non-violent, marijuana-related crimes.
(2) Thorough review of all cases currently before the Office of the AG to ensure they have been handled properly in protecting individual freedoms and providing restitution to victims.
(3) Eliminating civil asset forfeiture.
(4) Monitoring and prosecuting injustices/abuses perpetrated by government and law enforcement officials.

U.S. Taxpayers
Gerald T. Van Sickle
Did not return questionnaire by press time.

No party affiliation
Chris Graveline
Age: 45
Occupation: Attorney (most recent position: Chief, Violent & Organized Crime Unit, U.S. Attorney’s Office – Eastern District of Michigan)
Municipality of residence: Berkley
For how long: 9 years
Online campaign information: cgforag.com
Education: MA — International Affairs, Catholic University of America; JD — University of New Hampshire Law School; BA — Liberal Arts, Magdalen College
Previously held elected offices: Board of Parks & Recreation (non-partisan) — Town of Warner, NH (during law school)
Top goals: My top goal is to remove partisan political considerations from the Attorney General’s office. Both political parties have targeted the attorney general positions nationwide as a means to advance their policy arguments through lawsuit. This practice must end. Instead, I would focus the office’s resources on helping our cities and municipalities in curbing violent crime, the opioid trade, human trafficking, and identity theft. Additionally, I would shift resources to aggressively pursue consumer protection enforcement.

 

U.S. Senate
Five candidate are running for one six-year term.

Republican
John James
Age: 37
Occupation: President, James Group International
Municipality of residence: Farmington Hills, MI
For how long: 8 Years
Online campaign information: JohnJamesForSenate.com
Education:
United States Military Academy: Bachelor of Science
Penn State University: Master of Supply Chain Management and Information Systems
University of Michigan: Master of Business Administration (M.B.A.)
Previously held elected offices: None
Top goals: I have a passion for service. My core values are: Faith and Family, God and Country and Service before Self. My goal as a Senator is bringing economic opportunity back to Michigan and getting help to the 22 veterans that commit suicide each day. From the battlefield to the boardroom, I have served my country and my community my entire life, and I am running for Senate to protect the American Dream for future generations.

Democrat
Debbie Stabenow (I)
Age: 68
Occupation: U.S. Senator
Municipality of residence: Lansing
For how long: Adulthood
Online campaign information: www.debbiestabenow.com
Education: Michigan State University - B.A. and M.S.W.
Previously held elected offices:
-United States Senator
-United States Representative for Michigan’s 8th Congressional District
-State Senator in Michigan Senate
-State Representative in Michigan House of Representatives
-Commissioner and Chair, Ingham County Board of Commissioners
Top goals: I am a champion for Michigan’s economy and good jobs. That’s why I focus on growing a diverse economy in Michigan that includes manufacturing, technology, small business creation, agriculture, education and career training. I am also focused on lowering costs for families, whether it’s the cost of college, health insurance or prescription drugs. Every day, I suit up for Michigan and fight for our families and way of life.

U.S. Taxpayers
George E. Huffman III
Did not return questionnaire by press time.

Green
Marcia Squier
Age: 43
Occupation: Exercise/Fitness Instructor.
Municipality of residence: Saint Clair Shores
For how long: Saint Clair Shores resident for 8 years. Currently moving to Sterling Heights. Lifelong Michigan (Metro Detroit Area)
Online campaign information: marciasquier.com
Education: Fraser Public Schools- Top10 in Class of 1993 (4.07 GPA)
Wayne State University- Bachelor of Science Degree with Major in Psychology on a full academic scholarship and partial athletic scholarship (3.58 GPA). Lifetime Member of Golden Key National Honor Society.
Previously held elected offices: None
Top goals: #HIRE Jobs Program (Healthcare, Infrastructure, Renewables and Education). Retroactive Cannabis and Hemp Legalization. End War on Drugs altogether. Healthcare and Education for All (PreK-PhD/Skilled Trades). Bring Our Troops home and End the Never-ending War on Terror/Interventionistic Regime Change Wars. Eliminate megacorporations’ chokehold on governmental policies and officials. Tax reform that favors the Individual and Small Businesses. Hand-counted Paper Ballots with Citizen Oversight (NOT Machine-counted with Government Oversight).

Natural Law
John Howard Wilhelm
Age: 79
Occupation: Retired Economist
Municipality of residence: Ann Arbor, MI
For how long: Since 1961
Online campaign information: www.nationalrenewalparty.org
Education: Ph.D. Economics, University of Michigan, 1974
Previously held elected offices: None
Top goals: To have the visibility, ties and resources to push for voting reform at the federal level to open up our political processes to credible third parties and to use that to push for better policy discussions in light of the Club of Rome projections, impending peak oil, populations sustainability and the issue of immigration. Also to push for reform of our intelligence operations, and foreign policy concerning Russia and the Middle East. See my website.

 

U.S. House of Representatives District 10
Four candidates are running for one two-year term.

Republican
Paul Mitchell (I)
Did not return questionnaire by press time.

Democrat
Kimberly Bizon
Did not return questionnaire by press time.

Green
Harley Mikkelson
Did not return questionnaire by press time.

No party affiliation
Jeremy Peruski
Age: 44
Occupation: Finance advisor to global technology companies
Municipality of residence: Wheatland Township in Sanilac County
For how long: Lived there for 2 years registered there for 15 years
Online campaign information: www.peruskiforcongress.com
Education: Deckerville Community Schools, Michigan State University-BA, George Washington University- MBA
Previously held elected offices: Not a career politician
Top goals: Bring representation back to our community- One Vote, One Voice, not party talking points or special interests’ demands.
Ensure that America’s economy is stable and sustainable for the long-term - Both parties have used America as a bottomless piggy bank. As a fiscal conservative, this must stop.
Make the American Dream affordable again - Control escalating healthcare, education and insurance costs that directly impact our families. These costs shouldn’t be bankrupting friends and families.

 

State Senate District 8
Two candidates are running for one four-year term.

Republican
Peter J. Lucido
Age: 57
Occupation: Attorney
Municipality of residence: Shelby Township
For how long: 20+
Online campaign information: www.peterjlucido.com
Education: De La Salle HS, Macomb County Community College AA, Oakland University BA, Detroit College of Law JD, Central Michigan University MBA
Previously held elected offices: Two Terms as Representative, Michigan House of Representatives, 36th District
Top goals: As senator, I will continue working to improve the lives of the families of Macomb County. I will find solutions for quality education including trades, roads & infrastructure, reduced insurance rates, cleaner drinking water and protecting our lakes and rivers. I will address issues in a fiscally responsible way so that all people, and especially our families, seniors and veterans get the government and services they deserve and have paid for with hard earned dollars.

Democrat
Paul R. Francis
Age: 47
Occupation: Business owner
Municipality of residence: St. Clair Shores
For how long: 15
Online campaign information: www.prf2018.com
Education: Bachelor of Business Administration Western Michigan
Previously held elected offices: None
Top goals: A long-term plan to fix and improve our roads. I will work to mandate a minimum of 90% of road taxes, paid by Macomb County residents-are allocated to maintain Macomb County Roads.
Repeal the tax on pensions
Diversify our economy and make Michigan the high-tech hub of the Midwest
Increase wages-If you work 40 hours per week you shouldn’t be living in Poverty
Fully funding public schools again


State House of Representatives District 30
Two candidates are running for one two-year term.

Republican
Diana Farrington (I)
Age: 53
Occupation: State Representative
Municipality of residence: Utica
For how long: 40 Year Resident
Online campaign information: www.dianafarrington.com
Education: Coursed completed at Oakland University and Macomb Community College
Previously held elected offices: Currently the State Representative for the 30th district
Top goals: The most pressing need for Michigan is its continued recovery. We have made significant progress in the last 8 years, but there is still more that needs to be done. School funding has increased dramatically, but it is only slightly above our funding level from a decade ago. Our auto insurance system must be fixed, and we must continue to put policies in place that close the skills gap and allow businesses to keep creating (...)

Democrat
John P. Spica
Age: 50
Occupation: Automotive Sales
Municipality of residence: Utica
For how long: 10 Years
Online campaign information: www.electspica.com
Education: BA in Political Science with a minor in Communications
Previously held elected offices: None
Top goals:  
Eliminating the senior pension tax
Lower the cost of Automobile Insurance for Michigan families
Strengthening public education by funding our public schools
Fight any efforts to attack Social Security and Medicare
Lower taxes for middle class families
Promote skilled trades and good paying jobs in Macomb County
Protect Michigan’s environment
Ensure that we all have clean drinking water
Protect our second amendment right to keep and bear arms
Secure our borders

 

State House of Representatives District 36
Three candidates are running for one two-year term.

Republican
Douglas C. Wozniak
Age: 71
Occupation: Lawyer, Realtor, Broker
Municipality of residence: Shelby Township
For how long: 27 years
Online campaign information: votewozniak.com
Education: Degrees from University of Michigan and Michigan State University
Previously held elected offices: Shelby Township Trustee 2008 – Present
Top goals: I believe that my common sense conservative method of governing as a trustee
will also serve well in Lansing. There are big problems in Lansing to face. Fixing and maintaining the roads is a priority, looking at why we have the highest auto insurance rates and how to lower those rates, and looking at senior issues such as the pension tax. These are just some of the areas of focus I will address.

Democrat
Robert Murphy
Age: 61
Occupation: Retired/ Physical Therapy Consultant
Municipality of residence: Washington Township
For how long: 25 years
Online campaign information: Fuandur.com
Education: No answer given
Previously held elected offices: Precinct Delegate
Top goals: The problems of today were created many, many yesterday’s ago. I am the states #1 citizen minded non-politician and never having accepted a campaign contribution means, “not for sale”.
Expose the Michigan Catastrophic Claims Fund as a motorist funded scam.
As a state representative give you representation you’ve been promised for 40 years, and will do the best I can working with both parties.
Why wouldn’t you vote for Robert “more like you” Murphy.

Libertarian
Benjamin Dryke
Age: 38
Occupation: Laborer
Municipality of residence: Shelby Township
For how long: 5 years
Online campaign information: www.facebook.com/Dryke4StateRep
Education: GED
Previously held elected offices: None
Top goals: If elected, my first goal would be to expose and disrupt all legislative attempts to violate anyone’s rights or further oppress marginalized people. My next priority would be to ensure equal access to state resources while ending the practice of corporate welfare and other capitalist schemes. I believe that if liberty does not exist for all, it does not exist at all.

 

Macomb County Executive
Two candidates are running for one four-year term.

Republican
Joseph M. Hunt
Age: 52
Occupation: Computer Systems Engineer
Municipality of residence: City of Warren
For how long: 26 years
Online campaign information: Google
Education: Macomb Community College, Ferris State College, Specs Howard School of Broadcast Arts
Previously held elected offices: None
Top goals: Several top goals to be addressed once elected to the Macomb County Executive position would be: 1) Appoint proactive citizens to departments, boards, commissions, and authorities 2)Overhaul the IT, Legal, and Human Resources departments with reorganization provisions of the County Charter, 3) engage federal authorities to address internal government corruption regarding pay to play contracts, 4) fix the deplorable roads and unsafe bridges , and 5) promote Macomb as a regionalized, international Motor County.

Democrat
Mark A. Hackel (I)
Age: 56
Occupation: Macomb County Executive
Municipality of residence: Macomb Township
For how long: Lifelong Macomb County Resident
Online campaign information: www.markhackel.com
Education: Masters of Science Administration Degree, May 1996
Central Michigan University - Public Administration​
Bachelors of Arts Degree​, December 1991
Wayne State University - Criminal Justice​
Graduate​, June 1980
Sterling Heights High School, June 1980
Previously held elected offices: Macomb County Sheriff: 2001-2010
Macomb County Executive: 2011 - Present
Top goals: My top priority is to continue encouraging families, businesses, and other organizations to Make Macomb Their Home. I will accomplish that by maintaining the momentum in population growth, economic expansion, roads and infrastructure improvement, government efficiency and social improvement programs that has led to unprecedented progress in Macomb County over the past 8 years.

 

Macomb County Clerk/Register of Deeds
Two candidates are running for one partial term ending Dec. 31, 2020. A third candidate, Harrison Cloyd Cloke, is a write-in candidate.

Republican
Lisa Sinclair
Age: 42
Occupation: Staff Nurse (RN) Emergency Department, DMC Sinai-Grace Hospital
Municipality of residence: Harrison Township
For how long: Since March 2017
Online campaign information: Facebook.com/sinclair4clerk
Education: Michigan State University, BA, Political Science/Pre-Law and Macomb Community College, ADN, Nursing (RN)
Previously held elected offices: None
Top goals: We need an emergency room professional to straighten out the emergency in the Macomb County Clerk/Register of Deeds Office!
Lisa Sinclair (like Lake St. Clair) will bring a healing calm and quality back to the Office.
My campaign promise is: fair & efficient service with a smile, and tough enough to get the job done! I will be there in the very best of times (birth, marriage) and during the worst of times (death, divorce).

Democrat
Fred Miller
Age: 45
Occupation: Deputy Treasurer, Oakland County Treasurer’s Office
Municipality of residence: Mount Clemens
For how long: 16 years at current address
Online campaign information: www.thefredmillerspot.com
Education: B.A. Political Theory and Constitutional Democracy from James Madison College at Michigan State University
Previously held elected offices: Macomb County Commissioner for 3 terms (2011-2016); Michigan State Representative for 3 terms (2005-2010)
Top goals: Ensuring excellent customer service at the Clerk’s Office is my top priority. As County Commissioner I chaired the Finance Committee and have a detailed understanding of the Clerk’s budget, duties, and structure. I have a proven track record of reform – fighting pay hikes for politicians, installing checks and balances in county contracting, and authoring Macomb County’s first Ethics Ordinance. If elected, I will refuse the perks of a county car and free gas.

 

Macomb County Board of Commissioners District 6
Two candidates are running for one two-year term.

Republican
James Carabelli (I)
Did not return questionnaire by press time.

Democrat
Ken Reid
Age: 65
Occupation: Retired educator
Municipality of residence: Shelby Township
For how long: Currently for 12+ years
Online campaign information: N/A
Education: Associate of Arts — Macomb Community College. Bachelor of Science — Western Michigan University. Master of Education — Wayne State University. Juris Doctor — University of Detroit.
Previously held elected offices: None
Top goals:
1) Improve and expand public transportation. Many people who have mobility issues and seniors do not have easily accessible transportation throughout the Tri-county area.
2) Protection of Natural Resources. Access to clean, natural resources is a major factor in attracting people to an area. It should go without saying, that clean natural resources are good for our health and wellbeing.
3) Jobs. We need good paying, permanent jobs.

 

Macomb County Board of Commissioners District 7
Two candidates are running for one two-year term.

Republican
Don Brown (I)
Age: 54
Occupation: Macomb County Commissioner, Senior Community Outreach Coordinator Congressman Paul Mitchell
Municipality of residence: Washington Township
For how long: 42 years.
Online campaign information: http://boc.macombgov.org/BOC-Home
Education:
• Harvard University, Certificate, John F. Kennedy School of Government
• Oakland University, B.A. Political Science
• Rochester Adams High School, Diploma
Previously held elected offices:
• Macomb County Commissioner 1990 to Present
• Washington Township Trustee 1988 to 1990
• Republican Party Precinct Delegate 1984 to Present
Top goals:
• Maintaining a balanced budget / quality mandated services.
• Create an economic climate necessary to keep / attract jobs in Macomb.
• Continue to bring infrastructure dollars to northern Macomb County.
Commissioners must protect the interests of taxpayers; reduce the size / cost of county operations and approve budgets that won’t require a tax increase.  
Keeping our tax rate low and working cooperatively with employers is key. The two business incubators in our county were created by public / private partnerships (…)

Democrat
Michael E. LaBuhn
Age: 70
Occupation: retired/teacher
Municipality of residence: Washington
For how long: 33 years
Online campaign information: n/a
Education: BA/CMU  MA/EMU
Previously held elected offices: None
Top goals: Work to improve infrastructure in county
Work to improve and keep the natural resources of the county
Try to help find an agreeable way to better mass transit in the Metro Detroit area
Continued cooperation with schools and Macomb County Community College with the needs of the county’s and Metro Detroit businesses

 

Michigan Supreme Court
Six candidates are running for two eight-year terms.

Samuel Bagenstos
Age: 48
Occupation: Law Professor and Civil Rights Attorney
Municipality of residence: Ann Arbor
For how long: 7 years
Online campaign information: http://www.BagenstosForJustice.com
Education: BA, University of North Carolina; JD, Harvard Law School
Previously held elected offices: N/A
Top goals: My principal goal is to ensure that the courts are there to step in and protect the people’s rights when the other branches of government are effectively closed to them. My career shows my commitment to helping amplify the voices of those whose rights have been violated. I have fought in court for accountability for the Flint Water Crisis, for the rights of individuals with disabilities, and for workers’ rights to bargain collectively.

Megan Kathleen Cavanagh
Age: 47
Occupation: Attorney
Municipality of residence: Birmingham
For how long: 3 years
Online campaign information: www.cavanaghforsupremecourt.com
Education: B.S. (Engineering), University of Michigan, 1993; J.D. Wayne State University Law School, 2000
Previously held elected offices: N/A
Top goals: When elected, I will work with lower courts and other stakeholders to find solutions to the problems of our juvenile justice system, such as diversion programs and specialty courts. The Supreme Court should work to increase the availability of legal aid to those who cannot afford an attorney, promote pro bono participation by the bar, and study ways to simplify court processes in order to ensure equal access to justice for all Michigan citizens.

Elizabeth T. Clement (I)
Age: 41
Occupation: Justice of Supreme Court
Municipality of residence: East Lansing
For how long: Lifelong
Online campaign information: www.clementforjustice.com
Education: Michigan State University College of Law, Juris Doctorate
Michigan State University Bachelor of Arts, Political Science
Previously held elected offices: None
Top goals: When I took the bench, I had two primary goals. First, to treat every person fairly and rule in an impartial, independent manner in accordance with the law as written. Second, to advance the work of problem solving courts so that we can expand our ability to provide our veterans, mentally ill, and addicted with the treatment they need. I have been successful in achieving these objectives and intend to carry them forward when elected.

Doug Dern
Did not return questionnaire by press time.

Kerry Lee Morgan
Did not return questionnaire by press time.

Kurtis T. Wilder (I)
Age: 59
Occupation: Michigan Supreme Court Justice
Municipality of residence: Oakland
For how long: One Year.
Online campaign information: www.wilderforjustice.com
Education: University of Michigan, A.B. in Political Science (May 1981), University of Michigan Law School, Juris Doctor (May 1984).
Previously held elected offices: Michigan Court of Appeals (December 1998-May 2017), Washtenaw County Trial Court Judge (March 1992-December 1998).
Top goals: My top goal as a Justice is to provide equal justice under the law. Having authored nearly 180 published Court of Appeals and Supreme Court opinions and participated in over 5,000 cases, I have the experience and commitment to serve the citizens of Michigan faithfully, with integrity and a high level of capability. My judicial philosophy is to interpret the law as written, not as I would like it to have been written.

 

16th Circuit Court Judge — New Judgeship
Two candidates are running for one eight-year term.

Julie Gatti
Age: 51
Occupation: Attorney, Law Office of Julie Gatti, PLLC  
Municipality of residence: Clinton Township
For how long: 27 years
Online campaign information: www.gattiforjudge.com
Education: B.A., Business Administration, Pre-Law, Michigan State University 1989; J.D., Wayne State Law School, 1995
Previously held elected offices: None
Top goals: My goal is to serve this community and its litigants as a level-headed, hard-working, impartial judge who interprets and applies the law without regard to politics or personal philosophy. Having appeared with clients in every courthouse within Macomb County for the past 22 years, I understand the role of a good judge and the importance of running a respectful and efficient courtroom. I will be committed to the fair administration of equal justice.

Elizabeth Pyden
Age: 43
Occupation: Attorney
Municipality of residence: Clinton Township
For how long: 43 years
Online campaign information: www.elizabethpyden.com
Education: University of Michigan-Ann Arbor, BS/BA-1997; Wayne State University Law School, J.D. 2000
Previously held elected offices: Chippewa Valley Board of Education
Top goals:  
Make tough decisions decisively with balance and fairness
Honor and protect our community and keep it safe
Work with all agencies to find the right services for those who appear in court
Dedicate to fostering professionalism in and out of the courtroom
Respect of everyone who comes in the courtroom and offer a full opportunity to be heard
Efficient disposition of cases
Achieve accuracy, clarity and consistency in the interpretation of the law

 

16th Circuit Court Judge
Five candidates are running unopposed for five six-year terms.

James M. Biernat (I)
Running unopposed.

Jennifer M. Faunce (I)
Running unopposed.

Edward A. Servitto Jr. (I)
Running unopposed.

Mark Switalski (I)
Running unopposed.

Tracey A. Yokich (I)
Running unopposed.

 

Utica Mayor
Two candidates are running for one two-year term.

Thom Dionne (I)
Age: 45 Years old
Occupation: Mayor, City of Utica, MI, Public Safety Officer (Police/Fire) Grosse Pointe Farms, MI
Municipality of residence: Utica, MI
For how long: My family moved to Utica in 1976
Online campaign information: Mayor Thom Dionne – Facebook
Education: Utica High School Graduate, U.S. Army Military Intelligence School — Fort Devens, MA, Electronic Warfare Non-Communications Interceptor/Analyst, Macomb Community College —Associates Degree, Middleton Real Estate Training — Appraiser / Realtor, Macomb Police Academy Graduate, Macomb Township. Fire Academy Graduate, MedStar EMT Academy Graduate
Previously held elected offices: Mayor, City of Utica — 2 year term – 2017 Present
Top goals: 1. Continue to increase public safety. Within the past 2 years I have restructured police command and added more patrol officers to the ranks. I have implemented standby personnel for an immediate 24/7 paramedic emergency response from our fire department- First time in the history of the city.
2. Redevelop valuable commercial properties within the downtown district.
3. Continue to fight neighborhood blight on a daily basis — thus maintaining neighborhood appeal and increasing property values.

Frank Czapski
Age:​​ 43
Occupation: Assistant Principal, Southfield Public Schools
Union President of the Southfield Association of School Administrators (SASA)
Municipality of residence: Utica
For how long: for 14 years.
Online campaign information: Facebook Czapski for Mayor 2018
Education: St. Matthew Catholic Grade School K-8
Harper Woods Bishop Gallagher Catholic High School 9-12    
Undergraduate School: Eastern Michigan University (93-98) football scholarship athlete Bachelor of Science Degree in Physical Education and Health
Graduate School: Wayne State University from (05-09) Master’s Degree in Education Leadership
Previously held elected offices: Councilman, City of Utica 2015-present
Top goals: A. Vision/Leadership​​: It must be a “We” not “I” approach. Commit to data driven decisions in Utica. Restore sound decision making skills, with experienced oversight with budgets and all City departments.
B. Transparency:​​ Restore public trust in City officials. Place all Cities budget’s online.
C. Infrastructure:​​ Appropriate the needed funding to rebuild aging piping systems, roads, and pathways to continue to make Utica a walkable community that enhances connectivity.
D. Incremental Development/Land Use:​​ Review and implement changes to zoning (...)

 

Utica City Council
Three candidates are running unopposed for three two-year terms.

Gus Calandrino
Running unopposed.

Brad O’Donnell
Running unopposed.

Kenneth J. Sikora (I)
Running unopposed.

 

Utica Community Schools Board of Education
Eight candidates are running for three six-year terms.

Kimberly Becker
Age: 47
Occupation: UCS Guest Teacher 2008 - present
Municipality of residence: Macomb Township
For how long: 17 1/2 years
Online campaign information: www.facebook.com/BeckerforUCSBoardofEducation
Education: Henry Ford II High School, 1989 graduate; Bachelor of Music in Violin Performance from Grand Valley State University
Previously held elected offices: No answer given
Top goals: I have experience in our district as a lifelong UCS resident, alumni, parent, volunteer, and guest teacher. My top goals for UCS Board of Education are preparing students for the future, valuing our teachers, and growing in a fiscally responsible manner. Whether choosing a college or vocational path, ALL students deserve the opportunity to succeed. Although budgets and state funding are limited, prioritizing the value of teachers is essential to our students well-being and success.

Alisa Diez
Did not return questionnaire by press time.

Gene L. Klida (I)
Age: 63
Occupation: Community Volunteer
Municipality of residence: Shelby Township
For how long: 28 years
Online campaign information: No answer given
Education: BA, Michigan State University
Previously held elected offices: Utica Community Schools Board of Education, first elected 1998
Top goals: Protecting resources for classrooms and addressing school funding. Continue to provide opportunities for all students. Career and Technical Education, Advance Placement, special education, are critical to our students. Enhance our safe and secure schools for all students and employees. Continue to keep the budget stabilized and work with the District to provide  fiscal management. My commitment remains the same: academic excellence, represent all stakeholders including taxpayers, parents, teachers, staff and most importantly our students.

Ken Krolczyk (I)
Age: 52
Occupation: IT Manager
Municipality of residence: Washington Township
For how long: 13 Years
Online campaign information: Facebook @ Ken Krolczyk UCS Board of Education
Education: Bachelor of Science, Administration Central Michigan University
Previously held elected offices: No answer given
Top goals: Fiscal Responsibility: Maintain a balanced budget and push for legislative change to increase public school funding.
Safe and Secure Schools: Continue working with local municipalities to improve our school safety program.
Career and Technical Education: Provide a state of the art technical educational program that will provide more opportunity for student success.
Equal Opportunity for ALL Students: Fight for all students to have an equal opportunity for a world class education.

Suril Patel
Age: 35
Occupation: CEO of Software Engineering
Municipality of residence: Sterling Heights, Utica Schools
For how long: 20+ years, Non-consecutive, Utica Alum
Online campaign information: PatelForEd.org
Education: Carnegie Mellon, Double Graduate, Computer Science, BioEngineering
Previously held elected offices: None
Top goals: Leveraging Silicon Valley startup/capital experience and years of admissions interviews/counseling, I want to build brighter futures for my fellow UCS students of this generation. Increasing funding/revenue for programs and teachers, improving community outreach, breaking barriers, and boosting achievement for ALL students, are vital to the UCS brand. Understanding future challenges, automation advances, and industry trends, I will advocate for better offerings. In weekly “office hours”, I will open the door to dialogue (...)

Kelli Rankin
Age: 42
Occupation: Senior Manager, Operational Excellence at General Motors
Municipality of residence: Shelby Township
For how long: 11 years
Online campaign information: www.kellirankinschoolboard.com
Education: BA Supply Chain Management from Michigan State University; MBA from Oakland University
Previously held elected offices: Secretary at Crissman Elementary PTA; Executive Board Member, MSU Detroit Executive Forum
Top goals: The urgent problem facing Utica Community Schools is state underfunding. We need a cost-benefit analysis to determine if we are investing to create the best possible educational environment for our students. Using my experience as a parent and my Board position, I will educate elected officials about our real classroom needs. I will work with Board members statewide to encourage our legislators to craft a more equitable funding system that lifts up all students.

Paul R. Romanczuk
Age: 74
Occupation: retired from Chrysler Corporation
Municipality of residence: Sterling Heights
For how long: 44 years
Online campaign information: None
Education: Attended Wayne State University
Previously held elected offices: None
Top goals: Establish a program for students who are not interested in a College education.

Michele Templeton (I)
Age: 59
Occupation: Choir Director, St. Mark Orthodox Church, Rochester Hills, MI
Municipality of residence: Sterling Heights
For how long: 34 years
Online campaign information:  None
Education: Proud 1977 Graduate of Stevenson High School, Sterling Heights, MI
Previously held elected offices:  Elected to UCS Board of Education in 2005, re-elected in 2011 – served as Trustee, Secretary and presently as Vice President
Top goals: My focus will remain on improving student achievement while addressing the social and emotional needs of our students. UCS proudly serves a community where students have unique needs and backgrounds. Our teaching staff is second to none in meeting these needs. I am dedicated to fostering an environment that recruits and retains this talented workforce. For all students to experience success, we must protect the resources that directly meet their specific needs and goals.

 

Utica Community Schools Bond Proposal
Shall the Utica Community Schools, County of Macomb, Michigan, borrow the principal sum of not to exceed One Hundred Fifty-Five Million Dollars ($155,000,000) and issue its unlimited tax general obligation bonds for the purpose of defraying the cost of:
• making safety and security improvements, including cameras and door systems, in School District buildings;
• equipping, furnishing, reequipping and refurnishing School District buildings, facilities, and structures, and acquiring school buses and technology equipment;
• constructing additions to and/or remodeling School District buildings; and
• improving and developing sites, including playgrounds, athletic fields, facilities and structures in the School District?
The debt millage required to retire all bonds of the School District currently outstanding and proposed pursuant to this ballot is expected to be at or below 3.50 mills. The estimated millage to be levied in 2020 to service this issue of bonds is 0.89 mills ($0.89 per $1,000 of taxable value) and the estimated simple average annual millage rate required to retire the bonds of this issue is 1.30 mills ($1.30 per $1,000 of taxable value). The bonds may be issued in one or more series, payable in the case of each series in not to exceed 16 years from the date of issue of such series.
The School District currently has $137,585,000 of qualified bonds outstanding under the School Bond Qualification and Loan Program (the “Program”). The School District does not expect to borrow from the Program to pay debt service on these bonds. If the School District borrows from the Program, the estimated millage rate may change based on changes in certain circumstances.
(Under State law, expenditure of bond proceeds must be audited, and the proceeds cannot be used for teacher, administrator or employee salaries, repair or maintenance costs or other operating expenses.)

 

Proposal 18-1
A proposed initiated law to authorize and legalize possession, use and cultivation of marijuana products by individuals who are at least 21 years of age and older, and commercial sales of marijuana through state-licensed retailers
This proposal would:
• Allow individuals 21 and older to purchase, possess and use marijuana and marijuana-infused edibles, and grow up to 12 marijuana plants for personal consumption.
• Impose a 10-ounce limit for marijuana kept at residences and require amounts over 2.5 ounces be secured in locked containers.
• Create a state licensing system for marijuana businesses and allow municipalities to ban or restrict them.
• Permit retail sales of marijuana and edibles subject to a 10% tax, dedicated to implementation costs, clinical trials, schools, roads, and municipalities where marijuana businesses are located.
• Change several current violations from crimes to civil infractions.
Should this proposal be adopted?

 

Proposal 18-2
A proposed constitutional amendment to establish a commission of citizens with exclusive authority to adopt district boundaries for the Michigan Senate, Michigan House of Representatives and U.S. Congress, every 10 years.
This proposed constitutional amendment would:
• Create a commission of 13 registered voters randomly selected by the Secretary of State:
- 4 each who self-identify as affiliated with the 2 major political parties; and
- 5 who self-identify as unaffiliated with major political parties.
• Prohibit partisan officeholders and candidates, their employees, certain relatives, and lobbyists from serving as commissioners.
• Establish new redistricting criteria including geographically compact and contiguous districts of equal population, reflecting Michigan’s diverse population and communities of interest. Districts shall not provide disproportionate advantage to political parties or candidates.
• Require an appropriation of funds for commission operations and commissioner compensation.
Should this proposal be adopted?

 

Proposal 18-3
A proposal to authorize automatic and Election Day voter registration, no-reason absentee voting, and straight ticket voting; and add current legal requirements for military and overseas voting and post-election audits to the Michigan Constitution
This proposed constitutional amendment would allow a United States citizen who is qualified to vote in Michigan to:
• Become automatically registered to vote when applying for, updating or renewing a driver’s license or state-issued personal identification card, unless the person declines.
• Simultaneously register to vote with proof of residency and obtain a ballot during the 2-week period prior to an election, up to and including Election Day.
• Obtain an absent voter ballot without providing a reason.
• Cast a straight-ticket vote for all candidates of a particular political party when voting in a partisan general election.
Should this proposal be adopted?

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