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Southfield, Lathrup Village voters to decide City Council, bond issue

Southfield Sun | Published October 23, 2019

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In the Southfield Sun’s coverage area, voters will decide a City Council race and two ballot proposals Nov. 5. Following are profiles the candidates submitted to the Southfield Sun. Candidates were asked, in 75 words or fewer, to state their top goals 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.


Southfield City Council
Twelve candidates are running for three four-year terms and one two-year term.


Nancy L.M. Banks
Age: 64
Occupation: Retired Southfield City Clerk
Municipality of residence: Southfield
For how long: 64 years
Online campaign information: email
Education: Michigan State University Municipal Clerk’s Institute, Oakland Community College
Previously held elected offices: Southfield City Clerk - 1999 - 2017
Top goals: 1. Maintain Southfield as an excellent place to live, work, attend school & raise a family. Improve communications between the City & our residential, business & faith based community.                                                                                                                              
2. Ensure that Southfield has the BEST Police & Fire Departments. Make certain that both departments have the necessary tools, training & staff to provide the best services that everyone in Southfield wants, needs & deserves.
3. Prioritize City Spending & maintain stability in City Government.


Constance Bell
Age: 62
Occupation: Insurance Broker
Municipality of residence: Southfield
For how long: 11 years
Online campaign information:
Education: Bachelor of Science Business Administration
Previously held elected offices: None
Top goals: I will bring firm and dedicated leadership to the City of Southfield. My focus will be on safety; promoting small businesses, supporting youth apprenticeship programs and enhancing the beautification of our city.
· Relentless in holding City Officials accountable
· Ensuring integrity, transparency and consistency
· Acknowledging and responding to all Citizen’s concerns in a timely manner
· Increasing recognition for our unsung heroes, Southfield Seniors
“Ring the Bell. Time for Change”


Daniel Brightwell (I)
Age: No answer given
Occupation: Councilperson
Municipality of residence: Southfield
For how long: 39 years
Online campaign information: Under Development
Education: Michigan Political Leadership Program - 2018
· Morehouse College , BA, Business Administration
· The Wharton School, MBA Finance
Previously held elected offices: City Councilman - Southfield (2015 – 2019)
Top goals: -Continue our vigorous Road & Sewer Repair/Replacement Program
-Continue hiring in our Police & Fire Departments. Continue to keep both Departments the best Trained & Equiped. in S.E. Michigan.
-Continue to Support our Code Enforcement Department with an emphasis on the Curve Appeal of our Neighborhoods
-Strive to improve our Financial Bond Rating  to AAA. This will save the City Thousands of Dollars in interest each year.


LaTina Denson
Age: 48
Occupation: Certified City Planner
Municipality of residence: Southfield, Michigan
For how long: 7 years
Online campaign information:
Education: University of Delaware - Doctor of Philosophy in Urban Affairs and Public Policy
Michigan State University
- Bachelor of Arts in Public Administration
- Master of Urban & Regional Planning (joint degree in Urban Affairs.
Previously held elected offices: None
Top goals: Dr. Denson wants to continue serving Southfield by establishing policies and procedures that improve communication within the community and seek input from residents so that the city can operate in a transparent and accountable manner.
She also wants to explore affordable and safe housing and transportation options for seniors, restore resources for human services, and increase diversity in employment, contractors and vendors, while committing to the financial stability of the city


Donald F. Fracassi (I)
Age: No answer given
Occupation: Consultant, Real Estate
Municipality of residence: City of Southfield
For how long: 57 years
Online campaign information:
Education: Cranbrook Schools, University of Detroit, Lawrence Tech Univ
Previously held elected offices: Councilman, Mayor, City of Southfield
Top goals:
· To see that Southfield retains its character as a choice single-family community, free of blight, protecting home values
· To ensure a balanced industrial, commercial and residential community, thereby achieving a sound economic base.
· To maintain strong police and fire departments, seeking qualified recruits
· To reduce taxes and curtail spending
· To see that apartment development is properly located, no encroaching on homeowner’s property


Ghana Goodwin-Dye
Age: 57
Occupation: Electrician for General Motors and former and acting President of UAW Local 909
Municipality of residence: Southfield
For how long: 30 years
Online campaign information:
Education: Associates degree in Business Administration and pursuing a Bachelors degree in Business Administration
Previously held elected offices: Precinct delegate
Top goals: My top goals would be:
1. Support for families and retirees.
Address residents concern with dignity and respect
Assist retirees with the needed assistance to maintain their properties
Partner with the School board and business to find way to improve our school district to attract young families
2. Resident driven decision making.
3. Reinvigorate neighborhood associations.
4. Partnering with neighboring city in revitalizing our communities so that we all thrive.


Sara Habbo
Age: 31
Occupation: Attorney, Employment Legal Counsel at Non-profit
Municipality of residence: Southfield, MI
For how long: About 23 years
Online campaign information:
Education: Vandenberg Elementary School, Thompson Middle School, Southfield-Lathrup High School, University of Detroit Mercy, and Michigan State University College of Law.
Previously held elected offices: N/A
Top goals: Our top goals are to invest in the neighborhoods, invest in our students, and invest in Green Infrastructure to save residents money. We will streamline the Block Grant process to allow residents to modify their homes to age in place, create a Youth Advisory Council to empower our students, and use wind turbines, geothermal energy, and vegetative roof tops to save residents money, protect our environment, and reduce flooding.


Harold Hill
Age: 61

Occupation: Medical Marketing Specialist

Municipality of residence: Southfield

For how long: 29 years

Online campaign information:

Education: B.A., Business Administration, Minor in Biomedical Sciences from Western Michigan University

Previously held elected offices: No answer given.

Top goals: Should I have the honor to serve as councilman, I will focus my efforts on ensuring we have more transparency so that citizens have opportunity to provide feedback when major policies are proposed that will impact their lives. Protecting our environment, and the safety of our residents will be paramount. I will work with the council to make more result-based decisions to move our city forward, keeping Southfield the center of it all.

Jason Hoskins
Age: 35
Occupation: Legislative Director for State Senator Jeremy Moss
Municipality of residence: Southfield
For how long: 5 years
Online campaign information:
Education: Bachelor’s in Political Science – Eastern Michigan University; Master’s in Public Administration -Eastern Michigan University; Juris Doctorate – University of Detroit Mercy School of Law
Previously held elected offices: Precinct Delegate for Precinct 16 in Southfield
Top goals: Neighborhood reinvestment with tools like the policy I crafted to allow people to receive an incentive to make repairs on their home.
Tools for economic development like the policy I worked on gives an incentive to develop blighted commercial property. This will be used on the Northland site.
Attract and retain people to Southfield by developing a downtown area and helping Southfielders and our over 100,000 daily visitors keep their economic power in Southfield.


Amani Johnson
Age: 23
Occupation: Substitute Teacher
Municipality of residence: Southfield
For how long: 23 years
Online campaign information:
Education: Graduate of Southfield-Lathrup High School. Graduate of Central Michigan University with a Bachelors of Science in Public and Nonprofit Administration.
Previously held elected offices: None
Top goals: Improve code enforcement by working directly with rental property owners and requiring enforcement officers to patrol neighborhoods.
Provide no interest loans for older, low income residents to make home repairs and tax incentives for residents who make large-scale home renovations.
Attract entertainment options by making it more affordable for entrepreneurs and small businesses to lease retail space.
Connect Southfield students with opportunities in Southfield’s government and businesses by creating a city-wide internship and jobs program.


Tawnya L. Morris (I)
Age: 51
Occupation: President and CEO
Municipality of residence: Southfield
For how long: 25 years
Online campaign information:
Education: Bachelors in Mechanical Engineering, Michigan State University, Masters in Health Services Administration, University of Michigan, Dartmouth - Tuck School of Business, Executive Education Program
Previously held elected offices: Precinct Delegate, City Council
Top goals: Currently, I’m presenting ideas to encourage re-investment in our city. I want to strengthen our relationship with our small business community, bring more sit-down restaurants to Southfield, clean up our dilapidated strip malls and make our city more attractive to millennials. I’m running for re-election because I care about the future progress of our city. With your vote, citizens can be confident with my continued leadership, Southfield will move in the right direction.


Tina Marie Poole
Age: No answer given
Occupation: Sr. Grant Contract Administrator, Wayne State University
Municipality of residence: Southfield
For how long: 12 1/2 years
Online campaign information: www.tinamarie
Education: B.A. Communication, M.Ed., K-12 administrator’s certificate, Wayne State University
Previously held elected offices: None
Top goals: Increase communication between citizens and government, & Code enforcement

Lathrup Village Street Improvements Bond Proposal
Shall the City of Lathrup Village, County of Oakland, Michigan, borrow the principal sum of not to exceed Twenty-One Million Three Hundred Thousand Dollars ($21,300,000), and issue its unlimited tax general obligation bonds, in one or more series, payable in not to exceed fifteen (15) years from the date of issue, to pay the cost of constructing street improvements throughout the City, consisting of paving, repaving, resurfacing, reconstructing and improving streets, including drainage, culvert and related improvements? If approved, the estimated millage to be levied in 2020 is 4.4843 mills ($4.48 per $1,000 of taxable value) and the estimated simple average annual millage rate required to retire the bonds is 8.3105 mills ($8.31 per $1,000 of taxable value).


Oakland Community College Operating Millage Renewal Proposal
This proposal authorizes Oakland Community College to continue to levy 0.7545 mill for operating purposes for 10 years as a renewal of millage previously approved by the electors in 2010, which expires with the 2021 tax levy.

Shall the limitation on the amount of taxes which may be levied on all taxable property within the Oakland Community College district, State of Michigan, be renewed at a rate of 0.7545 mill ($0.7545 per $1,000 of taxable valuation) for a period of 10 years, 2022 through 2031, inclusive, to provide funds for College operating purposes? It is estimated that if the millage is approved and 0.7545 mill is levied in 2022, it would raise $45,065,057 for the College.