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Sterling Heights voters to pick City Council, decide millage renewal proposal

Sterling Heights Sentry | Published October 18, 2019

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In the Sentry’s coverage area, Sterling Heights voters will get a chance to reaffirm or change the makeup of the City Council Nov. 5. They also will decide the fate of a millage renewal proposal that would affect police and fire services, and local street repairs in the city.

Below are profiles of the candidates, who 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. Profiles were only sent to candidates in contested races. The answers are printed verbatim.


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


Michael Taylor (I)
Running unopposed.

Sterling Heights City Council
Nine candidates are running for six two-year terms.


Brian K. Alsobrooks
Age: 57
Occupation: Paper Distributor/Professional Entertainer (Spaghetti Man).
Municipality of residence: Sterling Heights resident
For how long: 30 years
Online campaign information: Google Spaghettiman (Utube)
Education: Sterling Heights High School Graduate, 4 years of College, NMU.
Previously held elected offices: None
Top goals: To pave way for charter amendment to institute term limits. Fiscal discipline. I support Police, Library, Streets. No money wasted on golden rings, and oversized board games. It’s time for new voices with new ideas. I would like to see our library become a jewel of Michigan. No war on cops in our city. Spend our money well but wisely.


Nicholas A. Cavalli
Age: 22
Occupation: Supervisor at Emagine Macomb
Municipality of residence: Sterling Heights
For how long: 22 Years
Online campaign information:
Education: BA in History from the University of Detroit Mercy
Previously held elected offices: None
Top goals: My top goal for the upcoming election is to provide a voice for the hard-working people of the city of Sterling Heights and provide affordable housing to our city. We must usher in the next era of Sterling Heights residents and it starts with housing that young people can afford.


Jazmine M. Early
Age: 49
Occupation: Architect/Language Instructor
Municipality of residence: Sterling Heights
For how long: Over 15 years
Online campaign information:
Education: Associate Degree from MCC/ B.A. in Architecture/Sterling Heights Fire and Police Civilian Academies/Ambassador for Alliance Defending Freedom Legal
Previously held elected offices: Sterling Heights Precinct Delegate (2016-Current)
Top goals: Improved fiscal responsibility, hold our government accountable, increase transparency and prioritize expenditures such as public safety, neighborhood roads improvements and lower taxes. Promote business development, and stop government overreach into our personal lives and our properties. Encourage neighbors helping neighbors to make our city beautiful, with strong and safe neighborhoods, and a great place to work, play and live. Better inform our residents on what’s going on in our city. Thank you for your vote!


Deanna Koski (I)
Age: 78
Occupation: Retired Escrow Officer
Municipality of residence: Sterling Heights
For how long: 50 years
Online campaign Information: None
Education: Associate Degree Legal Assistant / Real Estate Broker License / Title Insurance Agent License / MML Leadership Academy Level I, II & III
Previously held elected offices: Sterling Heights Council
Top goals: Maintain Excellent Police/Fire Services, successful EMS Transport, K9 unit and continue road improvements. Support CERT/COPS and Drug Coalition program. Create youth Fire Explores program, giving city youth the opportunity to experience First Responder/Paramedic roles and promote membership in the Youth Advisory Council. Enhance communication with residents focusing on additional/alternative delivery methods. Establish a Senior Service Program consisting of a volunteer group, devote to senior resident needs. Continue Economic development to attract new business/employment.


Michael Radtke (I)
Age: 34
Occupation: Communications Consultant.
Municipality of residence: Sterling Heights.
For how long: I have lived in Sterling Heights for 21 years.
Online campaign information:
Education: Bachelor of Arts in History and Political Science, University of Michigan;
Master of Arts in International and World History, Columbia University;
Master of Science in International History and Intelligence Studies, the London School of Economics; Proud Graduate of Warren Cousino High School.
Previously held elected offices: Sterling Heights City Council, 2017-Present
Our city has 21 fewer police officers than it did 15 years ago, but more constituents. That’s bad for response times and crime rates. My plan is to restore our police department to full strength so we remain one of America’s safest cities. And for a city of our size, a volunteer fire department never made sense. That’s why I’ve opposed plans to move our fire department to a volunteer force.


Maria G. Schmidt (I)
Age: 57
Occupation: Voc-Ed Para professional
Municipality of residence: Sterling Heights
For how long: 25 Years
Online campaign information: No answer given
Education: Bishop Foley High School, SEOVEC, Attended Oakland Community College
Previously held elected offices: No answer given.
Top goals: My top priorities will be to continue to invest in our roads. So much has been improved, but we have a long way to go. Public Safety must always be a priority as well. I believe we need to be better at educating our senior population on how to prioritize calling for emergency help. We must continue to be fiscally responsible, open, transparent and balance the budget while adding to our rainy day fund.


Liz Sierawski (I)
Age: 55
Occupation: Director of Professional Services at Heartland Homecare
Municipality of residence: No answer given
For how long: No answer given
Online campaign information: Elisabeth Sierawski on facebook
Education: Bachelors of Science in Nursing from Michigan State University, certification in Homecare Nursing, Wound Care, Parish Nursing
Previously held elected offices: Macomb County Charter Commissioner 2008-2009, Sterling Heights City Council Woman 2016-present, Elected as Mayor Pro Tem 2017.
Top goals: My goals as City Council Woman are to provide the best quality services at the lowest cost to our Residents. Police/Fire/DPW are the keys to keeping us safe and Council needs to provide that excellent layer of protection through adequate funding, and continued quality assessment. And I will also continue to fight to keep our fantastic park amenities well maintained and beautiful so that all present and future Residents can enjoy our AWESOME city!


Henry Yanez (I)
Age: 62
Occupation: Public Servant
Municipality of residence: Sterling Heights
For how long: 11 Years
Online campaign information:
Education: AAS Fire Science, General Studies – Oakland Community College
Previously held elected offices: State Representative House District 25 – Sterling Heights & Warren
Top goals: My top priorities for Sterling Heights as City Councilman are public safety, keeping our neighborhoods clean and in good repair (fix the darn roads and sidewalks!), continued investment in our parks especially the neighborhood parks, investing in programs for our seniors and children through our senior center and library, spend our tax dollars wisely and increase citizen connection to local government.


Barbara A. Ziarko (I)
Age: 70
Occupation: Part-time WW employee
Municipality of residence: Sterling Heights
For how long: 42 years
Online campaign information: n/a
View City Council Meetings on SHTV for all public statements on issues and votes.
Education: Associate Degree Macomb Community College
Previously held elected offices: 18 years on the Sterling Heights City Council
Top goals: The city has been on a success track for several years because residents, council and administration are working together. Public safety, infrastructure, and quality of life amenities are my primary focus. I plan to continue monitoring the expenditures we make is these areas because I want to protect our collective investment. I’m an advocate for both small business and major industry knowing that this helps keep our tax rate low for residents.

Renewal of Millage for Police and Fire Protection and Local Street Improvements
Shall the Sterling Heights Charter be amended to renew the authorization to levy a millage at a reduced rate of 2.45 mills for 10 years, from July 1, 2020 to June 30, 2030, for the purpose of providing revenue for police and fire protection and local street improvements? This renewed millage authorization shall be specifically dedicated as follows:  1.65 mills for police and fire protection  .80 mills for local street improvements If authorized, the renewed millage will raise an estimated $11,025,000 in the first year if fully levied.