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Trio campaign for Macomb Township treasurer

By: Alex Szwarc | Macomb Township Chronicle | Published July 7, 2020

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MACOMB TOWNSHIP — For this year’s Aug. 4 primary, three residents — Leon Drolet, Karen Goodhue, and Brianna Kirk — are running to be Macomb Township treasurer, a four-year term.

Drolet, 53, is the chair of Michigan Taxpayers Alliance and a Macomb County commissioner. Drolet, who served as a state representative from 2000 to 2006, said his top goals are to make Macomb Township the best value for citizens of any city or township in Michigan.

He wants to prioritize citizens’ budgets by not raising taxes and getting the most value from existing services for residents.

When asked what makes him the best candidate for treasurer, Drolet said his experience as a longtime taxpayer rights activist working on behalf of citizens suits him well.

“My experience with budgets — I led the 13-member board of commissioners in developing a 2020 county budget that cut millions of dollars from the proposed budget. The result was a budget that spent below the rate of inflation.”

He said he’s running for treasurer because the arrests of township board members on corruption charges have contributed to a toxic political environment at Township Hall and left a void in policy and vision.

“Despite this, Macomb Township has a good foundation with relatively low taxes compared to neighboring communities. I want to ensure Macomb Township builds on that foundation rather than see it crumble,” he said.

Regarding Macomb Township corruption at the board level, which has resulted in a pair of former trustees being federally charged, Drolet said as a county commissioner, he spent weeks personally reviewing hundreds of checks written by then-Macomb County Prosecutor Eric Smith.

“I researched who the checks were written to and for what purpose. I contacted the FBI when it became clear that those public funds were not being spent for their intended public purpose and were illegally personally benefiting the prosecutor. The prosecutor now faces serious criminal charges and resigned,” he said.

Karen Goodhue, 70, is a lifelong Macomb Township resident who has been treasurer since 2012.

“As the township continues to grow at a rapid rate, it is a personal goal to continue to update services in order to remain effective and efficient while keeping taxes reasonable for residents,” Goodhue said. “I feel as though it is important to keep in mind the welfare, health, and safety of the residents we serve. Communicating and maintaining transparency with residents is important when deciding where to spend tax dollars within the community.”

Her response to what makes her the best candidate is that she aims to keep a watchful eye on the taxpayer’s dollar in order to spend and invest wisely to better serve the community.

“My experience and education throughout my previous terms have allowed me to serve the residents effectively,” Goodhue said.

In her response to how she has worked to ensure ethical behavior is in place at all levels within the township, Goodhue said she has worked with the finance department in putting checks and balances in place for all transactions coming in and going out of the township.

“This year, we received a clean, perfect audit with zero findings from Plante Moran as a result of our policies,” she added. “As a board member, I am but one voice trying to enforce policies and prevent wrongdoing in the township. Change only happens when we work together.”

Kirk could not be reached for comment by press time.

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