Voters to decide school board races, ballot proposals

Southfield Sun | Published October 27, 2016


In the Sun’s coverage area, voters will decide a school board race and two local ballot proposals Nov. 8, along with county, state and national offices.

Candidates were asked, in 150 words or fewer, to state the top items they wish to accomplish if elected and how they would go about accomplishing them. If a candidate went over the word limit, (...) replaces the rest of the answer. The answers are printed verbatim except where material is omitted due to personal attacks or items we believe to be false or blatant misrepresentations of facts.

Southfield Public Schools Board of Education
Seven candidates are running for three six-year terms.

Bessie Burden
Age: No answer given.
Occupation: Retired Educator
Municipality of residence: Southfield
For how long: Resident 28 years
Online campaign
information: No answer given
Education: University of Detroit-Mercy M.A.
Curriculum and Instruction Design 1997
Mercy College B.A. Law/Legal Administration 1987
Previously held elected offices: None
Top goals: I want to ensure that every child receives a high-quality education that is rigorous, and a well-rounded experience, as well as teachers having the tools to be effective they need for student success.
Student achievement is a team effort involving the student, teacher, and parent. I want to build strong relationship bridges not barriers between schools and communities. By engaging parents in discussions about matters in education and what their vision would be for their children.
Any issues or concerns from parents or students are to be resolved expeditiously.

Yolanda Smith-Charles (I)
Age: 36
Occupation: Professor; Software Engineer
Municipality of residence: Southfield
For how long: 30+ years
Online campaign information:
Education: Master’s in Education in Instructional Technology; Bachelor of Science in Business Management Information Systems
Previously held elected offices: School Board Trustee, Southfield Public Schools
Top goals: I would like to accomplish:
1) Optimum relationships with our bargaining units and neighborhood associations by working together to achieve mutual goals for SPS; keeping and bolstering the reputation of the district.
2) Continued advocacy for traditional public education on the municipal, county and state level to ensure adequate funding reaches Southfield Public Schools (i.e. by testifying, speaking and strategic commentary via letter to the editor and blogs.)
3) Continued professional development as a school board trustee working with the Oakland County School Boards Association, Michigan Association of School Boards and the National School Board Association.
Please vote to re-elect Yolanda Smith Charles, Southfield Board of Education.

Charles Hicks
Age: 44
Occupation: Delivery Manager Blue Cross Blue Shield
Municipality of residence: Southfield
For how long:18 years
Online campaign information: No answer given
Education: Master’s Degree Walsh College, Bachelor’s Degree University of Michigan, Southfield High School
Previously held elected offices: No previous held elected offices
Top goals: 1) improve governance of the District- utilize my project management and process improvement skills to help the board organize and prioritize Board identified goals and objectives. Build upon Imagine 2020- Southfield Public Schools has a plan to improve the district called Imagine 2020, in essence this is a special project.  Professionally, I lead special projects every day. I would collaborate with fellow board members, administration, and community to institutionalize Imagine 2020.
2) reduce the districts expenditures- Leverage my experience as Director of Purchasing for Wayne County to implement best practices of open bidding and governmental purchasing networks to reduce the monies spent on goods and services 3) Promote Transparency- As elected officials serving the community, frequent and meaningful communications need to be sent on the state of the district and plans for improvement. I would lead efforts use technology to share the state of the District.

Nathaniel Lewis Jr. (I)
Age: 43
Occupation: Special Education Teacher, Author & Editor
Municipality of residence: Southfield
For how long: 15
Online campaign information:
iel-lewis-jr-b5810166 (facebook/twitter)
Education: University of Michigan, Bachelor of Arts
Wayne State University, Master of Arts in Teaching (K-12 Education)
Ashland Theological Seminary, Master of Arts in Religion
Previously held elected offices: No answer given.
Top goals: 1.) It is my goal to continue to … vote against millage increases. As a board member, I voted against every millage increase because the district should have a greater concern for living within its means rather than relying solely on increasing revenue by imposing high millage rates on working class people.
2.)Secondly, it is my goal to continue to ...  vote against the privatization of district jobs, as well as, school closings and consolidation. I voted against the school closure of Morris Adler and Brace Lederle.
3.)Thirdly, I will use my experience as an intern in the United States House of Congress and The World Headquarters of Ford Motor Company to negotiate a 10% salary cut to all central office staff, so that the teachers can receive a step increase.
Charles K. Penn
Age: 36
Occupation: Teacher
Municipality of residence: Southfield
For how long: 11 years
Online campaign information: No answer given.
Education:  Education Specialist (Ed.S)---Wayne State University
Masters—Wayne State University
Bachelors-Wayne State University
Previously held elected offices: No answer given.
Top goals: 1. Bring Stability to Southfield Public School
2. Improve the education experience for parents and students
3. Make Southfield Public School a premier school district on a national level.

Talisha Rice
Age: 42
Occupation: Ford Motor IT Delivery Manager
Municipality of residence: City of Southfield
For how long: 12 Years
Online campaign information: None
Education: Lawrence Technological University – Master’s in Computer Science
Previously held elected offices: N/A
Top goals: The first matter to accomplish is to Uphold High Expectations for Staff, by developing a succession planning process for all administrative and managerial positions within the district to review the current status of all staff and establish a timeline for replacement of personnel or leadership development program that will bring about a smooth succession process. The next matter to accomplish is to Value Parents as Partners, by working with parents using open lines of communication, maintaining a home-school connection, and tackling problems constructively we partner with parents to promote student growth and achievement. The final matter to accomplish in the top three list is to Provide Support to Students, by developing the use of alternative approaches to traditional instructional delivery and integrating the use of technology to support curricular, instructional and assessment goals. In order to advance and promote these tenants, it will be done through school policies and practices. 

Shaakir Wahhab
Did not return questionnaire by press time.

U.S. House of Representatives District 14
Four candidates are running for one two-year term.

Howard Klausner
Age: 48
Occupation: Physician
Municipality of residence: Southfield
For how long: 48
Online campaign information:
Education: Graduate: University of Michigan, Ann Arbor, Michigan 1991-1995 Doctor of Medicine
Baccalaureate:University of Michigan Ann Arbor, Michigan 1986-1990 Bachelor of Science in Engineering
Previously held elected offices: n/a
Top goals: My top three agenda items are balance the budget, improve healthcare and enhance our manufacturing base. My first objective is a balanced budget. The US currently spends hundreds of billions of dollars more than it takes in. This will lead our country to bankruptcy. We must, as legislators, be at the forefront of ensuring the financial security of our children.
Health Care. As an emergency room physician in the heart of Detroit, I have worked with some of the most in need and lowest income. I understand how to increase access and lower costs for everyone.  Good paying manufacturing jobs is what built the middle class. We need to re-structure incentives so that manufacturing jobs are not being exported.  Providing a safe work environment and benefits for workers should be the model for manufacturing, not a punishment for our corporations. We need fair trade policies that accomplish this.

Brenda L. Lawrence (I)
Did not return questionnaire by press time.

Gregory Creswell
Age: 59
Occupation: medical records clerk
Municipality of residence: Detroit
For how long: 58 years
Online campaign information:
Education: Chadsey High School grad. class/1975 and attendent Wayne County community college; fire science & fire protection technology
Previously held elected offices: no
Top goals: 1) return the USA to the gold/silver standard via the amendment process. 2) repeal the 16th amendment by sponsoring or co-sponsoring a bill to accomplish that goal. 3) repeal all federal fees, permits, licenses and regulations by sponsoring or co-sponsoring bills to accomplish those goals

Marcia Squier
Did not return questionnaire by press time.

State House of Representatives District 35
Two candidates are running for one two-year term.

Robert Brim
Did not return questionnaire by press time.

Jeremy Moss (I)
Age: 30
Occupation: State Representative
Municipality of residence: Southfield
For how long: 30 years
Online campaign information: www.votejer
Education: BA in Journalism, Additional Major in Political Science from Michigan State University; Studied abroad in South Africa; Graduate of the Michigan Political Leadership Program
Previously held elected offices: Southfield City Councilman, 2011-2014
Top goals: Growing our economy – I’ve been focused on finding ways to redevelop vacant storefronts and bring new businesses with good-paying jobs to our district. I introduced legislation, which became law, to expand a powerful economic development tool that communities use to eliminate commercial blight. This is important in our district as city officials seek to redevelop Northland Mall and other vacant properties.
Funding schools - I will protect public school funding to ensure every child has access to a quality education. A strong public education system is the state’s best tool to jumpstart the economy with a skilled workforce.
Promoting transparency – I’m leading a bipartisan effort to expand Michigan’s open records laws to the Governor and State Legislature so citizens can hold state officials accountable. The legislation I introduced overwhelmingly passed the House and now heads to the Senate.

Oakland County Clerk/Register of Deeds
Two candidates are running for one four-year term.

Bill Bullard Jr.
Age: 73
Occupation: Consultant
Municipality of residence: Highland Township
For how long: 40 years
Online campaign information:
Education: B.A., University of Michigan. J.D. Detroit College of Law.
Previously held elected offices:  Highland Township Trustee & Supervisor; State Representative; State Senator, County Commissioner (Chairman of the Board), County Clerk/Register of Deeds.
Top goals: 1.) As Clerk/Register in 2011-12 I moved the office forward in increasing e-filing and e-recording. The motto of our office was “On Line Not In Line”. I won six national service awards for innovative new programs. My intent is to move forward with many new similar programs.
2.) I intend to further  increase transparency in County government. Previously I made all county records available through the Open Oakland program. This made county records searchable at no cost to the public.
3.) Previously as Register of Deeds I instituted two innovative new programs--”Express Deeds” and a streamlined electronic recording system. “Express Deeds” allows a customer to bring in a document to the office and walk out with a recorded instrument within 3-4 minutes. The new streamlined recording program was cancelled by the present Clerk without reason. I will reinstate this cost-effective and efficient system.

Lisa Brown (I)
Age: 49
Occupation: Oakland County Clerk/Register of Deeds
Municipality of residence: West Bloomfield
For how long: 25 years
Online campaign information:
Education: Michigan State University, BF; Detroit College of Law, JD
Previously held elected offices: State Representative HD 39- West Bloomfield, Commerce, Wolverine Lake
Top goals: 1) I want to insure everyone has access to the ballot, so I have held voter registration drives around the county and will continue to do so. I have worked with the State’s Bureau of Elections and other clerks serving on the committee for the purchase of new voting equipment and will work with our municipal clerks to make our selection.
2) I will continue to fight fraud in the Register of Deeds office and empower homeowners. I brought Super Index, a free searchable database, and Property Records Notification, a free alert system, the first of its kind in the country, earning an award from the National Association of Counties, to Oakland County.
3) Continue providing accessibility to services by more local office visits, and programs I pushed for, like eliminating the fee for Veterans’ cards, lowering the birth record fee for seniors and the fee reduction/waiver program.

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

L. Brooks Patterson (I)
Age: 77
Occupation: Oakland County Executive
Municipality of residence: Independence Township
For how long: Over 20 years
Online campaign information:
Education: Juris Doctor, University of Detroit Law School; Bachelor of Arts in English, University of Detroit
Previously held elected offices: Oakland County Executive (Jan. 1, 1993 – present)
Oakland County Prosecutor (Jan. 1, 1973 – Dec. 31, 1988)
Top goals: My top three priorities are to provide a highly-trained work force for the knowledge-based economy; continue a balanced, multi-year budget while maintaining a AAA bond rating; and to face regional challenges in a way that protects Oakland County.
Work force: My administration has conducted three work force skills needs assessments with Oakland County companies. We’ve shared this information with colleges so they can develop curriculum to meet the requirements of 21st Century jobs.
Budget: Though on the path to recovery, my administration continues to look for budget innovations that save taxpayers money and provide more efficient services.
Regional challenges: My approach to regional governance, including the Regional Transit Authority and Great Lakes Water Authority, continues to be, “If it’s good for the region and good or neutral for Oakland County, I’ll support it. If it’s good for the region but bad for Oakland County, I’ll fight to protect my taxpayers.”

Vicki Barnett
Age: 62
Occupation: Consultant for Emerge America
Municipality of residence: Farmington Hills
For how long: 35 years  (I have lived in Oakland County my entire life)
Online campaign information:  Vicki Barnett for Oakland County
Education: MBA from University of Michigan Dearborn 1993; BGS from University of Michigan Dearborn 1981
Previously held elected offices: State Representative for the 37th District, 2009-2014; Mayor of Farmington Hills, 2003-2007; Farmington Hills City Council Member, 1995-2003
Top goals: 1) Economic Development (County has lost 16% of its jobs since 2007): Expand focus to include agriculture/urban farming technology; invest in job training; require “clawbacks” of corporate tax subsidies when promised jobs are not created; institute county purchasing guidelines to support women-, minority- and veteran-owned small businesses; support RTA so workers can get to jobs, and to encourage redevelopment around transit hubs and reduce pollution.
2) Poverty (County poverty rate is up 76% since 2005): Expand pre-school education; increase access to health care; improve support for Community Mental Health; invest in programs to end homelessness (average age of homeless person is 8!).
3) Infrastructure and Environment: Test drinking water in schools and child care centers for lead; enact “fix it first” policy for roads and bridges; ban deep injection fracking around county lakes and streams; institute inspection and repair schedule for all private underground transportation pipes.

Oakland County Prosecuting Attorney
Three candidates are running for one four-year term.

Mike Goetz
Age: 55
Occupation: Senior Assistant Attorney General
Municipality of residence: Lake Orion, Michigan
For how long: 9 years
Online campaign information:
Education: Detroit College of Law JD; Michigan State University BA
Previously held elected offices:  No
Top goals: Retaining Qualified Personnel, Training of Assistant Prosecutors and Participation in veterans, sobriety and mental health treatment courts. 
Training of assistant prosecutors has been woefully inadequate under the current administration. Continuing Education of assistant prosecutors is essential to the effective administration of justice and the protection of Oakland County residents. The current office has lost more than 50 percent of their senior staff. This puts safety of the entire county at risk by not having enough seasoned and experienced prosecutors to handle cases here in Oakland County. 
Veterans, sobriety and mental health courts are essential to diagnose the root cause of many people’s actions that bring them to the criminal justice system. As a 28-year veteran prosecutor who has personally handled hundreds of major crime jury trials, I have firsthand experience to lead the prosecutor’s office. I am not a politician I am a prosecutor.

Jessica R. Cooper (I)
Age: 70
Occupation: Elected Oakland County Prosecutor
Municipality of residence: Beverly Hills, Michigan
For how long: 39 years
Online campaign information: Votecoo
Education: High School: Cass Tech 1964, Undergraduate: Wayne State University, B.A. 1970, Graduate: Wayne State University, J.D, 1973, Other education: Certified Trainer in trial advocacy, National Institute Trial Advocacy, (NITA), 1987.
Previously held elected offices: Oakland County Prosecutor, 2009 to present
Judge of the Michigan Court of Appeals, State of Michigan 2001- 2007
Oakland County Circuit Court Judge, Oakland County Michigan 1987 -2000
46TH District Court Judge, Southfield, Michigan, 1979 to 1987.
Top goals: Safety of the Community.
Maintaining an attitude of aggressive prosecution crimes, especially those involving violence to children and seniors; Maintaining our 97% felony conviction rate and 99% appellate affirmance rate. Preventing crime by educating the public, especially children and seniors, about abuse, drug and alcohol use, criminal sexual predators, fraud and the available support and law enforcement assistance available; Maintaining positive working partnerships with law enforcement.
Ethics, Skill, Professionalism and Fairness
Maintaining existing office with focus on law enforcement not politics; Emphasizing ethics, justice and fairness in all case dispositions; Emphasizing excellence in the courtroom and appellate courts by conducting intense, low-cost, in-house attorney training and education seminars and workshops.
Economic and Effective Resource Usage
Constant preparation, review and adherence to $19,000,000 three-year budget; Cutting expenses without cutting personnel to maintain productivity and safety; Continued reallocation of personnel throughout office to meet judicial calendars and docket control.

Steve Afton
Age: 53
Occupation: Licensed attorney since 2001. I previously worked in the civil asset forfeiture department of the Wayne County Prosecutor’s Office, and as a criminal defense attorney, where I saw first-hand the damage caused to peaceful people by the “war on drugs” and other laws punishing nonviolent vices.
Municipality of residence: Rochester Hills
For how long: 16 years
Online campaign information: www.SteveAf
Education: B.S., Psychology--Michigan State University;  Law degree--Thomas M. Cooley Law School.
Previously held elected offices: None
Top goals: STOP PROSECUTING VICTIMLESS “CRIMES”: The U.S. has 5% of the world’s population yet is the world’s leading jailer with 25% of the world’s prisoners—more even than Iran or China. Most incarcerations are from the “war on drugs.” Because civilization is the triumph of persuasion over force, as Prosecutor I will never prosecute people for “crimes” not involving the initiation of aggression against other persons or property. 
FULLY INFORMED JURIES: Jurors are the final barrier to unfair criminal laws created and wielded by tyrant politicians, prosecutors and judges. As Prosecutor I will never oppose informing jurors they have the legal right to vote their conscience by voting “not guilty” if a law seems unfair.
END CIVIL ASSET FORFEITURE: Asset forfeiture laws create perverse incentives for police and government to steal money and property from people even only accused of victimless crimes. As Prosecutor I will end this shameful scheme.

Oakland County Sheriff
Two candidates are running for one four-year term.

Michael J. Bouchard (I)
Age: 60
Occupation: Oakland County Sheriff
Municipality of residence: Birmingham
For how long: 28 years
Online campaign information:
Education: FBI National Executive Institute (NEI) Graduate
• Secret Service Dignitary Protection Graduate
• National Sheriffs’ Institute Graduate
• Michigan State University, Bachelor of Arts Degree in Criminal Justice and Police Administration with Honors, 1979
• Brother Rice High School, High School Degree with Honors, 1974
Previously held elected offices: Senator; Michigan State Senate (1991-1999)
• Representative; Michigan House of Representatives (1990-1991)
• Councilman and Council President; Village of Beverly Hills Council (1986-1990)
Top goals: I will focus on the heroin epidemic, deepening community relations, and creating safe communities for economic development. I sought legislation to allow our Deputies to administer Narcan to reverse the effects of an opioid overdose. We have saved over 35 lives since this program launched. Additionally, our Narcotics Team has targeted heroin traffickers plaguing our communities. We have launched community groups to help build trust and enhance relationships with the citizens we serve. Everyone has a voice at the table. We want to expand these initiatives and shed light on our role within the communities we serve. Lastly, we will continue to drive crime down across the county, which enhances the quality of life and bolsters economic development. When the economy is doing well, crime remains low, and Oakland County will continue to set the standard as the premier place to live, work, and play.

Craig S. Covey
Age: 59
Occupation: Community Liaison and PR Director, Oakland County Water Resources Commissioner
Municipality of residence: Ferndale
For how long: 30 years
Online campaign information:
Education: B.A. Political Science & Communications, Ohio State University 1979
Previously held elected offices: City Councilman – City of Ferndale 2 terms 1999-2007
Mayor, City of Ferndale Elected twice 2007-2010
Oakland County Commissioner 2011-2013
Top goals: I would provide leadership locally & statewide for prison reform and sentencing reform to halt overcrowding and early release of dangerous criminals with a focus on fairness and following best practices.
I would immediately halt the current sheriff’s war on medical marijuana, and instead would follow the voters’ requests in helping patients, caregivers, and compassion clinics access needed medicine. We should ramp up efforts to halt the increase in opiate addiction and put resources into fighting heroin and meth addiction with enforcement coupled with education, prevention, and treatment.
I would show leadership in recruiting new deputies by going into minority and other communities to reach Black, Latino, Arabic, LGBT and female youth for law enforcement careers. Community policing with a diverse police force will make us all stronger and safer.   

Oakland County Treasurer
Two candidates are running for one four-year term.

John P. McCulloch
Age: 60
Occupation: Certified Public Accountant
Municipality of residence: Royal Oak
For how long: 60 years
Online campaign information: votejohnmccull
Education: Bachelor in Accountancy/Walsh College & Juris Doctor/MSU Law School
Previously held elected offices: Chairman-Oakland County Board of Commissioners; Water Resources Commissioner-Oakland County
Top goals: One major reason L. Brooks Patterson is endorsing me is because I worked with him to obtain Oakland County’s AAA Bond Rating that saves money for every taxpayer. Therefore, keeping the AAA rating is a top priority. 
County funds should be invested based upon the best return on investment for the taxpayers while minimizing risk. A lack of transparency by the current treasurer in investing Oakland County funds has created the perception of that these decisions are often based on politics and not prudent public policy. I would regularly provide information online and competitively bid for the placement of county funds with financial institutions. Taxpayers deserve to understand the factors used to determine interest rates and amount of county funds that will be made available for reinvestment here in our community.
I would leverage today’s information technology resources to more effectively and efficiently meet the needs of the office.

Andy Meisner (I)
Age: 43
Occupation: Oakland County Treasurer
Municipality of residence: Huntington Woods
For how long: 7 years
Online campaign information:
Education: University of Michigan, Bachelor of Arts; University of Detroit – Mercy Law School
Previously held elected offices: State Representative, 27th District, 2003-2008
Top goals: Restoring Property Values:  Oakland County lost $14 billion in property values during the Recession, and would have lost more if not for our 14,000 payment plans keeping families in their home and generating $78 million. I want to speed recovery of our tax base to pre-Recession levels by continuing foreclosure prevention efforts, fighting blight and returning abandoned properties to productive use.
Promoting Investment: I have pushed banks and credit unions to invest in our emerging downtowns and neighborhoods, including Pontiac.  I want to build on this success by engaging the Federal Reserve and other regulators to ensure banks meet their obligations under the Community Reinvestment Act.
Streamlining Government: As Treasurer I’ve cut wasteful spending and streamlined government through consolidation of services. Going forward I want to expand efficiencies by deploying technology and growing our relationship with local governments in the area of property tax collection.

Oakland County Water Resources Commissioner
Two candidates are running for one four-year term.

Robert E. Buxbaum
Age: 61
Occupation: Engineer. Owner-president of REB Research, Hydrogen Engineering Solutions. Previously, professor of chemical engineering, Michigan State University.
Municipality of residence: Oak Park
For how long: 25 years
Online campaign information:
Education: MA, PhD, Princeton University, Chemical Engineering, Bachelor of Engineering, Cooper Union to Science and Art, Chemical Engineering
Previously held elected offices: Precinct delegate, Oak Park, Pct. 3
Top goals: 1. Clean water, reasonably priced, reliably delivered, at a pressure suitable for fire-fighting. A key is balance, Use the right additives, but not too much; the right sources, storage, pipes, and pumps. This is engineering; I’m an engineer.
2. Sewers and drains should work like they’re supposed to, flow down, not up, with repairs at a decent price. I’d like to avoid floods, like in 2014, and beach closings, and poisoning the lakes and rivers. I plan to begin separating the storm and sanitary sewers instead of the incumbent’s use of expensive, dangerous, underground, combined sewage cisterns. The cistern on Middlebelt is poisoning our groundwater. I plan to use French drains for separated, low-cost rain storage with outflow to the rivers.
3. Honoring the people. Water- treatment worker is a skilled job. Workers deserve to be respected and treated well themselves. They are our protectors and our environmental stewards.

Jim Nash (I)
Age: 60
Occupation: Water Resources Commissioner
Municipality of residence: Farmington Hills
For how long: 22 years
Online campaign information: www.votejim
Education: BS, Political Science and Peace Studies, Florida State University
Previously held elected offices: Oakland County Commissioner, 2005 to 2013
Top goals: If re-elected I will continue leading regional and state efforts to better control our stormwater problems through green infrastructure; diverting the first inch of rain into the ground before it hits the storm sewers, lessening flooding and preventing pollution of our lakes. This costs less than gray infrastructure, like pipes and pumps and tanks. I will help communities plan for their stormwater needs and develop fair, transparent funding that allows property owners to limit/eliminate runoff and thus cut/end their stormwater costs. I will continue developing energy conservation and production, saving money and cutting fossil fuel use. My office already saves $50,000 a year in natural gas by extracting heat from sewage in one plant. We are working on a project that will save millions and produce methane for use at our Pontiac facility, and potentially fuel many compressed natural gas vehicles, all from sewage we treat anyway.

Oakland County Board of Commissioners District 17
Two candidates are running for one two-year term.

David A. Cuttner
Age: 74
Occupation: Attorney
Municipality of residence: Southfield
For how long: 1970-80, 1998 to present
Online campaign information: FACEBOOK: Cuttner for Oakland County Commissioner
Education: MSU;1960-64 B.S. Police and Industrial Security Administration; WSU Law School 1964-67, Juris Doctorate
Previously held elected offices: Precinct Delegate
Top goals: As a 30 year Oakland County resident, I would review county allocations, research aspects unique to our 17th district, and ensure our area is receiving a fair share of those funds. I would question if there would be better way to maximize the returns to the taxpayers for each dollar expended such as consolidation of departments/agencies within the County.
These are the issues I would like to investigate and determine what, if any, aspects of the County government can be modernized, consolidated and/or improved upon.
  We are lucky to have a great County Executive in Brooks Patterson and I would be honored to have the opportunity to be part of his team as Commissioner of the 17th District and to keep Oakland County a leader in both the state and nation.

Nancy Quarles (I)
Age: No answer given
Occupation: Professor, Central Michigan University
Municipality of residence: Southfield
For how Long: 33 years
Online campaign information: No answer given
Education: Western Michigan University, PhD
Previously held elected offices:  State Representative; Vice Chairman, Michigan Democratic Party
Top goals: The top three (3) issues facing the county are: ensuring fairness in the distribution of resources throughout the districts, funding for roads, and keeping the county attractive for citizens and businesses. Many of the aging cities in the county are located in the southern section. I will work with the departments to establish funding and make sure resources are in place to keep cities in the district sustainable. Where opportunities exist, I will make certain our district is a benefactor of available programs.
  The road repair has, and continues, to be an issue for this county. I serve on a newly-created committee which identifies funds that assist cities and villages with repair of local roads. I will encourage the leadership in District 17 to participate in this road funding opportunity. This type of improvement will attract and retain residents and businesses in our district.

Oakland County Board of Commissioners District 21
Two candidates are running for one two-year term.

Richard A. Van Camp
Did not return questionnaire by press time.

Janet Jackson (I)
Did not return questionnaire by press time.

Judge of District Court 46th District
Two candidates are running
for one six-year term.
Cynthia M. Arvant (I)
Age: 45
Occupation: Judge of the 46th District Court
Municipality of residence: Beverly Hills
For how long: 12 years
Online campaign information:
Education: B.A., Michigan State University, 1992 J.D., Michigan State University College of Law (formerly Detroit College of Law), 1995
Previously held elected offices: None
Top goals: 1. Serve my community in a just and compassionate manner, as I’ve done since taking the bench, by treating all who come before me with courtesy and respect, and by applying the law consistently and fairly.
2. Protect the rights of every citizen, while protecting the public, by fashioning an appropriate sentence in every criminal case. I take into consideration the nature of the offense, the circumstances of the person found guilty (including criminal, personal, educational, substance abuse, and physical/mental health history), and the resources and programs I have available for the offender, with the goal of preventing recidivism.
3. Manage my docket in a timely and efficient manner, by being prepared every day, taking the bench in a timely manner, and scheduling matters as expeditiously as possible so that justice is not delayed.

Kameshia D. Gant
Age: 42
Occupation: Attorney in private practice and Consultant for Neighborhood Legal Services Michigan, Children’s Justice Center
Municipality of residence: City of Southfield
For how long: 16 yrs.
Online campaign information:
Education: Bachelor of Arts Degree from the University of Michigan and Juris Doctor Degree from Wayne State University Law School
Previously held elected offices:  N/A
Top goals: 1. Reduce Recidivism: Having represented the disenfranchised for 10 years across the state as a Trial Attorney, I have the insight to recognize issues faced by the community and knowledge of community based programming to address the needs of the clients that the 46th District Court serves.
2. Program Development: I believe in education and providing access to programming over incarceration to reduce recidivism in the community when appropriate. I intend to utilize my unique experience working in different facets of the legal system to develop specialized programming at the 46th District Court that would better serve the public.
3. Youth Outreach: I am committed to educating youth regarding the legal system to deter them from criminal behavior and other legal issues. I will continue to devote my time mentoring youth, volunteering with programs and activities, and serving as an inspiration for the youth to make positive career choices.

Proposed Charter Amendment A
Shall Chapter V, Executive Division, of the City Charter be amended to amend subsection (e) of Section 5.3, qualifications, which would require the resignation from office by any city officer who becomes a candidate for any other lective city office, except to succeed himself or herself?

Proposed Charter Amendment B
Shall Chapter V, Executive Division, of the City Charter be amended to establish that a person shall be deemed  a candidate for office upon certification of the person’s nominating petitions by the City Clerk?

Regional Transit Authority Of Southeast Michigan
A Proposal Authorizing the Regional Transit Authority of Southeast Michigan (RTA) to Levy an Assessment
The proposal would authorize the Regional Transit Authority of Southeast Michigan (RTA) to levy within Macomb, Oakland, Washtenaw, and Wayne counties a property tax assessment:
• at a rate of 1.2 mills ($1.20 per $1,000 of taxable value);
• for 20 years beginning in 2016 and ending in 2035;
• that may not be increased, renewed, or used for other purposes without direct voter approval; and
• to be used upon the affirmative vote of an RTA board member from each RTA member jurisdiction for the purpose of construction and operation of a public transportation system connecting Macomb, Oakland, Washtenaw, and Wayne counties, including rapid transit bus routes across county lines, specialized service for senior citizens and people with disabilities, commuter rail, airport express service, and other public transportation purposes permitted by law, consistent with RTA bylaws and subject to the limitations of the Regional Transit Authority Act.
If this new additional assessment is approved and levied, revenue will be disbursed to the RTA. It is estimated that $160,907,285 will be collected in the first year.
Should this assessment be approved?