Voters head to polls for general election

Woodward Talk | Published October 27, 2016


In the Talk’s coverage area, voters will decide three county commissioner races, federal and state House races, a Regional Transit Authority proposal and more Nov. 8. 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. (I) indicates 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. Profiles appear only for candidates in contested races.

U.S. House of Representatives District 9
Four candidates are running for one two-year term.

Christopher R. Morse
Age: 42
Occupation: Military (Retired)
Municipality of residence: Bloomfield Township
For how long: 5+ years
Online campaign information:
Education: Bachelor of Arts, Drury College
Previously held elected offices: None
Top goals: I’ll bring the seat back to the people of the 9th District through equal representation of all constituents. I will use a three-pronged approach: 
1) National Security. Strengthen national security with a strong military and better healthcare to veterans. I would also strengthen our borders by utilizing biometric technology and physical barriers to reduce illegal crossings and reform an antiquated immigration system. 
2) Follow the Constitution. Protect constitutional rights and responsibilities defined in the Constitution through accountability and due process. 
3) Provide for the future through education, environmental protection and fiscal responsibility.   The states, not the federal government, determine educational curriculums where both college and vocational school choices are equally accessible.  Congress should protect and pass legislation to clean up the environment for future generations. Finally, for our children, the debt and economy need to be addressed by reallocating spending, cutting excessive waste, reducing taxes, and ensuring trade equity. 

Sander Levin (I)
Age: 85
Occupation: Member of Congress representing Macomb and Oakland counties in Michigan’s 9th Congressional District
Municipality of residence: Royal Oak, MI
For how long: I have lived in Oakland County for the past 59 years.
Online campaign information:
Education: Graduated from Central High School in Detroit.  Received my Bachelors from the University of Chicago and my Masters at Columbia University.  I graduated from law school at Harvard.
Previously held elected offices: I represented south Oakland County in the State Senate where I served as Chairman of the Labor Committee working with George Romney and Bill Milliken on issues like an increase in the minimum wage and the Public Employment Relations Act and later became Minority Leader. I have represented Michigan – mainly Oakland and Macomb counties – in the U.S. Congress since 1983. I currently serve as the Ranking Democrat on the Ways and Means Committee.
Top goals: I am honored to represent Oakland and Macomb in Congress. Looking ahead, my top priorities remain the economy, health care and the environment. We must continue steps to strengthen the economic recovery so that it flows to more families in our area. This includes changing U.S. trade policy, reforming our tax code, promoting domestic manufacturing and helping young people afford college. We must also build on health care reform by lowering prescription drug costs and ensuring that premiums and deductibles remain affordable as more people receive insurance coverage. We have a special responsibility to the Great Lakes and through the Great Lakes Restoration Initiative I will continue to work with local communities on projects that rebuild our local infrastructure and improve the quality of our water.

Matthew Orlando
Did not return questionnaire by press time.

John V. McDermott
Age: 55
Occupation: Attorney
Municipality of residence: Hazel Park
For how long: since June 2015, and had been a Wayne County resident for the previous 24 years
Online campaign information:
Education: I received a Bachelors in Accounting from M.S.U. in 1986 and my Juris Doctor from University of Detroit-Mercy Law in 1994.
Previously held elected offices: I have never held elective office, but I did run in 2014 as the Michigan Green Party’s 9th District candidate.
Top goals: 1. The U.S. House must form a Special Committee on 9/11 to investigate the 9/11 event and the political manipulation of same. 9/11 was an inside job whose perpetrators have escaped justice. 
2. We must restore effective financial regulation including Wall Street. Reenact Glass Steagall Act and forensically audit the Federal Reserve. 
3. We must downsize the Federal government, restore constitutional protections against governmental intrusion and withdraw from military misadventures in the Middle East.
     Economic priorities: Treasury debt now exceeds Gross Domestic Product. Renegotiate NAFTA and reject TPP. Reenact Glass Steagall. Forensically audit the Federal Reserve and publicize abuses within the Fed’s Quantitative Easing. Restore SEC and DOJ Antitrust Division. Enforce SEC Acts and Sherman and Clayton Antitrust Acts. Publicly acknowledge Social Security and pension underfunding. Propose the conversion of underfunded Defined Benefit Plans to Defined Contribution Plans. Propose the creation of a separate Social Security Trust for those born after 1960.

State House of Representatives District 27
Two candidates are running for one two-year term.

Kyle Forrest
Did not return questionnaire by press time.

Robert Wittenberg (I)
Age: 35
Occupation: State Representative, Licensed Life and Health Insurance Agent
Municipality of residence: Oak Park
For how long: 4 Years (25 in the District)
Online campaign information: www.Wit
Education: Berkley High School, Bachelor of Science in Business Management from Indiana University
Previously held elected
offices: None prior to serving as State Representative
Top goals: I am running to continue serving the residents of the 27th District. I have championed many causes and have made great progress.
My top priorities include:
• Commonsense gun legislation — I founded and chair the Gun Violence Prevention Caucus here in Michigan, and I am working to implement sensible gun safety legislation to mitigate gun violence
• Campaign finance reform — There is too much money in politics, and I want to move to a publically financed system
• Making it easier for people to vote and getting more people engaged in the process
• Fixing our broken municipal finance system and our antiquated school funding model
• Redistricting reform (ending gerrymandering) — Letting voters pick their politicians instead of politicians picking their voters
• Amending the Elliott-Larsen Civil Rights Act to include sexual orientation and gender identity

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
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:
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: sheriff
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:
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 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 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:
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 18
Two candidates are running for one two-year term.

Steven Zimberg
Age: 60
Occupation: Retired IBEW Electrician, Certified Financial Planner and Paralegal
Municipality of residence: Huntington Woods
For how long: 20 years
Online campaign information: www.zimberg4commis
Education: Hillsdale College, EBA
Previously held elected offices: No answer given
Top goals: Restructure student loans at lower rates for those who live and work in Oakland County. This incentive would spur economic growth and attract many college educated people into the area. Accomplished with low interest bond without cost to county.
Help citizens spread their delinquent property taxes over a longer period of time and at a lower interest rate. 38% the first year and is usurious. This would generate faster tax revenue into communities while reducing many family and related community problems. Accomplished without cost to County.
Reduce family court incarcerations for child support and similar issues. This is the leading group in our jails and a waste of taxpayer money. Both our families and county spend more money for legal defense. Also, will end Judicial and staff conflict of interest referrals which only hurt our communities more. We must consider the longer term effects of our action.

Helaine Zack (I)
Age: 63
Occupation: Social Worker/Trauma Consultant
Municipality of residence: Huntington Woods
For how long: 36 years
Online campaign information:
Education: BA, University of Michigan; MSW, University of Michigan School of Social Work
Previously held elected offices: None
Top goals: 1. Clean, affordable water is a huge issue for everyone! We must vigilantly watch operations of the Great Lakes Water Authority to ensure that operations run effectively. As part of the recent County budgeting process the Democratic Commissioners negotiated $500,000 in County funding to replace drinking fountains in public schools to insure and oversee clean drinking water.
2. Regional Transit: I serve on the RTA’s Citizens Advisory Committee and work closely with other groups to champion the passage of the Regional Transit plan and millage. I want to ensure that the plan is successfully implemented.
3. More road investment: The State’s road funding program is painfully slow and underfunded. We need to support more local efforts to fix potholes and other road problems. We just started an Oakland County pilot to match local resources to County dollars. I will work to expand this pilot with more matching Oakland County resources.

Oakland County Board of Commissioners District 19
Three candidates are running for one two-year term.

Michael Ryan
Age: 56
Occupation: Dentist
Municipality of residence: Berkley
For how long: 17 years
Online campaign information:
Education: Michigan State 1978-1981, graduated from University of Michigan Dental School 1985
Previously held elected offices: None
Top goals: My first priority is to restructure the county employees’ health plan so that medical services are covered at three different levels: 90% with no deductible, and 80% or 60% with deductibles. Selected small groups of employees would classify procedures into these levels based on how elective the treatment is. This should cut county health costs while ensuring people get the care they need. Second, the sheriff’s office needs to change its procedures in civil asset forfeitures. There are already people at the courthouse for jury duty, why not ask them to determine if the assets in question are probably derived from the crimes the owner is accused of? Voters may hesitate to support Republicans because they don’t seem to care about ordinary people. My proposals use them as solutions to big problems, so think of me as the “people’s Republican” for Oakland County.

David Woodward (I)
Age: 40
Occupation: Oakland County Commission
Municipality of residence: Royal Oak
For how long: 38 years
Online campaign information: wood
Education: B.S. Mathematics from Wayne State University
Previously held elected offices: State Representative 1999-2004
Oakland County Commissioner 2005-present
Top goals: Safe Drinking Water for Our Kids
Lead poisoning has lifelong negative effects on children. Most schools are not required to annually test drinking water for lead. We should test kids’ drinking water regularly in schools and childcare centers. Also, we need to replace old drinking fountains with filtered water bottle filling stations to guarantee safe drinking water for all kids.
Fix and Repair Our Local Roads
Lansing has failed to get the needed resources to our local cities to fix and maintain our local roads. That’s why I secured millions in new county funding for our local roads. I intend to increase this county funding.
Help Seniors Age in Place
We have 500 seniors on a waiting list for important senior services to help them remain independent in their homes and age in place. We need to clear the wait list and develop long-term strategies to meet this growing need.

Jim Fulner
Age: 33
Occupation: Systems Engineer
Municipality of residence: Berkley
For how long: 8 years
Online campaign information:
Education: BS at Northern Michigan University
Previously held elected offices: None
Top goals: #TaxationIsTheft: The county has no right to say “your land or your money” they’re either stealing from you, or you’re renting your land from them. Elimination of property taxes is my top concern. Return the funds to the rightful owner to do with as they choose.
#OpenWaterMarket: To ensure that what happened in Flint never happens in our neighborhood we must open the market for competition. We must eliminate the municipal monopoly on the water market.
Only through natural regulation that occurs when private companies compete for customers will we ensure our infrastructure is cared for and our children remain safe.
#FreeSoftware: Libertarians envision a society where people may choose to share freely with one another; without fear of copyright infringement or legal threats from so-called intellectual property rights. The County can help by only using Free Software like GNU/Linux and encouraging others to do the same.

Oakland County Board of Commissioners District 20
Two candidates are running for one two-year term.

David J. Harrell
Age: 53
Occupation: Automative Engineer and Small Business Owner
Municipality of residence: Troy
For how long: 22 years
Online campaign information:
Education: B.S. Engineering Management
Previously held elected offices: None
Top goals: Road Improvements: Our roads were neglected for many years and Oakland County has had to take on many repairs, but there is more to be done.  This will be a budgetary priority for me.
Eliminating Excess Spending: I will work tirelessly to prioritize our budget and prevent wasteful spending.  I will treat your (and my) tax dollars as if they were my own family budget.  I have not and will not vote for any tax increases.
Attracting New Business: Oakland County is a great place for business with a highly talented work force.  I will help attract new businesses and increase the corporate tax base so we can give tax relief to the residents.

Gary R. McGillivray
Did not return questionnaire by press time.

Ferndale Public Schools Board of Education
Two candidates are running for two six-year terms.

Mike Davisson
Running unopposed.

Jackie Hart (I)
Running unopposed.

Berkley School District Board of Education
Three candidates are running for three six-year terms.

Mitchell Moses (I)
Running unopposed.

Sheryl Stoddard (I)
Running unopposed.

Michael Tripp
Running unopposed.

Berkley School District Board of Education
One candidate is running for one partial term ending Dec. 31, 2018.

Keith Allen Logsdon (I)
Running unopposed.

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?