Clinton Twp., Harrison Twp. and Mount Clemens voters to select national to local races, ballot proposal

Mount Clemens - Clinton - Harrison Journal | Published October 26, 2016

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In the Journal’s coverage area, voters will decide on national, state, county and local races and issues 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. Profiles do not appear for candidates running unopposed. 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.

 


Harrison Township Supervisor
Three candidates are running for one four-year term.

Republican
Ken Verkest (I)
Age: 48
Occupation: Supervisor
Municipality of residence: Harrison  Township
For how long: 48 Years (lifelong)
Online campaign information: N/A
Education: L’Anse Creuse High School Graduate, trade-specific courses
Previously held elected offices: Harrison Township Trustee, Harrison Township Supervisor
Top goals: 1. Budget: I will continue to work to reduce costs. We are the only township in the county that does not levy a general fund millage, yet we have been able to operate without a general fund deficit.

2. Infrastructure: We need to expand our sidewalks, bike paths, sewer service and paved roads. I will continue to pursue grants to fund improvements. We also need to advocate for improved water quality. I will continue to work with county and state leaders to eliminate combined sewer overflows and other sources of water pollution.

3. Improve Services: Water and Sewer, Police, Fire, and EMS, Building and Ordinance. We have added technology to reduce the cost to bill for water. We are partnering with the county to enhance dispatch services, freeing up additional firefighters to respond to calls. I will continue to pursue ways to add technology to improve services and reduce costs.

Democrat
James Senstock
Age: 65
Occupation: Retired. Advanced Manufacturing Engineer
Municipality of residence: Harrison Township  
For how long: 52 Years
Online campaign information: www.senstock2016.com
Education: L’Anse Creuse Central High School; GMI/Kettering, Bachelors of Industrial Engineering; Wayne State University, Masters of Business Administration/Finance
Previously held elected offices: Harrison Township Trustee, Harrison Township Supervisor
Top goals: Harrison Township does not have effective leadership. There is little expense oversight, out of control budgets, favoritism in awarding contracts, and disregard for ordinance enforcement. Our emergency services & Seniors need a supportive leader. The current supervisor can’t effectively run the Township while he continues to maintain his business.

The commercial use of Selfridge is another problem that is looming again. I will oppose this while supporting the Military mission at Selfridge, as I have successfully previously done.

I am retired and look forward to getting the Township back to fiscally sound management.  I have no connections to special interests that would compromise decisions and contract appointments. I attend all township meetings including PC & ZBA. I have assisted residents & community groups consistently on tax issues and many other problems to reach successful solutions.

I will devote my attention to make sure residents receive an open and responsive Government.

(Write-in)
Floyd McDaniel  
Age: 76
Occupation: Retired
Municipality of residence: Harrison Township
For how long: 48 years
Online campaign information: FJandBAM@aol.com (Subject:  Election)
Education: High school graduate, college two years. 
Previously held elected offices: None
Top goals: A resident of Harrison Township since 1968, and 40 plus years of experience have prepared Floyd McDaniel to be your new Honest and Efficient Harrison Township Supervisor.
His background includes: Business Management, Marketing, Sales, Promotion and Business.
Representation: This experience is what is needed to be a leader and representative of you the resident. Common sense and Honesty are most important to get the job done.



Harrison Township Clerk
Two candidates are running for one four-year term.

Republican
Adam Wit (I)
Age: 34
Occupation: Harrison Township Clerk
Municipality of residence: Harrison Township
For how long: 30 years
Online campaign information: AdamWit.com
Education: Graduate, L’Anse Creuse High School; Bachelor of Arts, Michigan State University; Master of Public Administration, Oakland University
Previously held elected offices: No answer given
Top goals: As Clerk, my track record is one of positive, proven leadership for my hometown. Working together for the past term, we have accomplished more by building consensus and valuing resident input. By pulling together, we are prepared to meet the challenges facing our community efficiently and effectively.

Harrison Township, like other communities, faces an aging infrastructure that requires ongoing investments. We have effectively used grants to improve the sanitary and storm sewer systems. I will continue to leverage grant dollars to make necessary improvements.

I know my neighbors work hard, so it is important to make sure the money they trust us with is spent wisely. As Clerk, we have reduced staffing without layoffs, used technology to streamline operations and bid out contracts to lower costs. When re-elected, I will continue to manage the people’s money wisely and ensure that people can trust us to provide positive, productive leadership.

Democrat
James Wietecha
Age: 55
Occupation: Retired from City of Roseville Engineering, Now Director of Transportation at Church of Christ Care Center
Municipality of residence: Harrison Township
For how long: 13 years
Online campaign information: No answer given
Education: Olivet College, Macomb Community College, Lansing Community College, Michigan technological University.
Previously held elected offices: None
Top goals: My 30 years experience in Supervising the departments of Engineering, Parks and Recreation and Public Works within the city of Roseville gives me strong leadership experience to help Harrison Township to move forward with positive changes. Changes in replacing/repairing  our roads, infrastructure and getting our water quality higher with keeping our taxes as low as possible. Make sure we are discipline in spending our tax money. Make sure we receive our Federal, State, and County tax dollars. My experience as Director of Transportation at Church of Christ  it has giving me a great opportunity to understand the needs of  our seniors. I will be a full time Clerk and available to our residents at all times.



Harrison Township Treasurer
Two candidates are running for one four-year term.

Republican
Darrin York (I)
Age: 49
Occupation: Harrison Township Treasurer 2004-present
Municipality of residence: Harrison Township
For how long: 22 years
Online campaign information: No answer given
Education: Detroit/Novi Catholic Central High School 85’, Albion College 89’ Economics and Management, Accounting minor. Professional designations: CPFA, Certified Public Finance Administrator, CPFIM, Certified Public Funds Investment Manager, MiCPT, Michigan Certified Professional Treasurer
Previously held elected offices: Township Boards, Chairman, Harrison Township Employee Pension Board, Member, Harrison Township Fire Pension Board, Member, Harrison Township Economic Development Committee.
Top goals: The top priority of the township board is the health and safety of the residents. To achieve this goal we must continue to support our fire and police. The top complaint from residents is speeding cars in residential neighborhoods.  The board needs to budget for a dedicated road patrol/safety officer.  I will continue to support the fire department by buying new equipment, hiring 3 more firemen going from 27 to 30 full time firemen and making sure they have all the tools necessary to effectively run the department.  Lake St. Clair is our jewel and we must work with state and county officials to stop the raw sewage dump that occurs during heavy rains from the communities upstream.

When looking at the candidates for Treasurer, I am the only candidate that has the education and experience to manage the Treasurer’s Department and $75,000,000 of taxpayer money.

Democrat
Chris Burden
Age: 52
Occupation: Chrysler - 30 years Customer Service/Finance
Municipality of residence: Harrison Township
For how long: 18 years
Online campaign information: No answer given
Education: Bachelors of Business Administration
Previously held elected offices: No answer given
Top goals: I will bring private sector business processes to the Harrison Township Treasurer’s Office in order to cut costs. It starts with me, so I will refuse to accept costly township provided medical insurance. Unlike today’s single bank relationship, I would create relationships with multiple financial institutions to leverage the lowest cost fees for banking and investment services. I will make sure township bills get paid on time to eliminate the needless late fees we pay much too frequently. I will push for confidential online blight complaint submission, township accountability on blight complaints, and increased fines to pay for enforcement. Lastly, we need comprehensive road and water pollution plans in Harrison Township and I will be the one to champion these causes.



Harrison Township Board of Trustees
Six candidates are running for four four-year terms.

Republican
Brian W. Batkins
Age: 50
Occupation: Estimator/Project Manager
Municipality of residence: Harrison Township
For how long: Lifelong resident
Online campaign information: Facebook: BatkinsforTrustee
Education: 1984 L’Anse Creuse High School Graduate, 1990 Millwright Local 1102 Apprenticeship, Macomb Comm. College.
Previously held elected offices: No answer given
Top goals: Current Harrison Township Building Board of Appeals Member, District Delegate. The issues I would like to address if elected are: Water Quality, Public Safety and Government Transparency.  Summer storm runoff affects our way of living.  I will investigate ways to prevent the dumping of raw sewage into Lake St. Clair.

I want our crime rate and drug overdose statistics to drop. I will investigate what can be done to make that happen and I will support necessary change. I will work with the board to make sure our outstanding firefighters have the tools they need to protect our community.

I will make sure our government remains transparent in addressing the concerns of our citizens.

Republican
Bill Bitonti (I)
Age: 65
Occupation: Retired Executive Director with JP Morgan
Municipality of residence: Harrison Township
For how long: 14 years
Online campaign information: No answer given
Education: BA Wayne State University
Previously held elected offices: Appointed to Harrison Township Board of Trustees in 2014
Top goals: Our top priorities should be 1) ensuring that we have the proper levels of police and fire/rescue services while maintaining a sound financial status; 2) effective management of ordinances and zoning while recognizing that we live in a diverse, waterfront community; 3) ensuring that our infrastructure, in particular, the drainage system gets the proper maintenance and attention. This can be done by listening to our residents, performing due diligence, engaging in constructive discussion and disagreeing when necessary in a thoughtful and respectful manner. These actions will then lead to decisions that should benefit the entire township. I believe that in my two plus years on the Board of Trustees I have demonstrated the ability to act in the manner described above and will work to keep Harrison Township a great place to live, work and relax.

Republican
William T. Servial III (Bill)
Age: 72
Occupation: Retired builder and a 72 year old Vietnam Veteran 1968/69 Military Police
Municipality of residence: Harrison Township
For how long: 38 years
Online campaign information: No answer given
Education: I attended DIT, MCCC and have an associate degree
Previously held elected offices: Currently precinct delegate for the Macomb County Republican Party.
Top goals: The current Board does little to control spending, instead they raise taxes.  I pledge to vote NO on all local property tax millage increases. I will work to make the taxpayers’ money go further.

I have heard from many residents that we need more police.  I will increase Public Safety by adding more deputies and maintaining the effectiveness of our fire department by providing much needed vehicles and equipment the fire department has been requesting for years.

We can do more to protect the Clinton River and Lake St. Clair. I will work with the County and State officials to put an end to the dumping of raw sewage into our waterways.

We can do a better job of informing residents about issues of importance to them.  I will make transparency in government a priority. Contact me with any questions.

Republican
Lawrence L. Tomenello (I)
Age: 60
Occupation: Information Technology Manager, 41 years
Municipality of residence: Harrison Township
For how long: 26 years
Online campaign information: No answer given
Education: Bachelor of Business Administration-Business Leadership, Michigan Society of Planners, Licensed Residential Builder, ITIL Certification.
Previously held elected offices: Harrison Township Trustee, since 2008.
Top goals: The Harrison Township Master Plan and established Downtown Development Authority, (DDA), is an exciting new comprehensive plan or ‘vision’ with detailed architectural themes, road improvements and recreation areas. This district will create a ‘road map’ for the development of our first Downtown District centered at Crocker and Jefferson. Walk up restaurants, shopping and parks, along with an inviting waterfront is our vision. Socializing this plan with residents and business owners/developers will ensure this vision becomes a reality. Speeders in our residential neighborhoods continues to be a problem and safety issue. My plan is to look into adding dedicated officers to address residential speeders and other auto related incidents, keeping our roads safe for all. Although the economy is improving, I am committed to look at ways of streamlining township operations. One example is supporting the Regional Fire Services Study, to assess regionalizing fire services, minimizing costs and maximize services.

Democrat
William Bardill
Age: 57
Occupation: Journeyman Pipefitter
Municipality of residence: Harrison Township
For how long: 19 years
Online campaign information: Facebook William Bardill For Harrison Twp. Trustee
Education: Warren Mott High School Class of 1978, MCCC Climate Control & Welding
Chrysler Weldtech, Detroit MI, Pipefitting Industry Training Center, Troy, MI
Previously held elected offices: None
Top goals: I will oppose any new taxes. I will fight the sewage discharge dumping into the Clinton River and Lake St. Clair and also protect our wetlands. I will oppose the joint or commercial use of Selfridge Air Force Base by working to keep it a fighter jet base. I will fight to protect property values and quality of life by addressing blight and crime. I will stand to make government transparent, accountable, and efficient. I will stop no bid contracts. (Competition makes for better products and services). I support our Macomb County Sheriff’s Department, our Firefighters and the 41B Drug Rehab Court.

My campaign is 100% self funded. I will not accept any donations from any group or individual. I will address all residents’ concerns. Too many times our residents concerns are swept under the rug to make room for special interests. The buck stops here.

Democrat
David Bratto (I)
Age: 53
Occupation: Creative Director, 32 years
Municipality of residence: Harrison Township
For how long: 19 years
Online campaign information: Facebook, “Trustee David Bratto”
Education: studied Media & Communications
Previously held elected offices: Harrison Township Trustee since 2010
Top goals: Improving our quality of life —
1. Health & Safety: Ensure the Fire Dept has the equipment and staffing for the needs of the community. I have a 100% voting record for the HTFD. I supported and the residents passed the fire millage. I will assess the cost to add additional police too.

2. Infrastructure: Continue to study & apply for grants that improve our infrastructure, which is very old. We have already seen bridges replaced, some roads re-surfaced and we are constantly repairing water mains, drainage and pump stations. The Senior Center and the Spillway are both under construction and we just finished a new bike path on N. River Rd. through federal grants.

3. Fiscal Responsibility: I voted to support our first DDA, to reduce the cost of waste hauling at a 15% savings to residents and to reduce the cost of employee healthcare at a $500,000 savings.



L’Anse Creuse Public Schools Board of Education
Nine candidates are running for three six-year terms.

Necole Cichowlas
Age: 39
Occupation: I am a career hairdresser, previously owning two salons. Once I began having children I was fortunate enough to sell those businesses in order to direct my focus on our family. I currently assist my husband in his company, Detroit Fire Tees.
Municipality of residence: Chesterfield Township
For how long: 9 years
Online campaign information:
www.facebook.com/necolecichowlas4lansecreuseboardofeducation
Education: I graduated from Regina High School in 1995, received my cosmetology license from the State of Michigan Apprentice Program, and attended the Macomb Community College Pre-Nursing Program.
Previously held elected offices: None
Top goals: Financial Issues is a common thread among school districts I will work closely with our highly qualified financial department to assure we continue fiscal responsibility.

Declining Enrollment is yet another trend we see, I will follow closely the research taking place concerning School of Choice and the effect on district enrollment and student outcomes.

I value the importance of district tradition and history and will strive to form collaborative partnerships with community members, students, parents and educators to create a nurturing environment that insures each student achieves his/her personal best.

Hilary Dubay
Age: 38
Occupation: Entrepreneur
Municipality of residence: Harrison Township
For how long: 11 years
Online campaign information:
www.facebook.com/Hilary-Dubay-for-Lanse-Creuse-School-Board-1304178826273930/
Education: Regina High School, Wayne State University
Previously held elected offices: None
Top goals: If elected I would like to accomplish many things, but the top issues would be; one, I would like to bring a sense of cohesiveness to the board.  Being a positive person, I would like to work together to solve the many struggles that a school district may face. With my diverse knowledge of the school system and its operations, I would be an asset in discussions and solutions regarding important issues. Two, the relationship between the Board and the community should be encouraging and supportive.  Working together will encourage success, fostering an environment where kids can grow and communities can be strengthened. Three, with the projection of losing 600 students in the next 2 years our focus should be on giving our students options and an education allowing them to flourish. My approach will be one of optimism, professionalism, acceptance and impartialness when it comes to every decision.

Mary Hilton (I)
Age: No answer given
Occupation: Registered nurse for 22 years
Municipality of residence: Chesterfield Township
For how long: 20 years
Online campaign information: No answer given
Education: Michigan State University with a Bachelor of Science in Nursing.
Previously held elected offices: L’Anse Creuse School Board
Top goals: As a Parent, Board Member, Booster Club member, former Coach, and Professional, I bring an educated and honest openness to this Board. I believe that Knowledge is power and transparency is honesty. Our Schools works best for our students and community when we are informed and transparent in all that we do. In the next year, our District will choose a new Superintendent to guide us. I would like to represent our community in choosing that person. We need integrity, intelligence and a leader in education to move our community forward.

I feel we need to refocus. Educating our students as a first priority and then getting back to the feel of the L’Anse Creuse as a community will be my goal.

Steven J. Maul
Age: 53
Occupation: Certified Project Manager
Municipality of residence: Chesterfield Township
For how long: 20 Years
Online campaign information: www.stevemaul.com
Education: Wayne State University – B.S. Degree in Business Administration 1989, Project Management Professional (PMP) certification from Project Management Institute - 2005
Previously held elected offices: None
Top goals: 1. Fiscal Responsibility – Sharp focus on every dollar spent with emphasis on resources going to students first. Develop real strategic plans for the district that lay out our goals and document measures of success.

2. Rebuild Sense of Community – Help to build real, two-way communication between the community and the school district administration. All too often, it feels like the current administration isn’t really listening to the community and we need to encourage participation and feedback from all stakeholders in our district.

3. Strengthen relationship between the Administration and BoE – Help to heal the division that exists between the administration and board as well as between board members so that we can effectively move our district forward. I have a long track record of building teams and moving towards a common goal.

James F. Munroe
Age: No answer given
Occupation: I am a retiree from the L’Anse Creuse Public Schools and a recent retiree from the Michigan Education Association. For 17 years, I taught Secondary Mathematics in L’Anse Creuse. I was the initial Assistant Principal at Middle School South for its first three years. I was a field director for the Michigan Education Association working in Macomb and Oakland counties for 19 years. I was promoted to Organizational (Eastern Zone) Director for a four county area for 3 years and Human Resources Director statewide for 3 years.
Municipality of residence: Chesterfield Township
For how long: Over 20 years
Online campaign information: No answer given
Education: My education is a Bachelor’s Degree (B.S. in Secondary Education) and a Masters Degree (M.Ed. in Mathematics Education). I earned both degrees from Wayne State University.
Previously held elected offices: No answer given
Top goals: The lack of adequate per pupil funding by the State of Michigan impacts the entire educational program we can offer to students. We are left with no alternative but joining others to demand that the Michigan legislature increase per pupil funding. In addition, the school district must also address the continued decline in student enrollment as it impacts the dollars available for funding all educational programs. Curriculum offerings must attract students to the school district. These issues must be considered in the selection of our new Superintendent. I have watche

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