Voters to select national to local races, ballot proposals

Madison - Park News | Published October 27, 2016


In the Madison-Park News’ 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 that 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.

Madison District Public Schools Board of Education
Nine candidates are running for four four-year terms.

Donald Lee Brecht Jr. (I)
Age: 34
Occupation: FORD IT - Global Operations Lead
Municipality of residence: Madison Heights
For how long: 34 years
Online campaign information: No answer given
Education: Bachelor’s degree - Western Michigan University
Previously held elected offices: 2012-current, Madison District Public Schools Board of Education
Top goals: We have grown exponentially in all facets throughout our district in recent years. We have an amazing staff lead by a great superintendent in Randy Speck. Going forward, I would love to see continued growth in our curriculum & enrollment. In recent years, we’ve been able to bring in new programs to serve all of our students interests. We’ve seen a 35% growth in enrollment. We’ve had a $5 million growth in revenue. To continue this momentum, my top 3 priorities are 1) Continual improvement of grades/testing 2) Continue building our facilities to serve our families needs, including adding a before/after school child care for all parents 3) Increased staff compensation to retain our employees. These priorities can be achieved by giving our staff the tools and resources needed to make decisions that will better serve our community and hold them accountable for the expected results.

Paul Clair
Did not return questionnaire by press time.

Christin Cole (I)
Age: 39
Occupation: Clinical Documentation Improvement Specialist
Municipality of residence: Madison Heights
For how long: Born in Madison Heights and graduated from Madison High School 20+ years ago.
Online campaign information: Visit to see all of the accomplishments and new partnerships that are bringing more opportunities to the district.
Education: Bachelor of Science from the University of Cincinnati
Previously held elected offices: Current school board trustee
Top goals: Over the past four years, we have seen MDPS grow in enrollment by adding relevant programs that serve the needs of students. During that time frame, Madison High School went from a bottom 5% school to one that is now viewed as a model of educational reform.
1) Reducing the achievement gap by providing the resources for early intervention;
2) Providing more early education and daycare opportunities for families by opening new facilities;
3) Hiring and retaining the most qualified faculty and staff by offering competitive salaries and a positive workplace environment.
The most effective way to achieve these priorities is to support school officials by providing them the necessary resources and holding them accountable to the results. This is accomplished by building on the trust that has been developed over the past four years within the Madison School community.

Jeremy L. Haggard
Did not return questionnaire by press time.

Mark L. Kimble
Did not return questionnaire by press time.

Richard Krstich
Did not return questionnaire by press time.

Bill Pittman (I)
Age: No answer given
Occupation: Automative Process Engineer
Municipality of residence: Madison Heights
For how long: 50+ years
Education: Madison High School ’80
Previously held elected offices: Madison District Public Schools Board of Education (2012 - present)
Top goals: Over the past four years that I have been on the MDPS School Board we have had many great accomplishments. There is still more work to be done. One thing I would like to accomplish in my next term is the opening and success of MAMC, our manufacturing training center. Our first target for training is veterans. MAMC will give veterans an opportunity to receive training for jobs in the manufacturing field. I’d also like to increase our student and staff retention. Retention of staff and students is vital to student achievement.  I would also like to have more community involvement. The school board is often accused of not being transparent. Our business is discussed in Board meetings and study sessions. Our meetings are posted and open to the public. I’d like to find a way to get the residents to have a more active role in what we do.

Wayne Reif
Did not return questionnaire by press time.

Will Weaver
Did not return questionnaire by press time.

Hazel Park Proposal No. 1, Charter Amendment No. 1, Staggered Terms of Office for Mayor and Council

Shall Sections 4.2, 4.4 and 4.19 of the Hazel Park City Charter be amended to provide for staggered 4-year terms for the Mayor and Council members beginning with the November 2019 election, and a transitional election in November 2017, in which the Mayor and 2 council member candidates with the highest number of votes are elected to a 4-year term and the 2 council member candidates with the next highest number of votes are elected to a 2 year term?

Hazel Park Proposal No. 2, Charter Amendment No. 2, Initiative and Referendum Petitions

Shall the Hazel Park City Charter, Section 5.8 be amended to require initiatory or referendary petitions be signed by at least 5 percent (5%) of the qualified and registered electors of the city?

School District of the City of Hazel Park: Building and Site Sinking Fund Tax Proposal

This proposal, if approved by the electors, will allow the School District to levy a building and site sinking fund tax, the proceeds of which will be used to make infrastructure improvements and repairs to the School District’s facilities. Pursuant to State Law, the expenditure of the building and site sinking fund tax proceeds must be audited, and the proceeds cannot be used for teacher, administrator or employee salaries, maintenance or other operating expenses. Shall the School District of the City of Hazel Park, County of Oakland, be authorized to levy two (2) mills ($2.00 per $1,000 of taxable valuation), for a period of ten (10) years, from July 1, 2017 through June 30, 2027, to create a building and site sinking fund to be used for the construction or repair of school buildings or any other purpose authorized under Michigan law? This millage would provide estimated revenues to the School District of the City of Hazel Park of approximately Five Hundred Forty Nine Thousand Six Hundred Eighty-Two ($549,682) Dollars during the 2017 calendar year, if approved and levied.

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:
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 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: www.David
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 (I)
Did not return questionnaire by press time.

State House of
Representatives District 26
Two candidates are running
for one two-year term.

Randy LeVasseur
Age: 52
Occupation: Business owner, attorney
Municipality of residence: Royal Oak
For how long: 28 years
Online campaign information: Choos
Education: University of Michigan – A.B. – Political Science – 1985; University of Michigan Law School – J.D. – 1988
Previously held elected offices: None
Top goals: First, to reduce the cost of government. Government too often demands more money from us, but most taxpayers do not have the ability simply to increase their own household incomes. Government should not be imposing additional financial burdens on taxpayers, but must be more efficient with the funds we already provide. Our budget focus should be on core services such as roads, public safety and education. Expenses that do not fall within these categories should be reevaluated. We need government to live within its means, just as taxpayers do in their own household budgets. Second, to improve our economy by reducing and eliminating regulations that do not clearly and directly protect public safety. Unnecessary regulations stifle economic development and discourage job and income growth.Third, we must restore integrity to public service.Theft and self-dealing by people who are supposed to be serving the public cannot be tolerated.

Jim Ellison
Age: 64
Occupation: Mayor, City of Royal Oak; Construction Cost Estimator
Municipality of residence: Royal Oak
For how long: Life long
Online campaign information:
Education: Kimball High School, Class of 1970
Previously held elected offices: Mayor, City of Royal Oak (2003-Present); Commissioner, City of Royal Oak (1991-1993)
Top goals: 1. Restore adequate funding to local municipal governments and school boards through restoration of state revenue sharing and a modernization of Prop A to more accurately reflect current economic models and conditions; 2. Prioritize infrastructure dollars towards maintaining and modernizing our existing roads and bridges, implementing the RTA Master Plan (if passed by voters), and investing in robust, seamless rapid transit; 3. Repeal or drastically rework anti-democratic statewide programs including: the Emergency Manager program (as currently written and implemented), the ban on straight party ticket voting, and abuses of the appropriations loophole which has been used to strip voters of their right to repeal or alter bad legislation.

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.WittenbergFor
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

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?

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.

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:
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.