Voters to decide mayor, clerk, council

Southfield Sun | Published October 13, 2021

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SOTUTHFIELD — In the Southfield Sun’s coverage area, voters will decide the next mayor, clerk and council.

Below are profiles of the candidates running for office. Candidates were asked, in 75 words or fewer, to state their top goal(s) if elected. 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.

 

Southfield Mayor
Two candidates are running for one four-year term.

Tawnya Morris
Age: 53
Occupation: President and CEO
Municipality of residence: Southfield
For how long: 30 years
Online campaign information: www.morris4mayor.com
Education: Michigan State University - Bachelors of Science in Mechanical Engineering; University of Michigan - Masters in Health Services Administration; Dartmouth - Tuck School of Business, Executive Education Program, Growing the Minority Business to Scale
Previously held elected offices: City Council and Precinct Delegate
Top goals: Use my technical aptitude as an engineer to provide project management oversight and quality assurance to ensure the continued progress and successful development of Northland. Create a Utilities and Infrastructure Commission to hold companies accountable for power outages, floods, roads, sidewalks and sewage repairs. I will also make continued improvements on main roads, with a renewed focus on residential streets. Expand relationships with developers to bring boutique food chains and fine dining establishments to Southfield.

Kenson J. Siver (I)
Age: 75
Occupation: Mayor / Retired School Administrator
Municipality of residence: Southfield
For how long: 54 years
Online campaign information: www.kensiver.com
Education: BA, Oakland University; MA, Wayne State University; Doctorate, Wayne State University
Previously held elected offices: Southfield City Councilman 2001-15; Mayor 2015 to present
Top goals: Demand DTE improve tree trimming and upgrade grid in Southfield. Continue infrastructure projects, focusing on neighborhood streets. Continue efforts for a more age-friendly and walkable community. Continue providing affordable housing and housing for “empty nesters” wishing to downsize. Monitor the private/public partnership for the redevelopment of Northland. Continue efforts for diversity, social equity and inclusion. Continue neighborhood and business appearance enforcement. Continue business retention and attraction. Continue placemaking and public art installations.


Southfield City Clerk
Two candidates are running for one four-year term.

Sherikia Hawkins (I)
Age: 40
Occupation: City Clerk
Municipality of residence: Southfield
For how long: Over 10 years
Online campaign information: www.sherikiahawkins.com
Education: B.A. in Communication, M. A. in Political Science, Certificate in Diversity and Inclusion, Cornell University and Master Municipal Clerk and Certified Municipal Clerk, International Institute of Municipal Clerks
Previously held elected offices: Currently Southfield City Clerk
Top goals: Community Engagement. It’s extremely important to build ongoing, permanent relationships for the purpose of applying a collective vision for the benefit of the community. This includes voter education/outreach and election administration. Easy and Accessible Service to Residents: It’s a priority to give residents the easiest, most efficient route to their needs. Access to Public Records: Expediting access to public records by combining the best technology for FOIA requests, making it seamless to obtain.

Wendy Webster-Jackson
Age: 49
Occupation: Podiatrist
Municipality of residence: Southfield
For how long: 12 years
Online campaign information: Clerk-Webster.com
Education: H.S. Cass Technical Detroit, B.S. Biology Wayne State University, Doctorate New York College of Podiatric Medicine
Previously held elected offices: Precinct Delegate Detroit
Top goals: Restore confidence and integrity to the Clerk’s office. Perform all transactions efficiently, quickly, and with a smile. Have an aggressive voter registration campaign targeting the youth, in Southfield.  I would like to encourage all political affiliations to use their voting power in elections. You have a voice and a choice. Continue to transcribe meetings and votes for City Council meetings. Keep abreast of any technology enhancement that may increase customer service satisfaction.


Southfield City Council
Eight candidates are running for four open seats. The three highest vote-getters will receive four-year terms, while the fourth highest will receive a two-year term.

Lloyd Crews (I)
Age: 46
Occupation: Current Tenured Faculty of Political Science — Oakland Community College (Royal Oak & Southfield Campuses)
Municipality of residence: Southfield
For how long: 12 years
Online campaign information: crewsforsouthfield.com
Education: Bachelor of Arts, Political Science, Clark Atlanta University; Master of Arts, Political Science, Clark Atlanta University; Doctor of Philosophy, Educational Leadership and Policy Studies, Wayne State University
Previously held elected offices: Southfield City Council
Top goals: Implement a Diversity, Equity and Inclusion Director, and a policy on Community Benefits Agreements, to ensure developments in our city provide benefits to our city, like jobs for our residents, training programs for youth and adults, and financial support for Parks and Recreation. I will also continue to work with the owners of the Northland property. As the chair of the Northland Steering Committee, I want swift and continual growth on this historic property.

Ryan Scott Foster
Age: 41
Occupation: Vehicle transport services
Municipality of residence: Southfield
For how long: Born and raised
Online campaign information: YouTube — Ryan Scott Foster
Education: Ferris State Dec 2002 B.A. American History Previously held elected offices: No answer given.
Top goals: More investment in our local roads: Main streets and side streets that have a lot of pot holes. Not the cheap material but the best where the road is fixed for a long time. Community policing: Making sure our police department has a very good working relation with our community especially our youth. And maintaining and more investment in our city parks and recreation. Our city has numerous parks to invest in and we can (…)

Charles Hicks
Age: 49
Occupation: Director, Blue Cross Blue Shield of Michigan
Municipality of residence: Southfield
For how long: 30
Online campaign information: www.votecharleshicks.com
Education: Southfield High School, University of Michigan Ann Arbor BS Political Science. Walsh College MS BIT
Previously held elected offices: Southfield Board of Education elected in 2016 for six-year term, served as President for the last three years)
Top goals: Attract & retain Citizens & Businesses. Efforts to provide affordable and attractive housing for all. Foster initiatives that encourage businesses to come to Southfield. Enhance City Services: We pay a lot in taxes and deserve effective, efficient service. Our seniors and youth deserve access to more activities that promote activity. A community center is needed at no cost for Southfield Residents. Infrastructure: The numerous electrical outages and crumbling roads require immediate attention and maintenance.

Jason Hoskins (I)
Age: 37
Occupation: Legislative Director for State Senator Jeremy Moss
Municipality of residence: Southfield
For how long: 7 years
Online campaign information: jasonhoskins.com
Education: Bachelor’s in Political Science – Eastern Michigan University; Master’s in Public Administration -Eastern Michigan University; Juris Doctor – University of Detroit Mercy School of Law
Previously held elected offices: Precinct delegate, City Council
Top goals: Develop a “downtown” across the street from city hall that rivals many suburban cities in our region. Create more access to housing and neighborhood reinvestment with tools like the policy I crafted that allows people to receive a tax incentive to make repairs on their home. Craft a community benefits ordinance that requires developers give a benefit to the city when the city gives the developer a tax incentive.

Michael Ari Mandelbaum (I)
Age: 39
Occupation: Compliance analyst for Blue Cross Blue Shield of Michigan (16-year employee)
Municipality of residence: Southfield
For how long: 26 years (13 years in Oak Park)
Online campaign information: www.mandelbaum4council.com
Education: M.B.A. from Wayne State, Project Management Certificate from Lawrence Tech
Previously held elected offices: City Council, 6 years (two terms as president pro tem)
Top goals: Strengthening the Economy: Redevelopment and adaptive reuse of buildings to meet growing needs. Northland Mall Redevelopment. Adding jobs for local residents and additional small and minority businesses. More Responsive Government: Training on Diversity, Equity and Inclusion. Road and sewer infrastructure repair. Transparency in spending and inclusion of resident input. Bettering Neighborhoods and Community: More family programing. Youth recreation, basketball courts and upgraded park equipment. Enhanced pedestrian safety amenities, Update zoning laws, working on AARP certification.

Robert Vance Patrick
Did not return questionnaire by press time.

Jay Reid
Age: 25
Occupation: City of Southfield Administrative Assistant, Community Activist
Municipality of residence: Southfield
For how long: Since the age of two
Online campaign information: votejayreid.com
Education: Attended Southfield High School & College at University of Michigan
Previously held elected offices: This is my first run for an elected office
Top goals: Unity. Ensuring that there is efficient collaboration and communication between departments and city organizations to establish higher level of progress. Seniors. Initialize a senior center and help our residents who live in apartments to get the quality of of service for the cost. Youth & families. Commit to our residents and bring more activities to the city for family enjoyment while simultaneously adding jobs to our community workforce. Collectively, this benefits our city’s economic infrastructure.

Linnie Taylor (I)
Age: N/A
Occupation: Corporate payroll manager
Municipality of residence: Southfield
For how long: Over 30 years
Online campaign information: www.linnietaylor.com
Education: Masters in Human Resources Management
Previously held elected offices: Southfield City Council
Top goals: Transparency, sustainability, and public safety. Transparency by sharing information with residents’, and by televising as many meetings as possible including the Planning and ZBA meetings. Sustainability by protecting property values, by using quality materials in our Streets, Roads and Sidewalk projects and by allowing for mixed use development projects. Public Safety by continuing to invest in top notch equipment and technology for our Police, Fire and EMS departments.

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