Voters to decide Rochester and Rochester Hills City Council races, Rochester Hills bond proposal

Rochester Post | Published October 13, 2021

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ROCHESTER HILLS/ROCHESTER — In the Post’s coverage area, voters will decide two city council races and one ballot proposal Nov. 2.

Below are profiles for the candidates and the exact language of the proposal as it appears on the ballot. 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 except where material is omitted due to personal attacks or items we know to be false or that are blatant misrepresentations.

 

Rochester City Council
Seven candidates and one write-in candidate are running for three four-year terms, and one-two year term.

Debra M. Allen
Age: 54
Occupation: Account Manager
Municipality of residence: Rochester
For how long: 18 years
Online campaign information: Facebook
Education: Oakland Community College
Previously held elected offices: No answer given.
Top goals: My goal is to take the resident comments and make sure that they are looked at and what can be done. The residents fill out these and I have read them and they are being heard. I am for the people to keep this City “home” for the residence.

Stuart Bikson (I)
Age: No answer given.
Occupation: Special Education Teacher, Waterford Mott High School
Municipality of residence: City of Rochester
For how long: Since 1977
Online campaign information: bixroch@msn.com
Education: BGS in Economics from the University of Michigan, Ann Arbor, MBA from the University of Wisconsin, Madison and a Master of Art’s in Teaching (MAT) from Oakland University.
Previously held elected offices: Mayor of Rochester, Mayor Pro Tem of Rochester and City Council member in Rochester
Top goals: I want to continue to fully fund and support our Rochester Police and Fire departments. I will also  work to maintain a balanced city budget and make sure Rochester continues to have one of the lowest tax rates in Oakland County. I also want to ensure that Rochester continues to provide excellent city services. I believe Rochester has very efficient city services and I will work to maintain this high level of service for our residents.  

Douglas Gould
Age: 52
Occupation: Professor
Municipality of residence: City of Rochester
For how long: 9 years
Online campaign information: www.douglasjgould.com
Education: PhD
Previously held elected offices: none
Top goals:
I’ve met with thousands of our fellow citizens and collectively we are concerned about traffic and parking. Rochester is at a point in our development where we need some form of public transportation. Not only will it help people get around the area, particularly those that can’t otherwise do so, but it will also take cars off the road, ease parking woes, bring more business to Main St, reduce noise and maintain our city’s walkability.
 
Steve Sage (I)
Age: 59
Occupation: Sales
Municipality of residence: Rochester
For how long: 22-years
Online campaign information: N/A
Education: M.B.A., Rollins College; B.A. Vanderbilt University
Previously held elected offices: Rochester City Council, 2010 thru 2015
Top goals: 1) Sustainable Growth – actively manage the remaining future development locations to include a plan for both residential and commercial uses.
2) Fiscal Responsibility – consistent approach to developing a balanced, multi-year budget that delivers core City services and maintains funding for the future.
3) City Services – fund and support fully staffed and properly equipped departments of the Police, Fire/EMS and Public Works. Additional commitment to fund maintenance of city parks and the city parking system.

Nancy L. Salvia (I)
Age: 54
Occupation: Financial Advisor
Municipality of residence: Rochester
For how long: 13 years (greater Rochester 25)
Online campaign information: Nancy Salvia Rochester City Council - Facebook page
Education: BS Business - Miami of Ohio,  MBA - University of Detroit
Previously held elected offices: Rochester City Council elected 2017 - 4 year term
Top goals: Simply put, my top goal is to get more accomplished for the residents of Rochester. I am focused on fiscal responsibility (lowest tax rates with the best public safety and services), infrastructure (high quality and reduce water rates) and celebrated community lifestyle (complete the Community House upgrade).

Terry R. Tesh
Age: 79
Occupation: I retired from Ford Motor Co. last year as a skilled tradesman
Municipality of residence: Rochester
For how long: 27 years
Online campaign information: No answer given.
Education: I studied labor law at L.A. Trade Tech, as well as classes at El Camino College and MCCC
Previously held elected offices: None
Top goals: My main goal is to help find a solution to the traffic congestion in our town. I don’t think the answer lies in routing traffic through our neighborhoods. I think Rochester is a beautiful community with the friendly citizens and we don’t deserve to have people from surrounding cities speeding in front of our homes and stinking up our homes with their exhaust. We have a beautiful city and I’d like to help find ways to keep it beautiful and improve our downtown and neighborhoods. If you want me as one of your elected council persons, vote for me.

Alyse Leidich  
Write in Candidate
Age: 34
Occupation: Business Owner & Licensed Massage Therapist
Municipality of residence: Rochester
For how long: 9 years
Online campaign information: No answer given.
Education: I Graduated from Oakland Community College with a degree in Applied Health Science’s
Previously held elected offices: This will be my first time running for any type of election.
Top goals: My top goal is to make City Council more reachable and transparent with the residents of Rochester. I believe It is very important to let our residents know what is happening in our city as we continue to grow and change and allow them to voice their concerns more easily. Rochester is a beautiful, historic, unique place to live and I passionately want to help keep it that way for future generations.
 

Rochester Hills City Council, Council Member At-Large
Two candidates are running for one four-year term.

Matthew Berard
Age: 34
Occupation: Lawyer
Municipality of residence: Rochester Hills
For how long: 24 years in total
Online campaign information: www.MattBerard.com
Education: Rochester Community Schools (Meadowbrook Elementary, West Middle School, Rochester High School); Oakland University - B.A. Political Science; University of Detroit Mercy School of Law – Juris Doctor.
Previously held elected offices: No elected office
Top goals:
- Curb Overdevelopment by requiring strict adherence to zoning designations/ordinances.
- Purchase land for the purpose of preserving it as greenspace by using the millions that remain of the $10 million greenspace millage (passed by voters in 2005).
- Invest in electrical infrastructure, including Electric Vehicle charging stations and renewable energy.
- Invest in transportation infrastructure, including neighborhood roads; traffic signals, street signs, and lane-lines that are compatible with autonomous vehicles; and bike lanes for bicyclists and electric “e-bikes.”  

David Walker (I)
Age: 59
Occupation: Realtor
Municipality of residence: Rochester Hills
For how long: 34 years
Online campaign information: www.DavidWalkerCouncilman.com
Education: Bachelor of Administration
Previously held elected offices: Rochester Hills City Councilman At-Large
Top goals:
Public Safety: Continue to provide the equipment, resources and funding necessary in order to maintain the safety of our residents.
Quality of Life: Investing in our parks and green space. Continue to support Innovation Hills, the city’s newest park, as well as ongoing improvements of the other parks.
Fiscal Responsibility: Keeping taxes low by balanced budgeting and capital improvement planning through conservative financial stewardship.


Rochester Hills “Proposal to Re-purpose Expired Older Persons’ Commission Bond Millage for Parks”
“In November 2000, City of Rochester Hills voters authorized a 20-year bond proposition to fund land acquisition and construction of the Older Persons’ Commission (OPC) building. The OPC bond debt has been fully paid and retired in Fiscal Year 2021. It is proposed that the 0.1660 mills that was levied for Fiscal Year 2021 to pay the final year of OPC bond debt be re-purposed and replaced with an equivalent tax levy of up to 0.1660 mills for 10 years, beginning in Tax Year 2021 for the Fiscal Year 2022 and continuing through Tax Year 2030 for Fiscal Year 2031, inclusive, to be used for improving and enhancing the City’s park system facilities. This millage re-purposing will not increase the overall tax rate from the prior tax year level.

Therefore, shall the City of Rochester Hills re-purpose and replace the expired 0.1660 mills tax levy that was used to retire the OPC bond debt with an equivalent tax levy of up to 0.1660 mills ($0.1660 per $1,000 of taxable value) on the taxable value of all property assessed for taxes in the City for 10 years, beginning in Tax year 2021 for Fiscal Year 2022 and continuing through Tax Year 2030 for Fiscal Year 2031, inclusive, to be used for improving and enhancing the City’s park system facilities? This will generate an estimated $647,962 in tax revenues if levied in full in the first year.”

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