Voters to decide state, county, local positions, millages

Madison - Park News | Published October 23, 2018

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In the Madison-Park News’ coverage area, voters will decide state and county positions, judges, local school board races, and three statewide proposals on Nov. 6. 

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 that 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 do not appear for candidates running unopposed. For complete election coverage, visit www.candgnews.com.


Governor 

Six candidates are runningfor one four-year term.

 

Republican 

Bill Schuette

Age: 64 

Occupation: Attorney General, conservative candidate for governor  

Municipality of residence: Midland

For how long: Since he was a child

Online campaign information: No answer given  

Education: Georgetown University and University of San Francisco Law School 

Previously held elected offices: He has served as a member of the U.S. House of Representatives and Michigan Senate, and as a Judge on the Michigan Court of Appeals. 

Top goals: As Michigan’s next governor, I will make Michigan win again. We will grow our paychecks and population. We will accomplish this by finally cutting auto insurance rates (currently the highest in America), improve low-ranking 3rd grade reading scores, increase vocational training for skilled trade careers, and drive a stake through the Granholm Income Tax hike, which has cost Michigan families $8 billion.

 

Democrat 

Gretchen Whitmer

Age: 46 

Occupation: Candidate for Governor

Municipality of residence: East Lansing, MI

For how long: 20+ Years

Online campaign information: gretchenwhitmer.com

Education: Michigan State University, College of Law, Magna Cum Laude 

Michigan State University, BA Communications

Previously held elected offices: Senate Democratic Leader, 2010 - 2014; Michigan State Senate, 2006 - 2014; Michigan State Representative, 2000 - 2006

Top goals: 

Fix our roads the right way, the first time, with high-quality materials and mix so we can get the job done right. 

Make sure every Michigander has a quality public education that gets them on a path to a high wage skill.

Make health care more affordable. As Senate Democratic Leader, I negotiated with Republicans to expand health care to more than 680,000 Michiganders. As governor, I’ll take on Republicans who threaten our care.

 

Libertarian

Bill Gelineau

Age: 58

Occupation: Title Agent

Municipality of residence: Lowell

For how long: No answer given

Online campaign information: http://cometogethermichigan.org

Education: Wayne State

Previously held elected offices: No answer given

Top goals: Our goal is to destroy the system that only allows 2 voices (D’s and R’s) to dominate the political structures of the state. Our plan is to implement Ranked Choice Voting (see: FairVote.org).

By reducing expenditures on prisons and crony capitalism, we have the money to fix roads, make prudent investments in school counselors, and restructure school districts.

We’re the best hope to give Michigan another choice and foster sensible solutions. www. ComeTogetherMichigan.org

 

U.S. Taxpayers

Todd Schleiger 

Age: 52

Occupation: Transportation Specialist

Municipality of residence: Lake Orion

For how long: 7 years

Online campaign information: checktodd.com

Education: High School and some online Business Courses

Previously held elected offices: None

Top goals: My Top goals to reform and better our schools, lower auto insurance by up to 70%, Lower Health insurance cost by up to 50%, actually fix our roads and infrastructure without raising our taxes.

 

Natural Law

Keith Butkovich

Age: 34

Occupation: Retail management

Municipality of residence: Wayne

For how long: 11 years

Online campaign information: www.facebook.com/butkovichforgovernor

Education: HS Diploma, Lamphere High School, Madison Heights

Previously held elected offices: None

Top goals: Reduce car insurance rates, eliminate income tax, more freedom and less government.

 

Green

Jennifer V. Kurland

Age: 37 

Occupation: N/A

Municipality of residence: Redford Twp

For how long: 13 years

Online campaign information: www.kurland4michigan.com

Education: Associate’s Degree – Liberal Arts – Schoolcraft College

Bachelor’s Degree – Political Science Public Affairs – Wayne State University

Previously held elected offices: Redford Union School Board Trustee – elected 2012 to 2013 – 2018 term, served as President for 3 1/2 years, currently Treasurer

Top goals: My top goals are to make the people of Michigan’s lives better, more prosperous, and pollution free.  Addressing the statewide crisis of lead poisoning in children, growing issues with PFAs, and begin charging the true cost of doing business to corporate polluters.  We can put Michiganders to work with good, green jobs of the future in trades and by taking further advantage of the new businesses that growing industrial hemp will bring to our state.

 

Secretary of State 

Four candidates are running for one four-year term. 

 

Republican

Mary Treder Lang

Age: 58

Occupation: VP of Major Gifts at Vista Maria (On a leave of absence)

Municipality of residence: Grosse Pointe Farms

For how long: 27 and the previous 31 years in Grosse Pointe Woods

Online campaign information: marytrederlangforsos.com

Education: B.S. in both Accounting and Marketing from the University of Dayton

Previously held elected offices: None

Top goals: My top goals if elected are to improve our branch offices by increasing online services, introducing an ExpressSOS app for smart phones, expanding MI-Time, and providing self-service kiosks in Michigan based-businesses across the state.

I also want to increase elections training for clerks and poll workers along with recruiting additional poll workers to help with understaffed precincts on Election Day. I will forge partnerships with Secretaries of States nationally to learn best practices.

 

Democrat

Jocelyn Benson

Age: 41

Occupation: CEO & President, Ross Initiative in Sports for Equality (RISE) 

Municipality of residence: Detroit, Michigan

For how long: 14 years

Online campaign information: www.votebenson.com 

Education: Wellesley College, B.A., Harvard Law School, J.D., Oxford University (UK), M.Phil.

Previously held elected offices: Wellesley Town Meeting, Wellesley, MA

Top goals: I am running for Secretary of State to save people time, save them money, and protect their voice and their vote.  As Michigan’s chief elections officer I will work to make it easier to vote and harder to cheat.  The priorities I will fight for are a 30-Minute Guarantee for services; a ban on fee increases; secure elections, protecting the sacred right to vote; and taking Michigan from worst to first in transparency and ethics.

 

Libertarian

Gregory Scott Stempfle

Did not return questionnaire by press time.

 

U.S. Taxpayers

Robert Gale

Did not return questionnaire by press time.

 

Attorney General

Five candidates are running for one four-year term.

 

Republican

Tom Leonard

Age: 37

Occupation: Speaker of the Michigan House of Representatives

Municipality of residence: DeWitt, MI

For how long: 11 years

Online campaign information: LeonardForAG.com

Education: BA, University of Michigan; JD, Michigan State University

Previously held elected offices: State Representative, 2013-2018

Top goals: I have spent my entire career making Michigan safer and stronger, and that will be my top priority as Michigan’s next attorney general. I have a detailed plan ready to go to put a stronger focus on fighting violent crime, rooting out sexual predators and continuing to reform Michigan’s broken mental health system. And with experience as a prosecutor and an assistant attorney general, I have the right experience to put it into action.

 

Democrat

Dana Nessel

Age: 49

Occupation: President, Fair Michigan Foundation

Municipality of residence: Plymouth

For how long: 10+ years

Online campaign information: dana2018.com

Education: BA, University of Michigan. JD, Wayne State University. 

Previously held elected offices: None

Top goals: “As I see it, the role of Attorney General is to be the last legal line of defense in protecting Michigan citizens from abuses by predatory actors. Unfortunately, our current Attorney General can and should be counted as one of those bad actors, in addition to our current President. My top priorities in office will be centered around returning the office of Attorney General to what it was always intended to be, the people’s attorney. “

 

Libertarian

Lisa Lane Gioia

Age: 50

Occupation: small business owner

Municipality of residence: West Bloomfield

For how long: 15 years

Online campaign information: lisaforliberty.com

Education: Bachelor of Arts with Distinction, The University of Michigan, Ann Arbor

Previously held elected offices: None

Top goals:

(1) Should the cannabis proposal pass, ensuring a smooth transition to new laws, including promoting the release of all persons incarcerated for non-violent, marijuana-related crimes.

(2) Thorough review of all cases currently before the Office of the AG to ensure they have been handled properly in protecting individual freedoms and providing restitution to victims.

(3) Eliminating civil asset forfeiture.

(4) Monitoring and prosecuting injustices/abuses perpetrated by government and law enforcement officials.

 

U.S. Taxpayers

Gerald T. Van Sickle

Did not return questionnaire by press time.

 

No party affiliation

Chris Graveline

Age: 45

Occupation: Attorney (most recent position: Chief, Violent & Organized Crime Unit, U.S. Attorney’s Office – Eastern District of Michigan)

Municipality of residence: Berkley

For how long: 9 years

Online campaign information: cgforag.com

Education: MA — International Affairs, Catholic University of America; JD — University of New Hampshire Law School; BA — Liberal Arts, Magdalen College

Previously held elected offices: Board of Parks & Recreation (non-partisan) — Town of Warner, NH (during law school)

Top goals: My top goal is to remove partisan political considerations from the Attorney General’s office. Both political parties have targeted the attorney general positions nationwide as a means to advance their policy arguments through lawsuit. This practice must end. Instead, I would focus the office’s resources on helping our cities and municipalities in curbing violent crime, the opioid trade, human trafficking, and identity theft. Additionally, I would shift resources to aggressively pursue consumer protection enforcement.

 

U.S. Senate

Five candidate are running for one six-year term.

 

Republican

John James

Age: 37

Occupation: President, James Group International

Municipality of residence: Farmington Hills, MI

For how long: 8 Years

Online campaign information: JohnJamesForSenate.com

Education:

United States Military Academy: Bachelor of Science

Penn State University: Master of Supply Chain Management and Information Systems

University of Michigan: Master of Business Administration (M.B.A.)

Previously held elected offices: None

Top goals: I have a passion for service. My core values are: Faith and Family, God and Country and Service before Self. My goal as a Senator is bringing economic opportunity back to Michigan and getting help to the 22 veterans that commit suicide each day. From the battlefield to the boardroom, I have served my country and my community my entire life, and I am running for Senate to protect the American Dream for future generations.

 

Democrat

Debbie Stabenow (I)

Age: 68

Occupation: U.S. Senator

Municipality of residence: Lansing

For how long: Adulthood

Online campaign information: www.debbiestabenow.com

Education: Michigan State University - B.A. and M.S.W.

Previously held elected offices:

-United States Senator 

-United States Representative for Michigan’s 8th Congressional District

-State Senator in Michigan Senate

-State Representative in Michigan House of Representatives 

-Commissioner and Chair, Ingham County Board of Commissioners

Top goals: I am a champion for Michigan’s economy and good jobs. That’s why I focus on growing a diverse economy in Michigan that includes manufacturing, technology, small business creation, agriculture, education and career training. I am also focused on lowering costs for families, whether it’s the cost of college, health insurance or prescription drugs. Every day, I suit up for Michigan and fight for our families and way of life.

 

U.S. Taxpayers

George E. Huffman III

Did not return questionnaire by press time.

 

Green

Marcia Squier

Age: 43

Occupation: Exercise/Fitness Instructor.

Municipality of residence: Saint Clair Shores

For how long: Saint Clair Shores resident for 8 years. Currently moving to Sterling Heights. Lifelong Michigan (Metro Detroit Area)

Online campaign information: marciasquier.com

Education: Fraser Public Schools- Top10 in Class of 1993 (4.07 GPA)

Wayne State University- Bachelor of Science Degree with Major in Psychology on a full academic scholarship and partial athletic scholarship (3.58 GPA). Lifetime Member of Golden Key National Honor Society.

Previously held elected offices: None 

Top goals: #HIRE Jobs Program (Healthcare, Infrastructure, Renewables and Education). Retroactive Cannabis and Hemp Legalization. End War on Drugs altogether. Healthcare and Education for All (PreK-PhD/Skilled Trades). Bring Our Troops home and End the Never-ending War on Terror/Interventionistic Regime Change Wars. Eliminate megacorporations’ chokehold on governmental policies and officials. Tax reform that favors the Individual and Small Businesses. Hand-counted Paper Ballots with Citizen Oversight (NOT Machine-counted with Government Oversight).

 

Natural Law

John Howard Wilhelm

Age: 79

Occupation: Retired Economist

Municipality of residence: Ann Arbor, MI

For how long: Since 1961

Online campaign information: www.nationalrenewalparty.org

Education: Ph.D. Economics, University of Michigan, 1974

Previously held elected offices: None

Top goals: To have the visibility, ties and resources to push for voting reform at the federal level to open up our political processes to credible third parties and to use that to push for better policy discussions in light of the Club of Rome projections, impending peak oil, populations sustainability and the issue of immigration. Also to push for reform of our intelligence operations, and foreign policy concerning Russia and the Middle East. See my website.

 

U.S. House of Representatives District 9

Four candidates are running for one two-year term.

 

Republican

Candius Stearns

Age: 46

Occupation: Insurance agency business owner / President DFBenefits Inc and DFB TPA Services LLC

Municipality of residence: Sterling Heights Michigan

For how long: since 1999

Online campaign information: www.candiusforcongress.com

Education: Associates in Liberal Arts from Macomb Community College, Registered Health Underwriter from The American College

Previously held elected offices: Precinct Delegate

Top goals: I firmly believe this election is not about Republicans or Democrats. It also isn’t about me or my opponent. It is about ALL OF US and making sure we work together to help Michigan thrive. My top three goals once elected are building economic opportunity, supporting national security and, lowering the cost of prescriptions and medical care. I’ve built relationships helping others in Michigan my entire life. I’ll be the voice for the people’s seat.

 

Democrat

Andy Levin

Age: 58

Occupation: Founder & Managing Partner of Levin Energy Partners, a public-private partnership for clean energy strategies

Municipality of residence: Bloomfield Township

For how long: 12 years

Online campaign information: andylevinforcongress.com

Education: Harvard Law School, J.D.; University of Michigan, M.A.; Williams College, B.A.

Previously held elected offices: No answer given

Top goals: I’m running for the 9th Congressional District to be a champion for working families in Washington. Too many of our jobs have been shipped overseas, privatized, and made part-time or temporary. We need to restore the middle class, and we can do that by fighting for good-paying jobs with benefits, quality public schools, debt-free higher education, job retraining programs, and universal affordable health coverage.

 

Green

John V. McDermott

Age: 56

Occupation: Document Review Attorney.

Municipality of residence: Hazel Park.

For how long: 3 years.

Online campaign information: https://electjohnvmcdermott.com

Education: B.A. Accounting, MSU 1986, J.D. Univ. Detroit-Mercy, 1994

Previously held elected offices: None

Top goals: Priorities: 1) Peace, 2) Economic Justice, 3) Legal Justice. We need to end the seventeen years of pointless wars in ME by rescinding 2001 and 2002 AUMF’s and withdrawing troops. We need to restore Economic Justice and more equal economic opportunity. We need to restore faith in law enforcement through full reform.

 

Working Class

Andrea Kirby

Did not return questionnaire by press time.

 

State Senate District 11

Three candidates are running for one four-year term.

 

Republican

Boris Tuman 

Did not return questionnaire by press time.

 

Democrat

Jeremy Moss 

Age: 32 

Occupation: State Representative, District 35 

Municipality of residence: Southfield 

For how long: 32 years 

Online campaign information: votejeremymoss.com 

Education: BA in Journalism, Additional Major in Political Science from Michigan State University; Studied Race Relations in South Africa through MSU; Graduate of the Michigan Political Leadership Program 

Previously held elected offices: Southfield City Councilman (2011-2014), State Representative (2015-Present)

Top goals: Increase government transparency - I wrote 10 bills that passed the House to expand our open records law so you can shine a light on the money and influence in politics. Promote fair elections - I sponsored legislation to create an independent redistricting commission to stop partisan games that manipulate elections. Stop the DeVos education agenda - I introduced legislation in the School Fact Act to hold for-profit schools accountable for the tax-dollars they use.

 

Libertarian

James K. Young

Age: 63

Occupation: Retired Chemical Technician

Municipality of residence:  Farmington Hills

For how long: 5 years

Online campaign information: None

Education: B.S. Chemical Engineering, Wayne State University, Detroit, MI, 2005

A.S. Chemical Technology, Lawrence Tech. Univ., Southfield, MI 1987

B.S. Business Management, Ferris State University, Big Rapids, MI, 1984

Previously held elected offices: None

Top goals: My top goal if elected is to eliminate the Michigan Income Tax. Remember that we never had a state income tax here in Michigan until it finally had its advent in 1967. That is not going back very far considering that Michigan has been a state since 1837. So we can do it again. Also, a number of other states have no state income tax. If they can do it, we can do it too.

 

State House of Representatives District 26

Two candidates are running for one two-year term.

 

Republican

Al Gui

Age: 54

Occupation: Mathematics instructor

Municipality of residence: Madison Heights

For how long: Moved in for the first time in  2003

Online campaign information: www.algui2018.com

Education: Masters’ degree, major mathematics; Master’s degree Education leadership, major school administration,; Bachelor’s degree, major pure mathematics

Previously held elected offices: None

Top goals: No pension tax. No more tax on gas. Fix the roads now, transparently. No more “Flint ”, Emergency managers should be assessed by the House and the Senate. Repeal No –fault auto insurance, people should be free to choose. Waive court late fees and penalties.

Education: full-time skilled trades high schools, get rid of common core, raise the standards. Expunge student loan debt.

Investigate those outrageously high emergency room medical bills. Reduce property tax. 

 

Democrat

Jim Ellison (I)

Age: 66

Occupation: State Representative

Municipality of residence: City of Royal Oak

For how long: Lifelong resident of 66 years.

Online campaign information: www.Jim4MI.com

Education: Graduate of Royal Oak High School

Previously held elected offices:

Royal Oak City Commissioner, 1991-1993 (1 Term)

Mayor of Royal Oak, 2003-2016 (6.5 Terms)

State Representative, 2016-Present (1 Term)

Top goals:

1. Fixing our crumbling roads, bridges and underground infrastructure.

2. Putting an end to the $4.85 billion raid on classroom funding and invest in universal preschool, career technical education and make sure every teacher has the resources and support staff they need to help our children realize their fullest potential.

3. Protecting Michigan’s vast waters, natural resources and majestic Great Lakes.

4. Making college and vocation training affordable for all students and families.

 

State House of Representatives District 27

Three candidates are running for one two-year term.

 

Republican

Janet Flessland

Age: 64

Occupation: Production/Graphic Designer

Municipality of residence: Huntington Woods

For how long: 33 Years

Online campaign information: VOTE411.org (League of Women Voters Guide)

Education: BA from Michigan State University. Major: Elementary Education. Graduate work in education at the University of Illinois and Eastern Michigan University.

Previously held elected offices: Precinct Delegate

Top goals: If elected, I will collaborate with both sides of the aisle to:

• Upgrade our roads and infrastructure

• Reform our K-12 educational system

• Reduce the burdensome high cost of automobile insurance

• Protect our state’s precious waterways and preserve its natural beauty

• Promote policies that encourage business development and job creation

Owing no favors to special interest groups, I will represent my constituents without bias and with dignity. Thank you for considering me this November.

 

Democrat

Robert Wittenberg (I)

Age: 37

Occupation: State Representative

Municipality of residence: Huntington Woods

For how long: 1 Year (5 years in Oak Park previously)

Online campaign information: www.WittenbergForRep.com

Education: Graduate of Berkley High School and Indiana University with a Bachelor of Science in Business Management

Previously held elected offices: I am in my second term as State Representative, serving since 2015

Top goals: I will continue being accessible to the community every day and fighting for the important issues in Lansing. I’ve introduced legislation to lower auto insurance rates, expand voter rights, protect our environment and advocate for gun safety, amongst others. I’m leading the charge for a fair income tax, which would cut taxes for 94% of Michiganders and generate 1.18 billion dollars of new revenue to invest in our crumbling roads, infrastructure and our public schools.

 

Libertarian

Benjamin Carr

Age: 39

Occupation: Professor of History

Municipality of residence: Oak Park, Oakland County

For how long: 3 Years

Online campaign information: www.carrlibertarianformichigandist27.com

Education: Master’s in History/ 22 hours towards Master’s in Political Science

Previously held elected offices: None

Top goals: If elected my primary goal is to stand between the freedom of Michiganders and the corruption in Lansing. I will do whatever is needed to protect natural and civil rights, reduce taxes and needless spending, end wasteful programs, and generally reduce the size and scope of government power.  

 

6th Circuit Court Judge

Two candidates are running for one six-year term. 

 

Dan Christ

Age: No answer given

Occupation: Attorney for 27 years

Municipality of residence: Bloomfield Township

For how long: 24 years

Online campaign information: www.christforjudge.com

Education: Michigan State University B.A. 1987, University of Detroit School of Law J.D. 1991.

Previously held elected offices: None

Top goals: My twenty-seven years of civil and criminal trial experience provides me with broad legal and life perspective to perform the responsibilities of a Circuit Court Trial Judge. I am the only candidate who has trial experience! I have the temperament and integrity to treat litigants fairly and impartially and to make sure that justice is served. The role of the judiciary is for the benefit of the litigants and the public not the judiciary. 

 

Jake Cunningham

Age: 33

Occupation: Lawyer

Municipality of residence: Ferndale

For how long: 9 years

Online campaign information: www.jake4judge.com

Education: Oakland University, BA Sociology; Thomas M. Cooley Law School, Juris Doctor

Previously held elected offices: None

Top goals: My top goal — if my neighbors choose to elect me as judge — is to take my experience as the only candidate to have helped decide cases in Circuit Court to further serve the public, as I have through my whole career. In a new and expanded role at the court, I can do more for my community, weighing each case carefully and applying the law fairly in every case I hear.

 

43rd District Court Judge

Two candidates are running for one six-year term.

 

Keith P. Hunt (I)

Age: 58

Occupation: 43rd District Court Judge

Municipality of residence: Ferndale

For how long: Lifelong

Online campaign information: www.votejudgehunt.com

Education: Valparaiso University School of Law, after graduating from Alma College, cum laude. Also attended The National Judicial College and American Academy of Judicial Education.

Previously held elected offices: 43rd District Court Judge

Top goals: To maintain and continue the same dignified and trusted level of judicial service to the community that has characterized and defined my preceding twenty-seven years on the bench.

 

Jim Osak

Age: 64

Occupation: Attorney (solo practitioner)

Municipality of residence: Madison Heights

For how long: 50 years

Online campaign information: www.jamesosak.com

Education: OCC; Oakland University; University of Detroit Law School

Previously held elected offices: None

Top goals: To protect your civil rights and property rights. I will make sure you will be able to invoke your constitutional right to a trial without facing penalties (jail time or stiff fines) if you lose like current judges practice. Institute a special court(s) for veterans; a neighbor-dispute court; and provide a nighttime court and weekend court hours as a convenience to conduct business.

Lamphere Public Schools
Board of Education

Two candidates are running for two
six-year terms.

 

Terrie D. Junkin

Running unopposed.

 

Allison Minowa

Running unopposed.

 

Lamphere Public Schools Board of Education

One candidate is running for one term ending Dec. 31, 2020.

 

Robert T. Borngesser

Running unopposed.

 

Madison District Public Schools Board of Education

Six candidates are running for three four-year terms.

 

Johnathon Beaver

Age: 33

Occupation: No answer given

Municipality of residence: Madison Heights

For how long: 15 years

Online campaign
information: Facebook@Johnathon Beaver 

Education: Graduated from Warren Lincoln High School

Previously held elected offices: No answer given

Top goals: If elected, it will be my goal to promote the district in a positive manner. That begins with trust. If given the opportunity, I will endeavor to be transparent, and meet the needs of the students and families in our community to the best of my ability.

 

Michael M. Hohner (I)

Age: 62

Occupation: Disabled

Municipality of residence: Madison Heights

For how long: 34 years

Online campaign
information: No answer given

Education: 2 years college

Previously held elected
offices: Board of Education

Top goals: My daughter Sarah started and graduated in 2011 from Madison District.  During that time I was involved in band and athletic boosters. Since I am currently part of the Board of Education I am aware of the school and community needs. My main goal is to provide better communication to the parents and the community so that they are given correct and full information.

 

Mark Holcomb

Age: 60

Municipality of residence: Madison Heights

For how long: 28 years

Online campaign information: Madison Taxpayers for Responsible Spending (Facebook)

Education: High school

Previously held elected offices: None

Top goals: School education should be a priority, then sports. There are only a fraction that turn pro. There is real life and education and a capability to work and bring in a decent income should come first. The taxpayers of the district have a right to know how money is being used. Madison District kids should come first. Its great to work with out of district kids, but Madison school kids should be a priority!

 

Debra Ott

Age: 58

Occupation: Retired school employee (18 years)

Municipality of residence: Madison Heights

For how long: Lifelong

Online campaign information: Madison Taxpayers for Responsible Spending (Facebook)

Education: 1977 graduate of Madison High

Previously held elected offices: None

Top goals: I would like the board given back to the teachers, staff & students.  It should be transparent in its spending. Meetings should be in a larger room, televised/recorded and more welcoming. Districts depend on state funding,  but crowded classrooms is not the answer. Residential students should get the best possible education both academically & extra circular first. I offer honesty, objectivity, a willingness to learn and a shared goal for great education for students.

 

Beth M. Scott

Age: 53

Occupation: Retired from Beaumont Hospital after serving 31 years

Municipality of residence: Madison Heights

For how long: 45 years 

Education: College degree

Previously held elected offices: None

Top goals: I am the proud parent of a 2007 graduate of Madison District Public Schools and my youngest is a 6th grade student with special needs.  Madison Schools have made special education a priority and the focus on our children and their needs is incredible.  The administration and staff know my daughter by name and she knows their name as well.  As a board member I want to see this continue and grow!

 

Gloria Thompson

Age: 69

Occupation: Retired

Municipality of residence: Madison Heights

For how long: 46 years

Online campaign
information: Madison Taxpayers for Responsible Spending (Facebook)

Education: Associates degree

Previously held elected offices: None

Top goals: I want to help create a district transparent in actions and spending. To better ensure a district benefitting students, teachers, and parents. Transparency keeps taxpayers informed and able to responsively make suggestions and be more involved in processes. I would like to have more transparent Board meetings, and answers to questions, other than, “ I’ll have to get back to you on that.”  Board members and especially the Superintendent should know answers beforehand.

 

 

Madison District Public Schools Board of Education

Four candidates are running for two terms ending Dec. 31, 2020.

 

Barbara Kastle

Age: 69

Occupation: Retired, working part-time caregiving 

Municipality of residence: Madison Heights

For how long: 8 years 

Online campaign
information: Madison Taxpayers for Responsible Spending (Facebook)

Education: Bachelor Degree in Liberal Arts, Butler University, Indianapolis, Indiana 

Previously held elected offices: None

Top goals: Education provides the building blocks to have choices in life.  If I am elected, every decision that I make will be in the best interest of the children in our district. That’s it!  No other purpose!  I want to help make sure that every child in the Madison School District gets the best education possible, so they have the opportunity to do whatever it is that they choose to do after graduation!

 

Amanda Locklear

Age: 41

Occupation: Domestic engineer

Municipality of residence: Madison Heights

For how long: 41 years

Online campaign
information: Madison Taxpayers for Responsible Spending (Facebook)

Education: Graduate

Previously held elected offices: None

Top goals: I’m a lifelong resident and chose to raise my family here. As a parent with multiple school aged children, I am extremely qualified to understand and address MDPS needs. Communication is lacking! To ensure the financial future of MDPS, by allocating funds legally and effectively. Creating a district that benefits students, teachers, parents and community. Every graduate will be prepared for their future. Making sure classrooms are secure, clean, comfortable and have ample supplies.

 

Alexander Marr (I)

Did not return questionnaire by press time. 

 

Seit Selimi (I)

Age: 43

Occupation: Manufacturing manager - FCA, LLC

Municipality of residence: Madison Heights

For how long: 36 years

Education: Bachelor Degree in Finance from Walsh College of Business & Accountancy 1998

Previously held elected offices: Madison District Public Schools Board Member 2002

Top goals: My number one goal is to ensure the safety for all Madison District students. The students are in the care of the district for eight hours some cases even longer. We have to continue to promote the OKAY2SAY Program.  Having the students involved in being an extra set of eyes and ears of the any activity that could be harmful to their fellow students and the community.

 

Hazel Park Public Schools Board of Education

Five candidates are running for three four-year terms.

 

Laura Adkins (I)

Age: 45

Occupation: Sr. Consultant for Broadsword Solutions. My past experience includes working as a software engineer and project manager before becoming a consultant. I currently work with clients that want to improve the way they run their business.

Municipality of residence: Hazel Park

For how long: 40 years

Online campaign information: Facebook — Laura Adkins for Hazel Park School Board 

Education: I am a graduate of Hazel Park High School and have a bachelor degree in Accounting and Management Information Systems from Central Michigan University. 

Previously held elected offices: I have spent the past 4 years on the Hazel Park School Board, serving this current year as President. 

Top goals: My goals for the Hazel Park School District are to reduce the deficit and thrive in challenging times. The district has been working to eliminate the deficit, I will support making decisions necessary to balance the budget.  The district has faced many challenges in recent years such as staff turnover and enrollment.  It is important that the school board works with staff, parents, and the community to identify ways to continue to improve our schools.

 

Heidi Fortress

Age: 46

Occupation: Accountant

Municipality of residence: Hazel Park

For how long: 46 years

Online campaign
information: Facebook “Fortress for HP School board” 

Education: BBA in accounting from Davenport University 

Previously held elected offices: None

Top goals: I am running for School Board.  One goal I have is to bring up test scores by getting a curriculum that meets the needs of our population.  I want to find ways to make the employees and students feel appreciated and heard; so that Hazel Park can be a competitive and inviting district for future residents and personnel. I want to make sure populations in Hazel Park are heard and represented Email heidifortress@yahoo.com.

 

Beverly Hinton (I)

Age: 66

Occupation: Retired from the school district

Municipality of residence: Hazel Park

For how long: Lifelong

Online campaign information: Hinton for School Board on Facebook

Education: 2 years of college at the University of Michigan

Previously held elected offices: Hazel Park School Board

Top goals: Quality Education which is the result of effective leadership. I currently feel this is an area affecting the mass exodus of teachers. We need to evaluate why this is happening. The academic success of students is affected when teachers are leaving daily. Teacher - Student relationships are very important. Students need consistency.. We need to maintain responsible budgets focusing resources on classrooms, balancing administrative cost and keeping our deal to end the deficit in 20/20.

 

Colin A. Houston

Age: 50

Municipality of residence: Hazel Park

For how long: 6 years

Online campaign information: On Facebook: Committee to Elect Colin Houston for Hazel Park School Board

Education: Oakland Community College - Liberal Arts and Central Michigan University - Organizational Psychology 

Previously held elected offices: None

Top goals: Focus on the finances and support making the decisions necessary to balance the budget. I believe that our students should have a quality education which includes challenging our brightest and providing help to those students struggling. We have faced challenges in the last few years retaining great teachers and staff and we need to focus on how to change that. Also, better communication with everyone involved.    

 

Rachel Noth (I)

Age: 29

Occupation: Program Manager Vendor Services

Municipality of residence: Hazel Park

For how long: Lifelong

Online campaign information: None

Education: Bachelor of Science degree in Psychology Management from Wayne State University 

Previously held elected offices: Hazel Park Board of Education Nov 2014-current

Top goals: We’ve worked very hard as a community to get the schools in Hazel Park back on track. We are on the cusp of really turning it around. I believe my leadership the past 4 years has shown that I am dedicated to the students. My top goals are: to continue to be fiscally responsible and in compliance with the State’s enhanced deficit elimination plan, strengthen curriculum district wide and build on our amazing programs.

 

Proposal 18-1

 

A proposed initiated law to authorize and legalize possession, use and cultivation of marijuana products by individuals who are at least 21 years of age and older, and commercial sales of marijuana through state-licensed retailers

This proposal would:

• Allow individuals 21 and older to purchase, possess and use marijuana and marijuana-infused edibles, and grow up to 12 marijuana plants for personal consumption.

• Impose a 10-ounce limit for marijuana kept at residences and require amounts over 2.5 ounces be secured in locked containers.

• Create a state licensing system for marijuana businesses and allow municipalities to ban or restrict them.

• Permit retail sales of marijuana and edibles subject to a 10% tax, dedicated to implementation costs, clinical trials, schools, roads, and municipalities where marijuana businesses are located.

• Change several current violations from crimes to civil infractions.

Should this proposal be adopted?

 

Proposal 18-2

 

A proposed constitutional amendment to establish a commission of citizens with exclusive authority to adopt district boundaries for the Michigan Senate, Michigan House of Representatives and U.S. Congress, every 10 years.

This proposed constitutional amendment would: 

• Create a commission of 13 registered voters randomly selected by the Secretary of State: 

- 4 each who self-identify as affiliated with the 2 major political parties; and 

- 5 who self-identify as unaffiliated with major political parties. 

• Prohibit partisan officeholders and candidates, their employees, certain relatives, and lobbyists from serving as commissioners. 

• Establish new redistricting criteria including geographically compact and contiguous districts of equal population, reflecting Michigan’s diverse population and communities of interest. Districts shall not provide disproportionate advantage to political parties or candidates. 

• Require an appropriation of funds for commission operations and commissioner compensation.

Should this proposal be adopted?

 

Proposal 18-3

 

A proposal to authorize automatic and Election Day voter registration, no-reason absentee voting, and straight ticket voting; and add current legal requirements for military and overseas voting and post-election audits to the Michigan Constitution 

This proposed constitutional amendment would allow a United States citizen who is qualified to vote in Michigan to: 

• Become automatically registered to vote when applying for, updating or renewing a driver’s license or state-issued personal identification card, unless the person declines. 

• Simultaneously register to vote with proof of residency and obtain a ballot during the 2-week period prior to an election, up to and including Election Day. 

• Obtain an absent voter ballot without providing a reason. 

• Cast a straight-ticket vote for all candidates of a particular political party when voting in a partisan general election. 

Should this proposal be adopted?