Voters to decide local races, millages in Nov. 3 election

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ROCHESTER/ROCHESTER HILLS/OAKLAND TOWNSHIP — Readers in the Post’s coverage area will head to the polls Nov. 3 to vote for candidates in several races. Following are profiles of the candidates, as well as the exact language of the proposals as they will appear on the ballot.

Candidates were asked, in 75 words or fewer, to state the top items they would wish to accomplish if elected. If a candidate went over the word limit, (…) replaces the rest of their answer. (I) indicates the candidate is an incumbent. The answers are printed verbatim.

 

U.S. House of Representatives District 8
Three candidates are running for one two-year term.

Democrat

Elissa Slotkin (I)

Age: No answer given.

Occupation: Member of Congress

Municipality of residence: Holly

For how long: 2017

Online campaign information: www.elissaforcongress.com

Education: Bachelor’s degree from Cornell University, 1998; master’s degree from Columbia University’s School of International and Public Affairs, 2003

Previously held elected offices: No previous elected office

Top goals: My goal is to continue working in a bipartisan way on the issues that matter to our district: recovering from the public health and economic crisis of COVID-19; working to lower the cost of health care and prescriptions; protecting our waters; and returning a sense of decency and civility to Washington.

Republican

Paul Junge

Age: 54

Occupation: Former Trump Administration official, U.S. Citizenship & Immigration Services

Municipality of residence: Brighton

For how long: No answer given.

Online campaign information: PaulJunge.com

Education: BA Cal Berkley; JD University of San Diego; MBA University of Michigan

Previously held elected offices: NA

Top goals: I am focused on recovering from Coronavirus, rebuilding our economy and bringing jobs back, and protecting Social Security and Medicare.  

Libertarian

Joe Hartman

Did not return questionnaire by press time.

 

United States House of Representatives District 11
Three candidates are running for one two-year term.

Democrat

Haley Stevens (I)

Age: 37

Occupation: United States Congresswoman

Municipality of residence: Rochester Hills, MI

For how long: Since 2017

Online campaign information: HaleyStevensforCongress.com

Education: American University (B.A., M.A.), Ernest W. Seaholm High School in Birmingham, Michigan

Previously held elected offices: U.S. Congresswoman representing Michigan’s 11th District since 2019

Top goals: As Chief of Staff on President Obama’s Auto Rescue Task Force, my top priority is rebuilding our economy and getting Michiganders back to work safely. We also have to make our economy more resilient by strengthening our supply chains, securing better trade deals and holding China accountable. Lastly, I plan to focus on finding bipartisan solutions to the problems we faced before the pandemic, from climate change to our underfunded public schools.

Republican

Eric S. Esshaki

Age: 36

Occupation: Attorney

Municipality of residence: Birmingham, MI

For how long: 2 years, previously lived in Troy, MI

Online campaign information: www.EricEsshaki.com

Education: Juris Doctor, University of Michigan; Bachelor of Integrative Studies, Oakland University; Associates Nursing, Oakland Community College

Previously held elected offices: None

Top goals: We must continue to reopen our economy in a safe manner, which means that we must clearly define the at-risk population and implement policies to protect them. We know that COVID-19 is a serious and deadly virus that is most dangerous to approximately 20% of the population, yet we shut down 100% of our nation and failed to protect the most vulnerable 20%. Science-based solutions are the key to moving forward.

Libertarian

Leonard Schwartz

Age: 75

Occupation: Retired professor of business law and economics

Municipality of residence: Oak Park, MI

For how long: 28 years

Online Campaign information: www.leonardschwartz.us

Education: B.A., University of Chicago; M.A., Johns Hopkins University; J.D., Wayne State University Law School

Previously held elected offices: None

Top goals: (1) End the war on herbal medicine, thereby reducing the opioid problem. (2) End foreign quagmires and trade wars. (3) Repeal civil asset forfeiture laws, which allow the government to confiscate your property without even accusing you of committing a crime.

 

State House of Representatives District 45
Two candidates are running for one two-year term.

Democrat

Barb Anness

Age: 53

Occupation: Graphic Designer, owner, Anness Design

Municipality of residence: Rochester Hills

For how long: 23 years

Online campaign information: www.barbanness.com

Education: School of Design, Art, Architecture and Planning Cincinnati, OH Bachelor of Science/Graphic Design Cum Laude 1991

Previously held elected offices: Trustee, Rochester Community School Board (current),

Top goals: Put people first. Quality of life issues that must be addressed NOW: make sure residents have the tools and support to propel them through this period of economic instability. For 18 years I‘ve advocated for families. I will continue to make sure we support and invest in a strong public-school system, safe water, a safe infrastructure and to advance the message of racial equality and inclusivity for all people in our community and our state.

Republican

Mark Tisdel

Age: 65

Occupation: Insurance Agent, Medical-Liability

Municipality of residence: Rochester Hills

For how long: 31 years

Online campaign information: marktisdel.com

Education: Drake University, BA, Journalism

Previously held elected offices: Rochester Hills City Council At Large, 2011-19

Top goals: Get Michigan’s economy up and running safely and responsibly; work with educators, local leaders and local medical experts to identify measurable metrics for safe in-person instruction; ensure our seniors are protected from future state initiatives that comprise safety and health.

State House of Representatives District 46
Two candidates are running for one two-year term.

 

Democrat

Jody LaMaccia

Age: 48

Occupation: Family Counselor

Municipality of residence: Oxford Township

For how long: 18 years

Online campaign information:

www.jody2020.com

Education: Master’s in Clinical Psychology, Roosevelt University, Chicago

Previously held elected offices: Precinct Delegate

Top goals: We must elect people who want to unite us instead of tearing us apart. My slogan is “bridging the divide.” That’s been my career for 18 years, working with parents involved in high-conflict custody disputes. Compromise is desperately needed in Lansing where we have big challenges to tackle. Quality education, pristine lakes and drinking water, affordable healthcare and prescription drugs—these are some of the things everyone wants and that I will fight for.

Republican

John Reilly (I)

Age: 62

Occupation: Present State Representative- since Jan. 2017

Municipality of residence: Oakland Township

For how long: Resident for 20 years

Online campaign information:

Friendsofjohnreilly.com

Education: Associates degree Automotive Technology-Engineering Option

Previously held elected offices: Republican Precinct delegate 2010- 2017

Top goals:

-Restore and defend the constitutional rights of citizens, including the right to free speech and assembly, including commerce.

-Improve government transparency, leading by my example of explaining each of my votes online.

-Re-open our schools and expand parental and local control of education.  

-Defend our police, defend law and order, and protect public safety.

-Improve accountability at MDOT and fix our roads without raising taxes.

-Make Michigan a jobs magnet, attractive to businesses and families.

 

Oakland County Water Resources Commissioner
Two candidates are running for one four-year term.

Democrat

Jim Nash (I)

Age: 63    

Occupation: Oakland County Water Resources Commissioner

Municipality of residence: Farmington Hills

For how long: 26 years

Online campaign information: www.nash4wrc.com

Education: B.S., Florida State University, 1988, Political Science and Peace Studies    

Previously held elected offices: Oakland County Commissioner, (D) Farmington Hills — 2005-2013

Top goals: To continue my work leading collaborative regional efforts to make our water, sewer and stormwater systems as efficient and effective as possible to protect public health and safety, preserve and protect our water resources, and contribute to the economic success of the region. I will continue working with community partners across Oakland County to further develop the new technologies and infrastructure management practices that will protect our water resources for generations to come.

Republican

Jim Stevens

Did not return questionnaire by press time.

 

Oakland County Treasurer
Three candidates are running for one four-year term.

Democrat

Robert Wittenberg

Age: 39

Occupation: State Representative

Municipality of residence: Huntington Woods, MI

For how long: 25 years

Online campaign information: www.RobertWittenberg.com

Education: Bachelor of Science in Business Management, Indiana University

Previously held elected offices: State Representative, 1/2015-current

Top goals: Securing the financial well-being of every resident during the COVID-19 crisis and beyond, maintaining our AAA bond rating and preventing foreclosures, and helping to recruit new businesses while supporting existing ones. I will ensure that people are able to stay and thrive in our neighborhoods. I believe an effective public servant should be both fiscally responsible and socially conscious. That is why I’ll be a compassionate steward of resources for all residents across the county.

Republican

Joe Kent

Age: 62

Occupation: Tax Accountant, partner at Kent & Edwards Tax Advisors LLC

Municipality of Residence: Oxford, MI

For how long: 29 years

Online campaign information: https://electjoekent.com

Education: Bachelor’s degree, Michigan State University College of Business; M.B.A. University of Michigan School of Business

Previously held elected offices: No answer given

Top goals:

– Protect property rights through an impartial review of procedures leading to this summer’s MI Supreme Court ruling against the Oakland County Treasurer’s office.

– Stop tax increases and stop risks to the county’s AAA bond rating.

– Protect the county’s assets through an impartial review of investment policies.

– Achieve best practices for privacy, security and ease of use in online payment tools and other Treasurer’s Department online resources.

– Restore openness in the county’s books.

No Party Affiliation

Nicholas G. Luppino (write-in)

Age: 29

Occupation: Political research and development.

Municipality of residence: Oakland County

For how long: 29 years

Online campaign information: change.org/chapter401

Education: Personal study

Previously held elected offices: None

Top goals: Policy fulfillment. Follow through with voting’s past. Corrections and reductions to monopoly’s and privateering. Restoring resource standards. Corroborating United States program intentions. Employment upkeep. Modernizing the impacts automation has had on the community.

 

Oakland County Clerk and Register of Deeds
Two candidates are running for one four-year term.

Democrat

Lisa Brown (I)

Age: 53

Occupation: Oakland County Clerk/Register of Deeds

Municipality of residence: West Bloomfield

For how long: Almost 30 years

Online campaign information: LisaBrown4Michigan.com

Education: Michigan State University, B.S. , Detroit College of Law, J.D.

Previously held elected offices: Started Representative 2009-2012, County Clerk/Register 2013-present

Top goals: I am running for re-election to continue providing an accessible, efficient, transparent, and fiscally responsible office to the residents of Oakland County. Now more than ever, it is vital to have a Clerk/Register with experience and knowledge in each area of this important office and continue the award winning, innovative programs I created, like PRN. I will build on my track record of success and ensure our elections are accurate, secure and fair.

Republican

Tina Barton

Age: 48

Occupation: City Clerk — City of Rochester Hills

Municipality of residence: Springfield Township

For how long: 20 years

Online campaign information: www.tinaforclerk.com

Education: Liberty University, master’s degree in Management and Leadership; Great Lakes University, bachelor’s degree in Business Administration

Previously held elected offices: None

Top goals: I will innovate, collaborate and protect. I will bring my nationally recognized, award-winning passion for working smarter and not harder. I will be a partner for our residents and Clerks. I will create a roundtable for our exterior partners such as realtors, attorneys and voter advocacy groups to review our services and processes. I will protect your finances, vote and property records. I will continue to work with security experts across the country.

 

Oakland County Sheriff
Two candidates are running for one four-year term.

Democrat

Vincent Gregory

Age: 72

Occupation:

Volunteer at Judson Center

Executive board member

Municipality of residence: Lathrup Village

For how long: Nine years

Online campaign information: www.vincentgregoryforsheriff.com

Education: B.S., Criminal Justice, Madonna University

Previously held elected offices:

Former Oakland County Commissioner 10 years

Former State Representative 2 years

Former State Senator 8 years

Top goals: 1. Transparency. Currently, Oakland County Sheriffs do not wear body cams. I will implement policies that require officers to wear active body cams at all times.

2. Community policing. Increasing the presence of officers in the community.

3. Accountability. After my platform release, a woman was promoted to Captain. As Sheriff, I will not wait 20 years to promote a woman.

4. Integrity. I will enforce executive orders from the Governor relating to the COVID-19 pandemic.

Republican

Michael J. Bouchard (I)

Age: 64

Occupation: Oakland County Sheriff

Municipality of residence: Bloomfield

Online campaign information: sheriffbouchard.com

Education:

• Bachelor of Arts with honors, Criminal Justice and Police Administration, Michigan State University

• Graduate of the FBI National Executive Institute Program (NEI)

• Graduate of the United States Secret Service in Dignitary Protection Program

• Mid-Michigan Law Enforcement Center, Valedictorian

• Graduate of the National Sheriff’s Institute

Previously held elected offices:

• Oakland County Sheriff (1999-present)

• Michigan State Senate (1991-1999); Elected Senate Majority Floor Leader in 1998

• Michigan State House of Representatives (1990-1991)

• Village of Beverly Hills Council (1986-1990)

Top goals: As a police officer for 33 years, I know better hiring and better training leads to better outcomes. We need a state-of-the-art training center built for law enforcement in the county. To hold police more accountable, we need to focus on training to produce better results. I’ll continue to focus on getting police reform enacted in the capitol. I’m proud to be the only sheriff from Michigan ever named national sheriff of the year.

 

Oakland County Prosecuting Attorney
Two candidates are running for one four-year term.

Democrat

Karen McDonald

Age: 50

Occupation: Private Practice Attorney

Municipality of residence: Birmingham

For how long: 12 years

Online campaign information: www.mcdonaldforprosecutor.com

Education: After graduating Alma College (1992) with an English & Political Science degree, I attended Wayne State University Law School, where I attained my Juris Doctorate (1998).

Previously held elected offices: Oakland County Circuit Court Judge (2012-2019)

Top goals: As prosecutor, I will reduce mass incarceration and address racial disparity in Oakland County by building a transparent, accountable Prosecutor’s Office, eliminating cash bail, holding youth accountable without unnecessary incarceration, and giving assistant prosecutors discretion to reduce or amend charges. I will also invest and participate in treatment courts and diversion programs for low-level, nonviolent offenders; create new mental health programs; and establish both a functioning Hate Crimes Unit and Conviction Integrity Unit.

Republican

Lin Goetz

Age: 53

Occupation: Attorney

Municipality of residence: Lake Orion

For how long: 13 years, Village of Beverly Hills Resident for six years

Online campaign information: www.linforprosecutor.com

Education: Thomas M. Cooley Law School Juris Doctor; Michigan State University, B.A.

Previously held elected offices: N/A

Top goals: My No. 1 goal is to protect you, your business, your family and your home. I support good law enforcement, who are there to protect and serve our community. I will implement a public integrity unit to give victims reassurance that former convictions were correct, or to correct wrong convictions. I will fight for domestic violence and child abuse victims to make sure their voice is heard in the court. I will fight for you.

 

Oakland County Executive
Three candidates are running for one four-year term. Additionally, Coulter and Kowall are running for a term that will last approximately two months from the Nov. 3 election to Dec. 31, 2020.

Democrat

David Coulter (I)

Age: 60

Occupation: Oakland County Executive

Municipality of residence: Ferndale, MI

For how long: 27 years

Online campaign information: www.davecoulter.com

Education: Michigan State University; B.A.

Previously held elected offices: Current County Executive. Mayor of Ferndale. Oakland County Commissioner.

Top goals: My top priority as county executive is to manage the coronavirus and support the economic recovery. My team acted quickly to acquire PPE, make testing widely available, and provide financial support to small businesses, schools, community organizations and local governments hard hit by COVID-19. Additionally, we’re focused on our Oakland 80 incentive to provide education and career training to Oakland County residents.

Republican

Mike Kowall

Age: 69

Occupation: Former Oakland County Economic & Legislative Liaison, family business owner and carpenter

Municipality of residence: White Lake Township

For how long: 40 years

Online campaign information: KowallforOakland.com

Education: Five-year carpentry apprenticeship, Oakland Community College, Detroit Henry Ford High School, St. Mary’s of Redford School

Previously held elected offices: Former State Majority Floor Leader, State Representative and Township Supervisor

Top goals: Mike has fought, and won, against the Administration’s plan to raise homeowner’s taxes by $1,020.00 per year. This money would have harmed seniors, and many of the homeowners and local communities around our county, taxing homeowners out of their homes. Mike has worked hard to promote sustainable economic development, protect our environment, quality of life and create an environment of fiscal responsibility.

Libertarian

Connor Nepomuceno

Age: 26

Occupation: Test Lab Technician

Municipality of residence: Village of Clarkston

For how long: Three years

Online campaign information: www.facebook.com/Nepo4Oak land

Education: Associate’s degree, Automotive/High Performance — University of Northwestern Ohio 2016

Previously held elected offices: N/A

Top goals: Lower Cost of Living: Abolish the Property Tax, Reform Zoning/Building Codes, Deregulate Utilities

Get Out of the Way of Business: Streamline Business/Occupational Licensing/Zoning, Cut Red Tape, Deregulate Marijuana Dispensaries. Constitutional Sanctuary: Protect Oakland from the Feds, Expand Gun Rights, Protect the Immigrant Population, Free Speech on Campus, End the War On Drugs. Police Reform: End Qualified Immunity, Pursue Officer Personal Liability Insurance, Enhanced De-Escalation and Non-Lethal Apprehension Training, De-Militarization.

 

Oakland County Sixth Circuit Court Judge, non-incumbent position
Two candidates are running for one six-year term.

Clarence Dass

Age: 35

Occupation: Attorney and Founder, The Dass Law Firm; Previously Assistant Prosecuting Attorney, Oakland County Prosecutor’s Office (2012-2016)

Municipality of residence: Bloomfield Township, Michigan

For how long: 35 years

Online campaign information: www.dass4judge.com

Education: B.A., Wayne State University; J.D., The Ohio State University Moritz College of Law

Previously held elected offices: None

Top goals: Having been a prosecutor, defense attorney and manager of a law firm, I will utilize my diverse, well-rounded experience to provide empathy for every litigant, while still upholding the law. As judge, I will seek to improve access to our courts, utilize treatment courts wherever possible and protect our community from violent crime. Whether it is a family, civil or criminal docket, I will treat each case with care and concern — always striving for justice.

Lorie Savin

Age: 50

Occupation: Attorney

Municipality of residence: West Bloomfield

For how long: 19 years

Online campaign information: wwwSavinForJudge.com

Education: University of Michigan, A.B. in Political Science & Sociology 1992; Wayne State University Law School, J.D. 1995

Previously held elected offices: None

Top goals: As a judge, my goals are to: (1) Be an effective judge that helps people resolve disputes in a meaningful, fair, and timely fashion. (2) Continue efforts to improve access to the legal system for everyone and improve civility and professionalism within the legal community. (3) Partner with community organizations that support struggling families, reduce intimate partner violence, and help our youth avoid entering the juvenile justice system.

 

Justice of the Supreme Court
Seven candidates are running for two eight-year terms.

 

Susan L. Hubbard

Age: 59 years old

Occupation: Judge of Wayne County Third Judicial Circuit Court, Civil Division

Municipality of residence: Reside in Grosse Pointe Farms, MI

For how long: Lifelong Michigan resident, grew up in Dearborn, moved to Grosse Pointe Farms 8 years ago.

Online campaign information: HubbardforJustice.com

Education: Wayne State University, B.A. Detroit College of Law, J.D. Fordson High School, Dearborn

Previously held elected offices: Elected in 1985 to Dearborn City Council — 1986-1989

Elected in 1989 to Wayne County Commission — 1989-2004

Elected in 2010 to Wayne County Circuit Court — 2011-2016

Re-elected in 2016 to Wayne County Circuit Court — 2017-present-2022

Top goals: As Justice, I will protect the constitutional rights of Michigander’s by addressing, without delay, important issues such as the constitutionality of the 1945 Emergency Powers of Governor Act. As the third generation in my family to serve in public office, I know the importance of protecting our democracy of representation of the people, by the people, for all the people. I will ensure that our system of checks and balances is upheld.

Mary Kelly

Age: 62

Occupation: Former 30-year assistant prosecutor. Current Lawyer Guardian Ad Litem for children involved in neglect and abuse cases in foster care system.

Municipality of residence: St. Clair County

For how long: 36 years

Online campaign information: MaryKellyforJustice.com

Education: Juris Doctor from Detroit College of Law; Bachelor of Science Michigan State University

Previously held elected offices: No answer given

Top goals: As a Justice on the Michigan Supreme Court, my goals will be simple: to uphold the rule of law and deliver justice for the people of our great state. The role of a judge is not to make law, but to enforce and uphold the law. The Supreme Court also administers the judicial system throughout the state, and I will ensure our court system delivers equal justice for all.

Bridget Mary McCormack (I)

Age: 54

Occupation: Law

Municipality of residence: Ann Arbor, MI

For how long: 22 years

Online campaign information: www.bridgetmarymccormack.com

Education: In 1988, I graduated from Trinity College, a small liberal arts school in Hartford, Connecticut where I earned a B.A. with honors in political science and philosophy. I graduated from New York University Law School in 1991, where I was a Root-Tilden Scholar and earned the Anne Petluck Poses Prize in Clinical Advocacy.

Previously held elected offices: Justice of the Michigan Supreme Court, 2013-present

Top goals: If re-elected, I will continue the progress of the Justice For All Taskforce, which aims to achieve 100% access to the civil justice system in Michigan. Currently, eight of 10 Michiganders can’t afford a lawyer in civil legal problems. There is also an absence of innovation and technology in courts, which costs them transparency, efficiency and access. We have made great progress recently, but we need to make processes more user friendly and efficient.

Kerry Lee Morgan

Age: 65

Occupation: Attorney

Municipality of residence: Redford Township

For how long: 30 years

Online campaign information: www.pck-law.com/attorney/kerry-l-morgan/

Education: Regent University, M.A. Public Policy, magna cum laude, 1985. Detroit College of Law, J.D., 1981. Michigan State University, B.A. Political Science and Criminal Justice, with honors, 1977.

Previously held elected offices: None

Top goals: The Supreme Court needs Justices who will apply the law as written, not as it ought to be written in the mind of the Judge. My background in the law for over 40 years has taught me the importance of this purpose. I can bring a balanced respect for the written law and the Constitution in particular to the bench, so that justice may be done.

Katherine Mary Nepton

Did not return questionnaire by press time.

Brock Swartzle

Age: 49

Occupation: Judge, Michigan Court of Appeals

Municipality of residence: Ingham County

For how long: 16 years

Online campaign information: BrockForJustice.com

Education: B.S., University of Michigan; J.D., George Mason University School of Law

Previously held elected offices: Judge, Michigan Court of Appeals

Top goals: We have the greatest legal system in the world — if you can afford it. Justice that is too expensive is not justice. We must make access to justice cheaper for everyone, from the single mom to the corner storekeeper to the low-income juvenile to our major employers. Therefore, (1) we need to make pretrial procedures cheaper and court records free online, and (2) we need to intervene early with juveniles who enter the justice system.

Elizabeth M. Welch

Age: 50

Occupation: Attorney

Municipality of residence: East Grand Rapids

For how long: 13 years

Online campaign information: welchforjustice.com

Education: Penn State University, B.A. with honors. Ohio State University, J.D.

Previously held elected offices: East Grand Rapids Board of Education, 2012-Jan. 2020

Top goals: The vast majority of litigants lack access to counsel. We must utilize technology and new pathways to ensure everyone can access justice fairly. Additionally, the lack of complete data makes it impossible to fully understand our criminal justice system. The court should modernize technology platforms in order to gather data in a usable format so that we ensure justice is delivered fairly across all demographics and programs are implemented that ensure safer communities.

Oakland County Board of Commissioners District 3
Two candidates are running for one two-year term.

 

Democrat

Michelle McClellan

Did not return questionnaire by press time.

Republican

Michael Spisz (I)    

Age: 49

Occupation: Director of Engineering

Municipality of residence: Oxford Township

For how long: 19 years

Online campaign information:

www.facebook.com/Michael-Spisz-for-Oakland- County-Commissioner-Dis trict-3-107412781040530

Education: BSME – Automotive, MBA-Global Business

Previously held elected offices: Oxford Township Trustee

Top goals:

AAA bond rating. We must maintain our AAA bond rating and maintain the legacy that Brooks Patterson built during his years of leadership.

Budget. We have built a strong footing over the years and we need to continue to maintain that with a strong fund balance and a fiscally conservative  budgeting process.

Safety. Continue to support our Sheriff’s Department and our first responders through great systems and tools to allow them to do their jobs.

 

Oakland County Board of Commissioners District 11
Two candidates are running for one two-year term.

Democrat

Tim Burns

Age: 47

Occupation: Attorney

Municipality of Residence: Troy

For how long: 2 years in Troy / 22 years in Oakland County

Online campaign information: timburns2020.blogspot.com

Education: University of Detroit Mercy School of Law (JD); Bradley University (BS Economics)

Previously held elected offices: Oakland County Commissioner (Clawson/Troy 2007 – 2011)

Top goals: I am running because we need elected leaders who believe that facts and science matter. My top priority will be strengthening the health of our community and tackling the coronavirus pandemic. I will also focus on fixing our local roads and the economic recovery of Oakland County businesses. As a commissioner during the recession, I helped Oakland County steer through that crisis and will use my experience to assist us in moving forward together now.

 

Republican

Thomas E. Kuhn (I)             

Age: 69

Occupation: Attorney

Municipality of residence: Troy

For how long: 19 years

Online campaign information: votetomkuhn.com

Education:  BA, Political Science, University of Michigan, MA, PhD Political Science; JD, Law

Previously held elected offices:  Oakland County Commissioner (currently); Oakland Community College Board of Trustees, 12 years; City Council, 12 years.

Top goals: Public health and safety has always been my top priority. I will continue to work on the County’s critical Pandemic Response Committee which oversees funding for our cities, schools, non-profits and small businesses: funding needed to fight the catastrophic effects of COVID-19 on our economy and on our community. I also will continue to work closely with Sheriff Michael Bouchard to assure the highest level of training and response possible for Oakland County’s police officers.

 

Oakland County Board of Commissioners District 15
Two candidates are running for one two-year term.

Democrat

Melanie Hartman

Age: 60

Occupation: Former physician and pharmacist

Municipality of residence: Rochester Hills

For how long: 12 years

Online campaign information: website: votemelaniehartman.com

Education: MD, Michigan State University College of Human Medicine, East Lansing, MI

BS Pharmacy, Duquesne University, Pittsburgh PA

Previously held elected offices: Precinct Delegate 2012-present

Top goals: Enhance our COVID-19 response with widespread testing and tracing as well as a plan for rapidly responding to new cases and distributing an effective vaccine or treatment when available. Return to work and school safely while supporting small businesses and promoting training and education for those who have lost jobs. Increase access to mental health care especially due to the significant increase in anxiety and depression during the pandemic. Prioritize clean water and green spaces.

Republican

Adam Kochenderfer (I)

Age: 40

Occupation: Attorney

Municipality of residence: Rochester Hills

For how long: 11 years

Online campaign information: Facebook @ Keep Kochenderfer as County Commissioner

Education: Juris Doctor, University of Michigan Law School (cum laude); Bachelor of Arts, Oakland University (summa cum laude)

Previously held elected offices: Current Oakland County Commissioner; Former Rochester Hills City Councilperson

Top goals: 1) PUBLIC HEALTH. We must treat COVID-19 with the perspective and seriousness it deserves, creating safety measures that protect residents while avoiding overbroad restrictions. As County Commissioner, I supported testing supplies and medical equipment for our community.

2) ECONOMIC RECOVERY. The economy’s devastation has had health effects of its own, and we must do everything we can to revive Oakland County as Michigan’s economic powerhouse. That includes encouraging safe, in-person learning for students

Oakland Township Supervisor
Two candidates are running for one four-year term.

Democrat

Ralph Jessee, Jr.

Did not return questionnaire by press time.

Republican

Dominic Abbate

Age: 78

Occupation: Retired Architect

Municipality of residence: Charter Township of Oakland

For how long: 52 years

Online campaign information: No Site

Education: University of Detroit, Lawrence Institute of Technology

Previously held elected offices: Oakland Township Trustee, 1984-2000; Charter member of the Library Board

Top goals: Maintain Board of Trustees harmony and cooperation.

Maintain hired Township Manager. Keep Township in conformance to the Residents approved Master Plan. Prepare for any Fire Department updates required by 2020 census. Ensure that any new developments are in conformance with the newly updated Zoning ordinance. Update plan to continue to maintain over 44 miles of gravel roads. Revise funding for Safety Paths. Address concerns regarding water systems.

Oakland Township Clerk
Robin Buxar is running unopposed for one four-year term.

Oakland Township Treasurer
John Giannangeli is running unopposed for one four-year term.

Oakland Township Trustee
Jack E. Eider, Dave Mabry, Lana Mangiapane and Andy Zale are running unopposed for four four-year terms.

Oakland Township Parks Commission
Eight candidates are running for seven four-year terms.

Democrat

Lisa Fitzpatrick Sokol

Age: 67

Occupation: Retired Director of Orion Township Parks and Recreation- 8 years Retired Educator, Principal and Director of Community Education Lake Orion Schools 30 years

Municipality of residence: Oakland Township

For how long: 40 years

Online campaign information: None

Education: BA English Oakland University and MA Community and Adult Education Michigan

Previously held elected offices: None

Top goals: Working on safety paths and trails funding and development in Oakland Township. I serve on the Oakland Township Safety Paths and Trails Board. I Support connectivity between our parks, schools, public buildings, our neighborhoods and local businesses.  

I support park improvements, conservation and stewardship projects,  recreational programming and events, classes and athletic opportunities for our residents.

I will work with parks staff to further enhance park programs, concerts, and maintain our facilities for our residents in the community.

Republican

Emily Barkham (I)

Did not return questionnaire by press time.

Republican

Brian Blust

Did not return questionnaire by press time.

Republican

Craig S. Blust (I)

Did not return questionnaire by press time.

Republican

Jim Quesenberry

Did not return questionnaire by press time.

Republican

Cathy A. Rooney (I)

Did not return questionnaire by press time.

Republican

Daniel L. Simon (I)

Did not return questionnaire by press time.

Republican

Maryann Whitman

Did not return questionnaire by press time.

Avondale Schools Board of Education
Six candidates are running for three four-year terms.

Michael T. Brady

Did not return questionnaire by press time.

Kelly Brault

Age: 44

Occupation: Fundraising/non-profit sector

Municipality of residence: Troy

For how long: 16 years

Online campaign information: www.kellybrault.wordpress.com

Education: BA, Marketing from Michigan State University

Previously held elected offices: none

Top goals: The number one pressing need is getting through the pandemic and returning to normalcy as much as possible, as safely as possible. I would also advocate for educators in the district to have more input to help with the realities in the classrooms.  Finally, I’d dig deeper into the budget to ensure that priorities are getting the funding needed and work to identify efficiencies. I’m also passionate about the board’s need for gender diversity.

Rita Davis

Age: 40

Occupation: Education

Municipality of residence: Troy

For how long: 8 years

Online campaign information: Facebook – Elect Rita Davis for Avondale School District

Education: associate degree

Previously held elected offices: None

Top goals:

1. Pandemic: The focus would be shifted away from the tough decisions and moved toward what’s needed to move our families forward as a community.

2. Finance: I’d work to increase transparency surrounding district finances and ensure that the district is maximizing existing funding opportunities.

3. Community & Communication: Encouraging effective communication strategies to ensure that everyone is accounted for when decisions are being made.

Robbin Hopkins

Age: 46

Occupation: Social Worker/ Realtor

Municipality of residence: Auburn Hills

For how long: 6 1/2 years

Online campaign information: Facebook: Committee to Elect Robbin Hopkins

Education: BA Sociology Wayne State Univ; JD Law Thomas Cooley Law School

Previously held elected offices: None

Top goals: To bring diversity and equality in the education of the students of the district in policy, curriculum, and classroom environment.

Wayne Kakuda (I)

Age: 53

Occupation: Management Consultant

Municipality of residence: Auburn Hills

For how long: 25 years

Online campaign information: kakuda.org

Education: 1990 Bachelors of Science GMI Engineering and Management Institute (aka Kettering University); 1993 University of Chicago Graduate School of Business (aka Booth School of Business)

Previously held elected offices: Avondale School Board

Top goals: My top goal is to drive policies and decisions that will:

· Retain and Find Great Educational Staff: The key to great education is to have great teachers, administrators, and support staff.

· Ensure Financial Success: Long term success is driven by operating the district with financially responsible budgets.

· Build an Inclusive Learning Environment: We best serve all in our community by listening to, engaging with and advocating for our diverse students, parents, community members, and businesses.

Lucille Washington

Age: 62

Occupation: Retired Educator

Municipality of residence: Auburn Hills

For how long: 24 years

Online campaign information: Facebook Lucille Washington for Avondale School Board

Education: Bachelor of Business Administration – Eastern Michigan University; Masters in the Art of Teaching – Wayne State University; Masters in Educational Administration – Concordia University (Ann Arbor)

Previously held elected offices: No answer given.

Top goals: Health concerns with Covid-19; Teacher retention; Class size

 

Rochester Community Schools Board of Education
Three candidates are running for two six-year terms.

Kristin Bull (I)

Age: 47

Occupation: Marketing/Advertising

Municipality of residence: Rochester Hills

For how long: 15 years

Online campaign information: www.facebook.com/MuskaBul lZabat

Education: Bachelor of Arts, Alma College

Previously held elected offices: Rochester Board of education, 2014-present

Top goals: There is only one priority right now: continuing to support the RCS team — from top administrators to building principals to teachers, counselors and support staff — as they navigate the uncertainty caused by this global pandemic. These are our community’s front-line workers; they are heroes working to do what’s right for our 15,000 kids. If re-elected to the Board, I will continue to give them support in ensuring our students are safe and healthy.

Scott Muska (I)

Age: 48

Occupation: Sales

Municipality of residence: Rochester, Michigan

For how long: 15 Years

Online campaign information: www.facebook.com/MuskaBul lZabat

Education: AS – Rochester University (Rochester, MI)  BS – Central Michigan University (Mt. Pleasant, MI)

Previously held elected offices:  None

Top goals: The “HOW” may change but the outcomes remain constant. Healthy, safe learning environment for kids and staff, world class education that prepares kids for life, fostering an environment of belonging and maintaining the financial fitness of Rochester Schools will never go “out of style.” Working with and supporting our teachers and staff to continue the outstanding level of performance that has been realized the last several years, regardless of the challenges, is my mission.

Joe Pittel

Age: 41

Occupation: Attorney

Municipality of residence: Oakland Township

For how long: 8 years

Online campaign information: www.joepittel.com

Education: Juris Doctor, University of Detroit Mercy; MBA, University of Detroit Mercy, BA Political Economy, James Madison College at Michigan State University and BA in Finance, Eli Broad College of Business, Michigan State University.

Previously held elected offices: None.

Top goals: Transparency and accountability are my campaign’s cornerstones. Many parents feel left in the dark. I will restore their faith by being honest, open and responsive. I will bring strong corporate experience to help the Board during these difficult times. Most importantly, I always remember something I learned as an assistant attorney general: The People are the reason we serve. Their best interests and the interests of their children will always come first.

 

Rochester Community Schools Board of Education
Michael Zabat (I) is running unopposed for one six-year term.


Oakland Township Fire

Department and

Emergency Medical

Services Operating Millage

Shall the Charter Township of Oakland be authorized to continue the previously authorized levy of .9975 mills for a period of 8 years beginning December 2021 and expiring December 2028 for purposes of providing fire protection services, including the operation and maintenance of the Oakland Township Fire Department and purchase of equipment and buildings to serve the Charter Township of Oakland. If levied in 2021, approval of this proposal would authorize the levy of $.9399 per $1000 of taxable value on all property in the Township. It is estimated that this proposal would result in the authorization to collect approximately $1,429,865 in the first year (2021) if approved and levied. A property with a taxable value of $100,000 would be taxed $93.99 for the millage.

Oakland Township

Renewal of the Historic

District Operating Millage

Shall the Charter Township of Oakland be authorized to renew a levy of up to .1096 for a period of ten (10) years, starting with the December 2022 levy, for the purpose of continuing to fund historic preservation, education, restoration, acquisition, and maintenance within the Charter Township of Oakland? As part of this purpose, this millage includes funding for the development and maintenance of the Cranberry Lake Farm Historic District, a site listed as a Community Historic Center on the National Register of Historic Places. Approval of this proposal would renew the previously authorized tax limitation increase of approximately 11 cents per $1,000 of taxable value on all taxable property in the township, or $10.96 per year on a home with a taxable value of $100,000. Revenue from the levy renewal shall be disbursed to the Charter Township of Oakland. Based upon the projected 2022 Township wide taxable value, it is estimated that this proposal would result in authorization to collect up to $176,888.10 of revenue in the first year (2022) if this millage renewal is authorized and levied.

 

Oakland County Parks and Recreation Millage Replacement and Increase

The Oakland County Parks System includes 7000 acres and 80 miles of trails preserving and protecting the environment. There are 13 Oakland County Parks and recreational activities throughout the County including campgrounds, dog parks, golf courses, water parks, and mobile recreation units. To continue to provide revenue to the Oakland County Parks and Recreation Commission, shall the current millage, which has been reduced by required rollback, be replaced and increased to .35 mills for 10 years from 2020 to 2029? The .35 mills is equal to 35 cents per $1,000.00 of taxable value. The millage, if approved and levied, will generate approximately $22,026,860.00 in 2020. The purpose of the millage is to improve, operate, and maintain parks, open space and water areas, trails, and recreation facilities; to allow for free day-use park admission for seniors (62 and over), military, veterans, and residents with permanent disabilities; to expand trails; to enhance local recreation programs; and to increase environmental conservation and recreation activities. Revenue from this millage will be disbursed only to the County of Oakland to be used solely for the purpose of funding the Oakland County Parks and Recreation Commission with external audits and oversight by the Oakland County Board of Commissioners.

State of Michigan Proposal 20-1

A proposed constitutional amendment to allow money from oil and gas mining on state-owned lands to continue to be collected in state funds for land protection and creation and maintenance of parks, nature areas, and public recreation facilities; and to describe how money in those state funds can be spent.

This proposed constitutional amendment would: – Allow the State Parks Endowment Fund to continue receiving money from sales of oil and gas from state-owned lands to improve, maintain and purchase land for State parks and for Fund administration, until its balance reaches $800,000,000. – Require subsequent oil and gas revenue from state-owned lands to go into the Natural Resources Trust Fund. – Require at least 20% of Endowment Fund annual spending go toward State park improvement. – Require at least 25% of Trust Fund annual spending go toward parks and public recreation areas and at least 25% toward land conservation. Should this proposal be adopted?

State of Michigan Proposal 20-2

A proposed constitutional amendment to require a search warrant in order to access a person’s electronic data or electronic communications.

This proposed constitutional amendment would: – Prohibit unreasonable searches or seizures of a person’s electronic data and electronic communications. – Require a search warrant to access a person’s electronic data or electronic communications, under the same conditions currently required for the government to obtain a search warrant to search a person’s house or seize a person’s things. Should this proposal be adopted?

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