Friday, July 18, 2008

Report from Hamburg/Pinckney Chamber Candidate Forum

Hamburg Twp/Pinckney Chamber – Candidate Forum

Yesterday, I was at a candidate forum which had the contested primary races for the 47th district candidates and local candidates for Hamburg and Putnam Township offices. I didn’t have the time to stay for the Putnam races , but I was able to catch the races for the 47th and Hamburg positions. The 66th district candidates were not there. This was a Hamburg/Pinckney based forum.

What shocked me was the high turnout. That’s extremely rare at candidate forums as the Argus will attest to. I think most of the people there were on a candidate’s team, it may not necessarily be the case.

I was typing as the candidates were speaking and tried to get the comments as verbatim as possible. The grammar would get me an automatic F grade by my professors, so apologies in advance. The comments are paraphrases and near quotes of the candidate’s words themselves. The speeches are on public access cable in Hamburg, and probably Pinckney areas.

As far as my impressions, I think the 47th district will have a good replacement for Joe Hune. Joe has done a good job for us holding the line with taxes and spending (when others have not), but he is termed out. I am supporting Cindy Denby for this race, but not because the other candidates are bad. They aren’t. My reasons for supporting her is largely based on the job Joe has done and the job Cindy’s done as Hune’s Chief of Staff. She has experience and she’s got a longer record than the other candidates. Right now with 45 termed out legislatures is key. With her connections, it is likely she would get good committee seats. My 2nd choice would be Frank Portelli. Frank is a businessman and builder and I liked many of his comments in the two candidate forums I’ve seen. My favorite line from him is that less laws mean the state runs better. He’s a very straightforward candidate. Charlie Aberasturi has a business background and is a school board member. Carl Konopaska is a substitute teacher and interned at Joe’s office for a period.

As far as Hamburg goes, I’m staying far away from this. I know a lot of the people running including some candidates running against each other. A lot of the political battles there have become personal instead of strictly political contests. I do not live there, and do not want to be drawn into these personal battles by making endorsements there this year. My writing here with the Hamburg race is strictly as many of the words taken from the comments as possible and an attempt to be as unbiased as possible. These are their words and not my opinion of them.

47th District race

Charlie Aberasturi – Experience in financial problems needed, dedication, education. Worked with TRW, lived in 3 Liv co locations. One of 6 walked into empty building in Tyrone. TRW become largest employer in Livingston Co. MBA – EMU. Married 19yrs. Teaches Religious Ed. Pro-life. Coach. Member of Hartland board Reached agreement with teachers within budget. Don’t claim to have all the answers but will get all info.

Cindy Denby – 52, married for 32 years. Two grown children. Served Joe Hune as legislative aid for 5 years. Current Handy Twp Supervisor. 16 years(?) as twp super. . Owned business for 10 years. Pro-life. On exec board Livingston GOP. Experience advantage. Have the Professional relationships in Lansing to be effective. Goal - Economic changes, transaprncy in government. Visit her website. Endorsed by Hune and Ward.

Carl Konopaska. – 1999 grad, Howell High. Lived in County all my life outside of college. Two degrees, looking at EMU teaching degree. Intered in Hune’s office. Lives in Fowlerville. Substitute teacher in Howell and Fowlerville district. Working class. Understands living by paycheck week to week.

Frank Portelli – 11 years in Livingston County. MSU grad. Married 16 years, 4 kids. Custom home builder. Business owner, not politician, and underdog. 20 years as ops manager. Always looks to do things Better, faster, cheaper. 9 years VP construction. 3 years president. Tier 1 auto. Worked for Johnson Control. Legislature is broken. Ineffective – partisanship lack of statewide agenda. Needs to be penalties for non-performance. If Bugdet set for May, complete it in May. Prison budget ½ billion higher. Education system - some well, some failing.

1. What can you do in Lansing to help Business in there tough times.
Frank – Tax cuts record is clear. Any time taxes cut stimulates response. Small Business Owners create jobs. Exploit new opprotunities. State needs to back off of small businesses on taxes and regulations. Get out of the way. Encourage existing businesses.

Charlie – Thank you Frank for reading mind. Allow market and taxes gained by increased employment, not rates. State out of the way.

Cindy – Along with reducing regs, revisit MBT – Big misstake and surcharge additional mistake. Redo and make it fair. Many taken by surprise. Hune got a lot of angry calls over MBT. New program by foundations to encourage entrepreneur. $75mill in new programs to encourage business.

Carl – Regulate less, and MBT is effective a little bit or not at all due to little profit in a few years. Tax isn’t only thing. Cost of insurance. Huge costs for them. Make it affordable. Encourage small business. Middle class/small business trampled. Let it go its own cost. Plenty of rules/regs already.

Q2 – State funding of schools. (Low end finding, and attracting students)
Charlie – Current funding is immoral. Particulary within Livingston County. Bottom end funding. Other districts 11,000. Ours Avg 7800. State considers Livingston children 7/8 person. 2x funding is a start. Legislation let us down.

Cindy – Need to equalize funding. 2x funding a band-aid. Higher funded schools campaign for more dollars so it is struggle. Short term help SB486?(or 786?) Have some work ahead of us and need several reforms.

Carl – Before problem, evaluate district. Each has own size and population. For populations in Howell/Pinckney, larger – getting $7204 per student. But up north with same mileage, getting more and more. They don’t have busses/fuel. Before equal, must evaluate so each gets right amount. 2x step in right direction. Not closing the gap fast enough.

Frank – Equality is only way to make it fair for whole state. Problem is funding districts that fail to provide education. As long as continues, won’t build prisons fast enough. Structure is failing. Two much partisanship and debate. Priority issues not brought up. Things that make difference does not get past committee.

Q3 – Term limits what they should/shouldn’t be.

Cindy – Opposed to term limits. Preference to chamber plan. 14 years combined house/senate. Less turnover that way. 45 members will change. Lose historical memory and education by leaving.

Carl – Agree with Cindy, and adds. Double edged sword. Better to eliminate, but make it part time legislature. Eliminate costs for salary, benefits, and expenditures.

Frank – Supported term limits when proposed. They proved to be a failure. Revolving door who turned over running state to staff and special pacs and special interest groups. Personal relationships that need to be grown take time. Caused less consensus and bitter partisanship

Charlie – Term Limits should be abolished. Let voters decided if they want to elect someone 100 years. When government jumps in to decide what is good for people, it is usually bad idea.

Q4 - Fiscal responsibility. Taxes/cut.

Carl – Won’t raise taxes. Always way to cut fat out of the budget. Our legislature can start by taking a pay cut. Show leadership for state. Go back to giving mileage back to inspectors instead of twp cars. Way to save money. Leaders in Lansing/Twp/Cities need to set example for state using new ideas, products efficient, green (hate term but use it), ways to cut fat out of budget without taxes.

Frank – Raising taxes off table. Michigan can not bear additional taxes. Granholm said she cut budget to bone. Don’t agree. $10000 per inmate spent more than other states. Can make cut there. 39 states part time legislature. Cut salaries/benny, but multiplier of staff/overhead. Additional laws/regulations cut – real savings. Less laws mean state runs better.

Charlie – Need adequate info first. Have 33 years results organization, working church/youth. Think out of the box. No specifics. Reason why doesn’t work. Live within the budget.

Cindy – No budget problem, but there is a spending problem. 37 billion six years ago, now 44 billion. There is less people in state. Frank touched on corrections. Community health – fund programs for illegal aliens. Pork projects. Need to be eliminated. All departments can make some adjustments.

Q5 – What changes in state law for townships?
Frank – In addition to holding legislatures to fire, encourage regional cooperation with townships. Owns rental house in Tyrone that burned down. Knows more about Hartland-Deerfield authority works, and Tyrone opting out. Poor service provided. Regionalism over turf battles. Difficult, can be forced.

Charlie – Need to be proactive, what happens when property reduced and revenues decrease. Prepare for addressing that.

Cindy – Forclosures escalating. Significant number. Freezing taxable value of homes.

Carl – Don’t know a lot about township, but what observed from Handy twp – township boards aren’t involved enough in regular community. Same as legislatures. What happens with builders? Need more regulations. Homes built 4 years ago, sold 40,000 less. Gouging? Wants to be honest. Doesn’t know about it.

Q6 – Foreclosures.
Charlie – Solution is finding jobs for people so they can afford homes. Job creations, small businesses.

Cindy – Encourage state/local financial institutions to restructure loans. Not free money, but larger interest only payments. If foreclosured home – months to sell. Value lost in winter with damage.

Carl – Agree with Charlie. Not just min wage and $10 job. Skill trade jobs, and higher education kobs. Hi-tech jobs. Bring more people and keep in homes. It’s like credit card now. Nino loans – regulate.

Frank – State’s response needs to be economic opportunity. Primary job state should be working on. Townships – Deal with townships across SE MI as well as cities – Detroit, Flint, Pontiac, etc) Dealt with all. Some run very efficient ship. Easy to work with. Other are lacking. Help those that need to to run efficiently.

30 second closing.
Cindy – Thanks everyone. Website –
Carl – Thanks all. Conservative Christian pro-life working class candidate. Website.
Frank – Vote August 5. These issues that need to be addressed and not kicked down for a couple of years. Some employers are facing bankruptcy. Get legislature in order.
Charlie – 33 years financial experience and billion dollar budgets. MBA. Worked in manufacturing plants. TRW. Started 7 employeed. Left thousands employed.

Candidate forum, August 5 primary. – Break.

Hamburg Township offices. Contested Races – Super, Clerk, Treasurer.
Treasurer – Roberta Balon-Vaughn , Patrick Evon
Clerk – Matt Skiba, Joanna Hardesty.
Supervisor – Don Burtaw, Pat Hohl, Cindy Pine

Don – Remember gas 19 cents. 35 years county/township government. Started Alpena County, Alpena township assessor. Code enforcement, building inspector. Then went to Washtenaw County. 19 years with them. Worked with county commissioners, supers, every township in Washtenaw. Currently, enforcement office in Hamburg. Good relationship with current officials and employees. Can work as team to get township forward.

Pat Hohl – Most know me as balding bearded party store guy. Cut beard. Raised on Indiana farm. Lassie, way I grew up. First in family to go to school. BA at Indiana State. Got MBA, worked at Dow chemical for 6 years, various states. Settled down here
. Been here since 1984. Two terms as planning commissional. Worked with 6 supervisors. Been through growth, knows what it needs. Financial issues need to be dealth with. General Fund draining. Can not do that. Sewer fund.

Cindy Pine - Not at forum due to family committment. Statement was read by Brian Jonckheere. Apologized for missing family commitment. Listed accomplishments. Paved Lakeland trail, created water district to pay debt, collective bargaining agreement. Get along better with neighbors. Less lawsuits. Bond rating increased to AA-. Protect lake/waterways. Biggest challenge, declining revenues. Cannot raise taxes. Need to be pro-active. Look 5 years down the road for planning. Efficient services needed. More professional work environment needed. No conflicts in business.. Committed to transparency.

Skiba – Been in Hamburg since 2002. Politics can get ugly. I ran as my tax dollars improperly spent. Formal business education and 10 years real world business experience. Government accountable to people.. Transparency needed. Should be dozens of accountants reviewing expenditures (referring to residents).

Hardesty – 12 years as clerk. Married for 35 years. 3 children and grandchildren. Worked hard for Hamburg. Responsible record on fiscal issues. Responsible for accounting functions, elections, oversee human resources. Appointed rep for DBA, and several committees. Work hard to deliever services while keep spending in check. Organized Hamburg Family Fun Fest. Community entitled to representation without political games.

Evon – Challenge, and what treasurer should be doing about it. Was easy for years with grown, but now it is stopped. Taxable values dropping. 2010 likely major trouble. Must be engaged in cash flow projections. Software can be used to translate to values. ID problem now, magnitute, and when it will hit. Take appropriate measures now, not over/under reaction. Won’t get that with incumbent. No planning, do not know when bond payments due. # board members voted against something? (Dan – I think that was referring to the vote on non-statutory duties) Won’t happen again if elected. Working at least 20 hours week, present 5 year plan of cash flow.

Balon-Vaughn – Running for 3rd term. 11 year resident. Brings experience, leadership, commitment, dedication. Built network of professional relationship with leaders and elected officials. Maximized investment of millions of dollars under township’s care. Active member of community and local organizations. Responding to Allegations of opponent. – does not understand office. Bond payments responsibilities of super’s office and accounting deparment, with treasurer’s assistance. Tax bills on time. County each year. Prompt service. Public Act 20. Tracked all investments on monthly basis. Info on institution, CD’s, etc. Reports at office. All due dates on calander.

Questions – Why should you vote for me?
Hohl – Challenger to Super. Serious problem. No long term perspective. Defecit in sewer enterprise. General fund problems. Not critical, yet. $750,000 depleation in 4 years. Must operate from tax collection to tax collections. 3 balanced budgets that were not real balanced budgets – general fund. Sewer infrastructure. Needs upkeep in enterprise fund. Wastewater treatmentplant problems. Threatened with 201 sanctions. Must be proactive and get DEQ off our back. Hartland was sanctioned. Do not need that in Hamburg.

Burtaw – What he said is true, but he’s on the board. Things are divided. Not working as a team. If trustee, dept head. All need to be involved. Can’t be done by one infividual. Team effort. If elected, we will work as a team.

Hardesty – Incumbent clerk. 12 years. Experienced and knowledge of general law government. Professional leadership and will continue to do so.

Skiba – Not as experienced. What was she doing prior to this? Was secretary from Green Oak. I have proven myself with some experiences. Can take on any challenges, statutory/non statutory duties. Two degrees and accreditations.

Evon – Worked for Chevy central office and retired from EDS. Experience to bring efficiency to the office. Will use treasurer numbers to look at cash flow. Will be transparent and effective.

Balon-Vaugn – Transparent – Anyone can come up to the window. Reports available. 8 years, and I still do not know everything. Takes a long time to learn issues. More than tax bills. Up until last couple of months, no negative press. No drama on staff. Nothing perfect, will listen to changes needed for township and treasurer office.

Q – Recent changes for employees. – Employees responsibilities reporting to. Morale, working together.

Burtaw – Right now, the zoning dept is a 2 man department. I report to Pat Hagman. We have great working relationship. I work well with employees and elected officials. Helped in other departments. I won’t say it is down, better than has been, can get better.

Hardesty – Board took action. Reasons because of current admin and way it was handled. Morale of employees great up until 3 months ago with public bashing of employees themselves and admins. Concerning. Reading about themselves in public forum. Needs to be fixed. Get nasty politics behind us. Pay levels – Compensation study and pay grades established. Competitive with similar departments. Not adhered to. 3 year plan, but participated in 1 year plan. Working hard to keep employees. As far as board goes. I’m board member. Open communication with employees.

Matt – I really had opp to go door to door. Leaning more and more about township run and board. Seen it myself. Learned that lot of stories that I don’t think taxpayers are aware of. Uestions – Don’t know as much as I’m not incumbent. Pay levels. Needs to be one. Why taken so long? I’ve been here since 02 and already upset with things run. If elected, I have 0 tolerance of a few things in Press and Argus. Take personality out of situation. Need someone in charge that can be good decision. Too many relationships formed past 8 to 12 years.

Pat – Not aware of morale problems. Only seen what is in meetings. Employees report direct super. What I know.

Balon-Vaughn – Change of reporting – reason is because Joanna and I were not informed of all situations. Needed more tranparence. Since changes, zoning gives daily emails. Most I’ve known in long time. Address the problems in real time, not catchup work. Morale – have been problems. Prior admin. Changed some. Drama is in last 4 months debilitating to morale. Countdown to election since people can’t stand it. Board – We always don’t agree and agree to disagree some ways. Don’t vote same way as all, I vote my mind. Don’t want rubber stamp board. If elected, will listen to concerns and vote accordingly.

Hohl – 7 people on board. Reason set up this way. 7-0 vote is wasting money. Nothing wrong with disagreement, but retribution. Not happened as much as in past. Report – needed open communication. Reiteration what heard, but not occurring. Water issue is threatening to township. 7 people on board. 5 in favor. There’s reason. Not game. Staff morale good. It is the season and goofy things happen. It’s a shame, and takes away from the board. 18 days and we’ll be back to work. Board has to address benefits issue, and pay issue.

Joanna – Property taxes do increase by cost of living. Not at issue of pass based on SEV’s With values decreasing, how handled. Services for general law – get tremendous pay for buck. Police, fire, rec. Have sewers, bringing water to township. Relatively small budget compared to others and give city services to community. 5 year projection. Working on that. Ask for that when budget prepared.

Matt – It’s no doubt in anyone’s mind that Hamburg has challenges. How are we handling this? Less revenue to work with. As real estate agent 10 years ago, agree we were in best seller’s market. Now best buyer’s market. How effects? Did prior not forcast this? Who knows how long recession will last? Some expected levels of service may be too high. Will look at it if elected. Need to focus on essential costs, and what necessary to run township. In time of decline property, not time to take two officers off street. Need them back in Hamburg.

Evon – Things are tough and need cutbacks, but certain level of services. Cash flow assessments needed to know what provide.

Balon Vaughn – Many communities operating in red. Many can not seem to function. 8 years ago, board put away money to build fund up. Still have 2.2 fund balanced. Need to maintain services within budget constraints. We will do so. Should have new cop on street.

Pat Hohl – Property values will be back inbalance. Sales taking place below SEV. That will filter through system and people will go to board of review. Adjustment will me made. Need to keep general fund balance. Nobody been on end of 1-6 vote balance as much as I have. We need to address this long term.

Burtaw – Agree to some degree with Pat. Spent 30 years as accessor. Counties dictate what will happen. They do studies – all classes of property. Mandated by law. If nothing done at local level, then county will make adjuctments needed to make. No getting away from it. In 80’s 11% interest. Poor risk 15%. Feds lowered rates, but it’s going to come back. Was against proposal A. Part of problem lending institutions – Countrywide. Interest only loans – can’t qualified – and own property. Market will turn around, but takes time. Funding balance June 07 – 2.435 million. July 08 – 2.079164. I think we’re OK.

Negitivity questions. – Positives.

Skiba – With a lot of changes in officials, the side effect will go away. Right people in place, and bickering will stop. What can happen positive? Great place in Hamburg. Got the lakes. Was vacation spot in 1800’s still Hamburg. It will come through.

Evon – Been here 34 years, will be another 34. People will come together and make it great place to live no matter who wins.

Balon Vaugn – Most part we get along. I have not engaged in neg campaign, will continue to do that and will campaign on my record. No problems in office until minor issues since corrected. No problem at any cost to twp. Open communication with residences and manage funds effectively. Can deposit checks same day to get day/2 of interest – every bit counts. Stretch dollars and make it work. Institutes passports since first elected. Need to find new sources of income.

Hohl – One of 5 safest areas in Michigan. Two jewels Huron Rivers and Brighton Rec Area in north. There’s a reason this place will hold people here. Gas prices problem, but very upscale community. Work together cooperate, and share benefits of community. Make township as good as can while we are here.

Burtaw- Moved here 22 years ago. Love this community and made commitment to what can to move this forward. FEMA audit (Flood insurance). Rating came in at one of the highest. Commend dept for that. Work hard to see those rates of those that need it kept at low rate. Rating fails, we are in trouble. Current admin makr sure it does function. Talked to 1000 people. Hands on. Knows what people want and are looking for.

Joanna – Hamburg awesome community to be part of. Positive of community is services offered – police/fire/library, erc. Efficent and friendly service of office on daily basis. Working with residences of community. Reduction in ISO rating saved thousands of dollars in fire insurance. Outstanding community. We heard challengers say when things settle down, we’ll work together. The challengers are creating it. We’re responding in defensive mode.

Hamburg Trustees:

Howard Dillman (not here)
Michael Dolan (Not here)

Bill Hahn – Best candidate for these reasons. 30 year resident. 30 years at Ford Motor. Senior management. 3 degress. BS (Purdue), MBA, Econ (UD). Flood prevention committee organized after 2004. Tells things like it is.Running for two reasons. 1. Turmoil on board. Gaming has to stop. Clear back in end of March when group of 4 voted to take away Cindy Pine’s non statutory duties. Decided because of that. 2nd reason – Spending v revenue. Agreed with a lot of what Pat Hohl talked about. Address those issues.

Jason Negri – Treating this job interview. Peacemaker. Training – Lawyer who asks tough questions. Both are critical qualities. Debate is good, but need to move in same direction. On Board of Review. Values decrease, assessments up. Prop A issue. Be prepared for challenges. Millages, business friendly community, environment, etc. Fiscal conservative.

Phillip Sempenivo – Wonderful quality of life here. Needs to be enhanced. Difficult economic times here. Problems with us for years to come. Services costs and economy issue. Education and experience is to id solutions to problems. Done that in boom and tough times. Problems not solved by things, but people. Conflict without resolution helps nobody. If you want more creative ideas, broaden audience. Techniques need to be different in boom time different than down time.

Kevin Wiley – Married 28 years, lived in Hamburg for 10 years. Education – Assoc engineering. BA Industral tech, MBA. Worked at GM. Member of board 2000-2004 trustee. Make sure spend less than receive. Avoid debt. Essential services funded. Police/Funding.

Michael Ziegeleski (sp) - Resident for 12 years. Working knowledge of government, functions, and powers. Excellent impersonal skills. Ethical manner with fosters trust. Manage adversity and hostility. Use consensus building abilities. Leaning policies, laws, contracts, and intergovernmental. Need change on board. Put end of turf wars, petty politics, and petty pickering. Put checkbook online. Best interest of people of township and bring change we need to bring effective township administration and government.

Chuck Menzies – Incumbent. Experienced. 8 years on board, and have knowledge and know which way it is going. Technical and admin knowledge. Running for right reasons. 21 years in township, married 38 years. Have no slate or political agenda. Vote conscience, do research and respond. Planning commission 18 years, appeals prior to this. Things are hard and changed, and running bare bones, but .(timed out)

Q1. Growth – positive and negative. What should/shouldn’t be done.

Michael – Hamburg one of fastest growing township. Issue adequately addressed in master plan. Growth for sake of growth can have downside, but anti-growth is not appropriate either. Well managed growth.

Chuck – Bone of contention since here. Can’t stop growth and development. Can control it. Master plan in place, still working on it. Residential is here. Won awards with open space. Have CVS/Kroger – not in overnight. Chilson commons, has character.

Jason – Demographic of business is changing. Failed to diversify economy. Not done until last two years. Smaller community. Livingston is still growth. Controlled growth is the entrepreneualrship. Livingston wireless. Does not need to compromise family friendly and rural character and quality of life.

Phil – When experienced it, worry out of hand. If not have it, worry about it. Balanced approach. Economic challenges. We want to curtail unchecked growth, but need to stimulate growth right now in this economy.

Bill – 30 years. Then cottages. Seen changes. Trails, open spaces. Lakes cleaner. Maintain those pluses. Problems. Traffic flow increase. 2nd issue flood prevention. Huron River water increasing. Effective flood prevetion committee, plan to keep working on it.

Kevin – Growth dependent on economy. Go back to Pat Hohl said earlier. Looks more like late 70’s/80’s with growth. Draw more commercial business to community to bring revenue. Lost industry in area.

Q2 – New Fire station. HQ not substation.
Chuck - First, people voted a millage for new fire station. Old one 100 yrs old. Need one in East part of township. Some closed sessions were on land. Voted by people. Needed it. Bidded. Is it Taj Mahal? No. Big? Yes. Plan for the future. Contractors were at their bidding on costs. 5-10 years, would be more. Doesn’t have stained glass or Italian tile. No dorms, etc. Needed to be bricked by master plan requirements. Better build now, than add on.

Jason – When voted on, people thought growth. Now second guessed. Running 2/3 complain. 1/3 coming around now and thinks it is needed. Echo Chuck on costs. Not going to be Monday Morning QB. In a couple of years, will probably think good decision.

Phillip – Wasn’t there for discussion. Did not see anyone saying that wasn’t future need of something to be done. Taxpayers said same. Some question (Pat Hohl dissent) and alternative strategy needed. Difficult to Monday QB. No sound argument not needed for future.

Bill – Less government, less spending. Never voted for millage until I voted for this fire millage. Downside, had I been onboard, would have voted for smaller substation concept building that 3 board members supported, but would protected or added some future plan to expand in most efficient lowest cost matter. Consistent message on door to door – Taj Mahal. Hopefully things work out, but I would have voted for less expensive building.

Kevin – It’s done. Voted no, but it’s there now, and we have it and need to keep it operating. Sided with Hohl on this.

Michael – Live on NE Quadrant. Problem with direct access to fire service. When millage came first time, in favor. Did research and benefited for it. Not aware of how much spent. 11,000 sq ft impression. Substation. Also not thrilled about renewing millage going with large building. Have money, doesn’t have to necessary be spent. Bad taste – move from volunteer dept to new department.

Q – Different personalities on board and opinions. How do you see yourself to bring working together of township. Loss of revenue, etc.
Jason – No illusions. Whoever realizes with scrutiny that expectation is on us to work together no matter what. No comment on current politics. Served on two boards with difficult situations. Was president on one, and they will say that I acted in professional matter. We’re supposed to be for the good of Hamburg. Would like to be voice of reason.

Phillip – Conflict not bad thing. Couple of members say nothing wrong with points of view. Reality with clashing – if managed right, can end up with better 3rd idea. I’m an effective facilitator. Can help people work through difficult situations and bring good group solutions. Whole greater than some of parts.

Bill – Turmoil at present board is bad. That’s reason I’m running as trustee. Help board get back to teamwork and cooperation. Adversity before decision is good. Different views need to be discussed. Leads to better decisions. Once decision made, needs to be supported and moved on. Have to get back to teamwork, cooperation in Hamburg. Period. New Clerk, Treasurer, four new trustees. That’s his vision.

Kevin – Challenging board members in meetings is good. Board did what needed to do and get business taken care of. He’ll do his part as he did 2000-2004 to make place better to us.

Michael – Here to serve people of Hamburg twp. See distinct differences in personality and viewpoint and not functioning in way cooperative. I don’t see being on winning side of all votes, but it’s best to move on after a vote when decision is made. Not about me or my agenda. We need to have some cooperation and stop not communicating and be about interest serving and not ourselves.

Chuck – Incumbent. Running for one seat. Cooperaiton – Can disagree without being disagreeable. Not turmoil. Disagreements. We all vote together, why have 7 man board. Some diversity. Some disagreements. We all can get along. 21 years active in township government on different commissions. Friends with 5 of 6 supers. No problem debating them, but will feel good at home. Situation with super - It’s too long to get into. I’m not running for super or clerk, but trustee. Will keep train on track.

Q. Can you talk about 1 specific change you will accomplish in four years

Phillip – Better understanding of what real costs are? When we look at service provided, what are component parts of cost. Not just total cost, but what goes into that. Modeling of services to understand what getting. Worst thing inbudget is 2% across board. That’s dumb. Need to look at components.

Bill – Look back after 4 years and be part of board that got costs under control with no property tax increase.

Kevin – Township reassess at whole where at with individual budgets and look for more efficient ways to do what they do today. Engage with those doing work.

Michael – I would like to see everything revenue/expenditure online so all citizens can see where money is spent and how (without FOIA). Transparency. Brighton Township does that.

Chuck – See big projects completed and under budget. Water project down M-36. We get water, we get business, and can pay it off. Brighton/Green Oak has it done, we’re still finishing.

Jason – We’re all concerned about budget. Target specific spending cuts. Chuck spot on with businesses coming in. Need there here, not another community. Need to look back at balanced budget and growth mode.


Flatus Maximus said...

Great work! I am sorry that I kept talking to you while you were typing, now! Everything you report is pretty spot on!

Who is Archangel? The mystery question. You were the second person to ask me that in a 24* period...

When you get the chance I'd like to hear performance feedback.

Dan said...

Glad you thought it was accurate. I tried to get the comments as verbatim as possible. Wasn't perfect, but I did my best there.

Whatever happens, I hope Hamburg is out of the news after August. I think the right things for the most part were said and that most candidates really aren't that far apart (at least in words, I haven't seen the actions you've seen), but it is the personality clashes that seem to be the trouble.

Good luck.

Communications guru said...

How much did you pay to get in?

Flatus Maximus said...

Actually, it didn't cost the taxpayers a dime! I'm certain that isn't the case when the Dimwits throw a "freebie!" They've panhandled some corporate stooge or union along the way and/or applied for and rec'd matching government funds congratulating themselves as to how they provide open access to their "useful idiots."

GOPer's tend to pay their own freight...and then are scorned for it by puerile wannabe-Stalinist sycophants parading as psuedo-intellectuals. And They know who they are, right?

Communications guru said...

What the hell are you ranting about? When have taxpayers paid for a political debate? Also, when has anyone charged admission for a debate, other than the Republicans in this county? said...

I am dissappointed that you are falling for the "experience" argument in the 47th district race. The crowning achievement Hune/Denby of the last 5 years was voting no on a tax increase that was enacted anyway. What else was accomplished??

Frank Portelli

Flatus Maximus said...

Buuuurp! You talkin' to me?
:::crickets chirping::: I didn't think so. Don't worry, you can't help that the elevator doesn't go up that far.

Communications guru said...

I can answer that one for you Frank, nothing, nada, zero. Although to his credit, he did show up everyday to read the paper and vote when the little bell went off. Now, that’s a lot more than the other guy representing the county in the 66th District can say, who stopped showing up in the summer of 2006. Like Hune, he did one good thing in six years, and he did cast one good vote in six years to keep the government operating.

Flatus Maximus said...

So Frank is for the tax increase to keep this 'worker's paradise' limping along...further turning those saps living and working here further enslaved as indentured servants?

Perhaps if we went to a unicameral, part time form of state government, there would be even less looting of the people's productivity, cutting off the moochers from the teat!

But then com-gu would be out of a job...hey, that may not be a bad thing. California calling...

Communications guru said...

Man, where do you get this BS? Better yet, what does it have to do with anything? What is this 'worker's paradise' are you talking about? A petition drive for a unicameral, part-time legislature was floated and failed. If it were successful you would just get a legislature full of rich people and retirees. It will not affect my job. In fact, it will give staff and lobbyists more power and responsibility.

Anonymous said...
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daniel said...
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