NOVEMBER VOTER GUIDE
B I R M I N G H A M
B L O O M F I E L D
OAKLAND CONFIDENTIAL POLITICAL NEWS AND GOSSIP
GREAT LAKES FISH FARM DEBATE GOVERNMENT POLICIES ON SEX ASSAULT GENERAL ELECTION ENDORSEMENTS THE MONTHLY INTELLIGENCER ECRWSS Postal Customer EDDM
PRSRT STD U.S. POSTAGE PAID ROYAL OAK, MI 48068 PERMIT #792
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European Grandeur on 5.03 Acres West Bloomfield Township | $4,479,000
100 Ft Sandy Beach and Pool City of Orchard Lake | $2,699,000
All Sports Lake & Walk to OLCC City of Orchard Lake | $2,650,000
Double Lot with 6+ Car Garage City of Orchard Lake | $2,299,999
Custom Designed All Sports Lakefront Commerce Township | $1,249,000
1.14 Acres Overlooking Gilbert Lake Bloomfield Township | $1,189,000
5 Acre Build Site in Prime Location City of Bloomfield Hills | $999,000
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Upper Straits Lakefront City of Orchard Lake | $3,290,000
Unparalleled Amenities Ideal for Entertaining Franklin Village | $3,249,000
Waterfront with Pool Setting City of Bloomfield Hills | $3,179,000
Newer Construction on 1.3 Acres City of Bloomfield Hills | $1,750,000
Ravine Setting with Pool Bloomfield Township | $1,549,000
All Sports Lake & Dock Facilities City of Waterford | $1,295,000
Renovated Poppleton Park Gem City of Birmingham | $990,000
Seasonal Paradise on 9.25 Acres West Bloomfield Township | $899,000
Build to Suit on 3+ Acres City of Bloomfield Hills | $790,000
Bloomfield Hills Schools City of West Bloomfield | $529,000
End Unit Ranch in Golf Community Bloomfield Township | $384,900
All Sports Lakefront Opportunity City of Wixom | $290,000
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CANDICE RICH Fine Homes Specialist
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The question of fish farms in the Great Lakes A group has been backing the expansion of aquaculture facilities â€“ fish farms â€“ in the state's portion of the Great Lakes but opponents say, even if permissible, waste from the net-pen operations would compromise water quality for everyone.
The Me Too movement has brought an increased awareness of sexual harassment, so we took a look at how governments are handling both sexual harassment policies and resolution of complaints.
FROM THE PUBLISHER
There's a noticeable trend in the current election cycle of younger expatriots returning to Michigan and running for office, a trend that we welcome, despite criticism from those being challenged for office.
Dem PAC seeking 2016 ballots; the cash-rich KnollenbergMcMorrow race; hard-edge (dirty tricks) in 40th House contest; more blue wave predictions; 'Dog' the Bounty Hunter and Matt Maddock; plus more.
A recap of select categories of crime occurring in the past month in Birmingham, Bloomfield Township and Bloomfield Hills, presented in map format.
Township slapped with major suit settlement; road work hostage to labor dispute; Birmingham bistro amendments; Detroit Country Day school plan; unfunded retirement questions; plus more.
THE COVER The Hill School bell at the Birmingham Museum site. The bell was cast in 1902 and was located at the Hill School that was constructed in 1869 at the corner of Chester and Merrill streets, serving a school population of K-12 grades. Eventually replaced by other schools, Hill School closed in 1917. The Ross Family Foundation and local fundraising provided for the current display structure at the museum site. Downtown photo: Laurie Tennent.
NOVEMBER 6 ELECTION VOTER GUIDE IN CENTER OF THIS ISSUE
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Exquisite Wallace Frost stone French manor on 2.5 acres with immaculate gardens and grounds and spectacular views of Lower Long Lake. Two screened lakeside pavilions to enjoy the lake.
Spectacular 11,000 SF Mediterranean estate on 2+ acre hilltop setting with rolling hills and beautiful gardens. Quality finishes throughout with an array of special features.
City of Bloomfield Hills | 325 Dunston Road | $3,750,000
Bloomfield | 5015 Brookdale Road | $3,495,000
City of Bloomfield Hills | 725 Vaughan Road | $2,750,000
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Stately estate nestled on 1.8 acres. Light-filled kitchen opens to outdoor seating. Sparkling pool set in serene, pastoral setting.
Bloomfield | 2368 Heronwood Drive | $1,749,000
Bloomfield | 4720 W. Wickford | $998,000
City of Bloomfield Hills | 55 Scenic Oaks Drive N | $949,000
Unparalleled estate in serene, gated Heronwoods community. 10,500+ SF of show-stopping luxury. Amazing walkout LL.
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City of Bloomfield Hills | 1115 Country Club Road | $3,999,000
Bloomfield | 5735 Forman Drive | $3,900,000
Impressive traditional Georgian colonial on 2.4 acres features significant remodeling by Christoper Longe. Award-winning kitchen & retreat master suite with fireplace, balcony & dual baths.
Sleek, contemporary residence on double lot boasts spectacular Wing Lake views from almost every room. Extraordinary infinity edge pool. Co-listed with Julie Sosin
Bloomfield | 3860 Mystic Valley Drive | $2,499,000
Birmingham | 439 Greenwood Street | $2,375,000
Birmingham | 388 Greenwood Street | $2,195,000
Private resort-style property nestled on 6 acres has 242’ water frontage. Stunning surroundings with views of Lower Long Lake.
Incredibly sleek home and office of world-renowned architect Irv Tobocman. Gorgeous great room opens to private terrace.
Spectacular home in desirable area. “City chic” interior spans 5700+ SF of impeccable details. Impressive master suite.
Bloomfield | 3616 York Court | $799,000
Oakland Township | 5723 Wellwood Drive | $718,000
City of Bloomfield Hills | 42 Vaughan Ridge Road | $625,000
Light-filled condo in desirable Quarton Orchards. 1 floor Beautiful Moceri-built Colonial on picturesque half+ acre in Beautiful updated ranch condo with open floor plan & 1st floor master suite. Well-appointed kitchen. Large finished basement. prestigious Hills of Oakland sub. Finished walkout LL. 3-car garage. master suite. Hardwood floors. Walkout lower level. Private setting.
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Writer/reporter Dana Casadei helps us bring back the popular feature â€“ now called Metro Intelligencer â€“ that provides quick takes on what is happening in the world of food and drink in the metro Detroit area.
Society reporter Sally Gerak provides the latest news from the society and non-profit circuit as she covers recent major events.
Our recommendations on both candidates and state-wide ballot issues facing voters in the November 6 general election.
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FROM THE PUBLISHER
ntering the final stretch for the 2018 general election on Tuesday, November 6, it's hard not to make note of a new trend that has developed in this election cycle.
First, the return to Michigan of the Millennials who populated the primary and now the general election ballot. We are attuned to this because some of us at Downtown newsmagazine are part of the parental set who encouraged their children to attend college and then head off to seek out experience in the job market, often times taking them to other states or countries. All the while we secretly hoped they would find their way back home. Well, some of them have returned, as we note in this month's Endnote opinion page where we offer our candidate endorsements for general election voters. Two of these Millennials – Haley Stevens in the race for the 11th Congressional District (Birmingham, Bloomfield Hills) and Mari Manoogian in the contest for the 40th Michigan House District (Birmingham, Bloomfield Hills, Bloomfield Township) are good examples. Educated in our local public schools, bringing with them – in both cases – post-college, broad experience in the workings of government, and with the focused drive to make a difference when it comes to setting the public agenda in coming years. Opposition forces like to spew that they “only moved back here to run for office,” as if there was something amiss with that. Our take on the issue – we are glad they are back. Part of the concern by mainstay politicians who throw out this criticism is that the age-old farm system, as it is often referred to, is being honored less and less in recent years. The system that has existed for decades basically consisted of elected officials starting with some local office and then working their way up to the county commission level before jumping to the state legislature and then perhaps Congress. While that is nice in theory and has produced some good community leaders, it is not a requisite for holding higher office. If we look around, we have, and always have had, some elected officials at the state and federal level from Michigan who didn't develop through the “farm” system. Likewise, we extend the same welcome to Elissa Slotkin, who moved back to her family's farm in Holly in hopes of representing the 8th District of Congress after having spent years in the national security service of our country. A third generation member of the family that established the Hygrade meat company (think Ballpark Franks), we would have to say that qualifies her as having significant community ties, despite some critics claim that she is just a “carpet bagger” or “parachute” candidate because she relocated to her home state to run for this elected post. We dismissed that as mere campaign bunk as we endorse her this month in our Rochester edition. And we point out to
“carpet bagger” critics that, yes, the term was first used to describe Republicans from the North after the Civil War who moved to the South. But critics always forget to other details -60 of these “carpet baggers” were elected by voters from the South to Congress after the war. ELECTION FOOTNOTE: We were fortunate earlier this summer to have the support of some key business leaders from the Birmingham area as we produced in our July issue a Voter Guide for the primary election. We have now produced a Voter Guide, appearing in this issue, for the November general election and these same business leaders have stepped up to help defray the considerable costs we incur in the process. Inside this issue, readers will find a Voter Guide that contains candidate answers to questions Downtown newsmagazine posed to those running for office. In past election years we have generally only posted the Voter Guide on our website, but because of the heightened interest in this election season, we are distributing a printed version also. As we did with the primary election Voter Guide, we are providing information for the general election this month to catch voters who cast their votes via absentee ballots, which are mailed out a month ahead of the actual voting day. Our thanks to Richard and Gary Astrein from Astrein’s Creative Jewelers; Dr. Peter Schaffer at Birmingham Footcare Specialists; Bill Roberts from the Roberts Restaurant Group; and Dr. Bill Koppin from Shades Optical for their backing on bringing you the Voter Guide for the general election. TRANSPARENCY: There are two proposed Michigan Constitution amendments appearing on the November ballot. One (Proposal 2) would overhaul how political districts are drawn every 10 years following the federal census. The goal is to minimize the politics that have essentially allowed the party in power at any time to draw districts so their power cannot be challenged. The second one (Proposal 3) helps enshrine in the Constitution a number of voting rights and expanded voting opportunities. Although businesses are prohibited from donating to candidates for office, corporations are allowed to contribute to ballot issues, which is what I have done by donating advertising space to the campaigns for these two issues. This is only the second time in my decades-long career that I have taken a more activist stance on issues I think must be passed. I wanted readers to hear this first in this space, knowing full well that very few people read campaign finance reports where the inkind donation will appear after the election. David Hohendorf Publisher DavidHohendorf@DowntownPublications.com
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PUBLISHER David Hohendorf NEWS EDITOR Lisa Brody NEWS STAFF/CONTRIBUTORS Hillary Brody Anchill | Dana Casadei Kevin Elliott | Sally Gerak | Austen Hohendorf Bill Seklar | Judith Harris Solomon | Julie Yolles PHOTOGRAPHY/CONTRIBUTORS Laurie Tennent | Chris Ward Laurie Tennent Studio VIDEO PRODUCTION/CONTRIBUTOR Garrett Hohendorf Giant Slayer ADVERTISING DIRECTOR David Hohendorf ADVERTISING SALES Mark Grablowski GRAPHICS/IT MANAGER Chris Grammer OFFICE 124 W. Maple Birmingham MI 48009 248.792.6464 DISTRIBUTION/SUBSCRIPTIONS Mailed monthly at no charge to most homes in Birmingham, Bloomfield Township and Bloomfield Hills. Additional free copies distributed at high foot-traffic locations in downtown Birmingham. For those not receiving a free mail copy, paid subscriptions are available for a $12 annual charge. To secure a paid subscription, go to our website (downtownpublications.com) and click on “subscriptions” in the top index and place your order online or scan the QR Code here.
INCOMING/READER FEEDBACK We welcome feedback on both our publication and general issues of concern in the Birmingham/Bloomfield community. The traditional “letters to the editor” in Downtown are published in our Incoming section and can include written letters or electronic communication. Opinions can be sent via e-mail to firstname.lastname@example.org or mailed to Downtown Publications, 124 W. Maple Road, Birmingham MI 48009. If you are using the mail option, you must include a phone number for verification purposes. WEBSITE downtownpublications.com
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INCOMING Insightful commentary I found David Hohendorf’s thoughts about our August 7th primary results informative (From The Publisher/August). Also thought his comments about possible implications for the November general election insightful, and the primary voter guide provided the best and most balanced review I could find. Steve Fabick Birmingham
The facts on Slotkin The Oakland Confidential (Downtown/September) writers must not know facts when they see them. Elissa Slotkin has not lived in Michigan in two decades and now is living at the family farm (not her farm). The house she owns is in Washington DC where she will live if she wins (or not) the (8th District House) congressional seat she is pursuing. She is here at the urging of the Pelosi team to use her insider history to unseat Congressman Mike Bishop. It is interesting that at least 80 percent of her funding comes from outside Michigan. She is having fundraisers in Massachusetts, New York and Washington DC, and has received large donations from the New York City JStreet PAC and the Citizen United (George Soros) PAC. It is also interesting that her appointment as Assistant Secretary of the Army was held up by the late Senator John McCain. Apparently he was concerned about her judgement in negotiating with Iraq’s government. See the article in “The Hill” on 12/08/14. Then there is the report in The Detroit News that she told her volunteers to intimidate any business that is exhibiting support for her opponent. This is a typical Democratic Party technique to extort people that do not agree with them. The term carpetbagger comes from just after the Civil War. Check its meaning. It certainly applies to Ms. Slotkin. Ronald DiLiddo Rochester Hills (Publisher note: We are well aware of the “facts,” having read all the candidates’ campaign finance reports, including Bishop’s, which show 70 percent of his funding coming from PACs. Further, the appointment hold up by Sen. McCain is not quite as described in this letter and is in direct contrast to the bi-partisan group of national security officials who recently endorsed Slotkin for her past work under two different presidents.) downtownpublications.com
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OAKLAND CONFIDENTIAL Oakland Confidential is a periodic column of political gossip/news, gathered both on and off-the-record by staff members at Downtown newsmagazine. We welcome possible items for this column which can be emailed to: OaklndConfidential@DowntownPublications.com. All sources are kept strictly confidential. The gossip column can be viewed at OaklandConfidential.com. HELLO, EMILY CALLING: In late August, just about every municipal clerk in Michigan received a Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) request for a copy of every ballot cast in the 2016 general election from a mysterious out-ofstate requestor named “Emily” from a New York operation called the “United Impact Group.” According to the Washington Free Beacon, United Impact Group is a non-profit arm of Priorities USA, a super PAC which counts George Soros as a top funder. FOIA requests for ballots from previous elections is not a typical request, clerks say, and it looks like currently Michigan is the only state from which “Emily” and United Impact Group is looking to collect voter data. Bloomfield Hills Clerk Amy Burton said she did not receive a FOIA request from the group, and the clerk for Rochester did not respond to our query, but other local clerks acknowledged they did receive one. Rochester Hills Clerk Tina Barton said she had received it, and expects it will cost the city $62,814.25 to comply. Birmingham City Clerk Cherilynn Mynsberge also received the FOIA request, and said the city is complying. The estimated cost for Birmingham is $9,600. In Bloomfield Township, Deputy Clerk Deana Mondock estimated a total cost of $3,125.32, but denied the request for copies of the ballots, allowing only copies of the absentee ballot applications and envelopes, as the “Township does not have the ability to copy or scan a 19-inch ballot,” and they would have to be sent to a commercial vendor, which the Michigan Bureau of Elections does not allow. SENATE CAMPAIGN FINANCES: Candidates for the 13th State Senate District (Berkley, Birmingham, Bloomfield Hills, Clawson, Rochester, Rochester Hills, Royal Oak and Troy) are ready to throw down on their campaigns, with both Republican Marty Knollenberg and Democratic challenger Mallory McMorrow each having more than $100,000 to spend. Knollenberg, who raised $11,850 in the latest statement period (from July 23 to August 27), has an ending balance of $147,608. McMorrow raised $30,995 during the same quarter and had an ending balance of $123,547. The two candidates lead local races in campaign funds, with MCCREADY Knollenberg raising a total of $263,723 during the election cycle (which includes a $50,000 loan to his campaign), and McMorrow raising $186,648, (including a $15,000 loan). Third in total fundraising is 12th Senate District (Addison BAYER Township, Auburn Hills, Beverly Hills, Bingham Farms, Bloomfield Township, Franklin, Independence, Keego Harbor, Oakland Township, Orion, Oxford, Pontiac, Southfield, Sylvan Lake and Clarkston) candidate Michael McCready who raised $40,850 this period, and $177,210 overall, with just $5,358 as an ending balance. Meanwhile his Democratic challenger Rosemary Bayer has about $37,555 of her total $69,569 raised on hand, of which $11,481 was in the latest period. HOUSE CAMPAIGN FINANCES: Candidates in Michigan’s 40th District House seat (Bloomfield Hills, Bloomfield Township, Birmingham, West Bloomfield) have each raised more than $100,000 during this year’s election cycle. Republican candidate David Wolkinson raised $53,336 during the last period (from July 23 to August 27), and a total of $126,004 for the whole cycle, of which $41,000 was a loan, and he had an ending balance of $19,291. Democrat candidate Mari Manoogian raised $26,514 during the latest period, for a total of $116,624, and an ending balance of $27,942. In WOLKINSON the 45th House District (Rochester, Rochester Hills, Oakland Township), Republican incumbent Michael MANOOGIAN Webber raised $3,500 during the last period, for a total of $53,262. He has an ending balance of $34,023. Democratic challenger Kyle Cooper failed to file a post-primary campaign finance report.
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numerous residents of the district recently received a push poll survey call, presumably from Republican David Wolkinson’s campaign, asking those who received the call if they preferred Wolkinson or Democrat Mari Manoogian, then asking them if they knew that Wolkinson was a businessman, and that Manoogian “lived away in Washington DC.” They also asked how they would feel if they knew her only job experience was “two internships.” That information is actually inaccurate – she held staffer positions in the State Department. Considering that many district residents covet internships for their children, it may be a call that backfires on Wolkinson, who appears to be using hard-edge (dirty tricks) campaign tactics.
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RED TO BLUE? Word from the Michigan Information and Research Service (MIRS) is that several reliably Republican Oakland County state House districts could be in trouble of turning blue in November, in some cases for the first time. The aforementioned 40th District (Birmingham, Bloomfield Hills, Bloomfield Township and West Bloomfield), which has been Republican for as far back as memory serves, is currently held by state Rep. Mike McCready (R) – but MIRS noted that the affluent district voted for Hillary Clinton in 2016, and without an incumbent, it could likely flip to Democrat Mari Manoogian. Rep. Klint Kesto’s (R) 39th District (Commerce Township, West Bloomfield) may look different than when current Oakland County Clerk Lisa Brown (D) held the seat, but MIRS notes the seat is trending Democrat, and they advise Jennifer Suidan to raise her name recognition against Republican Ryan Berman. A district that has been reliably Republican is the 38th, in Novi, where incumbent Rep. Kathy Crawford survived a primary challenge – but may not survive the general election against Novi City Council member Kelly Breen (D). Crawford, and her husband Hugh before her, are long-time local Republican stalwarts, but their time may be over, according to MIRS. Breen had more votes in the primary than both Crawford and her primary challenger together. GIRL POWER: State Sen. Marty Knollenberg (R-Troy, Birmingham, Bloomfield Hills, Rochester, Rochester Hills, Royal Oak) has told us he likes to make one-on-one phone calls to voters in his district to talk to them about their concerns. Word is that part of that strategy is extra steps to make personal appeals to female voters in Oakland County who may hold the key to which political party makes headway this election year. MIRS speculated that his campaign could be in trouble. Those personal KNOLLENBERG phone calls to female voters are part of Knollenberg’s use of micro-targeting data against Democratic MCMARROW challenger Mallory McMorrow, where he makes personal phone calls to female voters, mentioning them by name and asking for their vote. His team is doing the traditional door knocking, of which they’ve hit 17,000 homes so far.
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WHO LET THE DOG OUT? Milford bondsman and Tea Party Republican candidate Matt Maddock isn’t taking any chances this November. “For the first time in the 44th House District (Highland, Milford, Springfield, Waterford, White Lake), we’ve got a Democrat running,” Maddock said. She’s very aggressive. Her name is Laura Dodd. She’s cutesie, she’s knocking on doors, and she’s going to give us a run for the money.” Dodd, who holds a master’s degree in non-profit administration from Notre Dame, where she was recognized for her community service, said she appreciated the compliments. To help his position, Maddock is calling in celebrity bounty hunter Duane “Dog” Chapman to sic his opponent at an October 2 fundraiser featuring Dog and his wife, Beth. Chapman is best known for his show “Dog the Bounty Hunter,” which was cancelled in 2012 by A&E. The show also was placed on hiatus in 2007 following the release of CHAPMAN an audio recording to the National Enquirer in which Dog repeatedly used the n-word in a conversation with his son, Tucker, about the word and his son’s black girlfriend’s sensitivity to it. Dog returned the following season after apologizing on television and making amends with leaders in the black community. “They are a little rough around the edges, but they are two of the most interesting people you will ever meet or hear from,” Maddock said. DOWNTOWN
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FACES Agustin Arbulu gustin Arbulu’s job often keeps him up at night. No, he doesn’t work the night shift and he’s not on call. But as the executive director of the Michigan Department of Civil Rights he’s constantly thinking about ways to make sure everyone in Michigan can achieve the American dream and that there are fair outcomes for all. Even when he should be sleeping. “A lot of times (if) you know a person’s zip code you can almost predict what their outcomes will be,” said Arbulu, a Birmingham resident for almost 30 years. “We want to change that narrative.” Doing that type of work is what drew Arbulu to the job in the first place. After serving on the Michigan Civil Rights Commission – he was appointed by Governor Rick Snyder in 2013 – he began talks with the then executive director of MDCR in 2015, who was set to retire. His colleagues asked him to consider submitting for the job, which he did, and the rest is history. During his tenure thus far the department has done quite a bit, including issuing a racial equity toolkit to help organizations, government, and communities have really honest discussions about equity, what that means and looks like. They also became the first state agency that has an equity officer, embedding equity in everything they do from top to bottom. Some of the staff is going through high-level training around racial equity as well. From the compliance perspective, they’ve assigned investigators to different parts of the state, ranging from Grand Rapids to Macomb. “We want communities who feel they’ve been marginalized, they feel they’ve been discriminated, that they have a place to go,” Arbulu said. “We’re coming out to their area, their communities, and listening to their complaints and their concerns in trying to be responsive. Many times communities feel they’ve been neglected.” Take Flint for example. Earlier this year the department released a one-year update on the Michigan Civil Rights Commission’s investigation into the civil rights implications of the Flint water crisis. The original report – titled The Flint Water Crisis: Systemic Racism Through the Lens of Flint – got into the issues of structure and systemic racism, which both contributed to Flint’s outcome. The report had a huge impact not only on the community but on the department as well. Some of the programs actually stemmed from those findings. “It’s there that we began to recognize the role of implicit bias, the role of equity, the role of trust,” he said. When Arbulu says, “implicit bias,” he’s referring to something we aren’t even aware of and how that makes us act towards certain individuals. He said if you were to do a survey, everyone will say that they are committed to treating everyone equally, but the outcomes don’t always represent that. They began to wonder why. Sometimes it’s the environment, other times it’s that implicit bias he mentioned. But how can people work on those biases if they aren’t fully aware they have them? Naturally, Arbulu had suggestions, which start with taking an implicit bias test and seeing what the results are. After that, you have to be willing to put the work in every day, no matter how difficult the conversation. Arbulu hopes the MDCR can help folks do that. He also has one other hope. “You like to eventually put yourself out of business,” Arbulu said. “There’s not a need for a department of civil rights because civil rights is embedded in everything that we do.”
Story: Dana Casadei
Photo: Laurie Tennent
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MICHIGAN GREAT LAKES AQUACULTURE OPPONENTS CONCERNED FOR WATER QUALITY BY KEVIN ELLIOTT
an Vogler is the owner of the family-operated Harrietta Hills Fish Farm in Harrietta, Michigan and the Grayling Fish Hatchery located near the headwaters of the Au Sable River in Grayling. Vogler is part of the group hoping to expand aquaculture facilities â€“ as fish farms are known â€“ into the state's portion of the Great Lakes. With massive, untapped resources in the northern portions of Lake Huron and Lake Michigan, there has already been a push to establish giant "net-pen" aquaculture farms in the Great Lakes. Vogler, who also serves as president of the Michigan Aquaculture Association, said net-pen farms, or net cage enclosures, can be used to raise trout or other species in the Great Lakes. He and other proponents believe the practice could supply thousands of new jobs and millions to the economy over the next decade. Further, it's farming they say can be done without a massive carbon footprint associated with energy consumption that other inland locations may need. Opponents of net-pen aquaculture facilities in the Great Lakes say the large amount of food and fish waste that would come from the farms would wreak havoc on water quality in sensitive areas, and could be a breeding ground for fish diseases. Those opposed also say antibiotics and other chemicals used to treat fish would be dumped into the Great Lakes, creating additional water quality issues.
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While the push for Great Lakes aquaculture facilities has seemed to cool following a statewide study and subsequent attorney general opinion, those on both sides say it's bound to return. Meanwhile, the debate between using the state's natural resources and creating facilities considered more ecofriendly continues on the Au Sable River in Grayling, where Vogler's latest operation is being considered by the court system.
lready in the business since 1997, Vogler saw an opportunity around 2012, when a friend contacted him about the Grayling Fish Hatchery that was being operated by Crawford County as a tourist attraction. Long-since shuttered as an active rearing facility, the friend was contracted by the county to stock the hatchery's raceway with rainbow trout from Memorial Day to Labor Day each year. However, costs to keep the facility going threatened to shutter the hatchery completely. "We looked at the potential of the facility, and said if we can get the permits to operate at capacity all year round, like a normal farm, we could be there in the summer and continue the recreation and tourism function. The only way it works economically is for us to be there all year. "The county was receptive, and we were pretty popular at that point and time." But Vogler went from being considered a savior to being demonized as a businessman willing to pollute one of the nation's most pristine and sought after rivers â€“ often times referred to by aficionados as the 'Holy Waters' â€“ soon after seeking a permit from the Michigan Department of Environmental Quality (DEQ) to operate and release fish waste, mainly uneaten food and fecal matter. "We began getting the paperwork together to get a permit," he said. "Water from the Au Sable flows in, and the water flows out, and a certain amount of waste goes out with it. But it's a regulated amount. We can't do more than that. The DEQ spent a year analyzing and doing background work to determine what the appropriate levels would be." Almost immediately, Vogler began getting pushback on the facility by the Anglers of the Au Sable association, which represents hundreds of fishermen around the state that consider that portion of the river as sacrosanct. Joined by other conservation and environmental groups, the Sierra Club and the Angler's filed suit against the DEQ and its issuance of the permit that allows fish waste to flow into the river from the farm. Joe Hemming, president of the Anglers of the Au Sable organization, said Vogler pulled a bait and switch move on the community by seemingly coming in to help the tourism aspect, and placing a wasteproducing fish farm on a highly sensitive river considered throughout the country as a blue ribbon trout stream. "When (the county) walked away from it, it was losing money. Then Vogler entered and said he could operate the hatchery and put some fish in the raceway," Hemming said. "Then, after that, he said, 'If I'm going to do it, I have to do it year round, and make some money.' That led to the full-time operation, and to the county giving him a lease for 20 years for a buck. He got a sweetheart deal â€“ but instead of a few fish, there are a whole lot more, and all year round. "I think it was a case of him getting his foot in the door, and then once he was in, he said, 'I really need this if you want me to stay.' The county wasn't desirous of having it go vacant, but I'm not sure how much effort they put into looking to alternative uses for it and how many were aware of the situation." The Michigan Sierra Club and the Anglers of the Au Sable lost their lawsuit against the DEQ. Hemming, a Birmingham-based attorney, said the Anglers filed an appeal in the case. Additionally, the Anglers of the Au Sable have filed suit against Vogler and Harrietta Hills Trout Farm, claiming it is violating the Michigan Environmental Protection Act for impairing the Au Sable River through its operation. "We aren't anti-farming, but if he's going to operate there, he's got to
operate with the proper technology to protect the environment," Hemming said. "If he can't afford it, he shouldn't operate there. If you can't pay for the proper protections, then you need to go somewhere else." Hemming pointed to a recent outbreak of parasites at the fish farm, known as ich. Treatment of the parasite involves a chemical known as formalin, which contains formaldehyde. Hemming said he and others are concerned because formalin was then released into the Au Sable through the treatment process, exposing anyone downstream to formaldehyde, which is a known carcinogen in high doses. While Vogler said the treatment was done with approval of the proper state agencies and under the guidance of a certified veterinarian specializing in such treatments, Hemming said people using the waterway should have been alerted. The incident, combined with the loading of nutrients from fish waste, Hemming said, could have negative impacts on the river. He said such operations should take extra precautions to ensure wastes are filtered out before being sent downstream, and that there are better ways to undertake aquaculture in the state, albeit, not as affordable for all businesses. "I think Vogler's choice of location has given a black eye to aquaculture," he said. "There's a division in the aquaculture community of what he's done... He's trying to do it on a shoestring, on a blueribbon trout stream." At Bill's Restaurant in Bloomfield Hills, Michigan rainbow trout tops the list of entrees. Well-known among diners and anglers throughout the state, trout farmed for food has grown dramatically since the 1950s, with the United States leading the world in ecologically responsible trout farming. A close relative of salmon, farmed rainbow trout is considered one of the safest fish to eat and is noted for high levels of vitamin B and flavor. "It's an extremely clean fish. From a pallet standpoint, it's extremely fresh," said Patrick Roettele, corporate executive chef for Roberts Restaurant Group, which features variations of Michigan farmed trout dishes at several of the group's restaurants, including Bill's, Beverly Hills Grill and Cafe ML. "There are other (fish producers), like in Idaho. It's fresh, but it's shipped in cryovac. It's not as pure in my eyes. If you can get something that came out of the water within 48 hours, I'll take that all day long." The fish, Roettele said, are BAP certified, standing for Best Aquaculture Practices. The certification is considered a trusted and comprehensive program that takes into account environmental, social and economic performances of the supply chain. "That's the eco-friendly, sustainability side of things," Roettele said. "And we try to pull items that are very local." Specifically, the rainbow trout Roettele purchases for the restaurant group comes from the Indian Brook Trout Farm, located in Jackson, Michigan. The farm is one of three Michigan-based trout farms in the state that raise fish for commercial sale. The other two commercialsized trout farms are operated by Vogler.
wen Ballow, owner of Indian Brook Trout Farm, is taking a different approach to aquaculture. With an educational background in fisheries biology, Ballow spent 30 years in the medical sales field before entering the aquaculture industry. Starting with a small fishing farm targeting tourists, Ballow began scouting
locations for a new venture. "When I was going to retire, my son was graduating from Michigan State and was in the agribusiness field. He bent my ear and said he wanted to specialize in aquaculture, and asked if I was interested in developing it," Ballow said. In looking for ideal locations, Ballow realized that Absopure draws its water from artesian wells in Jackson, Michigan. As a natural artesian well, the high quality water flows at 50 degrees throughout the
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year, and is drawn to the surface without using pumps. The water source means the foundation of the facility can be maintained without a large carbon footprint, and with no chance of failure from power outages. Then, before starting to develop the facility, Ballow began working with the DEQ and Michigan Department of Agriculture, which licenses and permits aquaculture facilities in the state. "We designed the system to capture any effluent going into the river system and made it bigger than what we needed. Then we built the farm in front of it and expanded the farm," Ballow said. "Most people do it opposite. They are constantly trying to build additional containment so they don't exceed limits, but they are constantly exceeding." Ballow said water drawn into the facility comes from below the area's drinking water aquifer. After it's filtered, it's returned to the Sandstone Creek, and essentially the drinking water source. Therefore, the facility helps to recharge the drinking water aquifer. He said the facility doesn't use any antibiotics, hormones or pesticides. Additionally, the Sandstone Creek isn't a trout stream, which has another benefit. "You never want to put a farm in the same ecosystem that (the fish you're raising) live in. If you put one up north that's a trout stream, so if they escape or get a disease, they will spread that," Ballow said. "If they escape here, they die. So, if they escape they will swim back and we can capture them. That's the idea. We haven't had any escapes." In addition to the unique recirculating system that Indian Brook uses, Ballow also instituted a fish processing center on premises, as well as his own distribution network. The combination allows him to grow high volumes of fish, process the fish with no waiting, and sell directly to restaurants and grocers in and between the metro Detroit and Chicago areas, with deliveries in less than two days. "We harvest within 24 hours of delivery to customers, so people that really appreciate that are chefs and those who want a higher quality product and longer shelf life," he said. Locally, Indian Brook supplies Meijer Stores, Plum Market, Nino Salvaggio, Meeting House, Beverly Hills Grill, Bill's, Royal Park Hotel, Joe Muer's Bloomfield Hills, Cafe ML, The Reserve and others. Indian Brook has been embraced by conservation and environmental groups throughout the state, as well as some state lawmakers, as an example of what they say the future of aquaculture should look like in Michigan. Ballow said the challenge for many getting into the business to develop the way he has is the large costs upfront. Still, he said he hopes to expand operations, and encourages other aquaculture farms, which he hopes he can do business with as a processor and distribution system. "We have five full-time biologists, all who graduated from Michigan State. The goal is to expand and have each run a different farm, allowing them to hire more graduates," he said. "Hopefully, this will continue to expand."
till, he said one formula may not work for all aquaculture businesses. Each location may have unique circumstances. After spending a few hundred thousand dollars to scout locations, he said most he looked at wouldn't work for his initial plans. Hatcheries producing over a certain amount of fish also must have an approved National Pollutant Discharge Elimination System and permit. Initial development and testing for that cost between $150,000 and $200,000, Ballow said. "It's about a four-year process from the start to having the first product, so we are about four years ahead of anyone," he said. "But truthfully, we will buy all the fish they can grow. We can process and have the sales and distribution network, and we will offer our technology and biologists to get them off the ground. "We are trying to encourage everyone to do it this way, and we are willing to help them." The facilities operated by Vogler and Ballow represent two different approaches to aquaculture in the state. On one hand, Vogler and others, including the Michigan Farm Bureau, believe the state's natural
resources â€“ particularly the Great Lakes â€“ make Michigan the ideal place to expand aquaculture. On the other hand, those concerned with environmental issues and ecology believe the state is ripe for expansion, but with a different set of practices and regulations that better protect our freshwater resources. In Michigan, the aquaculture industry and state agencies are working together to grow the state's current industry into a major agriculture sector. In 2011, the aquaculture industry and the Michigan Quality of Life Departments (the Department of Agriculture and Rural Development (MDARD), the DEQ and Department of Natural Resources (DNR) created a road map to help aquaculture operators understand the regulatory process.
ichigan's State Veterinarian James Averill, who also serves as MDARD's Director of Animal Husbandry, said the state licenses aquaculture facilities and others raising stock for food or stocking for public waters. Currently, he said there are 55 such aquaculture facilities in Michigan,
with two pending permitting. For his part, Averill said the department considers the species being proposed to be raised to see they are approved under state law, how they are raising the fish, whether they are practicing proper biosecurity and other factors. "When they get to a certain size, they need a NPDES (National Pollutant Discharge Elimination System) permit, and that's when they look at the environmental impact," he said. "We have three different types of aquaculture," Averill said. "Those that flow through; then you have ponds, whether it's a big gravel quarry or a backyard pond, that are more times than not spring fed in some manner; and the third is the recirculating facility, those that are bringing in well water. That's where you have tilapia type systems. Those are the three major types in the state. "When looking at recirculating systems, it's all contained there and the water stays in the system, so the impact to the environment is pretty minimal. With ponds or flowthrough, there is more potential there for the waste from the fish to get into the waterway, but some of that is beneficial for the ecosystem. But too much of a good thing can be bad, so it's a balance. That's where the DEQ comes in when trying to help that balance." In addition to nutrient loading associated with fish waste, Averill said the spread of fish disease is possible, not only within the stock being raised, but within ecosystems downstream. "As the state veterinarian, if it's severe enough, we can order those fish destroyed, and in doing so you are looking out for that ecosystem," he said. "There are approved treatments. As long as that producer is working with a vet and doing it an the approved rate, they are OK. The FDA is looking at the environmental toxicity. It's a limited number of products approved for use in aquaculture." While each facility produce similar fish of arguably equal quality, how and where those fish are raised serve as the center of controversy in Michigan and the state's future role in aquaculture, the fastest growing area of food production in the world's quest to feed some 9.5 billion people by 2050. Worldwide, aquaculture provides for more than half of the fish we consume, with about 85 to 90 percent of fish consumed in the United States being imported, according to the Michigan Aquaculture Association. While past aquaculture production in Michigan focused on fish for use as bait, pond stocking and fee fishing, the association believes the future growth of the state's aquaculture industry is in production of fish for human consumption. "About 86 percent of aquaculture comes from Southeast Asia, and 60 percent comes from China, alone," Vogler said. "About one percent of global aquaculture comes from the United States. That could be dramatically expanded with Michigan."
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2526 GOLF CREST DR., ROCHESTER HILLS| 5BR/4.2BA | 7,258 TOTAL SF Extensive details throughout the home offer rich character and elegance. Finished, spacious, lower level with family room, billiard area & exercise room. Oversized 3 car garage. Custom built by Joe Craig. Front courtyard with paver patio. Ready to move right in.
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1772 HERON RIDGE, BLOOMFIELD HILLS | 4BR/4.2BA | 7,385 TOTAL SF Located in private, gated enclave on ravine setting with serene views. Finished walkout lower level with possible 5th bedroom. Lower brick paver terraces & expansive decks off main floor, 4 fireplaces, 4-car garage & much more. Move-in Perfection.
53357 PONDVIEW DRIVE, SHELBY TWP | 5BR/6BA | 7,816 TOTAL SF Tranquil view of private pond. Open floor plan. Two-story great room. Finished walkout with family room, bar, second kitchen, billard room, exercise room, theatre room & storage. Easy access to pool. 4 car garage. Located in enclave of spectacular homes.
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555 PARKLAND HILLS DRIVE, OAKLAND TWP. | 4BR/4.1BA | 6,081 TOTAL SF Prepare to be “wowed.” One of a kind home with chef’s kitchen, spacious first floor master suite. Amazing finished lower level walk out with exercise area, office, billiard area and more. Spectacular deck and private, treed yard with extensive gardens.
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The largest producer of rainbow trout in the world is Chile, where they are raised within large net cages, or net-pens, in the sea. In the United States, about three-quarters of rainbow trout production comes from Idaho. In all, the United States produces about seven percent of the world's trout, with about 15 percent of that exported. Vogler said he hopes to see an expansion of aquaculture. However, efforts by some aquaculture proponents in the state, including the Michigan Farm Bureau, were thwarted last year, in part by an opinion published by Michigan Attorney General Bill Schuette that found aquaculture isn't legal in the state's Great Lakes under current law. At the center of the issue is the desire to use "net-pen" farms, which would keep potentially hundreds of thousands of fish in underwater nets or solid-structure cages that function as pens within to raise fish. The pens are anchored to the bottom of the body water and may float near the shore or be located further off shore and reachable by boat.
roponents of the facilities say Michigan's waters of the Great Lakes would provide an ideal location for such operations, and would do so with a small carbon footprint. They further claim expanding aquaculture could produce up to $100 million and 1,500 new jobs over the next decade, focusing on trout, shrimp and tilapia. Opponents of expanding aquaculture to include net-pen farms say job and revenue productions are vastly overstated. Further, they say there are too many risks involved to open the Great Lakes to such operations. Those risks include waste produced by fish that could impact water quality and the ecosystem of the lakes, as well as the possibility of escapes of fish that could wreak havoc on existing habitat. A push for expanding aquaculture in Michigan came in December of 2014, when two concept proposals for possible commercial net-pen operations came to the attention of the Michigan departments of Agriculture and Rural Development, Natural Resources and Environmental Quality. The plans included fisheries in northern Lake Michigan, near Escanaba in the Little and Big Bays de Noc in Michigan's Upper Peninsula, and another for northern Lake Huron, in the lower peninsula in Lake Huron, near Alpena and Rogers City. The push was the first from fish farmers to expand open net-pen facilities in Michigan's portion of the Great Lakes, while similar farms have been operating in northern Ontario in Lake Huron, in the Georgian Bay area, for more than two decades. Those include facilities operated by Coldwater Fisheries, which was planning to invest $1.2 million for farming and processing facilities. To weigh the potential positive and negative impacts of the fish farms, the three state agencies, collectively referred to as the Quality of Life departments, formed a multi-agency panel to weigh in on the proposals. The panel released six reports, including one science-based review, one regulatory-based review, three economic-based reviews and one report focusing on stakeholder input. The final conclusion published in March of 2016, was that the agencies didn't recommend pursuing commercial net-pen aquaculture. "Given the ecological and environmental risks and uncertainties, as pointed out by the Science Panel and with further information provided through public input, commercial net-pen aquaculture would pose significant risks to fishery management and other types of recreation and tourism. Furthermore, both collaborating management interests and tribal nation interests would likely not agree to Michigan moving forward and pose a significant challenge in any attempts to do so," the panel stated in a final report. "The $3.3 million to implement a commercial net-pen aquaculture by the state to protect the public's interest in the Great Lakes and provide the stated expected service to the industry are not provided through any conventional funding models available to the QOL agencies. There would need to be a new funding stream identified for this industry effort to support initial costs as well as the $2.33 million needed annually to monitor and maintain the program and protection of the state's resources.
This level of public investment for an estimated return of $10 million (under the modeled scenarios for two facilities) does not appear to be a prudent use of the state's resources at this time." Additionally, the panel found the regulatory authority doesn't currently exist to issue registrations for commercial aquaculture in the Great Lakes, a finding that was supported by an opinion given in January 2017, by the Michigan Attorney General. "It is my opinion, therefore, that only operations that meet the definition of an 'aquaculture facility' under the Michigan Aquaculture Development Act may be registered to engage in aquaculture in the state of Michigan," the state attorney general wrote. "Under the Act, an aquaculture operation in the Michigan waters of the Great Lakes could not be registered to engage in aquaculture because the operation would not meet the current definition of an 'aquaculture facility' since Michigan waters of the Great Lakes are not 'privately controlled waters' as defined in the Act." Further, the Quality of Life panel noted the DEQ must make a National Pollutant Discharge Elimination System permitting decision regardless of whether the agencies have the ability to license an aquaculture facility. Therefore, any policy regarding aquaculture must prevent preempting the DEQ's permitting process, which could result in litigation. "While not recommending the pursuit of commercial net-pen aquaculture in the public waters of the Great Lakes, the state can and will continue to work within existing authorities to assist the industry in development of well-designed flow through, closed and recirculating aquaculture facilities." Nick Schroek, director of clinical programs and associate professor at the University of Detroit Law School, said the inability to get a permit for a net-pen facility has a chilling effect on whether businesses will look to locate in Michigan. "Being the Great Lakes are held in public trust, the legislature has the sole authority to make decisions about the Great Lakes, the bottomlands, and the lakes themselves," he said. "The use of the Great Lakes is sort of prohibited outside of traditionally accepted uses. Maybe someone could make an argument that aquaculture is part of that... that would start in the legislature." Schroek is the former director of the Environmental Law Clinic at Wayne State University, which represented the Sierra Club in the case filed against the DEQ's permitting process for Henrietta Hills Trout Farm. Frank Krist, vice president of the Hammond Bay Area Anglers Association, located just north of Roger's City in northern Lake Michigan, said the proposed net-pen facilities in the Great Lakes drew attention from the anglers, but that interest has since dwindled. "After the Quality of Life Departments issued their final recommendations against allowing Great Lakes Pen Aquaculture, the interest declined to very low levels," he said. "Currently, I'm not aware of any efforts to pursue the issue. "There has been much interest over the operations of the aquaculture facility located in Grayling, however."
ogler, who operates the Grayling facility, said he is being demonized by some anglers in the state who fear he could harm the river that flows through his fish farm operation. However, he claims there's no evidence the facility has caused any negative issues since he's been operating. And, while he said it's fair to compare net-pen facilities with his flowthrough facility, both can and are operated in a way that can provide a benefit to the state. And, although the Quality of Life Departments have made their recommendations, Vogler said he hopes the issue on net-pen aquaculture is revisited and opened in the state. Under permits issued by the state to operate the facility, Vogler said he is able to produce 100,000 pounds of fish at any time, but hasn't
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gone beyond 70,000 pounds. Any production beyond that amount, he said, would require special filtration systems that would stop waste from fish food and fecal matter from entering the river. Currently, there's no waste capture measures, as approved by the Michigan Department of Environmental Quality (DEQ). Professor Jan Stevenson, with Michigan State University's Center for Water Studies, specializes in how ecological systems respond to environmental changes, such as nutrients from fish waste. His work has helped the state DEQ develop discharge standards in Michigan. "If you add nutrients, or fish waste, one of the big issues is that you're bringing up masses of nutrients into a region where they weren't before. They have to go someplace, which is usually downstream or into a lake," he said. "This is a problem for all kinds of feeding operations, not just aquaculture, but also for chicken and other animals, and that spreads around the watershed." While some degree of nutrients may not be harmful, Stevenson said too much can stimulate algal growth and bacteria, which need inorganic nutrients to grow. "You also do something else, which is interesting, and kind of a threat," he said. "Many Michigan waters have low nutrient conditions, so when you add nutrients to inland waters, you relieve the species in that habitat competing for nutrients. Low nutrients are a natural stress, so adding more food or species that need nutrients, or even high nutrients, allow them to invade that habitat, and that allows algae to cause problems. "The benefit can be that you get more fish. Often, you get an increase in nutrients and there are more invertebrates and more fish that eat smaller animals. But there are some species that look like they might be sensitive to nutrient concentrations, and those are game fish." Stevenson said there tends to be a correlation between high nutrients, or phosphorus from fish feces, and negative effects on game fish, such as trout. High algae growth can also lead to aesthetic problems or harmful algae, such has been the case in southern portions of Lake Erie.
hen considering the effects of netpens and flow-through facilities on water quality and ecology, Stevenson said the concentration amount and how much those amounts are diluted come into play. When concentrations rise too much over the background nutrient levels of a waterbody, it may reach a tipping point and lead to negative effects. However, that tipping point depends on how much nutrients the water had to begin. For instance, Stevenson said at about 20 to 25 micrograms per liter, you start seeing high or intermediate levels of algae that could be harmful to some fish species. If a wetland system already has a measurement of 35 micrograms per liter of water, then the tipping point is higher than water of say, northern Lake Michigan, which has nutrient levels closer to 10 micrograms per liter of water. Ultimately, he said he doesn't believe there are any good spots in Michigan's Great Lakes that have low nutrient and cold water for trout where net-pen facilities would be prudent. "I think the risk is too great in the Great Lakes. These are amazing places. We should wait until they can scientifically prove they aren't going to be a problem," he said. Better yet, Stevenson said, it would be better to capture nutrients and repurpose them to grow algae that could be used for biofuels or other bi-products, uses he said Michigan State University is already exploring. "It might not break a profit on some of the bi-products, but you're causing less damage to the system," he said. "Seldom is there a positive effect. When you do a total value check on the life cycle situation, it's probably cost effective to close that loop." In addition to nutrients, net-pen facilities are breeding grounds for
dangerous fish diseases, including whirling disease, which effects native fish species. "They can accelerate the spread of disease within the net pen and around it," said Dan Eichinger, executive director of the Michigan United Conservation Clubs, which opposes net-pen facilities in the Great Lakes. "We aren't anticipating any efforts made here between now and next calendar year, but we will always be on guard," Eichinger said. "These kinds of efforts, particularly when it concerns the Great Lakes, aren't going to decrease in number as time passes." Bryan Burroughs, executive director of Trout Unlimited, which opposes net-pen facilities in Michigan, also said the push to expand net-pen facilities in the Great Lakes seems to have been too high of a hurdle to clear, but could re-emerge in the future. "Canadian companies are still trying in Canada to expand," he said. "We found, essentially, that Ontario permitted about eight of them 20 or 30 years ago, and about four or six were still operating. At least one was closed for a violation." Burroughs said permitting in Ontario has since been revamped and made new facilities more difficult to open.
arc Gaden, a spokesman for the Great Lakes Fishery Commission, said there are no plans in other states to open net-pen facilities in the Great Lakes. The commission operates a treaty between states and Canadian provinces bordering the Great Lakes. The treaty aims to have the states and provinces, along with tribal governments of each, work together to ensure the environmental health of the shared water resources. "We have a responsibility to help them work together, and they agree that if they do anything that would have an effect they should talk about it within the context of the agreement," Gaden said of the commission. "We don't have the authority to license them yea or nay, but we do have the responsibility to find consensus in keeping each other informed from what is going on." The chances of net-pen aquaculture to expand in the state will rely heavily on future legislatures, and whether they are willing to expand the state's law. State Senator Rick Jones (R-Eaton) said while he's a supporter of aquaculture, he sponsored a bill in 2017 to prohibit any aquaculture facilities in the Great Lakes, or inland lakes or streams. The bill, which was co-sponsored by senators Steve Bieda (D-Warren), Rebekah Warren (D-Ann Arbor), Marty Knollenberg (R-Troy) and others, has failed to make it out of committee. A similar bill in the state House was introduced and also stalled in committee there. "Aquaculture is a good thing for the state as long as it's done safely, inland and waste is captured and not put into a river or lake," Jones said. "It has a great future in Michigan. However, there were plans at one time to put giant nets out in the Great Lakes and put massive quantities of fish in them and that would have created a high concentration of poo in an area. That's a huge problem." While Jones said neither bill is likely to move, there are no permits to be issued by the state to allow for such facilities. Whether that will change is up to future lawmakers. "Personally, I hope it will be a dead issue," he said. "But there's always somebody that will bring it up again. 'Let's put a giant net fish farm on the Great Lakes.' I think it's that's a horrible idea." Ernie Birchmeier, with the Michigan Farm Bureau, said the agency is supportive of regulations put in place that could potentially allow for aquaculture to move forward. While the net-pen issue is currently stalled, he said new leadership in the state may look at it differently. "We watched and studied it closely. Unfortunately, it stalled out," he said of the efforts to open up net-pen facilities. "There's a tremendous amount of opportunity here, but we want to make sure we do it correct way."
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Priscilla Tsai fter years of struggling with acne Priscilla Tsai decided to take matters into her own hands. Little did she know she was about to create a multi-million dollar business. Well, maybe she did. When asked if she ever saw Cocokind – her skincare line that is not only certified organic and socially conscious but also based around superfoods – taking off the way it has, Tsai laughed. “I think I did,” she chuckled. “I always had faith in what we could create and become and the impact we would have on people and women.” Since its inception in 2014, the San Fransisco-based company has made quite the impact, now selling everything from facial moisturizers to baby care products and makeup both online and in thousands of stores across the U.S. It's even in Michigan’s own Plum Market. So how did it go from Tsai making products for herself to this? The Bloomfield Hills native, who went to Lahser High School, spent years dealing with skin issues, like hormonal acne and really sensitive skin. While in college she saw a dermatologist, who put her on medications and gave her topical creams. This led to her face becoming so sensitive that she often had to put moisturizer on at night to stop the stinging. Then she started having some stomach and gut issues due to taking those antibiotics every day for three years. After that, she decided to quit a lot of her acne medication and learned more about plant oils, like avocado oil. “I started to make my own recipes, and at the time I was in New York, I had just graduated from college and I was working in finance,” Tsai said. She would stay in finance on Wall Street for about four years before quitting and starting Cocokind. No one in her family was surprised she wanted to start her own company – her mom owns Ebinger Manufacturing in Brighton, so it was in her DNA.
When it came to making it a skin care line though, even she was surprised. Tsai had confidence in her products, her breakouts were less frequent and her skin felt better, but anyone who has dealt with acne knows that the insecurity of it is always there. “It’s hard to imagine yourself starting something that you really struggled with your whole life,” Tsai said. “It just never really was something I had seriously considered until the very end when I was like, ‘Ok, this is something I’m obviously really passionate about. I know way more than the average person and it’s really healing my skin, and other people are loving it, too.’” People also love its very affordable price. “Having really solid prices was really important to me because beauty is something where people always think that high prices means better,” she said. “That’s definitely something I wanted to prove wrong.” Now, she’s selling at a lower price point than many and helping others along the way through the Cocokind Impact Foundation, which provides grants between $2,500-$10,000 to female entrepreneurs in the health, wellness, and sustainability industries. The grantees are also matched up with a mentor for one year. For Tsai, being a first-time entrepreneur has been an insane learning experience but much like before they began, she feels good about their future. “I don’t have any specific goal that I am trying to meet,” she said. “I’m very happy to kind of keep doing exactly what we’re doing, just in a bigger and better way as every day passes.” Story: Dana Casadei
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NOVEMBER 6, 2018
GUIDE Special Publication of Downtown Newsmagazine
PRESENTED BY THE FOLLOWING COMMUNITY SPONSORS: ASTREIN’S CREATIVE JEWELERS BIRMINGHAM FOOTCARE SPECIALISTS ROBERTS RESTAURANT GROUP SHADES OPTICAL
Voters should choose their politicians not the other way around. Politicians and lobbyists draw voting maps behind closed doorsWKDWGLUHFWO\EHQHĆ“W themselves, instead of putting the interests of voters or communities of MichiganĆ“UVW
Proposal 2 is F-I-T for Michigan! FAIR - Votersâ€”not lobbyists and politiciansâ€”will draw election maps that cannot give one party or candidate an unfair advantage
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VOTER GUIDE 11.18
This November General Election Voter Guide provides readers with candidates' answers to questions posed by Downtown newsmagazine. To be represented in the Voter Guide, candidates had to return a questionnaire. Only one candidate failed to respond to Downtown newsmagazine. Downtown newsmagazine's recommendations of the best candidate for each of the offices appear on the Endnote page in the final pages of this edition.
9th District U.S. House / Andy Levin vs. Candius Stearns
11th District U.S. House / Haley Stevens vs. Lena Epstein
Bloomfield Township, Franklin, Beverly Hills, Berkley, Royal Oak, Ferndale, and part of Macomb County, including Eastpointe, Mount Clemens, St. Clair Shores, Roseville and Clinton Township.
Birmingham, Bloomfield Hills, southwest Rochester Hills, Auburn Hills, west Oakland lakes area and south Oakland County, along with parts of western Wayne Country, including Plymouth, Livonia and Canton.
12th District Michigan Senate / Rosemary Bayer vs. Michael McCready
13th District Michigan Senate / Mallory Marrow vs. Marty Knollenberg
40th District Michigan House / Mari Manoogian vs. David Wolkinson
12th District County Commission / Cherie Horrigan vs. Shelly Goodman Taub
13th District County Commission / Marcia Gershenson vs. Michelle Dinardo
48th District Court / Diane D'Agostini vs. Amy Wechsler
Bloomfield Hills School Board
Birmingham School Board
Bloomfield Township, Franklin, Beverly Hills, Pontiac, Auburn Hills, Oakland Township, along with Orion, Independence and Oxford townships.
Birmingham, Bloomfield Hills, Rochester, Rochester Hills, Troy, Clawson, Royal Oak, Berkley.
Birmingham, Bloomfield Hills, Bloomfield Township, along with part of West Bloomfield.
Birmingham, Bloomfield Hills, Bloomfield Township.
Southwest Bloomfield Township, part of West Bloomfield and part of Farmington Hills.
november 6 general election voter guide Bloomfield Township
TAX CUTS Do you support the tax cuts enacted by Congress at the urging of the Trump administration? Explain your position.
Levin lives in Bloomfield Township, attended University of Michigan and received his law degree from Harvard. He was the acting director for the Michigan Department of Energy, Labor & Growth, and Chief Workforce Officer for the state of Michigan. He currently run an energy company. ENVIRONMENTAL REGULATIONS When President Trump came to office, he began to roll back a number of environmental regulations enacted by the past administration and reversed a number of decisions dating back to the Clinton administration that were designed to promote a cleaner environment. Do you support the administration’s efforts to minimize environmental regulations? We have a moral obligation to protect and preserve our land, air and water, starting with our Great Lakes. We have to tackle overtaxed and outdated sewer systems that threaten waterways like the Clinton River and add pollutants to Lake St. Clair. Indeed, we need to protect our water not just in the wilderness, but also in Flint and every other city. Above all, we must address climate change with tremendous urgency. Saving our planet and our people from global warming is a moral imperative, but it's also an economic opportunity. I created Lean & Green Michigan to help businesses and nonprofits retrofit their buildings for energy efficiency, water efficiency and renewable energy like solar. We have facilitated almost $13 million in clean energy projects, creating well-paying jobs, making our businesses more efficient and competitive, and reducing our carbon footprint. I know from experience that we can speed the deployment of electric vehicles, solar, wind, biomass, and other clean energy along with advanced batteries to store the new energy we create. In Congress, I will help make our state a leader in clean energy technology, which will create reliable, good-paying
No, I do not. The GOP tax plan gave corporations and the wealthiest Americans a huge, permanent windfall while working families got tiny cuts that expire after several years. This plan was not a reform; it was a shakedown. How unfair was it? The richest 1 percent of Americans will reap 83 percent of the benefit. Especially given that the distribution of income and wealth in this country is already the most unfair it’s been in a century, that’s a moral obscenity. Let’s implement a fair tax system where corporations and the wealthy pay their share to fix our roads, protect Social Security and Medicare, and provide quality education for every child. BUDGET/NATIONAL DEBT In the most recent budget adopted by Congress, and in tax legislation approved by both the House and Senate, the national debt has continued to skyrocket. There has been talk of Congress now attempting to reduce the deficit by cutting back on programs such as Social Security, Medicare and Medicaid. Do you support trimming these programs to reduce the budget? Are there other areas of the budget that should be targeted to bring the budget back under control and over time reduce the national debt? No, we should not cut Social Security, Medicare or Medicaid in order to balance the budget. These programs are the safety net for the middle class, and we must not only protect them but improve and expand them. The Trump tax giveaway adds $1 trillion to the national debt, so start by repealing that. Then let’s cut back on the massive $700 billion increase in defense spending approved in the omnibus budget Congress approved in March. We need to maintain a strong defense that maintains our military superiority over other countries, but we can trim military spending further without calling that into question. We should emphasize diplomacy and multilateralism rather than acting as the world’s policeman. And we need to turn back to nuclear disarmament, reducing our stockpiles along with those of Russia, China and others, further decreasing spending that way. NATIONAL HEALTH CARE Despite attempts by the current administration and Republican members of Congress, a substantial number of persons continue to sign up for health insurance under the Affordable Care Act, sometimes referred to as Obamacare. What is your position on the current Affordable Care Act and the issue of a national health care plan in general?
Health care is a basic human right. Period. Having access to quality health care and affordable prescription drugs shouldn't be contingent upon your zip code. As a cancer survivor and the father of two sons who live with Crohn's disease, I understand the physical, emotional, and financial toll of chronic illness and why it is so important that we pass Medicare for All and address the astronomical costs of prescription drugs. If elected, I will fight any efforts by the Trump administration to deprive Michigan families of medical care, I will work to fix problems with the ACA, and I will work to ensure access to health care for every American. DACA/IMMIGRATION POLICY President Trump has eliminated the policy governing Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) that granted deportation relief for immigrants who came here as children (under the age of 16), which was created in 2012 by the Obama administration. Do you support continuation of the DACA program? Should Congress move to find a common ground that will provide a path to citizenship for illegal immigrants? Yes, I support continuation of the DACA program. Trump should never have ended the program, and his legal reasoning has been rejected by the courts. Ending DACA would represent a humanitarian and economic disaster for our state. Michigan stands to lose $13 million in local and state taxes and $400 million in economic activity each year if our Dreamers are deported. We must provide these bright young people with a path to citizenship. I also support broader immigration reform. I’ve been active on this issue for decades, ever since I co-founded a group called Immigration Reform, Advocacy, Training and Education after the Immigration Reform and Control Act was passed in 1986. There are approximately 11 million undocumented people in this country. The vast majority of them are working, contributing to the economy, living peacefully, and doing nothing more than my own ancestors did – seeking a better life in America. The 9th District is full of such families. We need a reasonable system where people who have spent “x” number of years living, working and paying taxes here, can become citizens of this country over time. Ripping families with clean records apart simply because they came to the U.S. illegally or overstayed a visa many years ago is immoral and counterproductive. With birth rates dropping, we need immigrants to help revitalize our cities and inner suburbs and fill out our workforce, which otherwise will face critical shortages in the years ahead. GUN CONTROL What is your position on the need for added gun control legislation? Which, if any, of the following gun control measures could you support: Requiring
jobs, protect the environment and keep communities safe from pollutants.
U.S. CONGRESS - 9TH DISTRICT
City of Southfield
Southfield Twp. Lathrup Village
Bloomfield Township, along with Franklin, Beverly Hills, Berkley, Royal Oak, Ferndale, and parts of Macomb County, including Eastpointe, Mount Clemens, St. Clair Shores, Roseville and Clinton Township.
expanded background checks? Background checks at gun shows? Banning bump stocks? Raising the age on the purchase of weapons? Banning military style weapons? As the father of four kids educated in public schools, the bottom drops out of my stomach every time one of these tragedies strikes. As a person of faith, I’m sick of hearing the “thoughts and prayers” coming from the very people who are supposed to take action. Congress does nothing because the Republican party is beholden to the NRA. We need universal background checks, gun violence restraining orders, a new assault weapons ban, a bump stock ban, and more. It will likely take a movement like those for civil rights, women’s rights and the environment to tackle the epidemic of gun violence. We have to build this movement, and young people are leading the way. I will not accept money from the NRA. I will fight for sensible gun policies, which is why I’ve received the Gun Sense Candidate distinction from Moms Demand Action for Gun Sense in America. AUTHORIZING MILITARY ACTIONS Should this or any President be required to consult with Congress before sending our military forces into foreign countries? Absolutely, the President should be required to consult with Congress before sending our military forces into foreign countries. But that isn’t enough. We need to elect people to Congress who will work to shift our foreign policy, which is stuck in the imperialist mindset. I organized demonstrations against the Iraq War, and would have voted against it had I been in Congress at the time. It’s been a huge disaster and created a mess that spawned ISIS. Jimmy Carter’s saber rattling response to the Russian invasion of Afghanistan in 1979 helped give us Osama bin Laden – we literally funded his group back then. I believe we should shift our efforts towards peace, diplomacy, cultural exchange, and providing significant aid to developing countries (which costs a small fraction of military intervention) and try to prevent and solve some of these
NOVEMBER 2018 GENERAL ELECTION
november 6 general election voter guide
problems instead of taking sides by arming various parties. TRADE AGREEMENTS/TARIFFS The current administration has expressed its desire to withdraw from many of the international trade agreements entered into by past administrations. The President has also authorized import tariffs in recent months. Do you agree with the President on the trade agreements? What will the impact be of the import tariffs? With Trump’s steel and aluminum tariffs (like everything else), he acts or tweets without thinking or listening. But politicians are just as wrong when they overlook American workers' justifiable frustration over the series of bad trade deals and economic policies pursued by China and others that led to Trump’s tariff action. We need a fighter in Congress who will stand up for trade policies that protect workers’ rights and end the race to the economic bottom for workers around the world. It’s time for a new trade regime aimed not at freeing capital to move all the work where wages are lowest, worker safety regulations are the weakest and environmental protections lacking, but rather at raising the standard of living for workers in all countries involved and protecting our one, precious planet everywhere. We need to crack down on dumping, currency manipulation, theft of intellectual property and other violations by China and any others who do the same. Let’s change our tax policies to incentivize creating good jobs at home, and increase job training and apprenticeships.
people’s problems. I got Democrats and Republicans in Lansing to come together to appropriate funds for No Worker Left Behind, and my current Lean & Green Michigan program has been adopted by very “red” counties, very “blue” counties, and everything in between. But the bottom line is that I’m a local kid who has devoted my life to fighting for people over profits. I was born and raised in this district. I’m a product of Berkley public schools and all four of our kids are graduates of or still attending public schools in the 9th District. We’re putting them through college. I know what it’s like to try to raise a family in this era when the middle class is under attack every single day. If you send me to Washington, I will not be a backbencher, but a leader in the fight for broadly shared prosperity that used to define this country, and must once again.
Why should a voter choose you over an opponent on the ballot?
NOVEMBER 2018 GENERAL ELECTION
I strongly support tax cuts enacted by the president and Congress. Since the tax cuts were enacted, we have seen unprecedented economic growth, and southeast Michigan workers and families have more money in their pocket to help make ends meet. Our GDP is at 4.1 percent. Businesses are expanding and investing in their companies. The largest city in my district, Warren, will experience 2,500 new jobs as a result of the passing of the tax cuts and jobs act. Fiat Chrysler announced it would invest more than $1 billion dollars into the Warren Truck facility. Other large employers have made similar promises to help southeast Michigan residents. DTE, for example, expects that nearly $190 million in saving will be passed along to customers this year.
We must address our national debt and exploding deficits, or our country is going to go broke. The first to suffer are going to be our most vulnerable citizens who rely on safety nets like Medicare and Medicaid. As such, we must look at our federal budget from top to bottom, and do everything we can to eliminate waste, fraud and abuse. That includes ensuring that only our most vulnerable are using our social safety net services – and that they aren't being bankrupted by those who wish to commit fraud.
I created and ran Union Summer for the national AFL-CIO, putting over 1,000 young people on union organizing and bargaining campaigns across the country, garnering national press coverage. I helped hundreds of nursing home workers organize for a better life in the 1980s. I created and ran No Worker Left Behind, which helped 162,000 Michigan workers attend community colleges, universities and other approved training programs for free during the Great Recession. I founded and currently run Lean & Green Michigan, which is putting people to work, reducing our carbon footprint and making our businesses more competitive by helping companies and nonprofits finance energy efficiency, water efficiency and renewable energy improvements. I’m the only candidate in my race with significant state government, federal government and private sector experience, but also decades of hell-raising experience to demand justice for working people in this country. I’m ready to go to Washington and help lead a new movement to restore the American middle class. I’m somebody who likes to work with everyone to solve
Stearns, of Sterling Heights, received her associates degree from Macomb Community College. She owns her own health care benefits company, and has been treasurer of the 9th District Michigan Republican Party, and served as a Macomb County Republican Party Executive Committee Member. ENVIRONMENTAL REGULATIONS Just like everybody else, I believe in clean air and clean water. However, I also strongly believe you can have a vibrant economy that creates jobs and benefits workers while also protecting the environment. For far too long, nameless, faceless bureaucrats in Washington, DC have buried workers and businesses in regulations and red tapes. It has killed jobs and prevented America from competing in the global economy, all the while doing very little to strengthen our environment. A strong economy and a strong environment are not mutually exclusive, and I support efforts to promote both, such as eliminating regulations and protecting southeast Michigan workers and industries.
I stand firmly against a single payer Medical system. Medicare for All will not solve our current healthcare problem. Even our seniors on Medicare have to purchase additional insurance to gap the deductibles and cost of medical care not covered by Medicare Part A and B. The ACA did nothing to lower the cost of prescriptions and medical care. It actually did the opposite by requiring American’s to buy insurance coverage that some didn’t need. I believe our healthcare system needs transparency of medical costs. Americans should not find out the cost of their care after the bill arrives in the mail two weeks after treatment. We need to inject actual competition into our healthcare system through the competition of cost of care transparency. Patients and their doctors need to share procedure costs and medical options with each other when making decision that are most intimate or life threatening health issues. I will also work to restore the funding in Medicare which our seniors depend on which was cut in the Affordable Care Act.
then, can we have an honest discussion about our immigration system. There is no question our system is broken, but we cannot fix it without first addressing the root cause of the problem. GUN CONTROL I believe strongly in the Second Amendment and right to bear arms, and I do not believe limiting our Constitutional rights is the solution to preventing future tragedies. Instead of trying to pass laws that limit our rights while doing nothing to stop mass shootings, we should be discussing how we can defend soft targets like schools, and we should be finding ways to strengthen mental health and prevent sick individuals from gaining access to firearms. AUTHORIZING MILITARY ACTIONS Our Constitution requires an act of Congress to declare war on another country. As our commander in chief, the President has the ability to approve and exercise military action abroad. The President has “limited authority” to exercise forces aboard. This authority allows the President to protect the American people from enemies who seek to destroy American’s and our way of life. TRADE AGREEMENTS/TARIFFS Tariffs are a bad idea, assuming every country followed economic theory and played by the same set of rules. Unfortunately, that is not the case. In a perfect world, each and every single tariff would be eliminated, and in fact, the president has advocated for doing so. However, that is not reality, and until other countries come to the table and agree to a level playing field, I support efforts by this administration to negotiate better terms for our workers and businesses so that we can better compete in the global economy. WHY YOU This isn't about me – it is about southeast Michigan citizens who have suffered under decades of rule by the Levin family dynasty. Voters in the Ninth District deserve to have a voice in Washington, and I want to serve them and be that voice. I’m a small business leader who knows how to create jobs, make payroll, and budget responsibly. I’ve been working and building relationships to help others in our community my entire life. Our district finally has an opportunity to send a champion for southeast Michigan to our nation's capital, and a vote for me will be a vote to represent all members of our community.
DACA/IMMIGRATION POLICY First and foremost, we must build a wall along our southern border to prevent the illegal flow of criminals who wish to do us harm into our country. Then, and only
november 6 general election voter guide Birmingham, Bloomfield Hills, Rochester Hills
U.S. CONGRESS - 11TH DISTRICT DEMOCRAT
After years and years of corporate executives buying seats in Congress, Donald Trump and Washington Republicans repaid the debt to their donors and then some with a massive tax giveaway to people who need it the least. They might call that bill a “tax cut;” I call it a massive return on investment for the wealthy donors who bought their members of Congress and expected something in return. I could never support that kind of approach to policymaking. We need to stop giving out millions and billions and – in this case – $1.5 trillion in tax breaks like they are party favors. Let’s target tax breaks for the middle class families who work hard and just want to get ahead. BUDGET/NATIONAL DEBT
Stevens currently lives in Rochester Hills after growing up in Birmingham. She received her undergraduate and graduate degrees at American University, and served as chief of staff of President Obama's Auto Rescue, and worked for the White House Office for Manufacturing Policy and Office of Recovery for Automotive Communities and Workers. Recently, she led a national workforce development program. ENVIRONMENTAL REGULATIONS When President Trump came to office, he began to roll back a number of environmental regulations enacted by the past administration and reversed a number of decisions dating back to the Clinton administration that were designed to promote a cleaner environment. Do you support the administration’s efforts to minimize environmental regulations? Absolutely not. President Trump’s reckless rollback of environmental protection standards not only damages our environment but hurts our economy. Like it or not, climate change is real and we need to start acting accordingly or we will not be able to compete with the rest of the world. I served as Chief of Staff on President Obama’s auto rescue. When our auto industry was in crisis we not only helped save GM and Chrysler, we did it while improving fuel efficiency standards and spurring American auto companies to build the cars of the future. We designed and implemented Cash for Clunkers, an incentive-based program that allowed consumers to trade in old, environmentally inefficient vehicles for 21st century models. I don’t buy the argument that we can have a clean environment or cars but we can’t have both; for over a decade Detroit’s automotive industry has shown the opposite. TAX CUTS Do you support the tax cuts enacted by
In the most recent budget adopted by Congress, and in tax legislation approved by both the House and Senate, the national debt has continued to skyrocket. There has been talk of Congress now attempting to reduce the deficit by cutting back on programs such as Social Security, Medicare and Medicaid. Do you support trimming these programs to reduce the budget? Are there other areas of the budget that should be targeted to bring the budget back under control and over time reduce the national debt? Social Security and Medicare are a promise we made to America’s working families – our guarantee that if you work hard and put your time in you will be able to retire with dignity. That means financial and health security without forcing your kids to pay for your ability to get by. That is why we need to strengthen Social Security and Medicare, not cut them. It is unfathomable that Donald Trump and Republicans in Washington think it is OK to hand out a $1.5 trillion tax giveaway while trying to balance our national debt on the backs of the people who need our help the most. That is true for Medicaid, too. I would never support a plan that cuts these critical benefits, and to strengthen them I would start by cutting Trump’s $1.5 trillion tax giveaway to the wealthy. NATIONAL HEALTH CARE Despite attempts by the current administration and Republican members of Congress, a substantial number of persons continue to sign up for health insurance under the Affordable Care Act, sometimes referred to as Obamacare. What is your position on the current Affordable Care Act and the issue of a national health care plan in general? The two biggest things President Obama accomplished were the Auto Rescue and Obamacare. I stepped up and served as Chief of Staff for the Auto Rescue when our economy was in crisis, and now that Donald Trump is creating a healthcare crisis
I’m stepping up again and running for Congress. I supported the Affordable Care Act and do not believe it is Congress’s job to remove people from their healthcare plans without alternatives. Let’s protect and improve Obamacare, not sabotage it. Let’s ensure that everyone has access to health coverage, that we tackle the costs of prescription drugs and bring forward a public option. It is time we focus first on how to meet Americans’ healthcare needs, then focus on how we get our healthcare companies to step up to the challenge. Profits should never be put before people.
DACA/IMMIGRATION POLICY President Trump has eliminated the policy governing Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) that granted deportation relief for immigrants who came here as children (under the age of 16), which was created in 2012 by the Obama administration. Do you support continuation of the DACA program? Should Congress move to find a common ground that will provide a path to citizenship for illegal immigrants? For generations, families have come to America seeking a better life for themselves, their children, and their grandchildren. We are a nation of immigrants, but sadly our immigration system today is broken. It can and must be fixed without tearing apart families who come here in pursuit of the American dream. I support the DACA program and our Dreamers because I do not believe Congress should be in the business of punishing children brought to this country through no choice of their own. Many of our Dreamers know no other country or home and serve our nation proudly. We must pass common sense legislation to fix DACA and our immigration system so that America will always be the city upon the hill we strive to be. GUN CONTROL What is your position on the need for added gun control legislation? Which, if any, of the following gun control measures could you support: Requiring expanded background checks? Background checks at gun shows? Banning bump stocks? Raising the age on the purchase of weapons? Banning military style weapons? In Congress I will be the NRA’s worst nightmare. My commitment is that on day one of the 116th Congress, I will have issued a letter to every single one of my colleagues asking them to join me in passing gun safety legislation that will include universal background checks, reinstating the assault rifle ban from 1994, “no-fly-no buy” provisions, banning bump stocks, and raising the age in which individuals can purchase guns. I made this commitment on January 3, 2018, one year before I plan to follow through on it. Our country’s gun violence epidemic is not
Birmingham am s
Congress at the urging of the Trump administration? Explain your position.
Birmingham, Bloomfield Hills, southwest Rochester Hills, Auburn Hills, west Oakland lakes area and south Oakland County, along with parts of western Wayne County, including Plymouth, Livonia and Canton.
going away and Michiganders can count on me to continue being an outspoken advocate for gun violence prevention. It is time we elect bold and courageous leaders willing to take on tough challenges – I will be one of them. AUTHORIZING MILITARY ACTIONS Should this or any President be required to consult with Congress before sending our military forces into foreign countries? Going to war with a country is one of the most grave and serious decisions any President can make. It costs time and money and, most importantly, the lives of the most patriotic Americans – our service members. We cannot afford to make that decision lightly. It does not matter if our President is a Democrat, a Republican, an Independent, or a reality TV show host – he or she must consult with Congress before committing an act of war. TRADE AGREEMENTS/TARIFFS The current administration has expressed its desire to withdraw from many of the international trade agreements entered into by past administrations. The President has also authorized import tariffs in recent months. Do you agree with the President on the trade agreements? What will the impact be of the import tariffs? I oppose NAFTA and other free trade deals that hurt American workers, but, as with all things, Donald Trump’s approach creates massive dysfunction and inconsistency. While I agree we need to renegotiate trade agreements to make them more beneficial for workers, the President’s inconsistent approach to trade and import tariffs troubles me. WHY YOU Why should a voter choose you over an opponent on the ballot? In 2009, economists were singing Detroit’s swan song. The auto industry was in crisis. Analysts wanted to let Detroit go bankrupt.
NOVEMBER 2018 GENERAL ELECTION
november 6 general election voter guide
I disagreed: I believed then, as I do today, that Detroit hustles harder. So I went to Washington and hustled, serving as chief of staff for President Obama’s auto rescue that helped save more than 200,000 jobs. I’m running for Congress because I see a different kind of crisis today: Donald Trump’s reckless agenda is hurting us and raising healthcare costs. America’s working families can’t afford inaction – we need real leadership, and that’s what Michiganders can expect from me. I’m a Seaholm alum and proud product of this district. I got into this race when it didn’t seem easy but I outraised the incumbent and soon after he announced his retirement. I’ve delivered for Michigan before and voters should choose me because I’ll always deliver for Michigan in Congress.
LENA EPSTEIN REPUBLICAN
to succeed. We need to cut waste and abuse; however, I will protect Medicare and Social Security and make certain we keep our promises to our seniors. NATIONAL HEALTH CARE First and foremost, we need to ensure those with pre-existing conditions are covered. But, we can cover pre-existing conditions without messing with everyone else’s healthcare plan. The Affordable Care Act caused many to lose their healthcare plans. And under the ACA, we saw out-ofpocket costs sharply increase. I support federal subsidies for state-run high-risk pools or any sort of state-run program that will provide coverage for those with preexisting conditions. I support the federal government block granting Medicaid funding to the states. And, young people should be able to stay on their parent’s healthcare until they are 26. When we talk about healthcare, I firmly believe we can find solutions that work for everyone.
by way of job creation and not by way of Washington, DC. I am an outsider. DC elites got us into this mess, they will not get us out. We need more practical problem solvers who have accomplishments in the private sector. I am reaching across the aisle and taking my message to Democrats, Independents and Republicans alike. I have created jobs. I have signed both sides of a paycheck. When I look at a bill or proposed policy, I can tell what the impact on jobs will be. My primary mission is job creation. We live in a special place. This district has a rich diversity. We have people from every walk of life, but we all agree that we want more opportunities. I will work to keep southeast Michigan a special place where persecuted people can seek refuge, where business owners can set up shop, and every child grows up knowing that they have a shot at the American dream. We need to work together and I’m ready to unite the people of this district and be their voice in Washington, DC.
DACA/IMMIGRATION POLICY I support enforcing our current laws. I want to secure our borders. I also believe it is vitally important that we reunite families with children and work to keep families together. GUN CONTROL I support the right to keep and bear arms. I support enforcing our current laws more stringently. AUTHORIZING MILITARY ACTIONS
Epstein, a resident of Bloomfield Township, is a co-owner of Vesco Oil. She has an economics degree from Harvard and an MBA from the Ross School of Business at the University of Michigan. ENVIRONMENTAL REGULATIONS
Our President is the Commander in Chief of the military. He cannot declare war; only Congress can. However, he has broad powers in dictating military operations. The proper course of action for a president to take depends on the nature of the situation. Generally, I would prefer more congressional oversight. However, there are times when a president must act swiftly and will not be able to consult Congress.
I support the President’s efforts to roll back outdated regulations that place an undue burden on our economy and businesses in southeast Michigan. I strongly support efforts to protect our Great Lakes so that our children and grandchildren can continue to enjoy them and help keep out tourism economy strong.
I support the President’s efforts to renegotiate trade deals that have put American workers at a disadvantage. The result will be better deals for working families of southeast Michigan and across the country.
I support the tax cuts. They have enabled the citizens of southeast Michigan to keep their hard earned money and invest it as desired. The result has been economic growth; our GDP was up by 4 percent last cycle. The tax cuts are working.
I am a member of the community of southeast Michigan with deep ties to the business and Jewish community. I have lived almost my entire life right here in southeast Michigan. I grew up here, I am raising my family here. My husband, Eric, and I are getting ready to celebrate our daughter, Emma’s, first birthday. We want America to offer Emma and all of our nation’s children the tremendous opportunities that it offered me. I am a business leader who comes to the district
BUDGET/NATIONAL DEBT I support a full audit of the Pentagon. However, I also support our military and will work to get our troops whatever they need
NOVEMBER 2018 GENERAL ELECTION
SPEAK TRUTH TO POWER It does little good to sit on the couch and complain, then not exercise your voting rights. Registered voters have the power to decide who will make the policy decisions that set the public agenda. Your vote is the most direct way to communicate with those in power. So if you are not registered to vote in the November 6 general election, then call your local municipal clerk today. Make sure you speak truth to power this election. 7B
november 6 general election voter guide Bloomfield Township
GUN REGULATIONS CHARTER SCHOOL REFORMS Because Congress has failed to act on proposed increased regulation of gun ownership, a number of states have taken the initiative to address the issue. Should Michigan be taking the lead on gun control? Would you support requiring expanded background checks? Background checks at gun shows? Banning bump stocks? Raising the age on the purchase of weapons? Banning military style weapons? Red flag laws?
Bayer lives in Beverly Hills, and has computer science and math degrees from Central Michigan University and a MBA from Lawrence Technical University. She is the co-founder and chief inspiration officer of a database technology company, and is co-founder of Michigan Council of Women in Technology. ENVIRONMENTAL PROTECTION Michigan has a rich history of protecting the environment but in recent years there have been several legislative attempts to restrict the DEQ as to rule-making to implement laws of the state, including the now pending legislation that would place control of future rule-making with an appointed committee comprised of special interests, including factions of the business community. There has long been a realization that the DEQ is underfunded in terms of being able to carry out its mission of protecting the quality of life in the state. Do you agree with recent attempts to curtail the DEQ? Do you feel that more funding needs to be allocated to the DEQ for enforcement purposes? I would allocate more funds to the DEQ to compensate for 18 years of budget reductions, particularly severe cuts in the last eight years. This year’s reduced funds included cuts for: lead and copper water system testing; cleanup of vapor intrusion sites like the emergency cleanup recently experienced in Franklin; chemical sites; waterfront and state park cleanups and emergency cleanups; the recycling program; and more. Michigan DEQ failed its last federal audit, due to critical shortages in people and knowledge. We need to reinvest here, rapidly. We are facing an estimated 11,000 PFAS (water contamination) sites that must be cleaned up, plus an identified 4,000 vapor intrusion sites (hazardous chemical vapors from
Yes. Since Congress failed to act, Michigan must act to protect our children from senseless gun violence. I support common sense gun regulation including expanded background checks, closing loopholes like gun show exceptions, implementing red flag laws and banning military style weapons and bump stocks for non-military use. In addition to sensible regulations, we need to invest in providing school counselors again. They serve as the front line defense to identify and help those who may take violent action in schools. And we must properly fund and restructure our state’s decimated mental health system. It is an outrage that red flag law legislation has languished on the desk of the head of the House committee who could have brought it to the legislative body over one year ago. He is now running for state Senator in another district. He, and all who take no positive action, should be defeated. ROAD REPAIRS While the state has announced that $175 million will be disbursed this year for road and bridge repairs, do you feel that is sufficient while we wait three more years for the road funding proposal to finally kick in? Should the state rainy day fund be tapped in the interim, as some have suggested? Our state road commission reports road funding needs at $4 billion annually. Instead, the current administration cut road funding from $3.3 billion to $1.9 billion. Adding $175 million doesn’t dent a $1.4 billion annual reduction. Corporate tax cuts, seven years ago, eliminated over $2 billion annually, forcing cuts in roads, schools, etc.. Like all “trickle down” attempts, this failed completely. We haven’t recovered the $2 billion per year, let alone seen growth. Pushing this cost to taxpayers through additional user fees continues to shift the burden from corporations to people, including carrying the burden of the heaviest nationwide trucks on Michigan
Michigan has developed a reputation as one of the most deregulated school environments in the country, with the largest number of charter schools – 80 percent of which are for-profit ventures. Charter schools were originally billed as a cure for declining student achievement and inequality, but a number of reports in the last few years show that 70 percent of the state’s charter schools are in the lower rungs of student achievement reviews. Lawmakers in Lansing, however, have on more than one occasion rejected tightening the overview of charter schools and have allowed for their continued growth. Should there be more state control over charter schools for performance and finances? Does the ongoing expansion of charter schools threaten the public schools K12 system that we have relied on for education? Increase charter school controls; eliminate for-profit charter funding. Michigan’s K-12 system is among the U.S. weakest. Since 2008, as charters exploded, Michigan students dramatically declined in reading/math with national data showing systemic deterioration: all students, all schools, regardless of race, economic strata. 2018 Brookings Institution national analysis ranked Michigan last in proficiency improvement. EMO’s operate 80 percent of Michigan charters, versus 16 percent nationally. With the most for-profit charter schools and minimal oversight, even staunch charter advocates blanch. Companies that own for-profit charters protect return on investment but don’t ensure learning. Seventy percent are in the bottom 50 percent, and 16 are on the Michigan Education Department’s list of 21 failing schools. Charters selectively enroll; kids not at the top or needing help cannot enter or obtain support – unlike public schools. We should stop giving tax dollars to for-profit entities, and establish charter performance/finance control. Public funding without accountability is profoundly irresponsible. MARIJUANA LEGALIZATION What is your position on the marijuana legalization proposal appearing on the November ballot? I’m glad the issue is on the 2018 general ballot for Michigan voters to decide, and I will vote yes on the ballot proposal.
roads. Tapping the rainy day fund may be necessary. But only if it includes a long term plan to restore our budget to a sustaining level, where everyone pays a fair share and schools, infrastructure and the environment are funded adequately to sustain our quality of life.
underground tanks), and countless (huge) numbers of lead water pipes to be replaced. We need the DEQ strongly funded to lead, identify and manage all these activities for the health of our people and environment.
STATE SENATE - 12TH DISTRICT
Beverly Hills Southfield Twp.
Bloomfield Township, Franklin, Beverly Hills, Pontiac, Auburn Hills, Oakland Township, along with Orion, Independence and Oxford townships.
ETHICS/TRANSPARENCY Although Michigan has 1973 Act (196) to regulate conduct of public officials, it is considered less than rigorous when it comes to legislative ethics and transparency, leaving Michigan ranked near the bottom in comparative studies with other states. Would you support financial disclosure by state lawmakers? What about including the governor’s office and the legislature when it comes to the Michigan Freedom of Information Act, from which they are now exempt? Would you support a bill that prohibits “Pay to Play” when it comes to lawmakers approving contracts with companies or people who are campaign contributors? Are there any other areas that need to be addressed if we are to strengthen ethics/transparency laws/rules in Michigan as they apply to the legislature and administrative offices? I support all initiatives mentioned: financial disclosure for state lawmakers, removing FOIA exemption for all branches including the governor, and prohibiting “pay to play” for legislators approving contracts. In addition, since much money in politics is contributions to campaign funds, I will work to eliminate all “dark money” contributions, requiring full disclosure of PAC donors. I would also limit total contribution from all types of PACs or individuals to each candidate; and limit the amount a candidate can spend per election cycle as well as the time candidates are allowed to campaign. I support any effort to eliminate contributions, gifts, travel, from lobbyists and PACs to our state legislators. I think transparency in Michigan government is long overdue. My leadership philosophy has always been based on full information disclosure and transparency. I will continue to run my Senate office that way, and encourage colleagues to do the same. PRO-LIFE/PRO-CHOICE Are you pro-life or pro-choice? If you are pro-life, are there any exceptions
NOVEMBER 2018 GENERAL ELECTION
november 6 general election voter guide
to prohibitions on abortions that you find acceptable? Explain your position on this issue.
CHARTER SCHOOL REFORMS
MICHAEL MCCREADY REPUBLICAN
I am pro-choice. I fully support a woman’s right to make her own health care decisions. I am endorsed by Emily’s List, Michigan List and Planned Parenthood Advocates of Michigan. CODIFYING CIVIL RIGHTS Should the Elliott-Larsen Civil Rights Act be amended to extend civil rights protections in housing and employment to include sexual orientation? Why or why not? Yes. The claim that the existing ElliottLarsen Civil Rights Act is sufficient protection for LGBTQ+ people is inaccurate, particularly since our Attorney General issued a statement in July 2018 stating explicitly that the Act does not extend protections to LGBTQ+ people. All people are people. Constitutionally, and morally, all people deserve the same rights and protections, period. There is no acceptable discrimination. In our history, every time we try to separate human beings, and discriminate against some group of people, we are later proven wrong and need to make amends. This is just another case of doing that, and setting our government up for extensive future reparations. This is unconscionable. It simply exemplifies the current government’s desire to punish those who are not “the same” as the majority in our government today. WHY YOU Why should a voter choose you over an opponent on the ballot? I bring a set of skills/experiences that our government sorely lacks. First, I am not a career politician. I’ve had a successful career solving real problems in the real world. I am a software engineer, leader, business owner, with decades of experience collaborating with teams who don’t always agree, building innovative solutions to reduce costs while making things work better. I bring a lifetime of civic achievements, improving lives and communities, including co-founding a non-profit that brings technology education and support to thousands of women and girls across Michigan. I am a mom, wife, daughter, aunt, sister – I bring the caring commitment I learned in all those roles. Lastly, I know how to listen and be of service. District 12’s citizens deserve more than career politicians who accomplish little, follow the party line, and ignore what people need, especially in public education, public health, personal healthcare and environmental protection.
NOVEMBER 2018 GENERAL ELECTION
I support the rights of parent to have the ultimate choice in the educational path for their children. Charters are one of the many options that should be available, in addition to traditional public schools as well as parochial, private and home schooling. Regardless of the avenue our educational system as a whole must be held to strict standards to ensure that we are properly preparing our future generations for the challenges they will face. MARIJUANA LEGALIZATION
McCready, a business owner from Bloomfield Township, is the current state Representative for the 40th District, a position he has held since 2012. Prior to that, he was a mayor and city commissioner for Bloomfield Hills, and served on the city's planning board and zoning board of appeals. ENVIRONMENTAL PROTECTION The beauty and wonder of our natural environment is an integral part of our state’s identity as well as it is a powerful economic driver of Michigan’s robust tourism industry. The Department of Environmental Quality (DEQ) should be a partner with our business community to continue to help drive economic growth, while preserving our natural beauties for the next generation.
My colleagues and I in the legislature worked diligently in 2016 to implement a new and improved regulatory framework for medical marijuana, to give those legitimately suffering from debilitating conditions or disease more flexibility, and safety when pursuing medical marijuana as a treatment option as well as give marijuana producers more certainty in the market. I believe that we should continue to allow that system to work before moving to the step of legalization of recreational marijuana. ETHICS/TRANSPARENCY Transparency is an important facet of a government that is accountable to the people, and that is why I support transparency for both the legislature and the governor. I have voted twice (2016 and 2017), to apply the Freedom of information Act to the legislature and the governor’s office. PRO-LIFE/PRO-CHOICE I am proudly pro-life. The only exception is when the life of the mother is in danger.
CODIFYING CIVIL RIGHTS
Discussions on firearms are always contentious and divisive, but we can all agree that government should work to keep firearms out of the hands of those who should not have them. I support working towards that goal while also not infringing on the rights of law abiding citizens. Because of this I would support implementing a red flag law in Michigan, but only if it includes strong protections for due process and stringent penalties for frivolous complaints.
I don’t believe any changes are needed to the Elliot Larsen Civil Rights Act. The act already includes sex as a protected class, which has been interpreted by the courts to include members of the of the LGBT community.
ROAD REPAIRS There is no debate that our roads, particularly in Oakland County, are in serious need of repair. I supported allocating the $175 million dollars to be used for road funding but more is needed. It is why I have publicly supported spending the higher than expected forecasted revenues directly to road repair. In addition, Act 51, which determines that distribution of road dollars to counties and cities, needs to be overhauled to better reflect the higher need of more populous counties which have larger road systems that see more use.
WHY YOU I have lived most my life in the Bloomfield area of Oakland County. From humble means I started my own business, McCready and Associates, which celebrates its 28th year anniversary next year, and raised a family. My experience in business and from serving in local government, has given me insight to the challenges faced by local governments and the residents who call our community home. Having served in the legislature as the Representative for the 40th District, I now understand the complicated appropriations process which ultimately determines where we invest the taxpayers’ dollars. These experiences have given me the necessary tools to represent our communities and their needs in the Michigan State Senate.
CAST A BALLOT FROM HOME Can’t make it to the polls on Tuesday, November 6? You can request an absentee ballot from your local municipal clerk’s office. Simply phone your local clerk’s office and ask for an absentee ballot application. The application will arrive by mail at the address you supply. Fill it out and mail it back. Your local clerk will then mail you a ballot to vote in the November 6 election.
november 6 general election voter guide Birmingham, Bloomfield Township
STATE SENATE - 13TH DISTRICT DEMOCRAT
McMorrow, of Royal Oak, has a degree in car and industrial design from Notre Dame. She is a self-employed industrial designer. ENVIRONMENTAL PROTECTION Michigan has a rich history of protecting the environment but in recent years there have been several legislative attempts to restrict the DEQ as to rule-making to implement laws of the state, including the now pending legislation that would place control of future rule-making with an appointed committee comprised of special interests, including factions of the business community. There has long been a realization that the DEQ is underfunded in terms of being able to carry out its mission of protecting the quality of life in the state. Do you agree with recent attempts to curtail the DEQ? Do you feel that more funding needs to be allocated to the DEQ for enforcement purposes? Environmental protection is one area where we can’t afford to let the market decide. As the Great Lakes state and home to 21 percent of the world’s fresh water supply, we have a unique responsibility to protect our water and environment. We need an independent body to oversee that protection. I’ll always support collaborative efforts with the business community to develop sustainable solutions that move us all forward, but we should not let biased corporate interests self-regulate. I support more funding for the DEQ to adequately protect our water and environment for generations to come, especially in the wake of reductions in the EPA on the federal. We must protect our Great Lakes. GUN REGULATIONS Because Congress has failed to act on proposed increased regulation of gun
Michigan is in the Top 10 Most Concerning States for violence and threats of violence against schools. Suicide is the second leading cause of death for young people ages 10-24, with research indicating that the decision to take one’s life is often impulsive and made more dangerous by easy access to a firearm. We need to take lobbying for gun-maker profits out of politics and pursue common-ground legislation that protects Michiganders while respecting the Second Amendment. Research shows that despite rhetoric from organizations like the NRA, a majority of Americans favor various measures on regulation, including expanded background checks, banning bump stocks, and passing Red Flag laws that would temporarily remove firearms from those deemed a threat to themselves or others. I support these efforts and would work collaboratively with conservationists, hunters, gun owners and non-gun owners alike to forward solutions that put the safety of residents first.
originally billed as a cure for declining student achievement and inequality, but a number of reports in the last few years show that 70 percent of the state’s charter schools are in the lower rungs of student achievement reviews. Lawmakers in Lansing, however, have on more than one occasion rejected tightening the overview of charter schools and have allowed for their continued growth. Should there be more state control over charter schools for performance and finances? Does the ongoing expansion of charter schools threaten the public schools K12 system that we have relied on for education? We need to authorize and oversee charter schools the same way we oversee public schools. While Michigan’s education rankings continue to drop to some of the worst in the nation, we should take a page from Massachusetts which consistently ranks at or near the top for both public and charter schools. We should disallow private, for-profit charters who put their financial bottom line before students. We should hold all charters to the same standards as public schools. Charter and public schools can co-exist to benefit all students and should be overseen by one unifying State Board of Education. MARIJUANA LEGALIZATION What is your position on the marijuana legalization proposal appearing on the November ballot?
ROAD REPAIRS While the state has announced that $175 million will be disbursed this year for road and bridge repairs, do you feel that is sufficient while we wait three more years for the road funding proposal to finally kick in? Should the state rainy day fund be tapped in the interim, as some have suggested?
I support the ballot proposal to legalize and regulate marijuana like alcohol.
CHARTER SCHOOL REFORMS
ETHICS/TRANSPARENCY Although Michigan has 1973 Act (196) to regulate conduct of public officials, it is considered less than rigorous when it comes to legislative ethics and transparency, leaving Michigan ranked near the bottom in comparative studies with other states. Would you support financial disclosure by state lawmakers? What about including the governor’s office and the legislature when it comes to the Michigan Freedom of Information Act, from which they are now exempt? Would you support a bill that prohibits “Pay to Play” when it comes to lawmakers approving contracts with companies or people who are campaign contributors? Are there any other areas that need to be addressed if we are to strengthen ethics/transparency laws/rules in Michigan as they apply to the legislature and administrative offices?
Michigan has developed a reputation as one of the most deregulated school environments in the country, with the largest number of charter schools – 80 percent of which are for-profit ventures. Charter schools were
Transparency, accountability, and accessibility are some of my top priorities – and further some of my strongest personal values. I know that much of our cultural and political divide stems from people lacking trust in those who purport
On roads alone, Oakland County residents pay an average of $865 per year on car repairs due to bad roads. A recent analysis from the Detroit Free Press of Governor Snyder’s 2011-2017 budgets highlights a staggering shift in tax burden from corporations to residents. While corporate taxes shrunk by $1.2 billion, or 57.1 percent, personal income taxes increased by $2.5 billion, or 32 percent. Businesses benefit from these public services and infrastructure as much as residents and they should be required to pay their fair share to ensure we have adequate funds to provide public services and infrastructure.
Birmingham Bingham Farms
ownership, a number of states have taken the initiative to address the issue. Should Michigan be taking the lead on gun control? Would you support requiring expanded background checks? Background checks at gun shows? Banning bump stocks? Raising the age on the purchase of weapons? Banning military style weapons? Red flag laws?
Beverly Hills Southfield Twp.
Birmingham, Bloomfield Township, Berkley, Clawson, Franklin, Royal Oak, Rochester, Rochester Hills and Troy.
to represent them. We need to do everything in our power to make the process transparent. I support opening up the Governor’s office and legislature to FOIA, requiring disclosure of finances and potential conflicts of interest, prohibiting “Pay to Play” and reversing Michigan’s “Citizen’s United on Steroids” law which has allowed unlimited amounts of money into our campaign process. Additionally, I wholly support Proposition 2 which would eliminate partisan gerrymandering of the state’s electoral districts and create an independent redistricting commission, ensuring every voter that their voice and vote truly matters. PRO-LIFE/PRO-CHOICE Are you pro-life or pro-choice? If you are pro-life, are there any exceptions to prohibitions on abortions that you find acceptable? Explain your position on this issue. I am fiercely pro-choice and will always fight for a woman’s right to choose and have access to necessary reproductive healthcare. I’m against any efforts to limit that access. Recent efforts in states like Colorado have shown that the most effective way to reduce the number of unwanted pregnancies and abortions is to increase access to science-based sex education and contraception, and in that state’s case – they were able to reduce the overall rate of teen pregnancies and abortions by over 40 percent over a sixyear period by providing long-term contraceptive devices to young women free of charge. As a woman who was raised Catholic and attended the University of Notre Dame, I deeply understand how personal this issue is for so many, but I challenge the notion that we cannot find common ground on this emotionallycharged issue to protect women’s healthcare while simultaneously reducing unwanted pregnancies. The data is there. . CODIFYING CIVIL RIGHTS Should the Elliott-Larsen Civil Rights
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november 6 general election voter guide
Act be amended to extend civil rights protections in housing and employment to include sexual orientation? Why or why not? Yes. Legislators have a responsibility to serve and protect all Michiganders, and it’s shameful that in 2018 our LGBTQ residents are not guaranteed the same protections from discrimination as the rest of us. I was heartened to see the Civil Rights Commission vote in May to expand the interpretation of the term “sex” to include sexual orientation but was incredibly disheartened to see Lansing Republicans then move to have that interpretation invalidated only a few short months later. It’s time we amend Elliott-Larsen to explicitly include all Michiganders, once and for all. WHY YOU Why should a voter choose you over an opponent on the ballot? I got into this race for no other reason than to try to make Michigan better – for us, and for the next generation. I bring more than a decade of proven high-level management, creativity, collaboration and problem-solving as an industrial designer and creative director for companies like Mattel, Mazda, and Gawker Media to offer a fresh new approach to our politics. I’m the only candidate who has committed, if elected, to relinquish my current job in order to focus 100 percent of my time and energy on being your state Senator. Like so many people I talk to, I’m tired of feeling like our system is broken, and of the divisive rhetoric we hear every day that keeps us apart more than it brings us together. I’d be honored to represent you, to hear and share your stories, and to work with you to create a Michigan that works for everyone.
County resident and graduate of Bloomfield Hills Schools and Albion College. He was an Oakland County commissioner from 2003-2007, a state Representative, 2007-2012, and since 2014, the state Senator for the 13th District. He owns an insurance company and Sedona Taphouse in Troy. ENVIRONMENTAL PROTECTION Stakeholders impacted by DEQ decisions should have a voice at the table, but ultimate DEQ rulemaking and enforcement should – and does – reside with the department. I support a robust DEQ that has the resources and tools to protect our environment, using measurable and scientifically proven methods. Further, I oppose the untrue scare tactics that some are using for political purposes. I was disappointed to hear my opponent tell an interviewer that Birmingham's water supply is tainted with lead. It's not. This sort of intentional fearmongering has no place in our public discourse, and makes it more difficult for those of us who care about the environment to achieve consensus.
There has to be a balance. Some parents view charters as the right fit for their children. They like having that option, and we must have a place for them. But at the same time, it must be a fair option. I'm concerned that charter (and cyber) schools are cherry picking the most able students, and leaving the most costly students for traditional public schools. That's not fair to traditional public schools. I have a unique perspective on this. I was born hard of hearing, which wasn't discovered until I was three-and-a-half years old. I credit my public school teachers for helping me catch up with my peers. Because of my teachers, and all that they did for me in helping me reach my potential, education has become my passion. I’m especially sympathetic to the mission of traditional public schools. They must be protected from unfair competition. MARIJUANA LEGALIZATION
The federal government needs to enforce existing gun laws. Under current federal law, individuals barred from purchasing a firearm because of mental health issues often are still able to do so because local law enforcement cannot access their health information in a timely manner because of HIPPA privacy rules. The federal bureaucracy makes it very difficult for our local law enforcement to do its job, and that has to change – but that's a change that has to occur at the federal level. Further, a key component to this is school safety. I was the only Senate Republican to vote to allow schools to have gun free zones. Local schools and communities should decide what’s best for them, not Lansing. I oppose loopholes to purchasing a firearm. I support banning bump stocks. I do not support banning firearms based on cosmetics, but on what they do. I support red flag laws. ROAD REPAIRS
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CHARTER SCHOOL REFORMS
Knollenberg, of Troy, is a lifelong Oakland
process. It was a missed opportunity. Tapping the rainy day fund is shortsighted. We should save that money to protect our vulnerable citizens during the next economic downturn.
Michigan is investing an additional $800 million into roads and bridges this year, not $175 million. And I’m pleased to have obtained additional funding this summer for important road projects in my district. Roads didn't crumble overnight, but over the past generation – under both Republican and Democratic administrations. It's disappointing that Senate Democrats refused to work with Republicans on a bipartisan roads solution; choosing, instead, not to offer any legislation or amendments, and then – with the exception of one Senator – all voting NO on the final bill. Democrats wanted a campaign issue more than they wanted their constituents to have good roads. We could have done so much more for our citizens had they participated in the
I personally oppose the legalization of recreational marijuana, and I’m voting against the ballot proposal in November. This ballot proposal will create a Wild West environment for recreational marijuana similar to that which Michigan experienced for 10 years following legalization of medicinal marijuana. However, I respect the will of the people and will abide by their decision.
post first trimester, late-term, Downs syndrome, gender selection, etc…People of good will can disagree on this issue. It's not black or white and there used to be common ground that abortion was not a desirable outcome. Hillary Clinton famously said, "Abortions should be safe, legal and rare." For 20 years, that was the policy of the Democratic Party. Not anymore. There's a radicalized wing of the Democratic Party that promotes abortion as a morally positive, progressive action. Indeed, actor and Democratic activist Lena Dunham told her podcast listeners in 2016, "I still haven't had an abortion, but I wish I had." I find that tragic. CODIFYING CIVIL RIGHTS Yes. As for codifying it into state law, it’s not likely to be taken up. However, if it is, I will vote for it. WHY YOU • Increased education funding by $2.8 billion/year • Obtained $340 million for career development • Wrote the law to keep schoolchildren safe • Wrote the law to increase the number of teachers • Wrote the law to protect sexual assault survivors • Wrote the law to combat opioid abuse • Wrote the law to give seniors more housing options • Voted to eliminate the senior pension tax • Wrote the law to give disabled individuals easier access to handicapped parking placards • Wrote the law to ban animal shelters’ use of gas chambers
ETHICS/TRANSPARENCY People don't contact their state Senator when their life is going great. They contact their state Senator when they're desperate and afraid. The letters, calls and emails that I receive are from people who don't know where else to turn – they're about to lose their home to foreclosure, or their utilities are about to be turned off, or they don't have food for their children, or they have some other type of personal family crisis. Opening up their files to public inspection through FOIA requests does not serve the public interest, and I will resist it. As for campaign finance, committees are currently required to declare late contributions that arrive after the filing deadline. The technology is readily available to require immediate (24 hour) disclosure of all contributions. Allow the people to see for themselves if contributions are being made to coincide with legislation.
Finally, I'm the likely next chair of the Education Committee, where I can do even more for our schools.
PRO-LIFE/PRO-CHOICE It's been said the true measure of a society is how it treats those least able to defend themselves. I'm pro-life. I find it interesting this question doesn't ask pro-choice candidates if there are circumstances when abortion shouldn't be permitted, such as
november 6 general election voter guide Birmingham, Bloomfield Hills, Bloomfield Township
STATE HOUSE - 40TH DISTRICT
Manoogian, a Birmingham resident, attended undergrad and graduate school at George Washington University's Elliott School of International Affairs. She was the program officer in the Office of English Language Programs, and Digital Engagement Officer, Office of eDiplomacy, both at the U.S. State Department. ENVIRONMENTAL PROTECTION Michigan has a rich history of protecting of the environment but in recent years there have been several legislative attempts to restrict the DEQ when it comes to rule-making to implement laws of the state, including the now pending legislation that would place control of future rule-making with an appointed committee comprised of special interests, including factions of the business community. There has long been a realization that the DEQ is underfunded in terms of being able to carry out its mission of protecting the quality of life in the state. Do you agree with the recent attempts to curtail the DEQ? Do you feel that more funding needs to be allocated to the DEQ for enforcement purposes? I disagree strongly with recent attempts to curtail the Michigan Department of Environmental Quality. This agency is critical to ensuring Michiganders are healthy and safe, and that our natural resources remain for generations to come. We should be relying on scientists and public servants for staffing this rule making agency, not corporate polluters and CEOs who have a financial interest in how the rules are made. I support increasing resources for the DEQ, so that they can fully ensure a healthy and safe Michigan. GUN REGULATIONS Because Congress has failed to act on proposed increased regulation of gun ownership, a number of states have taken the initiative to address the issue. Should Michigan be taking the lead on the gun
ROAD REPAIRS While the state has announced that $175 million will be disbursed this year for road and bridge repairs, do you feel that is sufficient while we wait three more years for the road funding proposal to finally kick in? Should the state rainy day fund be tapped in the interim, as some have suggested? We know that $175 million is insufficient for road funding; some estimates put the amount at $2 billion annually to adequately fund road and infrastructure repairs. Waiting for three more years to repair our roads is untenable. This is costing Michiganders across our district, and indeed our state, an average of $700 in repairs per year. It is estimated that our state will have a budget surplus between $279 million and $348 million. This money should not be allocated to the rainy day fund; it must be used to begin the much needed repairs to our county and local roads. CHARTER SCHOOL REFORMS Michigan has developed a reputation as one of the most deregulated school environments in the country, with the largest number of charter schools – 80 percent of which are for-profit ventures. Charter schools were originally billed as a cure for declining student achievement and inequality, but a number of reports in the last few years show that 70 percent of the state’s charter schools are in the lower rungs of student achievement reviews. Lawmakers in Lansing, however, have on more than one occasion rejected tightening the overview of charter schools and have allowed for their continued growth. Should there be more state
Orchard Yes, the ongoing expansion of charter Lake Bloomfield schools has negatively impacted our K-12 Bloomfield Hills Twp. public school system. We must take the st Bloomfield profit motive out of educating our children. I Twp. support capping the number of schools that Birmingham can be chartered in any given year. Presently, charter schools are able to use Beverly Hills Franklin taxpayer dollars, but are not subject to the Southfield Farmington Twp. same transparency laws that local schools Hills and school boards must be compliant with. I Birmingham, Bloomfield Township, Bloomfield Hills will champion legislation that will ensure and West Bloomfield. transparency wherever our public dollars are spent on education. Given our state’s struggles with meeting third-grade literacy standards, and falling test scores, Michigan’s Freedom of Information Act underfunding our local schools is not the (FOIA) to the legislature and governor’s answer to the question of how to build a office. This will allow lawmakers to provide Michigan that is prepared for the 21st much needed oversight and a check on the century. executive branch. Additionally, I support prohibiting “Pay to Play” regarding MARIJUANA LEGALIZATION lawmakers approving contracts with companies or people who are campaign What is your position on the marijuana contributors. Ethics and transparency laws legalization proposal appearing on the should also be extended to the MDEQ, and November ballot? other agencies operating in the executive branch. I also support increased I support the legalization of marijuana. By transparency with regard to any taxpayerlegalizing marijuana, our state can regulate funded expenditure, including public dollars and tax it, similar to how alcohol is that are spent on charter schools. regulated, and we can conduct better research on its impacts. Additionally, the PRO-LIFE/PRO-CHOICE legalization of marijuana is also a civil rights issue, given that criminal enforcement Are you pro-life or pro-choice? If you are disproportionately impacts low-income pro-life, are there any exceptions to communities and communities of color. prohibitions on abortions that you find While other states have made marijuana acceptable? Explain your position on this legal with some net positives and some issue. challenges, our state has the opportunity to get it right. I support a woman’s right to make her own healthcare decisions. The choices a woman ETHICS/TRANSPARENCY makes regarding her health should be between her and her doctor. Although Michigan has 1973 Act (196) to regulate conduct of public officials, it is CODIFYING CIVIL RIGHTS considered less than rigorous when it comes to legislative ethics and Should the Elliott-Larsen Civil Rights Act be transparency, leaving Michigan ranked amended to extend civil rights protections near the bottom in comparative studies in housing and employment to include with other states. Would you support sexual orientation? Why or why not? financial disclosure by state lawmakers?
I support implementing common sense gun laws in Michigan that will keep our communities safe. I am proud to have earned a Moms Demand Action Gun Sense Candidate Distinction. On student walkout day, I spoke at the Capitol in Lansing, and advocated for red flag legislation at our state representative’s office hours. I support expanding background checks, including requiring background checks at gun shows. I firmly believe that weapons of war have no place in our communities, and bump stocks or other modifications to firearms to make them automatic should be made illegal. I support red flag legislation that takes into account civil liberties, but also ensures an individual will not be able to harm themselves or others. I do not believe arming teachers is the answer to making our schools safer. I will advocate for increased funding to ensure schools across Michigan are able to take proper safety precautions.
control over charter schools for performance and finances? Does the ongoing expansion of charter schools threaten the public schools K-12 system that we have relied on for education?
control? Would you support requiring expanded background checks? Background checks at gun shows? Banning bump stocks? Raising the age on the purchase of weapons? Banning military style weapons? Red flag laws?
What about including the governor’s office and the legislature when it comes to the Michigan Freedom of Information Act, from which they are now exempt? Would you support a bill that prohibits “Pay to Play” when it comes to lawmakers approving contracts with companies or people who are campaign contributors? Are there any other areas that need to be addressed if we are to strengthen ethics/transparency laws/rules in Michigan as they apply to the legislature and administrative offices? As a former U.S. Department of State program officer, I strongly support strengthening Michigan’s ethics and transparency laws. I support financial disclosure by lawmakers and expanding
Every Michigander must be considered equal under the law, therefore the ElliottLarsen Civil Rights Act should be amended to extend civil rights protections to every citizen regardless of sexual orientation. I applaud the decision of the Michigan Civil Rights Commission to extend the definition of the word, “sex” to sexual orientation and gender identity with regard to Elliott-Larsen via a regulation. However, we must take steps to amend Elliott-Larsen to ensure Michigan is inclusive under the law, in the event a future MCRC repeals the regulation. WHY YOU Why should a voter choose you over an opponent on the ballot?
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november 6 general election voter guide
I was born and raised in Birmingham and it’s the place I’ve called home for my entire life. I’m proud to be this district’s hometown candidate. Over the years, I’ve been a Harlan Hare, a BCS Cobra and a Seaholm Maple – and I believe it really does matter that the leaders we elect to represent us in government can understand our district. I’m proud to have a diverse record of public service experience from my time in the Office of Congressman John Dingell to working with Ambassador Samantha Power at the United Nations, to representing America abroad at the State Department and the Olympics in Rio de Janeiro. After eight years of Governor Rick Snyder and an incredibly long 20 months of President Donald Trump, it’s clear that the experiment of electing leaders with no experience in government has failed Michigan. Democrats shouldn’t follow down that same failed path.
DAVID WOLKINSON REPUBLICAN
considering new regulations or stricter enforcement of current ones absent a compelling reason otherwise.
MARIJUANA LEGALIZATION GUN REGULATIONS I believe very strongly in the Second Amendment. Our right to bear arms is entrenched in our Constitution. However, our recent history of gun violence has made it clear that we need to be more effective in getting guns out of the hands of those that are severely mentally ill and are prone to violence. I do not think that all, or even most, of our horrible gun violence can be solved with new legislation, but it is clear that certain perpetrators of these horrendous crimes (like the young man in the recent Parkland shooting) should never have had access to the guns that he did. He had demonstrated mental incapacity to possess weapons and an eagerness to commit violence. If legislation were proposed to increase the effectiveness of background checks and it was narrowly tailored, so as not to infringe on the rights of law abiding Americans, I would support it.
Wolkinson lives in Birmingham and is a small business owner. He served as Gov. Snyder's policy director and administrative vice chairman of the Michigan Republican Party. He has undergrad, masters, and a law degree from University of Michigan. ENVIRONMENTAL PROTECTION In 2010, I served as policy director for Gov. Rick Snyder’s gubernatorial campaign. I met with business leaders, environmentalists and other stakeholders throughout the state. Under the Granholm administration, the single most complained about state agency was the DEQ. Governor Snyder came into office determined to roll back what he viewed as an overly aggressive DEQ and given the nature of this question, it appears he was quite successful in doing so. There has been no greater failure of this administration than the Flint water disaster. That disaster (shamefully, totally manmade) reminds us why strong environmental regulations are so important (they are literally of life and death importance.) With that said, I would be very wary of swinging the pendulum in the other direction. It is important that we be conservative about
NOVEMBER 2018 GENERAL ELECTION
appropriate to consider tougher oversight of those failing schools.
$175 million is not sufficient. Our roads are in serious disrepair. While I would support legislation to use money from the rainy day fund, my first priority would be to fight for our district’s fair share of the current road money being spent. We are the biggest donors to the state (as far as House districts go). In Oakland County, we only get back some 70 cents on the dollar of what we send to Lansing – in the 40th district it is even lower. Thankfully we are the wealthiest district in the state, but the formula for road money does not account for either a) how much we disproportionately send to Lansing for the entire state’s benefit; b) being the economic and social engine of the metro Detroit region, how much our roads are driven on. The bottom line is that Oakland County (and the 40th district in particular) do not get our fair share of road revenue based on the current formulas and the next state representative needs to fight for our fair share. CHARTER SCHOOL REFORMS The idea behind charter schools having less accountability than traditional public schools is that no one is obliged to attend a charter school. Public schools in our district are for the most part fantastic, but there are other places (like the city of Detroit) where plenty of parents failed their kids are trapped in a failing system. Charter schools were created to give parents more choices. Unlike traditional public schools, if a charter school is failing then the parents have the option of pulling their child out. This is an inherent accountability that does not exist at traditional public schools. With that said, the state funds a major part of every student’s public education dollars. If charter schools are failing, then it would be
Let the people decide. The people are smarter than Lansing politicians. As William F Buckley once said, “I’d rather be governed by the first thousand names in the phone book than the Harvard faculty.” I think the people have been way ahead of the politicians throughout the marijuana legalization process. I have great confidence in the people and will support whatever decision they make. ETHICS/TRANSPARENCY Yes, I believe that there is a deep deal of insider dealing in Lansing and there are a number of reforms that I would support to hopefully transform this negative/corrupt culture. This is most prevalent when one examines the state’s economic development efforts. Simply put, investing is hard, it is not easy (I do it for a living) it is not the role of state bureaucrats (or legislatures for that matter) to speculate as to what the next economic “growth” area will be. Our economic development efforts should be narrowed to providing a safe secure place to invest, top flight infrastructure and fantastic educational systems. It is not the role of the state to invest in private enterprise (directly or through the tax system). Predicting winners and losers should be left to private citizens and I think draining Lansing of this money will clean up the ethical environment in state government. PRO-LIFE/PRO-CHOICE I am pro-life. CODIFYING CIVIL RIGHTS Yes. Same gender loving couples (LGBTs) and all Michiganders deserve the same housing and employment rights. This is past due. No one should be discriminated against on the basis of sexual orientation or gender identity. Of course, there must be robust protections of our religious freedoms (no church or synagogue should ever be forced to violate their beliefs) but extending Elliot Larsen to the LGBT community should be done immediately. WHY YOU I am a businessman. I have built up a small but successful real estate management company in the last five years. I know how economies work and I have deep experience in public policy from my years of activism in the Republican Party and my service as Governor Snyder’s policy director. I think I am the candidate with the best combination of energy and experience to fight for what matters to voters in the district. I know how government works and I want to fight for more money for our roads, more dollars in the classroom and to make Michigan the best place to live, work and raise a family.
THE WASTED YOUTH VOTE The U S government reports, election after election, that the age bracket that turns out to vote less than any other is the 18-24 years of age group. The youth vote in 2018 could be one of the more powerful voting blocks ever. But you must vote. Call or visit your local municipal clerk’s office to register for the November 6 general election. Youth holds the power. Use it. 13B
november 6 general election voter guide Birmingham, Bloomfield Hills, Bloomfield Township
IMPROVEMENTS TO THE COUNTY Horrigan-Happy lives in Bloomfield Hills. She is a technical advisor for Apple, and has a Bachelor of Fine Arts from Wayne State University. REGIONAL TRANSIT AUTHORITY After failing in 2016 by only one percent in Oakland County, there is a new regional transit plan proposed for the November ballot. Do you think a regional transit millage proposal should go on the ballot for all Oakland County communities? Why or why not? Should some Oakland County communities be allowed to opt out? A regional transit system is essential to the economic vitality of southeast Michigan and for the quality of life for our residents in Oakland County. Cited as a major reason why Amazon did not consider locating their headquarters in the area, the lack of a seamless, areawide public transportation system will continue to impede southeast Michigan from outside investment considerations. Additionally, as new talent is needed to sustain and grow existing businesses, mobility will be necessary to deliver the workforce. Recognizing that the demographic of the workforce is everevolving, transportation systems must be flexible and evolve to meet the new needs of the market. Without the skilled workforce readily available, growth for our businesses and communities will diminish. ROAD IMPROVEMENTS Oakland County receives a limited amount of money – although increased from previous years – from the state for road construction. Do you think the county, either by itself or in cooperation with neighboring counties in southeast Michigan, should pursue a millage or a dedicated gas tax strictly for road repairs?
Oakland County is once again the toprated county in the state, with AAAratings and a 3.6 percent unemployment rate. The county has created a number of focused development efforts, such as Automation Alley. Do you think there are other concerted efforts the county should be launching at this time? One of the most significant responsibilities of the Oakland County Commission is to prepare our community for the future. Our leaders must be in touch with current trends in business, the needs of our emerging workforce, and our ever-changing demographics. Providing the necessary infrastructure to facilitate the demographic makeup is essential to the growth and stability of our community. Addressing the growing need for access to mobility for our emerging workforce and recognizing the need for easily accessible transportation for our aging generation are two examples of efforts that should take priority in our county commission.
REGIONAL COOPERATION Do you feel Oakland County is doing all it can to be a strong partner in the southeast Michigan region as it applies to the issue of regional cooperation? Neighboring communities should be on the same team. The regional nature of economics which includes shared infrastructures maintained cooperatively will benefit not one but all communities within a region. A cooperative strategic policy will project a positive view to outside businesses looking to locate and expand. It’s clear considering the recent publicity around the Oakland County Executive that he does not want to participate in regional cooperation. This divisive nature of the communication by our elected official presents a chaotic image of southeast Michigan and discourages new enterprise from emerging in the area. To prosper, we need a fresh and inclusive perspective.
funding for services. Knowledgeable professionals along with the model “multi-tiered system of supports” delivers the proper framework for early interventions. The county board of commissioners should be working in tandem with the county mental health division to establish school programs. Programs should team on-campus social workers with counselors and teachers to identify early symptoms and start treatment for children with mental health issues.
State funding for Michigan roads is distributed through Public Act 51, an antiquated and obsolete formula that distributes state funding based on a compromise between rural and urban lawmakers. The law was established in 1951 and has not changed in 67 years. Roads in northern Michigan receive the same funding as roads in southeast Michigan. Clearly, this distribution makes no sense. To be fair, state funding for roads should take into consideration large population centers and heavy industrial road use. Elected officials and lawmakers need to work together to develop common sense solutions to repair and maintain our seriously neglected infrastructure in southeast Michigan. Making good use of existing funds will benefit our county without imposing additional tax to our citizens.
COUNTY COMMISSION - 12TH DISTRICT
Beverly Hills Southfield
Birmingham, Bloomfield Hills and Bloomfield Township.
commission, I will provide transparency, integrity, and compassion for my fellow citizens. I believe that everyday people feel left out of decision making processes by our local officials that do not include issues that matter in their lives. Things like public transportation, clean drinking water, access to care for our seniors and affordable child care, common sense gun control, voting rights, equal rights and affordable health care are issues that matter to everyday people. I intend, as Oakland County Commissioner, to champion the issues affecting everyday people.
SHELLEY GOODMAN TAUB REPUBLICAN
ENVIRONMENTAL PROTECTION Oakland County is the home to hundreds of inland lakes and sits at the headwaters of six major rivers feeding the state’s waterways. Should the county be taking a stronger role in protecting the environment through a more aggressive approach with ordinances regulating items and activities that threaten our natural resources?
MENTAL HEALTH According to experts, teens and young adults are experiencing mental crises, with rising suicide rates. Hospitals are experiencing larger influxes of mental health patients. What should the county mental health division be doing to address this issue? Is there anything the county board of commissioners should be doing to address this issue? According to the National Institute of Mental Health, for a young person with symptoms of a mental disorder, the earlier treatment is started, the more effective it can be. Early treatment can help prevent more severe, lasting problems as a child grows up. The CDC describes surveillance systems as critical for policy and program development, with a directive to support allocation of
With the launch of the Oakland County Healthy Lakes Initiative the board of commissioners has taken the right step toward monitoring the lakes and waterways of Oakland County. The report of elevated levels of PFAS in fish from Kent Lake and the Huron River raise serious alarms that must be addressed with more aggressive ordinances to remove this pollutant from our environment. WHY YOU Why should a voter choose you over an opponent on the ballot? I am a first time candidate and I believe that my background prepares me well to provide fresh ideas and new thinking for the Oakland County community. As a new member of the Oakland County
Taub, a county commissioner since since 2009, and from 1993-2002, lives in Bloomfield Township. She is a former teacher who taught for 30 years, with a degree from the University of Michigan. She is also a former state Representative, 2002-2008, and the past chair of the Michigan Association of Counties. REGIONAL TRANSIT AUTHORITY RTA will not be on the ballot in November. Should a proposal be put on the ballot in the future? If the plan is reasonable and
NOVEMBER 2018 GENERAL ELECTION
november 6 general election voter guide
serves the entire area, it should be considered, but the Oakland Board of Commissioner (BOC) does not have the ability to do so. The RTA Authority by statute places issues on the ballot. Oakland and Wayne County communities have always had the opt-out/opt-in provision. Why would an opt-out community ever optin when the RTA Authority has not ever had a plan to provide any bus service to most of the opt-out communities. Their current plan was to provide Ann Arbor with a train to Metro Airport. Is that where we want our tax dollar to go?
informed that a mental health patient can and should be sent to the Common Ground Crisis Center (800) 231-1127. This is the only crisis center with inpatient beds in Michigan. All police officers and deputies in Oakland County are trained by OCHN to spot mental trauma. They transport people to Common Ground located on the county campus. The Health Department has a Suicide Prevention Program. The Board of Commissioners funds a Bullying Training Program at the ISD. OCHN funds Narcan for the county.
Wolkinson For State Rep VOTE
REGIONAL COOPERATION ROAD IMPROVEMENTS The Road Commission of Oakland County (RCOC) has a limited jurisdiction. RCOC takes care of county and township roads, excluding Bloomfield Township which has its own road mileage. Cities and villages are state-funded and must care for their own roads. This is based on Public Act 51. If a mileage was placed on the ballot, distribution of the revenue could follow PA 51 unless a variance is chosen. Oakland County is unique in our tri-party funding, which adds more money to roads as well as funding for city and village road projects. What really has to happen to enable Oakland to receive the correct amount of state funding is a re-write of PA 51 which was passed in 1951. In 1951, Oakland County had more cows than cars. IMPROVEMENTS TO THE COUNTY There are lots of good jobs in Oakland County without enough skilled workers to fill them. Workforce Development has partnered with colleges, high schools and businesses to train the unemployed and underemployed for those positions. In November, Oakland County Workforce Development along with the Workforce and Education Roundtable (I am a member), local businesses and Oakland County Community College and others will have a hands on event, “ My Career Quest’ at the Surburban Collection in Novi for high school students. There will be four segments, Health Sciences, Advanced Manufacturing, Information Technology and Construction. Students will move from area to area, doing not just watching. It is the first time this type of event has taken place in metro Detroit. We also are busy trying to change the mindset in the community by repeating that every child does not have to go to college to have a fulfilling life. MENTAL HEALTH Mental Health in Oakland County is an authority which is totally separate from county government. It's new name is Oakland County Health Network (OCHN). OCHN is responsible for mental health and substance use disorders. (I am chair of the Substance Use Advisory Board.) The OC substance abuse program is a model for Michigan. No waiting for substance abuse in- patient care! Area hospitals have been
NOVEMBER 2018 GENERAL ELECTION
Of course we want a strong and prosperous region. Oakland County is a good regional partner and regional leader having just passed the SMART millage as well as supporting the DIA Authority, the Zoo Authority, Cobo Hall and the Great Lakes Water Authority, all regional entities. Problems do arise when rather than being a partner, Oakland County is expected by some to be a funder without a voice. I believe that a county that has been voted over and over again as having the best management in our country should always have a seat at the table and a voice at the table. It has always been my contention that if you are not at the table, you are the dessert.
PRINCIPLED, PRAGMATIC, EXPERIENCED
FOR STATE REPRESENTATIVE PAID FOR BY DAVID WOLKINSON FOR MICHIGAN P.O. BOX 2024, BIRMINGHAM, MI 48012
ENVIRONMENTAL PROTECTION I am a member of the Board of Commissioners Clean Water Task Force looking into whether septic systems are leaching into lakes. Michigan is the only state without a septic code. Some states have the county health department inspect septic fields with state funding to supplement the cost. Other states have private contractors who charge the home owner or business. I have been working with the Michigan Association of Counties (MAC) on this issue. The bill writer will be working with MAC in the fall to figure out the funding stream. Last winter, the OC BOC offered a free two Saturdays seminar on lake testing for residents. Over 100 riparians attended are testing their lakes this summer. Public Schools will have new water fountains this fall thanks to the BOC. All schools were offered either bottle filling or bottle fill and drinking fountains though a grant from the BOC. WHY YOU 1. I know how to get things done. 2. I am a leader in Oakland County: Caucus Chair; Chair: Substance Use Advisory Board; Chair: Community and Home Improvement Advisory Board; Chair: Birmingham Youth Assistance I am a leader in Lansing: President: Michigan Association of Counties (MAC) I am a leader in Washington, DC: Chair of the Arts and Cultural Commission: National Association of Counties ( NACo) Vice Chair of Health, Human Services and Education, NACo Member of the NACo Board of Directors
CAST AN ABSENTEE BALLOT FROM THE COMFORT OF HOME Can’t make it to the polls on Tuesday, November 6? You can request an absentee ballot from your local municipal clerk’s office. Simply phone your local clerk’s office and ask for an absentee ballot application. The application will arrive by mail at the address you supply. Fill it out and mail it back. Your local clerk will then mail you a ballot to vote in the November 6 election.
Local clerks contact phone numbers: Birmingham: 248.530.1880 Bloomfield Hills: 248.644.1520 Ext. 1403 Bloomfield Township: 248.433.7702 15B
BECAUSE EVERY VOICE SHOULD BE HEARD.
VOTE YES ON PROPOSAL 3 http://www.promotethevotemi.com PAID FOR WITH REGULATED FUNDS BY PROMOTE THE VOTE, 2966 WOODWARD AVE, DETROIT MI 48201
november 6 general election voter guide Bloomfield Township
COUNTY COMMISSION - 13TH DISTRICT DEMOCRAT
We have been frustrated over the lack of state and federal road funding sent to our County for years. All options to raise more money should be on the table. Raising the gas tax to generate more money for road repairs in our state should be discussed. Many local communities already have a dedicated road millage so a countywide road millage should be on the ballot for voters to decide. If the voters show interest in a countywide road millage, those communities that already have a road assessment should be allowed to roll their payments over to the new county millage so they do not pay twice. IMPROVEMENTS TO THE COUNTY
Gershenson, a Bloomfield Township resident, has been an Oakland County commissioner since 2004. She has a degree in English with a secondary teaching certificate from University of Michigan. REGIONAL TRANSIT AUTHORITY After failing in 2016 by only one percent in Oakland County, there is a new regional transit plan proposed for the November ballot. Do you think a regional transit millage proposal should go on the ballot for all Oakland County communities? Why or why not? Should some Oakland County communities be allowed to opt out? I am a strong proponent of transit and think it should have been on the ballot in November for voters to decide if they support it. Studies have shown, millennials and businesses looking to relocate prefer a place to live and work that has a transit system. Transit promises to bring many economic benefits to our region. We need a system that can help connect residents to their jobs, hospitals, airports, recreational facilities and each other. Providing a comprehensive transportation network will benefit our seniors as well as attract millennials who prefer transit to cars. As our population ages, we need to be sure our seniors have reliable access to resources that will help them live independent lives. We should work together as a region to find the best options for each community Transit will benefit everyone, and we should all support it if voters pass it.
Oakland County is once again the toprated county in the state, with AAAratings and a 3.6 percent unemployment rate. The county has created a number of focused development efforts, such as Automation Alley. Do you think there are other concerted efforts the county should be launching at this time? Yes, I think there are other areas the county can help residents in our local communities. Currently, only two of five eligible students access a free school breakfast. That is unacceptable rate for one of the wealthiest counties in America. I would like to see a task force formed to focus on correcting this low participation. Oakland County could partner with other agencies to share costs for green infrastructure. All new projects in our county should be designed with sustainable materials and have partnerships to help with the costs. Additionally, the county should be looking to help fund portable weigh stations for trucks that use our roads. Many of the weigh stations have closed, and it would help maintain our road condition if vehicles were weighed to assure they are carrying the proper weight. MENTAL HEALTH According to experts, teens and young adults are experiencing mental crises, with rising suicide rates. Hospitals are experiencing larger influxes of mental health patients. What should the county mental health division be doing to address this issue? Is there anything the county board of commissioners should be doing to address this issue?
ROAD IMPROVEMENTS Oakland County receives a limited amount of money – although increased from previous years – from the state for road construction. Do you think the county, either by itself or in cooperation with neighboring counties
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The Board of Commissioners and our health department are very actively addressing the rising rates of suicide among our residents. We have formed The Oakland County Youth Suicide Prevention Task Force to develop a plan to focus and coordinate suicide
prevention efforts in our county. This task force will guide and implement these activities by engaging public and private stakeholders. The Board of Commissioners recently designated 2018 Suicide Prevention Awareness Month resolution (MR#18277) on July 19, 2018. Last year (2017) the Oakland County Health Department promoted a documentary film – “The S Word” at the Emagine Royal Oak theatre, this included a Q & A with the film director, Lisa Klein, along with a panel of local suicide prevention experts. We are always open to engage with more partners to address this rising, frightening trend.
West Bloomfield Twp.
13 Farmington Hills Farmington
in southeast Michigan, should pursue a millage or a dedicated gas tax strictly for road repairs?
Bloomfield Township, West Bloomfield and Farmington Hills.
REGIONAL COOPERATION Do you feel Oakland County is doing all it can to be a strong partner in the southeast Michigan region as it applies to the issue of regional cooperation? I do not feel Oakland County is doing everything it can to strengthen regional cooperation. During the recent transit debate our county joined another to obstruct efforts to put transit on the ballot. Oakland County's leadership does not appear to see the value in regional cooperation and transit. We have been dealing with this lack of foresight for too long. It is unproductive and unhelpful to our region. As our entire region succeeds, it will benefit all the communities, including Oakland County, and our state. ENVIRONMENTAL PROTECTION Oakland County is the home to hundreds of inland lakes and sits at the headwaters of six major rivers feeding the state’s waterways. Should the county be taking a stronger role in protecting the environment through a more aggressive approach with ordinances regulating items and activities that threaten our natural resources?
experience and dedication to my job. I have demonstrated my ability to work in a bi-partisan way on many important issues, such as our gun safety committee. This committee has held gun safety lock giveaways; partnered with Oakland County Health Department on suicide and mental health programs; Oakland Intermediate Schools to help fund anti-bullying programs and our Sheriffs department. I regularly attend the council meetings of the communities I represent. This helps me to understand the local issues my constituents are dealing with in their neighborhoods. I am proud of the work I have done over my tenure and have many more exciting initiatives on deck. I intend to continue to help local communities fund local road improvements, support our seniors through our senior advisory council and continue to protect the quality of our water.
I have been a riparian home dweller my whole life. The Oakland County Health Department monitors the health of many of our Oakland County lakes. I convened a group of environmental groups that are active in our community and developed partnerships to test an additional 50100 lakes each year. From the information that comes from this testing we will work on suggesting local ordinances to communities to protect our lakes, one of our most valuable resources. We have been alarmed by the Phragmitie vegetation growth around some of our lakes and I am working on implementing a partnership with local communities to fund remediation. WHY YOU Why should a voter choose you over an opponent on the ballot? Voters should re-elect me because of my
november 6 general election voter guide Birmingham, Bloomfield Hills, Bloomfield Township
48TH DISTRICT COURT DIANE D'AGOSTINI
caseload increased since the 2011 report was issued? The legislature placed the 48th District Court on track for elimination of a judicial seat when a retirement occurs. The court’s caseload fluctuates based on a variety of factors and has ranged from 33,00052,000 cases annually. Labor intensive civil cases, motions and landlord/tenant cases have increased. Caseload has also increased from 2017, so I do believe that the court necessitates three judges. However, the court will follow the intent of the legislation when a retirement occurs and will work diligently to ensure that cases be handled without delay and continue to serve the public diligently. JAIL TIME FOR FIRST TIME MIP
D'Agostini, a Bloomfield Township resident, has served as a judge for the 48th District Court since 2000, where she is Chief Judge. Prior, she was an assistant Oakland County Prosecutor. She received her law degree from Michigan State University College of Law, and has degrees from Wayne State University and Oxford University.
COURT STREAMLINING Michigan Public Act 123 and 124 took effect in 2015, designed to streamline the process of preliminary hearings and to allow district courts to accept felony pleas. Have these efforts at streamlining impacted the 48th District Court? In what ways? I am in support of this legislation and collaborating more with the circuit court to streamline cases. Accepting felony pleas in district court minimizes court appearances and stress for the families of crime victims, defendants and attorneys. It also allows defendants to move through the court system more efficiently. This translates into quicker placement into treatment programs and collection of restitution for the crime victim. Of significance, the legislation allows for a prompt transfer of defendants to the Department of Corrections, resulting in the savings of space and tax dollars at the Oakland County Jail. While the plan is efficient, a defendant still has the right to a jury trial in circuit court and the district court plea must only be used when the defendant freely and voluntarily waives their constitutional rights. ELIMINATING JUDGE IN 48th A 2011 report on the Michigan judiciary recommended, based on caseload and a population decrease of .8 percent from 2000-2010, that one judge could be eliminated from the 48th District Court. The elimination would supposedly be based on attrition at some point in the future. Do you agree with the state’s assessment that there is current work for only 2.3 judges in the court? Has
There has been ongoing criticism of some judges in the 48th District Court who have given jail time to first-time offending minors who have been found guilty of minors in possession of alcohol. In some cases, the criticism has also involved probation requirements that seem difficult to meet and then the minor is sentenced to jail time. Is jail time for first-time offending minors appropriate? No, a first MIP is a civil infraction, not punishable by incarceration. The overwhelming majority of MIP cases have been dismissed without record for the individual. Some teens drink to dangerously high levels, use drugs and present themselves with addictions, mental health issues or other problems that need intervention. This becomes an opportunity for the court to address it with treatment protocol which may include education, counseling or testing designed to help and treat the individual. In these difficult cases involving alcohol dependency, I have received tremendous positive feedback from teens and their parents as they work toward recovery. My partnerships and field trips with many of our local schools also further my desire to educate and encourage our teens to be healthy, responsible and productive individuals. SPECIAL PROGRAMS FOR DRUNK DRIVING Are there special programs that the 48th District Court could be using to deal with drunk driving offenders as an alternative to jail time? Judges are mandated to make decisions that protect the community and sometimes incarceration is warranted when drunk drivers gamble with the safety of our citizens. The court also uses special programs. For example, every defendant convicted of drunk driving goes through a comprehensive substance abuse assessment. The court’s drug/sobriety treatment protocol puts people on a path to recovery and includes intensive outpatient/in-patient treatment, frequent testing, 12-step programs, sponsors, and
ignition interlocks with intensive monitoring by dedicated probation officers and the judges. Significantly, our defendants have only a 9.7 percent recidivism rate for reoffending with a new drug/alcohol crime within four years, while the state’s recidivism data for drug/sobriety courts is 16 percent, according to the Michigan Supreme Court 2017 annual report on Problem Solving Courts. Additionally, I have sentenced defendants, including drunk drivers, to complete over 148,200 hours of community service, translating into over $1 million of labor being put back into the community.
supporting me in this extraordinary position these past 18 years.
DISTRICT COURT IMPROVEMENTS Are there any changes you would recommend for the district court that would improve procedures and/or help to conserve financial resources? The Michigan Supreme Court has appointed me to serve as Chief Judge for four terms, as I continuously seek ways to improve efficiency, not wasting tax dollars. For example, the 48th District Court, like many neighboring courts, operates its own successful drug/sobriety treatment programs without seeking more tax dollars or grant funding, placing countless individuals on a path to recovery. I have implemented longterm cost saving measures by restructuring positions, cross-training staff, and reviewing all expenditures and legacy costs, resulting in savings of over $1.7 million. I am endorsed by many of our local elected officials, Republicans and Democrats, based on effective leadership at the court. This past year, I joined the voices of my fellow judges in urging the legislature to rescind Driver Responsibility Fees, which are now set to be rescinded. I am currently working on the Michigan Indigent Defense Commission standards, which will improve the indigent attorney system. WHY YOU Why should a voter pick you over your opponent in this election? What makes you uniquely qualified for this position? Every day, I make critical decisions about people’s lives, families, and homes. For the past 18 years, I have made rulings at criminal arraignments, preliminary examinations, sentencings, evidentiary hearings, bench and jury trials, motions, probation violation hearings, traffic infractions, performed weddings and am on call 24 hours a day for search warrants. My partnerships with our local schools have educated our children and teens about the law and substance abuse. I have been tireless in my mission to keep kids away from the grips of drugs and have been a witness to the recovery of countless defendants from drugs and alcohol through my court-ordered treatment programs. I believe that my record exemplifies experience, wisdom, even temperament, and a dedicated work ethic that is required to make important decisions for our community. Thank you to the citizens for
Wechsler, of Sylvan Lake, owns her own law firm and is a managing broker at Woodward Commercial Group, is a graduate of University of Michigan Dearborn and University of Detroit School of Law.
COURT STREAMLINING I am not able to answer this question as it specifically relates to how it has impacted the 48th District Court, because I am not privy to that information. However, I can answer based on my experience as a defense attorney, practicing in District Courts across the metro area. I have handled numerous felony cases and by courts streamlining the process for preliminary hearings and accepting felony pleas, it has made the criminal process more efficient for everyone involved. It reduces the number of court appearances, which in turn decreases court docket congestion. ELIMINATING JUDGE IN 48th I am familiar with the recommendation and the possibility of the 48th District Court eliminating one seat. However, I cannot answer this question because I am not privy to the current workload of the judges or whether the caseload in general has increased or decreased since 2011. JAIL TIME FOR FIRST TIME MIP As a defense attorney, I saw this practice first hand at the 48th District Court for several years. I represented numerous minors in possession of alcohol cases, where the minor received beyond difficult probation conditions, and when they inevitably violated, they were put in jail. I was always against this practice and do not believe it deterred behavior or protected the community. I have been told this practice ruined many lives for years. The law was changed in 2016 reducing first offense MIP’s to a state civil infraction. As of January 2018, judges can no longer jail first offense
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minor in possession of alcohol. They can however order substance abuse classes, community service and fines. Second and third offenses remain misdemeanors, meaning jail is still a possibility. SPECIAL PROGRAMS FOR DRUNK DRIVING Absolutely. We now know that Substance Use Disorder is a chronic brain disease, and relapse is part of it. There are 185 Problem Solving Courts across Michigan, with a focus on rehabilitation as an alternative to jail. These treatment programs are monitored and certified by the Michigan Supreme Court. Currently, the 48th District Court does not participate in any of these highly successful treatment programs; they use standard probation and jail. Drug/sobriety programs follow a model and a best practices guide, to help ensure the participants receive the treatment they need. These programs have been proven to reduce recidivism and relapse rates, thus providing a safer and healthier community for our citizens. Further, courts that are certified in a treatment program are able to grant restricted licenses, with interlock devices, to eligible probationers for drunk driving offenses. This practice helps to reduce unemployment rates as well. Rehabilitating our non-violent addicted citizens is a necessity for the health and welfare of our community. It is time that the 48th District Court implements this highly successful program!
DISTRICT COURT IMPROVEMENTS The court can apply for both state and federal grants to implement a treatment program. These grants are given to participating courts annually to help offset the costs associated with getting the treatment program off the ground, and helping them continue to function year after year. These treatment programs improve court procedures and conserve financial resources. WHY YOU As an attorney for over 18 years, I understand the enormity of what we do for a living, whether I am representing someone that could lose their freedom, or representing a child that may be separated from their parents. Every day, I am tasked with making difficult decisions that affect countless lives. I must be unbiased, tough, compassionate and fair, simultaneously, putting aside any personal beliefs to do what is the best interest of my client. I can comprehend voluminous amounts of complex information, and make critical decisions quickly. I am excellent at listening to all the arguments, multitasking, research and writing as well. But most importantly, I have the experience, leadership and passion to take the 48th District Court to the next level. There are more innovative and creative approaches to ongoing issues that are plaguing our community, that I would like to see implemented in the 48th District Court.
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DONâ€™T VOTE THINGS ARE JUST FINE THE WAY THEY ARE
november 6 general election voter guide
BLOOMFIELD HILLS SCHOOLS BOARD OF EDUCATION CONTROL OF REFORMS
Baron, who retired from the financial industry, has served on the Bloomfield Hills School Board since 2013. He received his undergrad degree from MIT and his MBA from University of Chicago. STUDENT EDUCATIONAL LEVELS Michigan has fallen in nationwide rankings educationally to 45th out of 50 states, with only 29 percent of fourth grade students at or above reading proficiency levels in 2015. More alarming, for affluent white students, who had ranked 17th in the nation for fourth grade reading levels in 2003, they came in dead last in 2015 – one of only five states that had actual reading performance level declines. What do you believe has attributed to this stark deterioration in reading and education levels, and how would you work to turn around your district? What can be done to best prepare students to compete in a global world economy? Since 1994, the state of Michigan’s K-12 education strategy has been disjointed at best and counter-productive at worst. In 2016, though, state Superintendent Brian Whiston created a visionary strategic plan to make Michigan a "Top 10 Education State in the Next 10 Years." He integrated this plan with recommendations of numerous other studies, including the ones from the Governor's 21st Century Education Commission and the School Finance Research Collaborative (SFRC). Recently, Launch Michigan, a coalition of business, education, and philanthropic leaders, was created to develop a legislative roadmap to make Supt. Whiston’s plan a reality. Having been a BHS school board member for the past six years, I have been very actively involved in education policy in Lansing and Washington DC. I look forward to being re-elected so I can continue to advocate for what is best for the children of Bloomfield Hills Schools and the state of Michigan.
Should educational reforms spring from local boards of education or from the state department of education and the state school board? If this is a local determination, why should it be made at this level? What immediate educational reforms do you support, and which will you seek for the district if you are elected in order to maintain the district's high performance level? The answer is not either/or but both. Michigan, using Top 10 in 10, now has a statewide strategy on how education should look in the classroom, how to provide an effective educator workforce, how to leverage strategic partnerships, and how to have a systemic infrastructure. Using the state-provided research, resources, and support services, it is the local boards’ responsibility to customize and implement this strategy. They are able to tailor the state’s vision for their community so that it is successfully implemented. Since 2012, I have become an authority in Michigan’s current one-size-fits-all school funding model. 1994’s Proposal A removed local school boards’ ability to determine their own revenue and placed this responsibility 100 percent in the hands of Lansing. Using the SFRC’s study, I have been working with the Lansing elected officials and candidates to implement significant changes to increase the money available for Bloomfield Hills’ classrooms.
studies community’s recommendations. So, yes, I am aware of the effort, and no, I am not in favor of the adjustments that have been recently made. The work of the social studies community should be honored and their recommendations restored. DISTRICT STRATEGIC PLAN The district will be undertaking a new strategic plan, with goal setting metrics. What do you perceive as the categories the district should be focused on in the next three to five years, and why? Bloomfield Hills Schools developed its last strategic plan in 2008. Much has changed since then: The Great Recession and its impact on school funding; the Federal Every Student Succeeds Act; the 3rd Grade Reading Law; a heightened district focus on diversity, academic equity, and race relations; the rightsizing of Bloomfield Hills school buildings; the building and opening of Bloomfield Hills High School. So, what should the district be working on between now and 2023? Here are some things that our community might consider: Unleashing excellence through equity and inclusion which will result in the closing of achievement gaps; competency based education; project based learning; moving to a balanced school calendar; later high school start times; future utilization of the Lahser campus; Long term investment in our preschool-8th grade buildings.
Why are you the right person at this time to be a member of your local school board? Having served on the Bloomfield Hills School Board for the past six years, I’ve worked hard to keep BHS one of the leading school districts in Michigan. Staffed by exceptional administration and worldclass teachers, BHS provides a top-notch education, including the visual and performing arts, to the district’s students. But there’s still much that needs to be done. We must continue to help all of our children to be successful, especially those who aren’t achieving to their highest potential. We also must support the School Finance Research Collaborative and Launch Michigan, a partnership of Michigan business, education, labor, and philanthropy leaders who want Michigan to provide a high-quality, equitable, and student centered education system. Maintaining my philosophy of "Educational Excellence and Fiscal Responsibility," I want to continue to build on the past successes of our district as we take on the challenges of the future.
SAFEGUARDING STUDENTS DETERMINING CURRICULUM State lawmakers have long had the ability to pass legislation dictating changes to curriculum, such as the 2016 law requiring a set number hour for teaching about genocide (including the Holocaust) or specific teachings in sex education. Most recently, conservative members the House and Senate have forced a review of social studies standards and proposed rules are now pending that would make changes such as stripping from the expectations the teaching of climate change in sixth grade geography and reducing the number of times the Ku Klux Klan and NAACP are mention when teaching about the civil rights movement, as just two examples. Are you aware of the effort by lawmakers, and what is your position on the proposed changes to be decided by the state board of education? Periodically, Michigan Department of Education updates the standards that all school districts use to develop their K-12 curricula. Over three years ago, MDE joined 27 other states to create the College, Career, and Civic Life (C3) Framework for Social Studies. For the past 16 months, the state social studies community has reviewed and updated the Michigan Social Studies Standards through the lens of the C3 Framework. During that review process, a focus group that included several prominent Michigan conservatives, made some significant adjustments to the social
With the rise in school shootings in the last few years, has the district done enough to safeguard students and staff? Should there be more security guards and liaison police officers at schools? What can and should the district do to better prepare teachers and staff for the possibility of a rogue individual with a weapon? Should more attention and dollars be spent on mental health awareness and help? Safety is the number one priority in Bloomfield Hills Schools. Over the last few years, BHS has: installed “The Boot” device to secure all of the interior doors in the district; installed the BluePoint system at Bloomfield Hills High School. This system is like a fire alarm for the police; locked all doors during the school day and controlled access; employed a School Security Officer for the district and a School Liaison Office at the high school, both of which are Bloomfield Township police officers; passed a Sinking Fund millage in May 2018 which now permits spending for district security; adopted Board Policy 5400, which prohibited firearms and other weapons on district premises. At this time, there are no plans to add additional police officers to our buildings. All staff have received active shooter training. Mental health assistance is provided through our staff of counselors, social workers, and psychologists. WHY YOU
Cook, a veterinary pathologist, has degrees from Yale, Texas A&M and her DVM from Cornell. STUDENT EDUCATIONAL LEVELS Lack of a centralized, coordinated, empowered infrastructure for collective learning and continuous improvement. As a result, reforms have been incompletely/ inconsistently applied. Other problems include outmoded funding systems, failing privatization model, poor support of low performing schools, and insufficient educator support. Our district needs to close achievement gaps via a strategic plan for universal early literacy, which is aligned with K-12, and which also broadly identifies general developmental and reading disabilities. Other measures include increased student engagement/ accountability with agreements, visible progress tools (e.g. logs with different genres), and inexpensive tangible rewards for levels of achievement (e.g. movie night
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for best-read class, lunch with principal, etc.). Preparation should keep every larger strategy focused on the classroom; foster positive environment that engages student self-awareness/accountability for their learning and IB character tenets; expand teacher development (team approach, teacher-leader model, evaluations, etc.); stress deep/critical thinking and community connectivity; research/adopt programs of consistently high performing/improving states. CONTROL OF REFORMS Based on the downward trajectory of Michigan performance, reforms should be implemented/evaluated by a properly mandated and funded DOE that provides support (top-down initiatives are working in high-performing states), while districts provide data/other feedback in a loop of evidence-based improvements. I support reforms for aiding struggling schools/ districts, broader early literacy/ intervention, better mechanisms of data reporting of quality indicators of student and teacher achievement, competitive teacher salaries, and use of coordinated, researched initiatives. To these ends, I support collection of kindergarten readiness and teacher effectiveness data, enhanced internships/work-study summer programs, continuing inclusion and restorative practice efforts (maximizing attendance/engagement), increasing inter-student tutoring (inexpensive opportunities for ownership/achievement gap closure), and fully empowering teachers as models of excellence. Board members need to write commitments to initiatives proven effective for continuous improvement/allocation of resources therein, listen to the ongoing needs of students and administration, enhance community/local business/teacher college relationships, and support the superintendent’s operational lead. DETERMINING CURRICULUM Yes, and my position is that information (historical, scientific, artistic/cultural, or informed criticism) is not political nor optional, given that the task of education is to instill a deep, critical, rationale, dispassionate, ethos of comprehension and problem solving among our future citizens/voters/professionals/educators/policy makers. Because the proposal is restrictive, I do not support it; removing information is a slippery slope toward rewriting history and turning away from universal physical laws, which to their logical conclusions move toward the demise of free society and reversal of technological progress. Two spins of a great quote: “Know from whence you came [and] there are absolutely no limitations to where you can go.” (J.Baldwin). “If you don’t know where you come from, then you don't know where you are; if you don't know where you are, then you don't know where you're going; if you don't know where you're going, you're probably going wrong.” (T.Pratchett) DISTRICT STRATEGIC PLAN
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Close achievement gaps and raise cultural competency – raises quality and positivity of academic experiences and creates mindfulness toward partnerships in a global marketplace. Enhance critical thinking and community alliances – exposure to expertise improves college, career, and life preparedness, and raises district visibility/collaboration with non-parental stakeholders. When more community members obtain value from excellent education/positive local impact, the community’s political capital can be better utilized for common goals. Ensure all district objectives/budgeting laser to superior classroom experiences/empowering teachers therein – attract the best talent and recognize/leverage outstanding teaching with commitment to improving instructional resources/support, team models, mentorship, professional development/evaluation, and efficient delivery. Support a stronger MDE and work with other Michigan districts for shared mission of improving statewide performance, and research select districts/ states of excellence for modeling/ mentorship. Hold ourselves accountable for positive change; work with ISD/state to inform and implement evidence-based reforms with firm timelines for evaluation.
solve the challenges of our district and those of the larger educational landscape. I have no political or personal motivation other than promoting a safe, fun, stimulating learning environment. My experience in the processes of planning, methodology, performance indicators, and scheduling evaluation, action steps, and re-evaluation of implemented changes (i.e. evidencebased cycles of continuous quality improvement) provides a comprehensive, objective, and long-term perspective for making crucial monetary and strategic planning decisions.
SAFEGUARDING STUDENTS Our district has worked extensively in this area, with a HS guard and dedicated district officer liaison to coordinate all security. The security budget should be scrutinized for cost/benefit vs. other options regarding ideally having a guard in each building. Preparations: research of best practices; revising the comprehensive safety plan annually with input from partners (fire, EMT, police, red cross, etc.); physical modifications (e.g. bluepoint, line of sight); safety partner drills at schools after hours; staff/student drills on threat assessment and emergency procedures; model/table top exercises with staff and public safety officials; threat assessment training with strict chain of command; and, consideration of non-commissioned personnel (ala community watchdog). It would be ideal for the BHHS to have a drop-in counseling center (proven effective in other areas). We can intervene early in mental health by training all students, from Pre-K, in equity/inclusion to help mitigate isolation that can lead to violence. WHY YOU? I owe everything to public education and want to service this for others, as all five year olds are smart, and superior education is the straightest line to lifelong fulfillment and to maintenance of a free and prosperous society. In my career (DVM pathologist and chair of our national quality/standards committee), I am ensconced in total quality management systems that are cross-disciplinary and would come to the board with a tireless work ethic applied to researching and helping to
must be state initiated because of the way we fund our schools from a single state aid fund, split equally among all students regardless of district (with some flexibility for districts to raise funds for limited purposes by passing property based millages and bonds). Other reforms, like later start times for high schoolers (which I support because it is scientifically proven to benefit student health and academic performance) should come from local districts as transportation and other needs of districts will always vary. Some reforms must come from the federal government, such as providing guidelines that clearly define a public school’s obligation to comply with the special needs of all students and educate them in a way that is equal to their peers.
Efros, an attorney, has served on the Bloomfield Youth Assistance Board of Directors; the Diversity, Academic Equity and Race Relations, the Bloomfield Hills School District Global Champions, and is a gradute of University of Michigan and Wayne State University. STUDENT EDUCATIONAL LEVELS Most BHS students exceed national and state averages on standardized measures but we have more work to do. In our district’s admirable quest to close the gap (examples include diversity awareness training for teachers and staff, and adding more paraprofessionals in early elementary classrooms), we must be mindful of failing to provide relevant curriculum for all students. For example, the district eliminated academic enrichment for grades K-8 (except for 8th grade algebra). Our district must support high achieving learners even as it continues to close the achievement gap for others. When we address the needs of all learners, we best prepare everyone for the global market. On a state-wide level, we cannot continue to compromise funds for public schools and expect to remain competitive on a national or international stage. Top ranked states for public schools spend, on average, over twice as much per pupil as Michigan does. CONTROL OF REFORMS Government responsibility for reform depends upon the issue and the goal. Big picture issues such as per pupil spending
Most of our legislators are not qualified to design, reform or implement education curriculum. I am familiar with state Senator Colbeck’s suggested changes to the K-12 social studies curriculum and submitted written opposition to the Michigan Department of Education last June. Over 10 years ago, I helped edit the Oakland Schools elementary social studies curriculum. The goal was to create a useful resource for teachers with links to additional resources for a range of learners, create ways to expand certain lessons and to offer alternatives so that teachers could tailor their lessons as needed. The process took time and involved the research, analysis, and grade appropriate curriculum of teachers, professors, and educators from all over the country. No state or local legislator should be allowed to substitute that intimate process with his or her own personal, religious or political agenda. DISTRICT STRATEGIC PLAN Our strategic plan must include: Effective Communication: We must rebuild the community’s eroding trust in the administration with honest, proactive and timely communication. Communication must include easy-to-find links to relevant information. Administrators should encourage community dialogue and commit to meaningful follow-up. All written communication should meet a drafting skill consistent with the excellence we expect from our students; Assessment: We need concrete measurement of the progress of administrators throughout the year to ensure they are meeting goals and expectations. We also need a more collaborative process for setting goals for our administrators to achieve; Action: Practical problems must have timely and transparent solutions. There is a disconnect between what we claim is happening in our initiatives and what is actually happening in practice; Support and resources: Teachers and staff must have the support and resources they need to be able to do the job we expect. SAFEGUARDING STUDENTS
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We cannot guarantee student safety when guns are involved, short of eliminating incomprehensibly easy access to guns. We have witnessed the vulnerability of even those schools that do limit entrances, and that employ armed guards, security cameras and metal detectors. We cannot spend limited financial resources on expensive measures that provide only a false sense of security. However, having a plan like we do for fire and tornados costs nothing and will relieve some of the fear of gun violence that our students feel. We should have building appropriate plans unique to each school. We should post “no guns allowed anywhere on the premises” signs that signal zero tolerance to every person who enters our schools – even those who legally carry a gun. Money earmarked for safety must be spent on mental health counselors to address the epidemic level of anxiety, depression and other mental health concerns of our kids. WHY YOU? I am a lawyer, experienced parent of four, and a 16 year volunteer in this district. I am always prepared, do my homework, read voraciously and have a genuine interest in education on the local, state, national and international level. I understand the district’s challenges because of my experience as a PTO president (seven times), an appointed member of many district committees, a room parent, sports coach and a regular attendee at school board meetings and even at school board study sessions and retreats. I will eagerly and responsibly add the perspective of parents, students and teachers to board discussions and decisions. My background as a tax attorney will help the board understand legal obligations that often guide decision making and policy. I am not afraid to ask questions and state my opinions and I will always collaborate to achieve what is best for our students and broader community.
Executive Committee; the Bloomfield Birmingham Community Coalition; and SEMCOG's Education Commission. He is a graduate of Binghamton University and Baruch College. STUDENT EDUCATIONL LEVELS Based on state data, Bloomfield Hills School District is performing above the state average and beating the trends described above. The reason for our success is based on the additional funding and support provided by our community in conjunction with our strong teachers. In Bloomfield Hills, we have recently and will continually focus on literacy which focuses on reading comprehension, writing and public speaking. Our district has made it a priority not just to focus on literacy, but this year, with the hire of a specialist in the area of cultural competency, to be certain that our curriculum is relevant and engaging for all students. This will assist in preparing our students with the skills to be prepared to live and work globally.
will continue to fund the district’s short and long term goals. Trust and Communication – The education of our students is a joint mission between the district and the families we serve. It is important that we develop our relationship with the community and tap the expertise of our residents. In order to work collaboratively as a team for the success of our children, we need good communication and trust.
STUDENT EDUCATIONAL LEVELS
The feedback from both the students and the community is that we as a district need to spend more professional development and obtain more resources in the area of mental health, not more security guards in schools. As described above, we need more funding for social workers and counselors. I do not believe having more security in the schools is necessary but making everyone in the district aware of the protocols in the case of an emergency is crucial. We need a properly rolled out communication.
Major emphasis has been placed on standardized tests and statewide assessments to the detriment of basic skills. I believe that a heavy focus should be placed on teaching our kids to master the basics of reading, writing and arithmetic in order to bring our rankings back up to the stellar performance levels that we know they are capable of accomplishing. When our children have mastery of the basics, the possibilities become endless and they can truly become “architects of their future," which is in the mission statement for our school district. In addition to mastering the basics, our ability to provide our students with access to the technology of today and tomorrow enhances their level of preparedness for success in life.
CONTROL OF REFORMS
I bring both the professional and personal skills necessary to help lead the district toward the three main goals I laid out: academic achievement, financial sustainability, and trust and communication. I have a recent graduate, and a daughter still in the high school. I also volunteer on the radio station and attend numerous sporting and academic events. This involvement allows me to keep a pulse on what is happening in our classrooms and extracurricular activities. I then share what I learn with the rest of my board team to make sure the policies and budget we pass are supporting student needs. As a CPA, I have particular expertise to offer the district in the area of financial sustainability. In many ways my biggest strength is in the third goal, trust and communication. I feel I have the right combination to make a significant impact.
Proximity to any major issue creates the potential for effective solutions that can resolve the issue. The closer you are to the issue, the more clarity you have on the root cause and therefore the more clarity you can provide to potential solutions. Additionally, the ability to see the issue from a more global or statewide perspective in this case, provides visibility to see the severity of the issue or how widespread it might be. That said, I believe that a true partnership between local and state boards of education has the potential to create the most effective solutions to our most pressing needs. If I am fortunate enough to serve again, I will work to support the administration in their pursuit of excellence in reading, literacy and helping our kids in their mastery of the basics.
CONTROL OF REFORMS I’m a believer in local control. I believe that the best people to determine what is in the best interest of a particular school district is the local boards of education who were elected by the local community. It’s difficult for someone not engaged locally to understand what is in the best interest of a particular district. The state should focus on providing the resources for local districts to succeed rather than writing punitive legislation. I will continue to support our students and community members who have been advocating for resources such as more social workers, nurses, counselors, and lower class sizes. DETERMINING CURRICULUM I am well aware of the proposed changes and have to question the motives regarding these changes. Again, I am a believer of local control and also believe that these proposed changes have weakened the local curriculum threads. I think it is important that policy is informed by those who hold the expertise. These changes came forward when a politician was added to the curriculum team of educational experts. Our children should not be political pawns; they should be learning what the best research has to offer that is not based on political propaganda from either party.
DISTRICT STRATEGIC PLAN
Kolin, a CPA and vice president of the Bloomfield Hills School Board, has served on Bloomfield Youth Assistance's
PNC Bank. He received both his BBA and MBA from Grand Valley State University.
Academic Achievement – Provide a premium educational experience for ALL students that challenges all of them to achieve at his/her highest level. This includes our highest achievers, as well as those counting on their educator to build and implement the supports of an IEP or 504. Financial Sustainability – Continue to look at ways to increase revenue and/or streamline costs as long as they do not negatively impact our students. Maintain a balanced budget that
Unfortunately, I was not aware of these provisions, and equally unfortunate is the potential that these proposals have on sheltering our students from the truth. While it is important that we protect our student’s innocence by providing instruction, that is age appropriate on all topics but educators are under the impression that they do not have a voice in these decisions. We should insure that the educators we hire to educate our students have a voice in the material and pedagogy used in their classroom and if it is indeed the case that educator are making recommendations for these decisions, the legislature should insure that it is well known by those who will be held accountable to the laws. DISTRICT STRATEGIC PLAN
Paulateer, is a Bloomfield Hills School Board Trustee and vice president of
First, the district must insure that our students remain safe, so safety is our
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BLOOMFIELD HILLS SCHOOLS BOARD OF EDUCATION number one priority. Second, the district needs to do its part to improve Michigan’s literacy ratings/rankings through a continued increased focus on literacy, which began last school year. Third, the district embarked on a process of making diversity and inclusion second nature and part of its core competencies several years ago and should go deeper in that work developing excellence in this area of focus. Fourth, if we are to enable students to be architects of their future, we must understand each learner’s individual strengths and areas of improvement by growing into the district wide profile of a learner. Finally, the district must maintain sustainability while accomplishing these top priorities for our students by operating on a balance budget. SAFEGUARDING STUDENTS The school district has done a good job in protecting our students and staff. They have installed security measures that are best in class. As with anything, its not perfect and it continues to look for ways to improve. The district works closely with the local police department to stay abreast on updated processes, adjustments to facilities and new technologies. The district should maintain a regular cadence to get and keep all staff trained in active shooter scenarios. Studies show that training for what to do in such situations ahead of and in spite of a live threat increases that chances of more appropriate responses and ultimately survival in case of such an emergency. It would help if every school could have a security guard or police liaison but absent the ability to do that ensuring staff and community member follows the proper protocols to the letter through continuous enhanced training creates a culture where safety is top priority. WHY YOU? As a parent with eight children in the district, I have a vested interest in the current and long-term success of the district and all of its students. Having been appointed to the board last July and even having had a long history of board service in the community, I immediately began taking courses through the Michigan Association of School Boards in order to become a certified school board member. As of this writing, I am one class shy of that certification. I am committed to community service and continue to believe as Shirley Chisolm that “service is the rent we pay for the privilege of living on this earth.” Finally, I am a product of public education and believer in public education as a basic right of all children.
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public awareness and inspiring action about the current state of education in Michigan would be a huge step in the right direction. DETERMINING CURRICULUM
Prasad is the owner of a law firm and is a former Assistant US Attorney for the Eastern District of Michigan. She received her BA from University of Michigan, her MA from College of William and Mary, and JD from Emory Law School.
We cannot escape the truth of our nation’s history, and I have faith that teachers in our classrooms will make sure that does not happen. We should not restrict the art of teaching in the classroom, nor should we censor teachers by eliminating their ability to select examples to illustrate core concepts. I have concerns about politicians dictating academic standards and I am wondering when and why did education become a partisan issue? In the end, no single board person’s opinion is going to rule the day because the mission of the board is to arrive at a unified position. This is why we should strive for a board of education that is plugged in and engaged at all levels, so that diverse perspectives are represented in the single vision we are tasked with communicating.
STUDENT EDUCATIONAL LEVELS
DISTRICT STRATEGIC PLAN
I would attribute at least part of this decline to a general malaise over academia. Our balance of priorities has shifted from academics to activities and athletics, and we now live in a culture where B’s and C’s have become acceptable. Being well-rounded is important, but the pendulum has swung too far. As our students read less, they read less well. The outcome of poor literacy reaches beyond books. The result is our students won’t be able to grasp problem-solving subjects like math and science, and they will be less able to connect to the liberal arts. I would like to see our district collaborate with our community to drill down on the fundamentals of reading for reading’s sake. The more our students read, not just at school but also at home, the better they get at it.
Strategic planning is the best opportunity we have for community stakeholders to come together and chart our course. In thinking about the next three to five years, I would loosely set our primary categories as follows: safe and caring environment; curriculum and professional development; student achievement and growth; finance and facilities; community coordination; transformative culture.
CONTROL OF REFORMS The true learning laboratory is in the classroom, not the boardroom, which is why reform should emanate locally. We live in a boots on the ground community that is more than able to identify when and where change should happen. But, there needs to be a collaborative effort with the state, because we should be striving to create a learned community in Michigan. In order to accomplish this, there needs to be commonality in what we are teaching students across our school districts, which serve over one million students. If we splinter what we teach across the state, we are never going to produce the educated citizenry that we need to compete in a global economy. In terms of specific reform, elevating
represent the board and its single vision before the legislature. I have built my legal career on advocating a position, often unpopular, and have devoted my professional life to being the voice of the person who is not in the room. I grew up in Bloomfield Hills and returned to our school district when it was time for my boys to start elementary school. I am completely invested in the community and am grateful to be considered for this opportunity serve our district.
SAFEGUARDING STUDENTS We can never do enough to safeguard our students because we cannot envision where or how the next threat may occur. I say that having practiced my entire career in criminal law, first as a prosecutor and now as a defense attorney. We have to take a community perspective to school safety, and need an integrated effort amongst educators, parents, local government, and our students, in order to stay one step ahead of the next threat. Collaborating with the community on, for example, mental health awareness and illegal drug use, should be part of an evolving plan of action to combat the next threat. What we need right now is thoughtful analysis in how to safeguard our students, and not knee-jerk reaction. WHY YOU? We want an able and engaged advocate on our school board. We want an individual who can advocate her position amongst the board, consensus build within the board, and ultimately
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BIRMINGHAM PUBLIC SCHOOLS BOARD OF EDUCATION LORY DOLAN
CONTROL OF REFORMS
DISTRICT STRATEGIC PLAN
Should educational reforms spring from local boards of education or from the state department of education and the state school board? If this is a local determination, why should it be made at this level? What immediate educational reforms do you support, and which will you seek for the district if you are elected in order to maintain the district's high performance level?
The district will be undertaking a new strategic plan, with goal setting metrics. What do you perceive as the categories the district should be focused on in the next three to five years, and why?
Dolan, a senior manager of member services and communications in the risk management industry, earned her JD from Wayne State University and her BA from the University of Michigan.
Educational reforms should spring from local boards of education. Local boards know their constituency, as well as the needs and wants of the local community, more than the state does. Educational issues often require a local touch; not a one-size-fits-all approach. When the state implements broad reforms and requires all districts to adopt those reforms, the state prevents, in certain cases, the local boards from doing what is best for their respective local communities. Local board control of reforms would allow more tailored and rigorous design of those reforms.
STUDENT EDUCATIONAL LEVELS
Michigan has fallen in nationwide rankings educationally to 45th out of 50 states, with only 29 percent of fourth grade students at or above reading proficiency levels in 2015. More alarming, for affluent white students, who had ranked 17th in the nation for fourth grade reading levels in 2003, they came in dead last in 2015 – one of only five states that had actual reading performance level declines. What do you believe has attributed to this stark deterioration in reading and education levels, and how would you work to turn around your district? What can be done to best prepare students to compete in a global world economy?
State lawmakers have long had the ability to pass legislation dictating changes to curriculum, such as the 2016 law requiring a set number hour for teaching about genocide (including the Holocaust) or specific teachings in sex education. Most recently, conservative members the House and Senate have forced a review of social studies standards and proposed rules are now pending that would make changes such as stripping from the expectations the teaching of climate change in sixth grade geography and reducing the number of times the Ku Klux Klan and NAACP are mention when teaching about the civil rights movement, as just two examples. Are you aware of the effort by lawmakers, and what is your position on the proposed changes to be decided by the state board of education?
I believe that the deterioration in reading levels in Michigan can be attributed to the state’s allocation of available funds intended for K-12 education to other areas, primarily to higher education. Since 2009, the state has been diverting money that should be going to K-12 education to community colleges and universities; our K-12 students are suffering as a result. Without the necessary funding, school districts often must eliminate programming, which clearly affects student learning. Moreover, teacher salaries are also impacted by this diversion of funds. It is difficult to attract and retain talent absent funding to compensate teachers appropriately. Electing officials that prioritize K-12 education and the funding of K-12 education would be a step in the right direction and would help Birmingham Public Schools, as well as other districts, improve elementary reading skills.
I am aware of the effort of state lawmakers to affect the curriculum taught in the public schools. As I mentioned in my answer above, I believe first, that the state should refrain from making such changes, as local boards should determine reforms. Second, I believe the legislature should avoid censorship as a general proposition. Local boards, administrators and teachers should have the autonomy to determine curriculum and teachers should be able to instruct students without political constraints. It is important that we teach our children to think critically about issues, including controversial issues, from an objective point of view free from political influences.
Over the next three to five years, the district will need to address a number of issues. The deficit should be a focus in the upcoming years, in conjunction with school funding (see above). Another issue that has arisen this past year is the district’s philosophy regarding honors level classes. That philosophy, along with an initiative to increase the number of students from underrepresented student populations in honors and AP level classes should also be addressed. Thus, as a district we need a clear instructional plan across all subject matter areas on how to best educate all children. SAFEGUARDING STUDENTS With the rise in school shootings in the last few years, has the district done enough to safeguard students and staff? Should there be more security guards and liaison police officers at schools? What can and should the district do to better prepare teachers and staff for the possibility of a rogue individual with a weapon? Should more attention and dollars be spent on mental health awareness and help? From an infrastructure standpoint, the district has done an excellent job of making our schools safer. The district implemented safety upgrades to the entranceways of all school buildings, installed cameras, and, in the case of the high schools, placed security guards at building entrances. I would like to see a liaison police officer at each high school full time as a liaison police officer provides a sense of security as well as a trained officer inside the building in the event of a problem in the school. The issue now is to address the social/emotional piece, which ties into the second part of this question. We absolutely need to spend more money on mental health resources for our students, bringing more community resources into the schools. WHY YOU Why are you the right person at this time to be a member of your local school board? I believe I have the requisite experience to be a trustee of the Birmingham Public Schools Board of Education; I also believe I share the same vision as the great families of this district for the future of Birmingham Public Schools.
Lewis is general counsel for the Community Link Foundation. He has his undergraduate degree from Wayne State University and his JD from University of Detroit Mercy School of Law. STUDENT EDUCATIONAL LEVELS I think someone who is well-rounded is the type of person best equipped to compete in a global economy. It seems that you need to know a little bit about everything to compete these days. Reading is the key to life. I firmly believe that. Reading is the key to competing in today’s world and it is the secret to a meaningful life. Is it any wonder our literacy numbers have slipped? We communicate 140 characters at a time and no one cares about grammar, punctuation, spelling, diction and style – literally the attributes that make us literate. If we want to improve our reading scores I think we need to get back to celebrating language – reading and writing as a means for selfimprovement, not simply as a means for responding to texts. The problem is phones. The answer is books. CONTROL OF REFORMS I support incremental reform at any level assuming the ideas are good. On balance, though, I think local reform makes more sense because local school boards are more in tune with the needs and wants of their communities. Education is a complex challenge and one size rarely fits all. That is why I think local reform is the better way to go. The state sets minimum standards through the Michigan Merit Curriculum but it’s the local school districts that design programs to meet those standards. I think that’s the right balance: more bottom up than top down when it comes to in-the-classroom substance. We have a high-performing district that I don’t think needs a lot of tinkering, quite frankly. However, I would like to see
NOVEMBER 2018 GENERAL ELECTION
november 6 general election voter guide
greater focus on language arts given the unfortunate numbers we are seeing in reading proficiency. DETERMINING CURRICULUM Changing Michigan’s social studies standards would be an enormous mistake. I encourage all voters to examine the proposed changes by googling “Michigan Department of Education Social Studies Standards 2007 to 2018 Side by Side Comparison.” There voters will see the extent to which certain interests in this state hope to erase the existing standards for social studies and replace them with guidelines that give teachers little or no guidance and, worse, encourage the suppression of knowledge. Kids deserve a balanced view of the world they live in. Then they can decide for themselves what they choose to believe and how best to activate their citizenship. I believe the proposed changes deny kids a balanced view. That is why I strongly oppose them.
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WHY YOU? I think I’m a good steward. I’m pretty good at figuring things out and working with colleagues. I enjoy educating myself about pressing issues and believe that public service is necessary. Service is the price you pay for civilization. I have two kids in the district, my wife is a publicschool teacher, and I work for a nonprofit that helps families raise money for college or trade school. Education is a focal point of my life. What better way to put all the pieces together than to serve on a school board? What can I tell you? I’ll approach the position with the respect and deference it deserves and do everything in my power to keep BPS at the forefront of education in this state.
DISTRICT STRATEGIC PLAN The current strategic plan doesn’t really focus on categories. It sets broad goals like inclusion, empathy, diversity and innovation. I think that is a good approach and I would like to see many of the goals in the current plan extended. However, if I must implement categories, reading proficiency would be number one with teacher empowerment finishing a close second. The retention of teachers and other professionals is critical. As the husband of a publicschool teacher, I know how important teacher retention is to the continuity of a school district. Let’s empower our teachers as much as we can and show real commitment by baking this ideal right into the new plan. Teachers are a great resource. We should listen to them. SAFEGUARDING STUDENTS I think more attention and dollars should be spent on mental health, but I see this as a broader societal challenge, not one discretely facing education. We’ve done a lot to make our students safe and, just as important, feel safe. The bond issue a few years ago earmarked two or three million dollars for more secure entrances to our schools. We should consider ourselves lucky that we have a district that is healthy enough to raise money outside the usual school funding formula. But I venture a word of caution: the odds of a shooting incident in this or any other district is very low. I don’t want to get caught up in a hysteria that leads us to make poor decisions. Under no circumstances do I support arming teachers. I think we can rely on local law enforcement to protect us beyond the preventive measures we’ve already implemented.
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CONTROL OF REFORMS I believe that education standards and reforms should come from state departments, for the sake of uniformity across the state. Parents should be able to expect the same standard of education no matter where they live within the state. However, I also feel that schools should have the autonomy to determine what strategies they use to achieve the standards established by the state board. The immediate education reforms I support include access to high quality pre-schools and early interventions by 3rd grade. I also support individual education programs for students who need them. If elected to the BPS board, I would advocate for college and career readiness opportunities for students through business partnerships, additional programming for students who are less than proficient, teacher training, and a review of our current curriculum to ensure it aligns with the state. DETERMINING CURRICULUM
helping to establish a school-based health center in another school district, and surprisingly one of the most utilized services of the center was for mental health. WHY YOU? I am passionate about this work, and I have the qualifications, professional, and volunteer experience that closely aligns with the role of a board trustee. I have dedicated the past decade of my career working with schools preparing students for college and careers, with a successful track record. I have served on several non-profit boards and was actively involved on the PTA at my son’s school as legislative chair before running for the school board. I also work with teachers and school administrators daily, so I understand the language and am familiar with the board process. I also have the educational background to support me in this role, a master’s degree in business administration. I think I have a lot to contribute.
I have read about the proposed social studies changes, but do not agree with them. Unfortunately, I think that relevant information will be omitted from classroom lessons that will keep students from fully understanding history and the ability to formulate their own informed views on social issues. I do not think it is an effective or accurate way to teach. DISTRICT STRATEGIC PLAN McKinney, a work-based learning director with United Way, has a MBA from University of Phoenix and a BA from Spring Arbor University. STUDENT EDUCATIONAL LEVELS In some cases the school curriculum is not closely aligned with the state tests or a district may not have a curriculum at all. Technology is also an issue because of the way the test is administered. Most students are used to taking tests on paper, but the state test is administered by computer, which is an adjustment for many students. There are also districts who have fewer resources, with students who have high basic needs that aren’t being met, which impedes learning. We also need to provide personalized support where students are not proficient. To prepare students for a global economy, we have to give them an opportunity to apply their classroom instruction through project-based learning and hands-on work-based learning opportunities in a real-world setting. We should also provide them with career readiness skills, dual enrollment courses at college, and/or an opportunity to earn industry
As a school district, our first priority should be to provide a quality education to students and preparing them for the future in a rapidly changing and competitive society. That said, I think we should look at economic trends as well as our district data to help inform what areas we focus on for our strategic plan. Some areas of interest to me are looking at the achievement data and improving test scores, providing college and career readiness opportunities for students, and balancing the budget. SAFEGUARDING STUDENTS I think the district has taken some appropriate measures to safeguard students by adding new security entrances at schools and providing staff training. However, I think we could still add more police officers and security guards at schools. I think there’s also an opportunity for the district to be proactive by supporting our own students more holistically, by ensuring their mental healthcare needs are met, and by providing a safe space where they have someone to talk to. Some districts don’t have this. I received an award for
Nummer is owner of an investment management firm and is a Bloomfield Village volunteer firefighter. He has a degree from Miami University. STUDENT EDUCATIONAL LEVELS If elected to the Birmingham Public Schools Board of Education, I would advocate for an accurate overall assessment of our students reading performance levels. I would first want to completely understand the current assessment data and our districts standing relative to other districts in the state and nationally. In my opinion, recent reading expectations in our district have been eased and the literature selections are less challenging to our students. If the data indicates that reading scores have declined, then I would support an immediate review and overhaul of our English curriculum.
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CONTROL OF REFORMS I believe that Birmingham Public Schools is in the best position to decide what reforms are best for our students. We would of course act within the parameters that are established at the state level, but our community’s expectations clearly exceed the state expectations. The current board governance model dictates that educational reforms are the responsibility of the superintendent and central administration. I would work towards increasing academic standards for all students and I would push for changes in district policy to allow for the school board to have a greater role and input in the specific reforms that would be enacted. DETERMINING CURRICULUM I attended one of the forums that was held by the Michigan Department of Education. There is clearly more work that needs to be done with the new social studies standards. It was communicated at the forum that the standards modification process will be extended and that the final standards are still a long way off. Regardless of what the state standards are, the local school boards can establish a curriculum that is more demanding and comprehensive. Once the local school boards have established the district curriculum, the individual classroom teachers then have flexibility in how they teach the district curriculum.
mental health warning signs. If the retired officers interact with students on a daily basis they could potentially identify warning signs that could be a precursor to a school incident. Given the district financial challenges, incremental costs of that change would need to be carefully considered. WHY YOU? My wife and I have four children who have attended BPS schools. I started my career as a CPA and I regularly analyze financial statements in my responsibilities as an investment manager. One of the most significant challenges facing Birmingham schools is the sizable current and projected budget deficits. I have spent considerable time understanding the nature of the district’s financial challenges. The structure of school finance in the state of Michigan is extremely complicated and we need board members who have the interest and ability to comprehend the implications of Michigan school aid reimbursement. I have been one of a few regular attendees of board meetings and I have had significant interaction with the current board and administration. I am familiar with the current issues and challenges facing our district and I have the passion and time to commit towards ensuring excellence in learning for all members of the school community.
DISTRICT STRATEGIC PLAN
CONTROL OF REFORMS It is critical that every school district have transparency, accountability and empowerment in the classroom. While the state outlines education standards, every district has individual needs and input on what makes sense for that district. Therefore, I believe educational reforms should be a balance of both local and state levels. As a district we need to pay attention to the state reform, yet ensure there is local input from our parents, community members and students; and entrust the professional expertise of our staff members, administration and board members on what is best for our students and schools. In our district, families have very high expectations for their children’s education. We need education leaders and advocates collaborating with all stakeholders for the personal, intellectual, social and emotional achievement of every single student. DETERMINING CURRICULUM
The current Birmingham Public Schools strategic plan is a four-page document that extensively details the districts mission, vision and goals. I think that the strategic plan should instead be a onepage document that simply states the districts primary mission, which should be to ensure learning for all members of the school community. The related vision and goals should be concisely stated to ensure maximum comprehension and execution. Other area high performing districts have successfully communicated the same information on a single page document that is easily recalled and accessible.
I think that the district has done a good job addressing school safety, but we need to continue to implement improvements. In process upgrades to building camera systems and rollout of the ALICE Active Shooter Response Training are significant changes that have been recommended by security experts. At a recent board meeting, local law enforcement officials also recommended that district consider replacing the school contract security guards with retired police officers. Many benefits of that arrangement were stated including the retired officer’s experience and expertise in identifying potential
resources. Our students need and deserve the very best academics, as well as an education that will allow them to compete in a global world economy. However, competing on a world-wide scale, our education system must evolve from one that has served us well in the past to embracing the challenges and opportunities of the future. Therefore, we must reshape the way we have done things before and ensure all students think and act innovatively, demonstrating high-performance and meeting the highest expectations.
Rass, a director of business operations for Duo Security, has a degree from Eastern Michigan University. She is a trustee with the Birmingham Education Foundation. STUDENT EDUCATIONAL LEVELS Michigan’s approach to early literacy investment and implementation has been scrutinized and the lack of professional development and training for educators, I believe has attributed to the deterioration in reading and education levels. Teachers and administrators need more support, stronger curriculum and instructional
I am aware of the proposed changes the State Board of Education is considering regarding the social studies standards. The original intent was to make minor revisions and improvements to the 2007 standards; not rewrite history. However, after engaging some political leaders in the review process the task became controversial when it was suggested to eliminate references to gay rights, climate change, Roe vs. Wade and removing the word “democratic” from “core democratic values.” These standards are put in place to help shape curriculum and guide teachers across the state, not undermine their efforts, the way they teach and the content being taught. It is troublesome and concerning as these standards will impact and shape the education of our next generation of students. I understand the need for streamlining and reviewing the standards, however, I do not support selectively removing key historical events from our curriculum. DISTRICT STRATEGIC PLAN It’s exciting time for BPS, as the district has just completed its five-year strategic plan. We have tremendous amount of opportunities before us to create and develop a new strategic plan. With a new
superintendent, administrators and three new school board members bringing fresh perspectives to influence and move the district forward, I believe these are some of the areas we should focus on: Resource allocation – as stewards of taxpayers’ money, we must be efficient and effective allocating resources that are most impactful for academic achievement for all students; Advocacy – enhancing academic careers and improving all learners; all students deserve a worldclass education; Strong community partnerships – continue to establish and enhance partnerships in the community; Communication – evolve, elevate and enhance our world-class district’s communication platforms. SAFEGUARDING STUDENTS I am pleased the district is committed to increase efforts to safeguard schools, students and staff. The district has recently begun educating and implementing ALICE training (Alert, Lockdown, Inform, Counter and Evacuate) for teachers and school administers. This program encourages staff to be proactive in emergency situations as they would be in other threatening situations. Another way the district is keeping our schools safe and prepared for emergencies is installing Blue Point systems in all schools. This technology will notify the police and provide alerts to teachers and staff in the building through a series of blue lights and an announcement on the PA of the threat. With resources being scarce, I am grateful as a trustee of the Birmingham Education Foundation, we partnered with the district last year to bring a mental illness discussions to all high school health classes through an educational grant bringing more attention to mental health awareness. WHY YOU? I am a knowledgeable communications and business professional with more than 25 years of experience in corporate, agency, non-profit communications and media relations. I have extensive experience in executing strategic communication plans, public relations campaigns and brand management. My inspiration for running for the BPS board is to give back to what has provided an amazing educational foundation thus far for my two children. I believe my business background, communication expertise and community involvement, I am qualified to serve in this important role. As an actively involved parent, I am a strong advocate for our children and teachers and would be proud to represent the entire Birmingham School District community. I believe one of the most important tasks would be to make certain the BPS mission is upheld, “by ensuring educational excellence, we challenge and inspire all learners to positively impact their world.”
NOVEMBER 2018 GENERAL ELECTION
november 6 general election voter guide
Saad, an ICT Business and Technical Liaison, is a member of the Birmingham Community Partnership for Diversity, Equity and Inclusion. He has degrees from University of Michigan and Western Seminary. STUDENT EDUCATIONAL LEVELS Thank you for these great questions about some sobering trends. Regarding literacy declines, let me start off by saying that I have a background in education, having taught English grammar and syntax, as well as literary interpretation. Anecdotally, I can tell you that even 20 years ago there was an alarming, downward trend in students’ basic understandings of how English language works. As curricula deemphasized phonetic approaches and structured grammatical instruction (such as diagramming), the trend got worse. Perhaps if we admit our curricular mistakes, and return to foundational language instructional approaches, English language proficiency with our students will move in a decidedly positive direction. I particularly appreciate the question about competing in a global world economy. However, I think it is important to recognize that economic principles apply to far more than simply financial issues. In addition, there are social economies, cultural economies, emotional economies, educational economies, etc., and we want our students to excel in all of these areas. Hence, a world-class education should materially address all areas that are salient to student success on the world stage. CONTROL OF REFORMS I think that those who advocate for full control at the state and federal levels, as well as, those who advocate for full control at the local, school board level, are equally short-sighted in their stances. Our country was founded by people who out of necessity focused on cooperation and collaboration, understanding that in the real world nobody gets everything that
NOVEMBER 2018 GENERAL ELECTION
he or she wants. Rather, they modeled for us the notion that it is commonly better to give up personal preferences in order to achieve together, that which is greater than any individual entity could accomplish alone. This was, and still is, an excellent model for community success. That said, at a very high level, it seems appropriate that the state would establish minimum levels for mastery, and from that point, local boards would establish whatever reasonable methods are necessary to propel their district’s students to mastery and beyond. Since each local population in the state requires a unique mix of resources for success for its students, the specific methods of obtaining mastery should be left to the local boards. A one-size-fits-all approach, orchestrated by a centralized state or federal office, definitely is not a recipe for success for the melting pot of the American experience. We are far too diverse for such a simplistic approach. DETERMINING CURRICULUM As an educator, I have been aware of many curricular movements over the years (Phonics and Whole Language, Sex Education and Gender Identity, Common Core, Integrated Math, Evolution and Intelligent Design, Mandatory Foreign Language, History, Earth Science and Climate Change, Diversity and Inclusion, Equality and Equity, Social Justice, Character Education, Achievement Gaps, Entitlement Programs, etc.). Admittedly, it is easy to get excited about a topic that is important to us individually. However I encourage all of us to moderate our opinions and approaches based on two basic principles: 1. Let’s commit to a pursuit of truth at all levels, and 2. Let’s commit to making decisions that intentionally look out for the best interest others, instead of just our own interests. I believe this approach sets the best foundation for determining which curricular changes are helpful and which ones are more of a distraction. DISTRICT STRATEGIC PLAN At a foundational level, I continue to stress the importance that every plank of the district’s strategic plan should be S.M.A.R.T: Specific, Measurable, Achievable, Relevant, and Time-Bound. Unfortunately, I do not believe our current strategic plan exemplifies this, so I will be an advocate for change in this regard. Also, since a public school is truly a community endeavor, I believe that the planks of the strategic plan should encompass the roles of several key stakeholders such as: students, parents, educators, administration, and the board. That said, the district’s next, five-year strategic plan might do well to include the following items: 1. Opportunity for mastery-level success for all students; 2. Exposure to relevant character education for all students; 3. Collaboration between the community and educators with regard to curricular developments; 4.
Administrative and board transparency; and 5. Fiscal responsibility. SAFEGUARDING STUDENTS I do not believe that there is no one-sizefits-all solution for every municipality in the country on this topic. Each community has geographic realities that make some safeguards essential and others less necessary. Since BPS school buildings are all within a few minutes of current law enforcement and other emergency services facilities, it would be quite appropriate for a select group of our local officers to have work offices in each of our schools. That said, I believe it is equally reasonable for the district to employ additional on-site, armed security officers for each of our schools, which could also be used as affirmative initiative to employ veterans. I am also in favor of the current initiative to install 24-hour, 360 degree surveillance systems on the premises of each school, through the use of existing bond funds. Lastly, although arming teachers may be feasible in rural communities where law enforcement and emergency services may be 30-60 minutes away, I do not see this approach as necessary for BPS in our suburban location. WHY YOU? I love education, and I love the metroBirmingham area. Twenty years ago, I intentionally moved to this area because of its strong community and excellent educational system. My wife and I also have four children in the district, which motivates me to be active and diligent on behalf of public education. That said, I would like to be a part of the BPS board that shapes the next generation of educational decisions for the BPS community. I have a significant background in both education and business, and I believe this combination best equips board of education trustees. Anecdotally, I think I have attended more BPS general business board meetings in the past couple years than any other community member. I interact with the board and administration regularly, and I think I have a fairly good understanding of where we presently are as a district, both financially and academically. I am also a frequent community contributor at board meetings, as well as an outspoken advocate for the role and benefits of healthy organized labor. I am fully aware that a voluntary position, for a six-year term, is a significant commitment, however, I want to provide this service for the Birmingham Public Schools District.
SPEAK TRUTH TO POWER It does little good to sit on the couch and complain, then not exercise your voting rights. Registered voters have the power to decide who will make the policy decisions that set the public agenda. Your vote is the most direct way to communicate with those in power. So if you are not registered to vote in the November 6 general election, then call your local municipal clerk today. Make sure you speak truth to power this election. 27B
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Dr. Robbie Kohen loomfield Hills resident Robbie Kohen has been a doctor to some of the top athletes in the country, working with the Detroit Red Wings, the New York Giants, the Detroit Tigers, the University of Michigan, The U.S. Open Tennis Tournament and others. Today, the Andover High School alumnus has settled into private practice, but still volunteers with teams in Bloomfield Hills and other area schools. "I enjoyed playing sports as a kid," Kohen said, who graduated from Andover in 1997. "Those are some of my best memories at high school. I played baseball and hockey, and that was a highlight of my childhood." Kohen attended University of Michigan and was a walk-on player for the hockey team. It was also where he attended medical school, graduating first in his class. "My father was a physician. I was interested in medicine since I was a kid, so I was drawn to sports medicine," he said. "With my experience, it was a natural fit. And it's been good. I like to get people back to the thing that they like to do." Specializing in orthopedic surgery, has worked with several professional and collegiate teams, including the New York Giants, New York Liberty, Detroit Lions, Detroit Red Wings and Detroit Tigers. He also has worked with the U.S. Open Tennis Tournament; University of Michigan's gymnastics, softball, baseball, lacrosse and football teams; and the Eastern Michigan University football team on game days. "I have had a chance to work with several pro sports teams... I gave that up mostly because of family obligations. It's fun traveling on a team plane and taking care of injuries, but with two baby girls at home, it was a lot," he said. "I still do some professional team coverage from time to
time, and I volunteer at Bloomfield Hills games. It's fun to take care of those kids, and it's fun to give back." To stay closer to home, Kohen opened a private practice about six years ago with offices in Farmington Hills and Madison Heights. The biggest differences in patients, he said, is age. "There are different problems at different ages," he said. "An adolescent with growth plates may have a certain kind of fracture, where a professional may have something more degenerative. You also have highlevel athletes who never get injured throughout their whole career, and then have a spill in their backyard, and they end up in my office." In terms of high school athletics, Kohen said schools are doing a much better job than in the past to limit pitch counts and having kids refrain from throwing curveballs until they've reached their peak growth. As people age, they receive injuries from everyday activities or even sleeping incorrectly. "They are really limiting kids to pitch counts and how many days rest they have between games. That's a big change from when I was a kid," he said. "When you throw a ball, it has more to do with harnessing power in the abdomen and core, like swinging a golf club, and using that to throw a ball." Easing into athletics is the same for older adults looking to get back into shape or trying to lose weight. "You have to start slow and have supervision, if possible," he said. "Going from the couch to running a marathon is asking for a stress fracture." Story: Kevin Elliott
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HOW LOCAL OFFICIALS HANDLE
The Me Too movement has brought an increased awareness of sexual harassment and sexual assault. But the problem is not confined to the habitat of just the famous. So we took a look at how local governments are handling both sexual harassment policies and resolution of complaints when they do arise.
SEX HARASSMENT BY LISA BRODY
For everyday individuals, those whose names are anonymous, their situations are suddenly all too familiar – and relevant. They too, are, or have been, the victims of sexual harassment, sexual assault or sexual discrimination in their jobs. Recently, Les Moonves, the chairman and CEO of CBS, was fired in the wake of sexual assault and harassment allegations. Days later, Jeff Fager, the head of CBS' '60 Minutes' signature investigative news show, was removed amid accusations of inappropriate conduct and unwanted touching. Months ago, we saw the downfall of producer Harvey Weinstein for accusations of sexual harassment, sexual assault and rape, and television news men Charlie Rose and Matt Lauer for allegations of sexual harassment and sexual assault. As we all know, we are living in the Me Too era, a widespread and growing movement against sexual harassment and sexual assault. The term gained momentum around noon on October 15, 2017, when actress Alyssa Milano tweeted “Me too,” indicating that she, too, had been sexually harassed at some point in her career. By the end of the day, the term had been used more than 200,000 times, and tweeted more than 500,000 times by October 16. The hashtag #Metoo was used by more than 4.7 million people in 12 million posts on Facebook during just the first 24 hours, with the platform reporting that 45 percent of users in the United States had a friend who had posted using the term. While the majority of those tweeting and posting were women, including many notable actresses, politicians and celebrities, there were also men who reported they had been the victims of harassment and abuse. And then there were the victims of Michigan State University and former United States gymnastics Dr. Larry Nasser – hundreds of them, as it turns out. Soon after #Metoo began spreading all over social media in the fall of 2017, several allegations from a 2016 Indianapolis Star article resurfaced in the gymnastic industry, and Nasser was called out via #Metoo for sexually assaulting gymnasts as young as six years old during what he had claimed were osteopathic medical “treatments.” Actually, they were heinous acts of sexual assault upon hundreds of young girls, with no medical basis. During his sentencing for life in prison, more than 150 women came forward, telling and retelling their stories of how they had been abused and violated by a man they had trusted and relied upon. The swarm that has exploded from the Weinstein, Rose, Lauer and Nasser allegations have not flamed out, as the recent CBS situations clearly demonstrate. And for everyday individuals, those whose names are anonymous, their situations are suddenly all too familiar – and relevant. They too, are, or have been, the victims of sexual harassment, sexual assault or sexual discrimination in their jobs. As high profile individuals find the courage, ability and support to speak up, so do people working in offices, in police and fire departments, as waitresses or waiters, in factories, in university settings, politics and political office – wherever one person is in power and another is subordinate. And it is illegal. While the Me Too movement, and its attendant awareness, has brought sexual harassment and discrimination to the forefront of consciousness, there has also come the knowledge and recognition that they are a form of discrimination that has been unlawful under Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964, which applies to all companies in the country with 15 or more employees, including federal, state and local governments. Today, governments, large and small, have policies detailing how it is not permissible and employee protections. Sexual harassment is defined as bullying or coercion of a sexual nature and the unwelcome or inappropriate promise of some kind of reward in exchange for sexual favors. Sexual harassment can include behavior that ranges from mild improprieties and inappropriate touching or speech to outright sexual abuse or sexual assault – and everything in between. A casual “You look nice today,” in the office doesn't count. Someone grabbing your breast or purposely touching
your buttocks does. Sexual harassment is a form of illegal employment discrimination, because it can make you feel like your work place is not a safe zone. At a place of employment, harassment may be considered illegal when it is frequent or so severe that it creates a hostile or offensive work environment, or when it results in an adverse employment decision for the person who is on the receiving end of the harassment – where they feel they have to quit, they're fired or demoted from their position, or when they feel threatened. “I would define sexual harassment as a form of sexual discrimination,” said Mary Engelman, deputy director to the Michigan Civil Rights Commission and the executive director for the Michigan Women's Commission. “It is unwelcome sexual advancement or sexual conversation. Sexual discrimination is unlawful discrimination based on sex. Sex can be female, male – whatever they identify themselves as. “Any instance of sexual harassment is so personal, it's never forgotten,” she pointed out. Engelman noted that sexual discrimination and sexual harassment are not new phenomena. “It's more at the forefront because of the Me Too movement,” she acknowledged. “I think there's been sexual harassment between men and women forever. As time has gone on, there has been sexual and gender discrimination, which is where if I'm born a female but identify as something else, it's more acceptable socially, but there may be issues in the workplace.” She is clear to point out that while women appear to be the primary victims of sexual harassment, they are definitely not the only ones. “Sexual harassment can happen between men and women, women to men, between women to women, and men to men. Any and all sexes,” Engelman emphasized. “It's about intimidation, pressure and power. You can hear a woman (in an office or work setting) say something disparaging about another woman – and that can be sexual discrimination because for someone that can be threatening.” The U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) is the federal agency which challenges harassment and retaliation around the country. They have stated sexual harassment policy as: “It is unlawful to harass a person (an applicant or employee) because of that person’s sex. Harassment can include 'sexual harassment' or unwelcome sexual advances, requests for sexual favors, and other verbal or physical harassment of a sexual nature. “Harassment does not have to be of a sexual nature, however, and can include offensive remarks about a person’s sex. For example, it is illegal to harass a woman by making offensive comments about women in general. Both victim and the harasser can be either a woman or a man, and the victim and harasser can be the same sex. Although the law doesn’t prohibit simple teasing, offhand comments, or isolated incidents that are not very serious, harassment is illegal when it is so frequent or severe that it creates a hostile or offensive work environment or when it results in an adverse employment decision (such as the victim being fired or demoted). The harasser can be the victim's supervisor, a supervisor in another area, a co-worker, or someone who is not an employee of the employer, such as a client or customer,” according to the EEOC. In Michigan, the Elliott-Larsen Civil Rights Act of 1976 provides the framework and precedent for many laws and policies, which protects individuals in Michigan on the basis of “religion, race, color, national origin, age, sex, height, weight, familial status, or marital status in employment, housing, education, and access to public accommodations.” Because the EEOC policy has more 'teeth' than the Elliott-Larsen Act, often victims are advised to file suit in federal court, rather than
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In 2018, through August 30, there were 52 formal employment-related cases in Michigan filed by women according to the Michigan Civil Rights Commission, 11 filed by men while two cases were filed against local units of government. Michigan court, in order to obtain the results, or settlement, they are seeking. “One in three employees will be sexually harassed, with 50 to 80 percent of the sexual harassment taking place at work,” Engelman, of Michigan Civil Rights Commission, said. “Only 25 percent will tell anyone – and only five percent will file a grievance. This is a big deal – but only five percent report their harassment.” The Michigan Civil Rights Commission's statistics are consistent with figures published by the EEOC in a 2016 report, which noted that although 25 to 80 percent of women stated that they have experienced sexual harassment at work, few ever report the incidents. The majority of women said the reason they failed to report the incidents was their fear of reprisals. A 2017 poll, at the height of Me Too, conducted by ABC News and The Washington Post, found that 54 percent of women reported receiving “unwanted and inappropriate” sexual advances, with 95 percent stating that the behavior goes unpunished. And if no one is told, nothing can be done. Or said another way, the perpetrator keeps on harassing other victims. In 2018, through August 30, there were 52 formal employmentrelated cases in Michigan filed by women according to the Michigan Civil Rights Commission, and 11 filed by men. Two cases were filed against local units of government, but due to confidentiality policies and lawsuits, Engelman could not say who the local units of government were. Of the 63 total filed complaints, eight resulted in settlements during the investigation process, while 20 were found to have insufficient evidence. Others are ongoing. Those numbers compare to 48 total complaints filed by women in 2017; 49 complaints filed by women in 2016; 52 in 2015; and 64 in 2014, prior to the Me Too movement. In 2017, there were nine cases filed by men; eight filed by men in 2016; 16 filed by men in 2015; and 18 filed in 2014. In each year, a majority of cases were dismissed due to insufficient evidence, with eight cases settled during the investigation process in 2017; three in 2016; eight in 2015; and 16 in 2014. In 2017, there were no complaints filed against local units of government, and just one in 2016. In 2015, there were two complaints filed against local units of government, and five complaints filed in 2014. “I don't know if there's greater awareness, but it's more at the forefront because of the Me Too movement,” Engelman said of the increase in complaints for the first eight months of 2018. While Engelman did not reveal the case, one of the 2018 complaints – which became a criminal case – was likely one where a northern Michigan doctor, Jonathon Robertson, with offices in Traverse City and Marquette – was charged with prescribing narcotics to female patients in exchange for sexual favors. Investigators believe two women were sexually assaulted by Robertson, who is accused of sexually penetrating the women under the guise of medical treatment. It's rare for a case to come before a prosecutor as a criminal case. Most are a complaint, and some become a civil case. The Human Resources Director of Rochester Hills, Pamela Gordon, reported there were two complaints against their municipality, one in 2017, and one in 2018, where a city parks employee alerted human resources of alleged harassment from a member of the public. No settlement was involved in either case, it was reported. Rochester has a non-discrimination policy which includes a sexual harassment policy, noting “The city prohibits sexual harassment of any kind by any person. Sexual harassment includes unwelcome sexual advances, unwelcome requests for sexual favors, or other unwelcome requests for sexual favors, or other unwelcome verbal or
physical conduct or communication of a sexual nature...A prompt investigation of all complaints will be undertaken. An employee will not be subject to punishment for reporting harassment or participating in a harassment investigation.” Rochester City Manager Blaine Wing reported there has been no reports of any harassment in the city in at least the last five years. “In April, our employees attended anti-harassment training, lead by the city’s labor firm, Keller Thoma. Attorney Gouri G. Sashital was the trainer for all of our sessions this year,” Wing said in an email. Birmingham has not had any complaints in any department in at least the last five years. Their policy states, in part, “Unwelcome sexual advances, requests for sexual favors or other verbal, physical or visual conduct relating to an individual's religion, race, color, national origin, age, sex, height, weight, marital status or handicap constitutes harassment when: Submission to the conduct is made either an explicit or implicit condition of employment; Submission to or rejection of the conduct is used as the basis for an employment decision affecting the harassed employee; or the harassment substantially interferes with an employee's work performance; creates an intimidating, hostile or offensive work environment; or it otherwise adversely affects an individual's employment opportunities.” Dennis VanDeLaar, human resources director for the city of Royal Oak, said that while they have a sexual harassment policy, it is under review “and will likely be updated in the very near future.” He was not aware of any recent complaints against any Royal Oak employees. Royal Oak's sexual harassment policy and procedure policy is currently more of a statement – “Employees are to read this policy statement carefully and to immediately report suspected cases of sexual harassment to the city manager or the human resources director...the city reaffirms its policy that all employees have a right to expect a working environment free of unwelcome sexual advances, requests for sexual favors and other verbal or physical conduct or communication of a sexual nature.” The Troy Fire Department, which has its own sexual, ethnic, racial and religious harassment policy separate from the city of Troy, has had seven harassment complaints since 2014. The policy states, “All persons who violate this policy will be subjected to disciplinary procedures up to and including discharge.” The city of Troy, which first issued their harassment policy in December 1988, and last revised it in 2010, is detailed in noting “Workplace harassment and discrimination can take many forms. It may consist of, but is not limited to, vulgarity, requests, gestures, written material, jokes, cartoons, pictures, posters, email jokes or statements, pranks, intimidation, physical assaults or contact, or violence.” The city has a strict policy of non-retaliation, and a thorough, detailed review and documentation process. Doug Simon, business director for the Michigan House of Representatives, said the state legislature has had a harassment policy that dates back about 20 years. “It does prevent harassment and guide us. We believe it's a strong policy, and about a year ago, we began reviewing it again, to make it stronger, along with our training materials.” He noted the business office is non-partisan. “Our office worked with both Republican and Democratic leadership, as well as the Progressive Women's Caucus, and we partnered in this review, and there were some additions to our policy. Going back 20 years, our policy has always required any new employee and any newly elected member to take our harassment seminar on preventing sexual harassment in the work place training. We changed that requirement, and added to that, so that now, all members and staff, everyone, needs to go through that once a year. It reinforces the training and keeps it fresh.
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One in three employees will be sexually harassed, with 50 to 80 percent of the sexual harassment taking place at work. Only 25 percent will tell anyone – and only five percent will file a grievance or report their harassment. “That was a major change. We also added a clarifying change that specified our reporting channels,” Simon said. “We better illustrated our reporting channels if you are a victim and how that would flow from reporting to resolution.” He noted that prior to the changes, the policy and training were heavily weighted towards prevention. “Today, there is greater emphasis on how to handle it, what to do if it happens, and how to report it. I think it's more balanced that way.” He said there's been a clarification of what is harassment, “so that it's understood from all parties.” He would not provide the policy, noting the state legislature is not subject to the Freedom of Information Act (FOIA). In the last 10 years or so, there has only been one instance of a sexual harassment claim against a representative, Simon said, and it was settled. Former Rep. Brian Banks (D-Harper Woods) was sued for sexual harassment by his legislative aide, Tramaine Cotton, in 2013. According to Simon, the House settled with Cotton in October 2015, paying him $8,450 from appropriated funds. Banks later resigned from office over another offense. Despite some misconceptions, the infamous “Courser/Gamrat” case, where two state representatives who were having an affair and had their staffers cover it up, was never a case of sexual harassment, but of misconduct in office, misuse of state resources and wrongful termination of staffers. Amber McCann, spokesperson for Senate Majority Leader Arlan Meekof, responded that in the last five years in the state Senate, “there has been one claim of sexual harassment/discrimination made. The Senate retained an outside law firm to investigate the claim and it was found to have no merit.” She did not elaborate. Kristy Slosson, with human resources in Oakland County, said there has been only one sexual harassment complaint in the last five years in all departments, and it is a current case, in 2018, at probate court, with the outcome pending. According to the EEOC, there are two types of sexual harassment – “Quid Pro Quo,” which is very specific “tit for tat” kind of harassment, where an employee benefits such as raises, promotions and better working conditions are directly tied to compliance with sexual advances, or capitulation to sexual demands, by someone in a supervisory capacity or who otherwise has the authority to grant such benefits. A “hostile work environment” is the other kind of sexual harassment, which is defined as severe or pervasive conduct which unreasonably interferes with an employee's ability to work or creates an intimidating, hostile, or otherwise offensive environment. According to Bloomfield Township's policy of non-discrimination and anti-harassment, “A hostile work environment can be created by anyone in the work environment, including supervisors, other employees, or third parties (such as vendors, commission/board members, or elected officials). Hostile work environment harassment may consist of sexually charged language, unwelcome sexual materials, or unwelcome physical contact or physical proximity as a regular part of the work environment. Texts, emails, cartoons or posters of a sexual nature, vulgar or lewd comments or jokes, or unwanted touching may all constitute a hostile work environment. The use of sexual stereotypes may also create a hostile work environment.” Bloomfield Township's policy continues, elaborating verbal sexual harassment as including innuendoes, suggestive comments, sexual jokes, sexual propositions, lewd remarks and threats, requests for any type of sexual favor, including repeated and unwelcome requests for dates, and verbal abuse or “joking.” Non-verbal sexual harassment can include the distribution or display of any written or graphic
material, including calendars, posters and cartoons that are sexually suggestive or show hostility toward an individual or group because of sex. They can also include suggestive or insulting sounds, leering, staring, tickling, whistling, obscene tweets and Internet postings, or other forms of communication that are sexual in nature and offensive. Physical harassment includes any and all unwelcome, unwanted and unconsented to physical contact, which can include touching, pinching, patting, brushing up against, hugging, cornering, kissing and fondling, all the way up to assault and battery. Jim Fett, an employment attorney with Fett & Fields PC in Pinckney, who specializes in discrimination cases, “I tried my first harassment case in 1995, against the city of Ann Arbor, where several employees sued a supervisor for sexual harassment and retaliation. We won – and I haven't seen a change (in harassment cases) since.” Ann Arbor eventually reached a settlement in the case. Fett said that while as an attorney he sees more hostile work environment cases than quid pro quo situations, they often go hand-in-hand. “There are cases where there are both,” he noted. “Someone who is demanding sex for a promotion or penalizing an employee with a demotion is quite capable of doing all of the other things that would give rise to a hostile work environment.” On the facts page on their website, the EEOC states, “Unwelcome sexual advances, requests for sexual favors, and other verbal or physical conduct of a sexual nature constitute sexual harassment when this conduct explicitly or implicitly affects an individual's employment, unreasonably interferes with an individual's work performance, or creates an intimidating, hostile, or offensive work environment.” They advise the victim to tell the abuser to stop. In other words, if there's a question if it's appropriate behavior or not – just don't do it. But it's very important for someone who believes they have been a victim of abuse to tell their harasser to stop – and to report it. “It's a big deal for people to file,” Engelman emphasized. “What happens when you go to get another job? That is reality. “It's 85 percent (of women who experience some form of harassment). But then there are women who never report,” she said. “Women who are accomplished and successful women. By reporting, it gives women who don't have a voice feel like they have a voice. Like those girls with Nassar and MSU,” it allowed more and more girls and women to feel comfortable coming forward. “The thing that is amazing to me, after doing this for 32 years, and fielding about 1,000 inquiries for representation, a lot could be headed off if the person said no to the harasser or reported it to the person up the chain,” Fett said. “People are afraid to say no because they're afraid of being isolated and retaliated against in the work place – but the reality is, today there is more awareness in the work place. More people are aware because they've seen it and know about a situation. But they're afraid to say to the person, their supervisor or harasser – you're making me uncomfortable, stop. “You make a complaint, and if it is plausible, it is illegal to retaliate, even if it turns out to not be a genuine violation of sexual harassment law,” he noted. Andrew Abood, of the Abood Law Firm in E. Lansing and Birmingham, who represented some of the victims in the Michigan State University Nassar case, noted that many victims are hesitant to tell anyone “because with sexual harassment, more so than any other case, there is a stigma.” An additional reason of hesitancy to report for many, especially for those at a lower pay rung, “people cannot not have a job – so if they quit, it's a problem. They have to have a job,” Abood said. “They may quit and file a (sexual harassment) complaint, but if the damages are minimal, an attorney may not be willing to take it. It makes it difficult
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A hostile work environment, also considered a form of sexual harassment, is defined as severe or pervasive conduct which interferes with an employee's ability to work or creates an intimidating, hostile, or offensive environment. to go after it. As an attorney, you need a really special case to make it worthwhile. Also, if you file a case today, it can take months to come to court. Do plaintiffs have the wherewithal, the mindset, to sit it out for two years? For most people, it's better have a settlement.” Fett explained that to be a viable claim, by law, “a hostile work environment has to be pervasive and constant and severe – not just a random rude comment, or something like 'You look cute today.' A hostile work environment is different to an attorney – it's very specific under the law. It's an environment based on an illegal factor. If you don't complain to someone in management, to someone who can put an end to the harassment, you don't have a viable complaint against the company. You can end up suing the individual, but good luck collecting.” Abood acknowledged that in some offices and work places, there is a “generational difference in how people are perceived – not only in their language but in their expectations. You do see a more 'old school' attitude from the old guys. It's important for everyone to recognize they're wrongful acts and to rectify them. “Everyone's human,” Abood pointed out, “things can happen. But it's important to fix and rectify things.” Fett noted that often “a company never even knows it's happening.” They can take what he explains as “prompt remedial action” – where the company jumps right on the situation and eliminates the environment or stops the unwelcome sexual advances (the quid pro quo situation), “even if it has been going on for a long time, and they've been unaware of it, but they take action as soon as they find out – they're off the hook,” he explained. “The biggest exception is where there has been so much harassment and so much abuse that they should have known about it, even if no formal complaint has been filed.” Fett noted a case that went before the Sixth Circuit Court of Appeals “where they dressed down the local court for dismissing a case because there had been so much racial banter, graffiti on restroom walls, and the N-word frequently used, that the company had responsibility to head off these issues, and they were found liable even if they hadn't had a formal case filed.” The Bloomfield Township policy spells it right out – “An employee who reports a complaint or violation internally to the township is protected from retaliation, both by law and this policy. Additionally, any township employee who reports a violation or suspected violation of applicable state or federal law to the Michigan Department of Civil Rights, Equal Employment Opportunity Commission, or any authority, whether inside or outside of the township, or appears as a witness in the investigation of a complaint, shall not be subjected to retaliation or other adverse employment consequence.” Fett noted that cities, townships and other municipalities “are just as likely to be a defendant as anyone else. In the private sector, they often have savvier HR training. The Feds have savvy HR training, but in local governments, you really see some horrendous cases.” Steve Kaplan, West Bloomfield Township Supervisor, whose policy is specific in detailing different categories of sexual harassment, noted they haven't had any sexual harassment complaints since 2001. He said at that time it was between two females in the building/environment area, and no charges were brought, and there was no financial settlement. Bloomfield Township Clerk Jan Roncelli said that, as far as she knows, there has not been a case of sexual harassment reported from any department in Bloomfield Township. Bloomfield Township has separate non-discrimination and anti-harassment policies for its fire and police departments, with the police department adding that its policy also applies to “our citizens and vendors...concerning any individual employee; concerning any member of the public; concerning any group or segment of our society (for example any
ethnic, racial or religious group such as African Americans, Jews, Muslims, Chaldeans, females, etc.).” They also expressly prohibit ethnic comments, slurs or conduct, as well as “Conduct that denigrates or shows hostility or aversion to a person because of his/her gender and creates an intimidating, hostile or offensive work environment.” Police departments, with their traditional male, “macho” environments, have been ripe for sexual harassment and discrimination situations. In 2002, Fett sued the Dearborn Police Department for sexual harassment and assault, representing a female police officer who claimed she had been punished for speaking out when a fellow officer sexually harassed her at a department-run gun range. In her lawsuit against the city, Dearborn Police Lt. Karen Ehlert claimed members of the police department turned against her when she complained in 1999 that a male officer had dropped his trousers and made sexual remarks in front of her. The two were alone at the department gun range when the alleged incident occurred. The case was settled for an undisclosed amount of money. Fett again sued the Dearborn Police Department in 2008 for sexual harassment, which in a lawsuit he wrote, “The Dearborn Police Department workforce is best described as a gold ole boys' club where many of the males consider it a monumental affront that women are allowed on their force. Consequently, these males engage in meanspirited and many times life-threatening harassment of women. If a woman has the audacity to complain, the DPD, particularly Chief, whitewashes any incident and promptly retaliates against the troublemakers, whom the administration calls the 'evil ones.' Women comprise less than 10 percent of the DPD ranks and have risen above the rank of lieutenant. Plaintiff is a sergeant. Continuously throughout her employment, the males have created not just a hostile work environment, but a lethal one as well. They have done this by refusing to provide back-up and obstructing plaintiff's radio requests (called 'keying over') for same.” Throughout the legal brief, on behalf of several female Dearborn officers, Fett describes in detail vile and vulgar language used against the officers, such as referring to them as “the 'yeast team' because it had the most females; when two women ride in a squad car, the males refer to the cars as 'pussy cars;'” and references to rape and oral sex. There is also detailed discrimination, retaliation, and situations which left the female officers in dangerous positions. “She specifically reported the shunning, the abusive computer messaging, the keying over and the refusal to provide back up. She specifically … were targeting her because of her gender...To add insult to injury, Defendant is contesting Plaintiff's worker compensation claim.” Fett aid the case was resolved in 2008, and the department no longer tolerates the behavior. Whether as a result of the Me Too movement, or a recognition of their wrongs, on September 4, 2018, the state of Michigan settled a lawsuit on behalf of female prison guards who said their rights were being violated by mandatory overtime and other restrictions at the the Huron Valley women's prison in Washtenaw County, the only women's prison in the state. The state agreed to pay about $750,000 and lift a freeze on female officers transferring to other prisons. The deal settled a lawsuit by the U.S. Justice Department, which argued that Michigan can't lock workers in or out of a job just because of their sex. “I've represented a lot of women working in male businesses – the trades, cops – pretty much, they're going to be a good case. I've represented a lot of police officers, firefighters, plumbers. I like these cases, because when I was in high school, I'd look at these varsity athletes who would use their power and prestige to get the girls, and abuse them – it's that same abuse of power,” Fett said.
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MUNICIPAL Pension liabilities talks, no resolution
Bistro seating suggestion not well received By Lisa Brody
By Lisa Brody
Bloomfield Township Trustees were presented with options on how to potentially fund defined benefit and Other Postemployment Benefits (OPEB) liabilities at their meeting on Monday, August 27, following new state-required actions that mandate the township will have to come up with money in order to fund shortfalls in each. “Bloomfield Township has always been a pay as you go community,” supervisor Leo Savoie explained in beginning the discussion. “The state had set a threshold that any pay as you go community cannot go above 12 percent of its general fund; we're at 6.4 percent.” However, in December 2017, the state legislature passed and Gov. Snyder signed into law Public Act 202, also known as the Protecting Local Government Retirement and Benefits Act, which requires local municipalities to report and have a collective action plan for each retirement pension benefits and/or retirement health benefits account to the state treasury. Communities must report each plan's funded ratio by specifying assets and liabilities; the annual required contribution, if it is a retiree health care plan; the actuarial determined contribution, if it is a retirement pension plan; and the local unit of government's annual governmental fund revenues. The state treasury will then determine if the municipality is in “underfunded status.” Criteria for underfunded status triggers at less than 40 percent for retiree health systems, and less than 60 percent funding of pension systems. As of January 1, 2018, municipalities must develop collective action plans to show how they will get to a minimum of 40 percent funding in the next 30 years. “Bloomfield Township is one of the worst in the state,” Savoie said, stating the township is one of the 15 worst municipalities in the state, with $161 million in unfunded liabilities. “Forty percent of that is $65 million in today's dollars. Between the two (funds), we're looking at between a $5-$6 million deficit, and there's nothing to suggest that will change.” He said that state law requires the defined benefit plan, which was closed to new hires in 2005, to be 100 percent funded. The township has been fully funding that pension plan downtownpublications.com
irmingham city commissioners on Monday, September 17, remained dissatisfied with recommendations from the city's planning board on the number of seats for outdoor dining and decided to make that determination themselves at a meeting in October after they receive a list of all seating at the city's Class C liquor license establishments from planning director Jana Ecker, keeping in effect the current bistro ordinance requirements for the present time. The city's bistro ordinance was first established in 2007 to create small and intimate establishments in the city's downtown and entice operators to create unique dining operations in Birmingham as an economic incentive to drive walkable traffic to the city's retail community. The ordinance permits no more than 65 interior seats, with no more than 10 of those at a bar, large windows that open out to the street, outdoor dining, and restaurants where food is the focus, not the bar. Each year, two bistro liquor licenses can be given out by the city commission. Applications for the following year must be received by the city by October 1. Among the ordinance amendments presented to commissioners were not permitting enclosure of the outdoor space for year-round dining any longer, although those who have it, such as Social and Cafe Via, are to be grandfathered in; to treat bistros in different districts of the city, such as the Triangle District and the Rail District, differently from the central business district, by permitting 85 indoor seats, rather than 65 seats. Further, railings or planters on outdoor dining platforms cannot be any higher than 42-inches tall, and rooftop dining would be permitted as an outdoor use if surrounding properties are not negatively impacted and there is also adequate street level outdoor dining. As for the number of outdoor dining seats permitted, Ecker said the planning board determined that “the maximum would be the same number of seats as permitted indoors.” “I am concerned about our Class C restaurants and the high number of competitors,” said mayor pro tem Patty Bordman. “Eighty-five and 85 (seats) is not small and intimate, so I have concerns about these numbers.” Commissioner Rackeline Hoff agreed. “A hundred and seventy seems like a lot to me, especially in the Rail and Triangle districts, which are near a lot of homes,” she said. “This is nowhere near the original models we were using when we created (the bistro ordinance),” said commissioner Carroll DeWeese. “Sixty-five has worked.” “For six months of the year, it's treating these bistros greater than our legacy license holders. I can tell you, as someone, along with commissioner Hoff, who worked on the original ordinance, that was not the intent,” said commissioner Stuart Sherman. “The 65 number was well thought out. I would just say our job is not to protect the legacy license holders but to think of the community as a whole.” Ecker said the planning board did not want to put a limit on any outdoor seating, and did not feel sending it back to the planning board would be beneficial. Commissioners requested a list of all Class C establishments and their number of seats, and continued the public hearing until October 8, where they said they would make the determination.
through pension obligation bonds which were done in 2013, with the funds placed in an equity fund to further raise money for the township. Prior to that time, the township was funding the defined benefit plan out of its general fund. The OPEB health care fund was closed to new hires in 2011. Township finance director Jason
Theis explained that actuaries have suggested that if they contribute $10.3 million a year for 15 years, “assuming an increase in health care costs of four percent each year...we could be fully funded for the OPEB plan in 15 years.” He said since floating the pension obligation bonds in 2013, they had been meeting the anticipated costs of
the defined benefit pension plan, but in 2018, they received a surprise of an increase of $3.7 million due to an increase in demands on the plan. “The conclusion is we should expect an annual contribution each budget year going forward, and we won't know what it will be until after the budget is approved,” Theis said. “If you only wanted to fund the past service costs, it is $6 million; to only fund normal costs, it's $5 million,” Theis said. “To fund both, it's $11 million. To fund based on the state's recommendation of obtaining 40 percent (over 30 years), it's $2.5 million (a year). “No one's telling us how to fund or when, so those are just some examples,” he said. “We have enough funding in reserves to last us about two years. We have to come up with a solution to solve the shortfalls,” Savoie said. “This is a 40-50 year accumulation of promises that were never addressed. In the last week, I've met with every department, every employee group so they understand where we are. We met with Moody's back in July.” Board members were advised they will need to work with department heads on potential long-term solutions. Trustee Dave Buckley was concerned that he and other trustees do not have the skills and preparation to work with departments for long term cost-cutting. Savoie said it was now a need. “Currently, there's no teeth, but they (the state of Michigan) could send in (an emergency manager) to those municipalities who don't reach those liabilities. There's going to be a lot of cuts,” he said. “Hopefully, in six, seven years, those pension obligation bonds will be paid off, and that will relieve some general fund expenditures,” Theis said.
Library youth room architect approved Birmingham city commissioners unanimously approved an agreement with Luckenbach Ziegelman Gardner for architectural services for the proposed renovations for the youth services section of the Baldwin Public Library, at their meeting on Thursday, September 6. Library director Doug Koschik informed commissioners that two architectural firms had responded to request for proposals (RFPs) to renovate the youth room, which will 69
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be phase two of a planned three-part renovation of the library. The library did a complete renovation of the adult services and references areas in 2016 and 2017. Phase three is anticipated to be for the circulation department, redoing the front entrance, and possibly adding a small cafe. Luckenbach Ziegelman Gardner did the work on phase one of the adult services and reference areas of the library. “Luckenbach Ziegelman was over $10,000 less than the other firm, and the library board recommends awarding the contract to LZG,” Koschik said. “As well as being about $11,000 less, they also did the adult services renovation, which was a great success,” noted commissioner Rackeline Hoff. “It would provide great continuity,” Koschik agreed. “They already know the building. It would be the same team.” He said both the design and architectural drawings are due by
December 20, in order for the library to present them to the city commission for approval. “We hope to begin construction in summer 2019, and expect it to be done by April 2020,” Koschik said, noting the youth room would be closed during construction.
Plaintiffs awarded millions in water suit By Lisa Brody
Oakland County Circuit Court Judge Dan O'Brien awarded $3.8 million in damages in one part of a class action suit against Bloomfield Township on Wednesday, September 5, on the issue of where water that is lost from the system should be paid from, determining that those costs should be paid from the township's general fund and not from water and sewer customers. A class action suit was filed against Bloomfield Township filed in April 2016 by the law firm Hanley Kickham, which has been largely
y At The Communit
successful suing municipalities for excessive water and sewer fees, asserting municipalities have raised revenue in violation of the Headlee tax limitation amendment. Bloomfield Township residents who had paid the township for water and sewer services since March 31, 2010, had been included in the Oakland County Circuit County suit, Youmans v. Charter Township Bloomfield, which challenged Bloomfield Township's imposition of water and sewer charges as a tax in excess of rates imposed by Southeast Oakland County Water Authority (SOCWA). SOCWA resells water to Bloomfield Township from the city of Detroit, and the Oakland County Water Resources Commission, which provides sewer services for the township. The case was tried for the full month of February 2018 before O'Brien, who took the case under advisement until July 12. There were seven issues under contention in the lawsuit. O'Brien ruled that there was no violation of the Headlee Amendment; that
stormwater charges were not pass through fees levied from Oakland County; and that water that is used to fight fires in the township, the “public fire protection remedy,” which the plaintiff asserted was money water and sewer customers should not have been paying for, and they had requested $8.4 million for The Maine Curve analysis theory, which deals with stormwater management hydrology and floodwater control, based on population, O'Brien rejected the analysis, and ruled for the township. In the lost water category, which was broken down into three categories, the court found in favor of the plaintiff for tap water, but ordered no damages. They were seeking $3.5 million. On other issues, O'Brien had directed the two sides to come up with what the damages, if any, should be. Bloomfield Township attorney Bill Hampton said, “The plaintiff had entered a motion for $9.5 million, and we had a motion to enter for $0. That
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is how it got from $9.5 million to $3.8 million. There were two outstanding issues – sewer only customers and non-rate revenue. The judge on those two issues didn't award any damages. It was awarded in the water loss issue. “That dealt with his (O'Brien's) interpretation of a township ordinance,” Hampton continued, “for water that is lost through leaky pipes, water main breaks, water used during construction, that it shouldn't be paid for by water and sewer customers but should be paid for by the township's general fund – so he awarded Kickham Hanley, i.e., the class, $3.8 million.” Hampton said he will recommend the township file an appeal of that award to the Michigan Court of Appeals. The township has 21 days from when the judgement is filed to appeal. Over the last several years, Kickham Hanley PLLC of Royal Oak has filed water and sewer lawsuits against several other municipalities, in the name of a resident, as class
action suits. They came to settlements with Royal Oak, for $2 million; Ferndale, for $4.2 million; Waterford for $1.4 million; and Birmingham, for $2.8 million, among other communities. A class action lawsuit against the city of Westland was dismissed.
RFP for review of city's retail plan set The Birmingham City Commission unanimously approved a request for proposal (RFP) for a review of the downtown retail area, and directed staff to issue the RFP on Monday, August 27. The commission had sent the RFP back to the planning board for revisions and details at their meeting on August 13, and while some commissioners put a magnifying glass to the RFP once again, they did find a consensus after fine-tuning the language in order to make it clear and focused. Planning director Jana Ecker
noted in a memo they had incorporated in the commission's goal to determine how best to organize the existing redline retail district in order to continue developing a pedestrianoriented experience in downtown Birmingham. “Retail isn't dead – it's just changing,” pointed out mayor pro tem Patty Bordman. Commissioner Mark Nickita said it was important in the RFP to “strengthen the downtown retail environment. We also need to find out the size of leasable spaces. We've done things a certain way for 20 years. I don't think this is restricting it at all.”
Unsightly hiccups at Barnum Park ending Birmingham residents living near Barnum Park will hopefully be appeased as new grass takes root and the area bordered by an unsightly fence is decreased, according to Lauren Wood, director of public
services for the city of Birmingham. Wood said the problems began with a regrading project last October 2017. “We were originally redoing all the grassland and open spaces last fall,” she said. “We've found other places” for the users of the soccer, football and baseball fields at the park. The regrading project was originally approved for $21,900 by the Birmingham City Commission in August 2017, for field improvements to be done by Home Field Turf, a landscaping company in Clarkston. The repair and regrading work at Barnum Park began in October. Wood said the issues at the park were not apparent until the spring. “This spring was extremely wet, and we had a lot of heavy rains, warm ups and then cool downs,” she said. “We noticed some ponding water facing Pierce Street in the easterly area.” She said the work had to be redone. “We said 'we should do this right,' so they regraded it again. They added drain tiles so the water won't
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pond and it won't be unusable.” Home Field Turf, in conjunction with the DPW department, added drain tiles, new top soil and grass seed. “Then the seeding had to be irrigated so the grass could grow. We couldn't cut (the grass) for a while – we had to allow it to rest and grow, to allow it to root. That's why the fence is still around it.” She said she has met some neighborhood groups to keep them informed. Despite that, there remains neighborhood concerns of an unsightly mess where there once was a beautiful park. “Barnum Park was fine until they 'fixed it,'” said one resident. Wood said she has asked her park manager to shift the fencing to a more interior area now that the grass is becoming established. “It is done – we're just waiting for the grass to germinate while it's growing,” she said. “We'll shift the fence into the interior because we don't want foot traffic there.” She said the fields will not be playable this fall for soccer or football.
As for the original quote from Home Field Turf, she said the regrading was covered, but not the drain tiles. “Home Field does work on a lot of our parks and ballfields,” Wood said. “They're really reputable and do great work. We want to make it a beautiful park for everyone.”
Road projects tied up in labor dispute While no one loves road construction, having road construction projects stopped due to labor issues is even worse, which is what is currently happening around the metro Detroit area, including two Bloomfield Township projects, due to the lockout of operating engineer members by the Michigan Infrastructure and Transportation Association (MITA), which took effect Tuesday, September 4, before the union could strike. Numerous projects are impacted by the lockout, including the
Telegraph Road repair project, which was supposed to begin Wednesday, September 5; and a Lincoln Road repaving project which was to begin utilizing tri-party funds. According to Bloomfield Township Engineer Olivia Olsztyn-Budry, “The union that represents the workers in the pavement industry has decided to strike. Due to the strike, Ajax is shutting down the tri-party program. At this time, this strike does not affect the Chestnut Run North SAD (special assessment district), as the contractor Pro-line is not a union employer. It is undetermined if the strike will affect suppliers to Pro-line. As of now, they are working, and Dolan, the sub-contractor for the concrete curb, will start tomorrow (Wednesday, September 5).” The Telegraph Road repairs had been planned by for three segments in Bloomfield Township. The first segment, which had been scheduled to take place from early September through mid-October, is southbound Telegraph from Orchard Lake Road to Square Lake Road. The second
segment, which had been planned for mid-October to late November, is both north and southbound Telegraph from Long Lake Road to Square Lake Road; and the third segment, planned for mid-September through midOctober, is both north and southbound Telegraph approaching the Maple intersection. The resurfacing project was to include various types of repairs, including milling two-inches of concrete and replacing it with asphalt; concrete pavement repairs; drainage structure repairs; and pavement markings. There is no current timeline for the project. In a letter to Michigan Department of Transportation (MDOT) and Road Commission of Oakland County (RCOC), Bryant Moorman, project manager at Ajax Paving Industries, stated that the collective bargaining contract between the International Union of Operating Engineers (OE) and MITA had expired, and “Although the industry (MITA) has made several attempts to initiate negotiations with OE, the union has refused to meet
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and has since initiated a strike against a member MITA contractor. Therefore, a lockout of all OE 324 members was initiated on Tuesday, September 4, 2018, at 7 a.m.” Moorman wrote that due to the possibility the labor dispute may extend for an unknown period of time, they formally submitted a notice of intent to extend the length of time for their contracts and additional compensation “that are the result of this labor dispute shutdown (ie suspension of work).” Kirk Steudle, director of MDOT, responded that he was in receipt of their letter, and would evaluate them “on a project-level basis according to the terms of each contract.” Steudle also wrote, “MDOT is concerned about the impacts of the impending lockout and remains committed to keeping projects advancing as much as possible during any lockout period...MDOT looks forward to a quick resolve of this situation.”
Second firm coming to master plan meet By Lisa Brody
Birmingham city commissioners postponed approving a contract for the city's master plan update after hearing from DPZ, the recommended firm, at their meeting on Monday, September 17, and not being completely satisfied, requested to hear from the other firm meeting the city's qualifications during the request for proposal (RFP). Planning director Jana Ecker said the city received three responses to the RFP, with two, from DPZ of Miami, and MKSK of Columbus, meeting the requirements. The ad hoc master plan selection committee interviewed both firms on August 29, did formal evaluations, and after tallying both, said that DPZ came up in the lead, for an amount of $298,000, to provide professional services to prepare an update of the city's comprehensive master plan of the entire city. Commissioners were concerned reading the materials provided that DPZ, formerly known as Duany PlaterZybeck, who created the city's 2016 Plan, was overly focused on the city's retail area, and was not looking to incorporate the neighborhoods and other subplans. They extensively questioned DPZ partner Matthew Lambert and Bob Gibbs, of Gibbs Planning Group in Birmingham. downtownpublications.com
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A split among the commissioners developed, with mayor Andy Harris and commissioners Stuart Sherman and Pierre Boutros supporting approving the contract with DPZ, and mayor pro tem Patty Bordman, commissioners Rackeline Hoff and Carroll DeWeese against without hearing from MKSK, and Mark Nickita absent. “I'm uncomfortable making a decision without hearing from both because I'm only hearing from one side of the story,” DeWeese said. “I don't see any reason to not go with the recommendation of the committee,” Harris said. “We don't appoint a committee to do what you're asking the commission to do all over again,” Sherman noted. “I am not a rubber stamp,” Bordman challenged. Harris said he objected to the characterization of the meeting as a rubber stamp. “We have received reams of documentation and asked dozens of questions.” Sherman suggested asking the teams to come back for full presentations, but Hoff and Bordman felt they had heard from DPZ, and it was determined that just MKSK needed to come before the commission in the future to answer questions.
Parking review to be expanded in city A request to include a review of parking requirements for residential units in the downtown area in a current parking review contract was unanimously approved by Birmingham city commissioners at their meeting on Monday, August 27. Assistant city manager Tiffany Gunter explained to commissioners that the parking requirement review would be added to an existing contract with Nelson Nygaard for parking master plan services that the city contracted for in February 2018. The firm will evaluate parking requirements for both private developments and mixed use zone districts in the downtown overlay district, the Triangle District and the Rail District. The approved cost is not to exceed $17,640. Currently, parking is required to be provided for residential uses on all properties, whether or not they are located within a parking assessment district. In the central business district, there is no requirement to provide parking for office or retail uses.
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Patricia Mooradian atricia Mooradian began working at The Henry Ford thinking it would be an interesting experience to go from the for-profit world to a non-profit. If it worked, it worked, otherwise she would go on to something else. “Here I am, 18 years later, absolutely loving it, probably more than I did when I started,” she said. “I’m so ingrained with the mission now myself, it’s become part of who I am. It’s changed my life.” When Mooradian – who started as vice president in 2000 and become The Henry Ford’s CEO in 2005 – talks about the work she and her team have done during her tenure, that passion and awe and excitement is in every syllable. You would think this is her first week on the job, not her 936th. For her, the people she works with – who she called some of the most talented she’s ever worked with – are part of the reason she’s stayed so long. Mooradian knows the importance of being able to work together. She grew up with four sisters, who often had to band together to get things done. “That opportunity to be resourceful and creative translates into my life today and into my work,” said the Bloomfield Hills resident. “I always seemed to enjoy working with a lot of people and creating teams.” At her current job she not only works with a lot of people spread throughout the campus’ 250 acres, but a lot of items. The Henry Ford has one of the finest collections in the world representing American progress, innovation and ingenuity. Mooradian is partial to Edison’s laboratory and the Rosa Parks bus, the latter of which she still gets goosebumps from even though she’s been on it hundreds of times. She isn’t the only one effected by their collection.
She recently heard from a family that sat on the bus, which propelled them to have a conversation they may not have otherwise. “That’s why we exist,” she said. “And when you put that story in to the context of today and all the things that are happening in the world, you can look back in order to look forward. I always say even though we are an American history museum with these great stories of progress and history and American innovation, we’re about the future.” In the last decade, Mooradian and her team have taken that last part to heart. They know the way the world learns and engages is quickly changing, so they started digitizing their collection, which has turned into an entire department. These digital changes have had some pretty large effects on The Henry Ford, which now works with people all over the world. The other thing that came out of that was a TV show, The Henry Ford’s Innovation Nation with Mo Rocca, which airs weekly on CBS and has been syndicated in 67 countries. “Part of that is because we digitized, because of technology, because we are trying to extend our brand and become more nationally known, which is helping us become more globally known,” Mooradian said. Saying Mooradian has accomplished a lot during her time at The Henry Ford would be an understatement, but she shows no signs of slowing down or leaving any time soon. She’s in it for the long haul now. “There’s so much more to do that I see myself doing it for…well into the future,” she laughed. “Retirement is not a word I use.” Story: Dana Casadei
Photo: Laurie Tennent
248-421-2670 firstname.lastname@example.org 4130 telegraph Road / Bloomfield hills / Mi 48302 / www.nancykaras.maxbroock.com
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Forest Lakefront Bloomfield Twp toBocMaN BUt BetteR - 2012 ReBUiLd oN a peNNiNSULa! Large 1.07 acre lot, approx 640' of water frontage! entry level master suite, 3.1 baths, 4 beds, 4 car garage. extensive glass, gleaming hardwood floors, grand ceiling heights, clean lines, open concept, access to all sports lake! entry level laundry room, two way fireplace, 2 large decks,large granite kitchen, high-end appliances: double refrigerator with 4 freezer drawers, professional gas range, floor-to-ceiling wine cooler, separate built-ins include: oven, steamer, microwave & coffee/capucino maker. Bloomfield hills schools!
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MaGNiFiceNt LaKe VieWS and access to Forest Lake and all-Sports Upper Long Lake. 3,766 SF Ranch on .6 ac w/ 140' of lake frontage. 4 bedrooms including a huge master suite with exercise room. Built in 1953 and expanded and remodeled in 1991. hardwood floors in Great Room with vaulted ceiling and fireplace. driveunder 2 car garage, plus tandem space for 3rd vehicle, boat or storage. Massive deck across the back and large dock. Quiet cul-de-sac location. Bloomfield hills Schools.
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PLACES TO EAT The Places To Eat for Downtown is a quick reference source to establishments offering a place for dining, either breakfast, lunch or dinner. The listings include nearly all dining establishments with seating in the Birmingham/Bloomfield area, and then some select restaurants outside the immediate area served by Downtown.
Birmingham/Bloomfield 220: American. Lunch & Dinner, MondaySaturday. Reservations. Liquor. 220 E. Merrill Street, Birmingham, 48009. 248.646.2220. 5th Tavern: American. Lunch & Dinner daily. No reservations. Liquor. 2262 S. Telegraph Road, Bloomfield Township, 48302. 248.481.9607. Adachi: Asian. Dinner daily. Liquor. Reservations. 325 S. Old Woodward, Birmingham 48009. 248.540.5900. Andiamo: Italian. Lunch & Dinner, daily. Reservations. Liquor. 6676 Telegraph Road, Bloomfield Township, 48301. 248.865.9300. Bagger Dave's Legendary Burger Tavern: American. Lunch & Dinner, daily. No reservations. Liquor. 6608 Telegraph Road, Bloomfield Township, 48301. 248.792.3579. Bangkok Thai Bistro: Thai. Lunch & Dinner, daily. No reservations. 42805 Woodward Ave., Bloomfield Township, 48304. 248.499.6867. Beau's: American. Lunch & Dinner, daily. No reservations. Liquor. 4108 W. Maple, Bloomfield Hills, 48301. 248.626.2630. Bella Piatti: Italian. Lunch & Dinner, Tuesday-Saturday. Reservations. Liquor. 167 Townsend Street, Birmingham, 48009. 248.494.7110. Beverly Hills Grill: American. Breakfast, Lunch & Dinner, daily. Liquor. No reservations. 31471 Southfield Road, Beverly Hills, 48025. 248.642.2355. Beyond Juice: Contemporary. Breakfast & Lunch daily; Dinner, Monday-Saturday. No reservations. 270 West Maple Avenue, Birmingham, 48009. 248.594.7078. Big Rock Chophouse: American. Lunch & Dinner, Monday-Saturday. Reservations. Liquor. 245 South Eton Street, Birmingham, 48009. 248.647.7774. Bill's: American. Breakfast, Lunch & Dinner, Daily. Reservations, lunch only. Liquor. 39556 Woodward Avenue, Bloomfield Hills, 48304. 248.646.9000. Birmingham Sushi Cafe: Japanese. Lunch & Dinner, daily. Reservations. Liquor. 377 Hamilton Row, Birmingham, 48009. 248.593.8880. Bistro Joe’s Kitchen: Global. Lunch & Dinner, daily. Sunday brunch. Liquor. Reservations. 34244 Woodward Ave., Birmingham, 48009. 248.594.0984. Bloomfield Deli: Deli. Breakfast & Lunch, Monday-Friday. No reservations. 71 W. Long Lake Road, Bloomfield Hills, 48304. 248.645.6879. Brooklyn Pizza: Pizza. Lunch & Dinner, daily. No reservations. 111 Henrietta Street, Birmingham, 48009. 248.258.6690. Café ML: New American. Dinner, daily. Liquor. Call ahead. 3607 W. Maple Road, Bloomfield Township. 248.642.4000. Cameron’s Steakhouse: American. Dinner, daily. Reservations. Liquor. 115 Willits Street, Birmingham, 48009. 248.723.1700. China Village: Chinese. Lunch & Dinner, daily. Reservations. 1655 Opdyke, Bloomfield Hills, 48304. 248.758.1221. Churchill's Bistro & Cigar Bar: Lunch &
Dinner, daily. No reservations. Liquor. 116 S. Old Woodward Avenue, Birmingham, 48009. 248.647.4555. Cityscape Deli: Deli. Lunch & Dinner, Monday-Saturday. No reservations. Beer. 877 W. Long Lake Road, Bloomfield Hills, 48302. 248.540.7220. Commonwealth: American. Breakfast & Lunch, daily. No reservations. 300 Hamilton Row, Birmingham, 48009. 248.792.9766. Dick O’Dow’s: Irish. Lunch & Dinner, daily. Reservations. Liquor. 160 West Maple Avenue, Birmingham, 48009. 248.642.1135. Eddie Merlot's: Steak & seafood. Dinner, daily. Reservations. Liquor. 37000 Woodward Avenue, Bloomfield Hills, 48304. 248.712.4095. Einstein Bros. Bagels: Deli. Breakfast & Lunch, daily. No reservations. 4089 West Maple Road, Bloomfield Hills, 48301. 248.258.9939. Elie’s Mediterranean Cuisine: Mediterranean. Lunch & Dinner, MondaySaturday. No reservations. Liquor. 263 Pierce Street, Birmingham, 48009. 248.647.2420. Embers Deli & Restaurant: Deli. Breakfast & Lunch, daily. Dinner, Monday-Friday. No reservations. 3598 West Maple Road, Bloomfield Hills, 48301. 248.645.1033. Flemings Prime Steakhouse & Wine Bar: American. Dinner, daily. Reservations. Liquor. 323 N. Old Woodward Avenue, Birmingham, 48009. 248.723.0134. Forest: European. Dinner, Monday-Saturday. Reservations. Liquor. 735 Forest Avenue, Birmingham 48009. 248.258.9400. Greek Island Coney Restaurant: Greek. Breakfast, Lunch & Dinner, daily. No reservations. 221 Hamilton Row, Birmingham, 48009. 248.646.1222. Griffin Claw Brewing Company: American. Dinner, Tuesday-Friday, Lunch & Dinner, Saturday and Sunday. No Reservations. Liquor. 575 S. Eton Street, Birmingham. 248.712.4050. Honey Tree Grille: Greek/American. Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner, daily. No reservations. 3633 W. Maple Rd, Bloomfield, MI 48301. 248.203.9111. Hunter House Hamburgers: American. Breakfast, Monday-Saturday; Lunch & Dinner, daily. No reservations. 35075 Woodward Avenue, Birmingham, 48009. 248.646.7121. Hyde Park Prime Steakhouse: American. Dinner, daily. Reservations. Liquor. 201 S. Old Woodward, Birmingham, 48009. 248.594.4369. IHOP: American. Breakfast, Lunch, & Dinner, daily. No reservations. 2187 S. Telegraph Road, Bloomfield Hills, MI 48301. 248.333.7522. Joe Muer Seafood: Seafood. Lunch & Dinner daily; Sunday brunch. Reservations. Liquor. 39475 Woodward Avenue, Bloomfield Hills, 48304. 248.792.9609. Kaku Sushi and Poke': Asian. Lunch & Dinner. Tuesday-Sunday. No reservations. No Liquor. 869 W. Long Lake Road, Bloomfield Township, 48302. 248.480.4785, and 126 S. Old Woodward, Birmingham, 48009. 248.885.8631. Kerby’s Koney Island: American. Breakfast, Lunch, & Dinner, daily. No reservations. 2160 N. Woodward Avenue, Bloomfield Hills, 48304. 248.333.1166. La Marsa: Mediterranean. Lunch & Dinner daily. Reservations. 43259 Woodward Ave., Bloomfield Hills, 48302. 248.858.5800.
October 28 END OF SEASON CELEBRATION!
SUNDAYS 9 AM - 2 PM
THROUGH OCTOBER 28 660 NORTH OLD WOODWARD MICHIGAN-GROWN PRODUCE CERTIFIED ORGANIC PRODUCE KIDS ZONE / FRESH PREPARED FOODS GARDEN PLANTS & FLOWERS LIVE ENTERTAINMENT END OF SEASON CELEBRATION / OCT. 28 Join us as we celebrate a wonderful season. Enjoy corn shelling, children’s pumpkin craft, pumpkin carving demonstrations, live music and trick-or-treating in your costumes throughout the market.
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OAKLAND • ADHD DRUG ABUSE • REPORT ON SCHOOL SECURITY • FIGHT Join local businessCARD leaders, 400 of whom use Downtown FOR SENIOR HOUSING • BLOOMFIELD PARK PLANS • REAL ESTATE SALES REBOUND • on a regular basis, in our November issue. AND FEDERAL REGULATIONS PSD AS DRIVING CITY FORCE • SCHOOL LUNCHES Ad deadline Friday, October 12.
THE POLICE TASER CONTROVERSY • TESTING THE NOISE LEVELS • CONTROLLING Contact Mark Grablowski.
SCHOOL BULLIES • LOCAL RECYLCING EFFORTS • CHANGING ROLE OF LIBRARIES • Office: 248.792.6464 ext. 601 MarkGrablowski@DowntownPublications.com
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MEETING RULES • NEW LIFE FOR CITY ALLEYS • RAIL DISTRICT REVIVAL • CABLE TV WARS • PUBLIC/PRIVATE SCHOOL CRIME • WHO IS WATCHING THE CHILDREN? • CONCERNS OVER STYRENE • COMPLETE STREETS PROGRAM • STUDENT ATHLETE CONCUSSIONS • WHO OWNS DOWNTOWN BIRMINGHAM • HOMELESS IN OAKLAND COUNTY • MUNICIPAL, SCHOOL LEGAL FEES • FUTURE OF CITY GOLF COURSES • OPENING UP GOVERNMENT FILES • MUNICIPAL ETHICS GUIDELINES
La Strada Dolci e Caffe: Italian. Breakfast, Lunch & Dinner, Tuesday-Sunday. No reservations. Liquor. 243 E. Merrill Street, Birmingham, 48009. 248.480.0492. Leo’s Coney Island: American. Breakfast, Lunch & Dinner, daily. No reservations. 154 S. Old Woodward Avenue, Birmingham, 48009. 248.593.9707. Also 6527 Telegraph Road, Bloomfield Hills, 48301. 248.646.8568. Little Daddy’s Parthenon: American. Breakfast, Lunch & Dinner, daily. No reservations. 39500 Woodward Avenue, Bloomfield Hills, 48304. 248.647.3400. Luxe Bar & Grill: American. Lunch & Dinner, daily; Late Night, 9 p.m.-closing. No reservations. Liquor. 525 N. Old Woodward Ave., Birmingham, 48009. 248.792.6051. Mad Hatter Cafe: Tea Room. Brunch, Lunch & Dinner. No reservations. Liquor. 185 N. Old Woodward, Birmingham, 48009. 248.540.0000 Mandaloun Bistro: Lebanese. Lunch, Monday-Friday. Dinner, Daily. Reservations. Liquor. 30100 Telegraph Rd., Suite 130, Bingham Farms, 48025. 248.723.7960. Market North End: Mediterranean. Lunch & Dinner, Tuesday-Sunday. No reservations. Liquor. 474 N. Old Woodward Avenue, Birmingham, 48009. 248.712.4953. MEX Mexican Bistro & Tequila Bar: Mexican. Lunch, Monday-Friday, Dinner, daily. Liquor. 6675 Telegraph Road, Bloomfield Township, 48301. 248.723.0800. Nippon Sushi Bar: Japanese. Lunch & Dinner daily. No reservations. Liquor. 2079 S. Telegraph, Bloomfield Township, 48302. 248.481.9581.º Olga’s Kitchen: American. Lunch & Dinner, daily. No reservations. 2075 S. Telegraph Road, Bloomfield Hills, 48302. 248.451.0500. Original Pancake House: American. Breakfast, Lunch, & Dinner, daily. No reservations. 33703 South Woodward Avenue, Birmingham, 48009. 248.642.5775. Panera Bread: American. Breakfast, Lunch & Dinner, daily. No reservations. 100 North Old Woodward Avenue, Birmingham, 48009. 248.203.7966. Also 2125 S. Telegraph Road, Bloomfield Hills, 48302. 248.253.9877. Phoenicia: Middle Eastern. Lunch, MondayFriday; Dinner, daily. Reservations. Liquor. 588 South Old Woodward Avenue, Birmingham, 48009. 248.644.3122. Pita Cafe: Middle Eastern. Lunch & Dinner, daily. No reservations. 239 North Old Woodward Avenue, Birmingham, 48009. 248.645.6999. Qdoba: Mexican. Lunch & Dinner, daily. No reservations. 795 East Maple Avenue, Birmingham, 48009. 248.988.8941. Also 42967 Woodward Avenue, Bloomfield Township, 48304. 248.874.1876 Red Olive: Middle Eastern/American. Breakfast, Lunch & Dinner, daily. No reservations. 42757 Woodward Avenue, Bloomfield Township, 48302. 248.481.7767. Roadside B & G: American. Lunch & Dinner, daily. No reservations. Liquor. 1727 S. Telegraph Road, Bloomfield Hills, 48302. 248.858.7270. Rojo Mexican Bistro: Mexican. Lunch & Dinner, daily. Reservations. Liquor. 250 Merrill Street, Birmingham, 48009. 248.792.6200. Salvatore Scallopini: Italian. Lunch & Dinner, daily. No reservations. Beer & Wine. 505 North Old Woodward Avenue,
Birmingham, 48009. 248.644.8977. Sidecar Slider Bar: Burgers. Lunch & Dinner, daily. No reservations. Liquor. 280 E. Merrill Street, Birmingham 48009. 248.220.4167. Social Kitchen & Bar: American. Lunch & Dinner, daily. Reservations, parties of 5 or more. Liquor. 225 E. Maple Road, Birmingham, 48009. 248.594.4200. Stacked Deli: Deli. Breakfast & Lunch, Monday-Saturday. Delivery available. No reservations. 233 North Old Woodward, Birmingham, 48009. 248.593.5300. Steve’s Deli: Deli. Breakfast, Lunch & Dinner, daily. No reservations. 6646 Telegraph Road, Bloomfield, 48301. 248.932.0800. Streetside Seafood: Seafood. Lunch, Monday-Friday; Dinner, daily. Reservations, Lunch only. Liquor. 273 Pierce Street, Birmingham, 48009. 248.645.9123. Sushi Hana: Japanese. Lunch, MondayFriday; Dinner, Monday-Saturday. Reservations. 42656 Woodward Avenue, Bloomfield Hills, 48304. 248.333.3887. Sy Thai Cafe: Thai. Lunch & Dinner, daily. No reservations. 315 Hamilton Row, Birmingham, 48009. 248.258.9830. Tallulah Wine Bar and Bistro: American. Dinner. Monday-Saturday. Sunday brunch. Reservations. Liquor. 55 S. Bates Street, Birmingham, 48009. 248.731.7066. The Franklin Grill: American. Lunch & Dinner, Monday-Saturday. Reservations. Liquor. 32760 Franklin Rd, Franklin, 48025. 248.865.6600. The Gallery Restaurant: American. Breakfast, Lunch & Dinner, daily. No reservations. Beer & wine. 6683 Telegraph Road, Bloomfield Hills, 48301. 248.851.0313. The Moose Preserve Bar & Grill: American. Lunch & Dinner, daily. No reservations. Liquor. 2395 S. Woodward Avenue, Bloomfield Hills, 48302. 248.858.7688. The Rugby Grille: American. Breakfast, Lunch & Dinner, daily. Reservations. Liquor. 100 Townsend Street, Birmingham, 48009. 248.642.5999. Toast: American. Breakfast & Lunch, daily; Dinner, Monday-Saturday. Reservations. Liquor. 203 Pierce Street, Birmingham, 48009. 248.258.6278. Tomatoes Pizza: Pizza. Lunch & Dinner daily. Carryout. 34200 Woodward Avenue, Birmingham 48009. 248.258.0500. Touch of India: Indian. Lunch & Dinner, daily. No reservations. 297 E. Maple Road, Birmingham, 48009. 248.593.7881. Townhouse: American. Brunch, Saturday, Sunday. Lunch & Dinner, daily. No reservations. Liquor. 180 Pierce Street, Birmingham, 48009. 248.792.5241. Triple Nickel Restaurant and Bar: American. Lunch & Dinner, daily. Liquor. Reservations. 555 S. Old Woodward, Birmingham 48009. 248.480.4951. Vinotecca: European. Dinner, TuesdaySaturday. Reservations. Liquor. 210 S. Old Woodard, Birmingham, 48009. 248.203.6600. Village Coney Island: American. Breakfast, Lunch & Dinner, daily. No reservations. 653 S. Adams. Birmingham, 48009. 248.593.7964. Whistle Stop Diner: American. Breakfast & Lunch, daily; No reservations. 501 S. Eton Street, Birmingham, 48009.
Royal Oak/Ferndale Ale Mary's: American. Weekend Brunch. Lunch & Dinner, daily. No reservations. Liquor. 316 South Main St., Royal Oak, 48067. 248.268.1917. Anita’s Kitchen: Middle Eastern. Lunch & Dinner, daily. No reservations. Beer & Wine. 22651 Woodward Ave., Ferndale, 48220. 248.548.0680. Assaggi Bistro: Italian. Lunch, TuesdayFriday. Dinner, Tuesday-Sunday. Reservations. Liquor. 330 W. Nine Mile Rd., Ferndale, 48220. 248.584.3499. Bigalora: Italian. Weekend Brunch. Lunch, Monday-Friday. Dinner, daily. No Reservations. Liquor. 711 S. Main Street, Royal Oak, 48067. Bistro 82: French. Dinner, daily. Reservations. Liquor. 401 S. Lafayette Ave., Royal Oak, 48067. 248.542.0082. The Blue Nile: Ethiopian. Dinner, TuesdaySunday. Reservations. Liquor. 545 W. Nine Mile Rd., Ferndale, 48220. 248.547.6699. Cafe Muse: French. Breakfast & Lunch, daily. Dinner, Tuesday-Saturday. Reservations. Liquor. 418 S. Washington Ave., Royal Oak, 48067. 248.544.4749. Cork Wine Pub: American. Sunday Brunch. Dinner, Monday-Saturday. Reservations. Liquor. 23810 Woodward Ave., Pleasant Ridge, 48069. 248.544.2675. D’Amato’s: Italian. Sunday Brunch. Dinner, Tuesday-Saturday. Reservations. Liquor. 222 Sherman Dr., Royal Oak, 48067. 248.584.7400. Due Venti: Italian. Sunday Brunch. Dinner, Tuesday-Saturday. Reservations. Liquor. 220 S. Main St., Clawson, 48017. 248.288.0220. The Fly Trap: Diner. Breakfast & Lunch, daily. Dinner, Monday-Friday. No reservations. 22950 Woodward Ave., 48220. 248.399.5150. GreenSpace Cafe: Vegan. Dinner, TuesdaySaturday. No reservations. Liquor. 215. W. Nine Mile Rd., Ferndale, 48220. 248.206.7510. Howe’s Bayou: Cajun. Lunch, MondaySaturday. Dinner, daily. No reservations. Liquor. 22949 Woodward Ave., Ferndale, 48220. 248.691.7145. Inn Season Cafe: Vegetarian. Sunday Brunch. Lunch & Dinner, Tuesday-Saturday. No reservations. 500 E. Fourth St., Royal Oak, 48067. 248.547.7916. Inyo Restaurant Lounge: Asian Fusion. Weekend Brunch. Lunch & Dinner, daily. No reservations. Liquor. 22871 Woodward Ave., Ferndale, 48220. 248.543.9500. KouZina: Greek. Lunch & Dinner, daily. No reservations. 121 N. Main St., Royal Oak, 48067. 248.629.6500. Kruse & Muer on Woodward: American. Lunch & Dinner, daily. Reservations. Liquor. 28028 Woodward Ave., Royal Oak, 48067. 248.965.2101. Lily’s Seafood: Seafood. Weekend Brunch. Lunch & Dinner, daily. No reservations. Liquor. 410 S. Washington Ave., Royal Oak, 48067. 248.591.5459. Lockhart’s BBQ: Barbeque. Sunday Brunch. Lunch & Dinner, Monday-Saturday. No reservations. Liquor. 202 E. Third St., Royal Oak, 48067. 248.584.4227. Oak City Grille: American. Dinner, daily. Reservations. Liquor. 212 W. 6th St, Royal Oak, 48067. 248.556.0947. One-Eyed Betty: American. Weekend Breakfast. Dinner, daily. No reservations. Liquor. 175 W. Troy St., Ferndale, 48220. 248.808.6633. Pronto!: American. Weekend Brunch. Lunch
& Dinner, daily. No reservations. Liquor. 608 S. Washington Ave., Royal Oak, 48067. 248.544.7900. Public House: American. Lunch & Dinner, daily. No reservations. Liquor. 241 W. Nine Mile Rd., Ferndale, 48220. 248.850.7420. Redcoat Tavern: American. Lunch & Dinner, daily. No reservations. Liquor. 31542 Woodward Ave., Royal Oak, 48073. 248.549.0300. Ronin: Japanese. Dinner, daily. No reservations. Liquor. 326 W. 4th St., Royal Oak, 48067. 248.546.0888. Royal Oak Brewery: American. Lunch & Dinner, daily. No reservations. Liquor. 215 E. 4th St., Royal Oak, 48067. 248.544.1141. Strada: Italian. Dinner, Wednesday - Sunday. Liquor. No reservations. 376 N. Main Street. Royal Oak, 48067. 248.607.3127. Toast, A Breakfast and Lunch Joint: American. Breakfast & Lunch, daily. No reservations. 23144 Woodward Ave., Ferndale, 48220. 248.398.0444. Tom’s Oyster Bar: Seafood. Lunch & Dinner, daily. Reservations. Liquor. 318 S. Main St., Royal Oak, 48067. 248.541.1186. Town Tavern: American. Lunch & Dinner, daily. No reservations. Liquor. 116 W. Fourth St., Royal Oak, 48067. 248.544.7300. The Morrie: American. Dinner, daily. No reservations. Liquor. 511 S. Main St., Royal Oak, 48067. 248.216.1112. Trattoria Da Luigi: Italian. Dinner, TuesdaySunday. Reservations. Liquor. 415 S, Washington Ave., Royal Oak, 48067. 248.542.4444. Twisted Tavern: American. Dinner, daily. No reservations. Liquor. 22901 Woodward Ave., Ferndale, 48220. 248.545,6750. Vinsetta Garage: American. Lunch & Dinner, daily. No reservations. Liquor. 27799 Woodward Ave., Berkley, 48072. 248.548.7711.
Troy/Rochester Capital Grille: Steak & Seafood. Lunch, Monday-Saturday. Dinner, daily. Reservations. Liquor. 2800 West Big Beaver Rd., Somerset Collection, Troy, 48084. 248.649.5300. Cafe Sushi: Pan-Asian. Lunch & Dinner, daily. Reservations. Liquor. 1933 W. Maple Rd, Troy, 48084. 248.280.1831. Cantoro Italian Trattoria: Italian. Dinner, daily. Reservations. Liquor. 1695 E. Big Beaver Road, Troy 48083. 248.817.2424. CK Diggs: American & Italian. Lunch & Dinner, Monday-Saturday. Reservations. Liquor. 2010 W. Auburn Road, Rochester Hills, 48309. 248.853.6600. O’Connor’s Irish Public House: Irish. Lunch & Dinner, daily. Reservations. Liquor. 324 S. Main St., Rochester, 48307. 248.608.2537. Kona Grille: American. Lunch & Dinner, daily. Reservations. Liquor. 30 E. Big Beaver Rd., Troy, 48083. 248.619.9060. Kruse & Muer on Main: American. Sunday Brunch. Lunch & Dinner, daily. Reservations. Liquor. 327 S. Main St., Rochester, 48307. 248.652.9400. Lakes: Seafood. Lunch, Monday-Friday. Dinner, daily. Reservations. Liquor. 5500 Crooks Rd., Troy, 48098. 248.646.7900. McCormick & Schmick’s: Steak & Seafood. Lunch & Dinner, daily. Reservations. Liquor. Somerset Collection, 2850 Coolidge Hwy, Troy, 48084. 248.637.6400. The Meeting House: American. Weekend
Originally planned for the former Eden Nightclub, 22061 Woodward Avenue, Bobcat Bonnie’s will now open its Ferndale location at 240 W. Nine Mile Road, formerly home to Zeke’s Rock and Roll BBQ. “It’s a better fit, to be honest,” said owner Matt Buskard. “Its crazy how one door closes and a better door opens.” With hopes for an end of fall opening Buskard said the Ferndale restaurant will be the same in regard to menu and concept as their Corktown and Wyandotte locations. They plan to have the whole Bobcat experience – dinner, lunch, and brunch services – going full tilt within two months of opening and are just plain excited to be in Ferndale. “I think we’re going to fit in like a glove there,” he said.
Brunch. Dinner, Tuesday-Sunday. No reservations. Liquor. 301 S. Main St, Rochester, 48307. 248.759.4825. Miguel’s Cantina: Mexican. Lunch, MondayFriday. Dinner, daily. Reservations. Liquor. 870 S. Rochester Rd, Rochester Hills, 48307. 248.453.5371. Mon Jin Lau: Asian. Lunch, Monday-Friday. Dinner, daily. Reservations. Liquor. 1515 E. Maple Rd, Troy, 48083. 248.689.2332. Morton’s, The Steakhouse: Steak & Seafood. Dinner, daily. Reservations. Liquor. 888 W. Big Beaver Rd, Troy, 48084. 248.404.9845. NM Café: American. Lunch, MondaySaturday. Reservations. Liquor. 2705 W. Big Beaver Rd, Troy, 48084. 248.816.3424. Oceania Inn: Chinese. Lunch & Dinner, daily. Reservations. Liquor. The Village of Rochester Hills, 3176 Walton Blvd, Rochester Hills, 48309. 248.375.9200. Ocean Prime: Steak & Seafood. Lunch, Monday-Friday. Dinner, daily. Reservations. Liquor. 2915 Coolidge Hwy., Troy, 48084. 248.458.0500. Orchid Café: Thai. Lunch, Monday-Friday. Dinner, daily. Reservations. 3303 Rochester Rd., Troy, 48085. 248.524.1944. P.F. Chang’s China Bistro: Chinese. Lunch & Dinner, daily. Reservations. Liquor. Somerset Collection, 2801 W. Big Beaver Rd., Troy, 48084. 248.816.8000. Recipes: American/Brunch. Breakfast & Lunch, daily. No reservations. Liquor. 134 W. University Drive, Rochester, 48037. 248.659.8267. Also 2919 Crooks Road, Troy, 48084. 248.614.5390. Rochester Chop House: Steak & Seafood. Lunch, Monday-Friday. Dinner, daily. Reservations. Liquor. 306 S. Main St., Rochester, 48307. 248.651.2266. Ruth’s Chris Steak House: Steak & Seafood. Dinner, daily. Reservations. Liquor. 755 W. Big Beaver Rd., Troy, 48084. 248.269.8424. Silver Spoon: Italian. Dinner, MondaySaturday. Reservations. Liquor. 6830 N. Rochester Rd., Rochester, 48306. 248.652.4500. Steelhouse Tavern: American. Lunch & Dinner, daily. Reservations. Liquor. 1129 E. Long Lake Rd., Troy, 48085. 248.817.2980. Too Ra Loo: American. Lunch & Dinner, daily. No reservations. Liquor. 139 S. Main St., Rochester, 48307. 248.453.5291.
Toma comes to Corktown
What does being this year’s winner of the $50,000 prize in the Comerica Hatch Detroit Contest mean to Toma Detroit? “Winning it gives us a foot in the door...it gives us a chance to really get this project off the ground,” said Jose Maldonado, one of the restaurants four partners. “It’s an unbelievable feeling.” The money will go towards securing their liquor license that comes with the building – once home to Casey’s Pub at 1830 Michigan Avenue, Detroit – and beginning to build out the space, adding an additional 300square-feet. While their original plan was to be in Mexicantown, they felt there weren’t any Latin restaurants in Corktown. “I feel like we’re bridging a cultural gap between the two neighborhoods,” he said. Toma Detroit is hoping for an opening by the end of 2019 and will be the first tequila bar in Detroit, but tequila isn’t all they’ll have. The restaurant plans on offering a menu full of Latin favorites – with a slight twist, along with a tasting room where they’ll be able to educate guests on tequila, agave, and mezcal.
Bacco: Italian. Lunch, Monday-Friday. Dinner, Monday-Saturday. Reservations. Liquor. 29410 Northwestern Highway, Southfield, 48034. 248.356.6600. Beans and Cornbread: Southern. Lunch & Dinner, daily. Reservations. Liquor. 29508 Northwestern Highway, Southfield, 48034. 248.208.1680. Bigalora: Italian. Weekend Brunch. Lunch, Monday-Friday. Dinner, daily. No Reservations. Liquor. 29110 Franklin Road, Southfield, 48034. Maria’s Restaurant: Italian. Dinner, daily. Reservations. Liquor. 2080 Walnut Lake Road, West Bloomfield, 48323. 248.851.2500. The Bombay Grille: Indian. Lunch & Dinner, daily. Reservations. 29200 Orchard Lake Rd, Farmington Hills, 48334. 248.626.2982. The Fiddler: Russian. Sunday Brunch. Dinner, Thursday-Sunday. Reservations. Liquor. 6676 Orchard Lake Rd, West Bloomfield Township, 48322.
Metro Intelligencer is a monthly column devoted to news stories, tidbits and gossip items about what's happening on the restaurant scene in the metro Detroit area. Metro Intelligencer is reported/created each month by Dana Casadei who can be reached at DanaCasadei@DowntownPublications.com with news items or tips, on or off the record.
Second poké location Opening their second location in Birmingham was a no brainer for Kaku Sushi & Poké. “We’ve always been kind of drawn to Birmingham and the community,” said manager Maikue Vang. “When an opportunity came we definitely wanted to take advantage of it.” Owner and chef Kaku Usui – who is also Vang’s husband – has created a menu very similar to their Bloomfield Township spot at 869 W. Long Lake Road, at Telegraph, except there are a few more Japanese sushi rolls. Their signature Hawaiian poké is still very much on the menu at the new location, 126 S. Old Woodward Avenue, which is about 1,600-square-feet and seats 20. Kaku Sushi & Poké has now opened two restaurants in under two years, so what comes next? For now, Vang said there are no plans for expansion – but never say never. “Who’s to say what will happen in the future?” she said.
Grand dining entry The highly anticipated Gran Castor – run by the Curt Catallo and wife Ann Stevenson restaurant development company Union Joints – has opened for dinner with a unique flair, and in a unique location. Home to a former Hooters restaurant at 2950 Rochester Road in Troy, Stevenson, who also served as the restaurant’s designer, described their latest project as Latin street food set in “the funkiest rec room ever.” After already having success with their Clarkston restaurant Honcho, where they also do Latin street food, the company decided to bring that flavor to Gran Castro. While Stevenson is partial to their avocado salad – a mix of grilled avocado, spiced nuts, spring mix, and queso fresco, tossed with a mole vinaigrette – and the soon to be added stuffed trout – which they’ll cook in their pizza oven – the menu also has items like jackfruit tacos, curried oxtail, pizzas, and dessert, along with a full bar and a cafe with coffee roasted at Honcho. The name gran castro means “big beaver” in Spanish – an ode to being located at the intersection of Big Beaver Road.
Bobcat Bonnie’s comes north
Anchor away Got a hankering for an original Buffalo wing? Head directly to the new Anchor Bar, which just located at 2945 S. Rochester Road in Rochester Hills. Anchor Bar was the spot, in Buffalo, New York, which created the delicacy
248.851.8782. Mene Sushi: Japanese. Lunch & Dinner, daily. No reservations. Beer & Wine. 6239 Orchard Lake Rd, West Bloomfield Township, 48322. 248.538.7081. Meriwether’s: Seafood. Lunch, MondaySaturday. Dinner, daily. Reservations. Liquor. 25485 Telegraph Rd, Southfield, 48034. 248.358.1310. Pickles & Rye: Deli. Breakfast, Lunch, & Dinner, daily. No reservations. 6724 Orchard Lake Rd, West Bloomfield Township, 48322. 248.737.3890. Prime29 Steakhouse: Steak & Seafood. Dinner, daily. Reservations. Liquor. 6545 Orchard Lake Rd., West Bloomfield, 48322. 248.737.7463. Redcoat Tavern: American. Lunch & Dinner, Monday-Saturday. No reservations. Liquor. 6745 Orchard Lake Rd., West Bloomfield Township, 48322. 248.865.0500. Shangri-La: Chinese. Lunch & Dinner, daily. Reservations. Liquor. Orchard Mall Shopping Center, 6407 Orchard Lake Rd, West Bloomfield Township, 48322. 248.626.8585. Sposita’s Ristorante: Italian. Friday Lunch. Dinner, daily. Reservations. Liquor. 33210 W. Fourteen Mile Rd., West Bloomfield Township, 48322. 248. 538.8954. Stage Deli: Deli. Breakfast, Lunch, & Dinner, daily. No reservations. Liquor. 6873 Orchard Lake Rd., West Bloomfield Township, 48322. 248.855.6622. Yotsuba: Japanese. Lunch & Dinner, daily. Reservations. Liquor. 7365 Orchard Lake Rd, West Bloomfield, 48322. 248.737.8282.
West Oakland Gravity Bar & Grill: Mediterranean. Monday – Friday, Lunch & Dinner, Saturday, Dinner. Reservations. Liquor. 340 N. Main Street, Milford, 48381. 248.684.4223. It's A Matter of Taste: American. Lunch & Dinner, daily. Reservations. Liquor. 2323 Union Lake Road, Commerce, 48390. 248.360.4150. The Root Restaurant & Bar: American. Lunch & Dinner, Monday - Saturday. Reservations. Liquor. 340 Town Center Blvd., White Lake, 48390. 248.698.2400. Volare Ristorante: Italian. Lunch & Dinner, daily. Reservations. Liquor. 48992 Pontiac Trail, Wixom, 48393. 248.960.7771.
North Oakland Clarkston Union: American. Lunch & Dinner, daily. No reservations. Liquor. 54 S. Main St., Clarkston, 48346. 248.620.6100. Holly Hotel: American. Afternoon Tea, Monday – Saturday, Brunch, Sunday, Dinner, daily. Reservations. Liquor. 110 Battle Alley, Holly, 48442. 248.634.5208. Kruse's Deer Lake Inn: Seafood. Lunch & dinner, daily. Reservations. Liquor. 7504 Dixie Highway, Clarkston, 48346. 248.795.2077. The Fed: American. Lunch and Dinner daily, Brunch, Saturday and Sunday. Liquor. 15 S. Main Street, Clarkston, 48346. 248.297.5833 Via Bologna: Italian. Dinner daily. No reservations. Liquor. 7071 Dixie Highway, Clarkston. 48346. 248.620.8500. Union Woodshop: BBQ. Dinner, Monday – Friday, Lunch & Dinner, Saturday – Sunday. No reservations. Liquor. 18 S. Main St., Clarkston, 48346. 248.625.5660
Detroit Bucharest Grill: Middle Eastern. Lunch & Dinner, daily. No reservations. Liquor. 2684 E. Jefferson, Detroit, 48207. 313.965.3111. Cliff Bell’s: American. Sunday Brunch. Dinner, Tuesday-Sunday. Reservations. Liquor. 2030 Park Ave., Detroit, 48226. 313.961.2543. Craft Work: American. Sunday Brunch. Dinner, Monday-Saturday. Reservations. Liquor. 8047 Agnes St., Detroit, 48214. 313.469.0976. Cuisine: French. Dinner, Tuesday-Saturday. Reservations. Liquor. 670 Lothrop Rd., Detroit, 48202. 313.872.5110. The Detroit Seafood Market: Seafood. Lunch & Dinner, daily. Reservations. Liquor. 1435 Randolph St., Detroit, 48226. 313.962.4180. El Barzon: Mexican. Lunch, Tuesday-Friday. Dinner, Tuesday-Sunday. Reservations. Liquor. 3710 Junction St., Detroit, 48210. 313.894.2070. Fishbone’s Rhythm Kitchen Café: Cajun. Breakfast, daily. Sunday Brunch. Lunch, Monday-Saturday. Dinner, daily. No reservations. Liquor. 400 Monroe Street, Detroit, 48226. 313.965.4600. Giovanni’s Ristorante: Italian. Lunch & Dinner, Tuesday-Saturday. Reservations. Liquor. 330 S. Oakwood Blvd., Detroit, 48217. 313.841.0122. Green Dot Stables: American. Lunch & Dinner, daily. No reservations. Liquor. 2200 W. Lafayette, Detroit, 48216. 313.962.5588. Jefferson House: American. Breakfast, Lunch, & Dinner, daily. Reservations. Liquor. 2 Washington Blvd., Detroit, 48226. 313.782.4318. Joe Muer Seafood: Seafood. Lunch, Monday- Friday, Dinner, daily. Reservations. Liquor. 400 Renaissance Center, Detroit, 48243. 313.567.6837. Johnny Noodle King: Japanese. Lunch & Dinner, daily. No reservations. Liquor. 2601 W. Fort St., Detroit, 48216. 313.309.7946. Mario’s: Italian. Dinner, daily. Reservations. Liquor. 4222 2nd Ave., Detroit, 48201. 313.832.1616. Midtown Shangri-la: Chinese. Lunch & Dinner, Monday-Saturday. Reservations. Liquor. 4710 Cass Ave., Detroit, 48201. 313.974.7669. Motor City Brewing Works: American. Lunch & Dinner, daily. No reservations. Beer & Wine. 470 W. Canfield St., Detroit, 48201. 313.832.2700. 1917 American Bistro: American. Sunday Brunch. Lunch & Dinner, Monday-Saturday. Reservations. Liquor. 19416 Livernois Ave., Detroit, 48221. 313.863.1917. Prism: Steak & Seafood. Dinner, TuesdaySaturday. Reservations. Liquor. 555 E. Lafayette St, Detroit, 48226. 313.309.2499. Red Smoke Barbeque: Barbeque. Lunch & Dinner, daily. Reservations. Liquor. Trappers Alley Shopping Center, 573 Monroe Ave., Detroit, 48226. 313.962.2100. Russell Street Deli: Deli. Breakfast & Lunch, Monday-Saturday. No reservations. 2465
Russell St, Detroit, 48207. 313.567.2900. Santorini Estiatorio: Greek. Lunch & Dinner, Tuesday-Sunday. Reservations. Liquor. 501 Monroe Ave, Detroit, 48226. 313.962.9366. Selden Standard: American. Weekend Brunch. Lunch, Monday-Friday. Dinner, daily. Liquor. Reservations. 3921 Second Ave., Detroit, 48201. 313.438.5055. SheWolf Pastifico & Bar: Italian. Dinner, Tuesday through Sunday. Reservations. Liquor. 438 Selden St, Detroit 48201. 313.315.3992. Sinbad’s: Seafood. Sunday Brunch. Lunch & Dinner, daily. Reservations. Liquor. 100 St Clair St., Detroit, 48214. 313.822.8000. Slows Bar BQ: Barbeque. Lunch & Dinner, daily. No reservations. Liquor. 2138 Michigan Ave, Detroit, 48216. 313.962.9828. Small Plates Detroit: American. Lunch & Dinner, Monday-Saturday. Reservations. Liquor. 1521 Broadway St., Detroit, 48226. 313.963.0702. St. CeCe’s Pub: American. Sunday Brunch. Lunch & Dinner, Monday-Saturday. No reservations. Liquor. 1426 Bagley Ave., Detroit, 48216. 313.962.2121. Tap at MGM Grand: American. Breakfast, Lunch, & Dinner, daily. No reservations. Liquor. 1777 Third Street, Detroit, 48226. 313.465.1234. Taqueria Nuestra Familia: Mexican. Breakfast, Lunch, & Dinner, daily. Reservations. Liquor. 7620 Vernor Hwy., Detroit, 48209. 313.842.5668. The Block: American. Sunday Brunch. Lunch & Dinner, daily. No reservations. Liquor. 3919 Woodward Ave, Detroit, 48201. 313.832.0892. Tom’s Oyster Bar: Seafood. Lunch, MondayFriday. Dinner, Monday-Saturday. Reservations. Liquor. 519 East Jefferson Ave., Detroit, 48226. 313.964.4010. Traffic Jam & Snug: American. Lunch & Dinner, daily. No reservations. Liquor. 511 W. Canfield, Detroit, 48201. 313.831.9470. 24grille: American. Sunday Brunch. Lunch & Dinner, daily. Reservations. Liquor. The Westin Book Cadillac Detroit, 1114 Washington Blvd, Detroit, 48226. 313.964.3821. Union Street: American. Lunch & Dinner, daily. Reservations. Liquor. 4145 Woodward Ave, Detroit, 48201. 313.831.3965. Vince’s: Italian. Lunch, Tuesday-Friday. Dinner, Tuesday-Sunday. Reservations. Liquor. 1341 Springwells St., Detroit, 48209. 313.842.4857. Vivio’s Food & Spirits: American. Saturday Breakfast. Lunch & Dinner, daily. No reservations. Liquor. 2460 Market St., Detroit, 48207. 313.393.1711. The Whitney: American. Breakfast, Lunch, & High Tea, Monday-Friday. Sunday Brunch. Dinner, daily. Liquor. Reservations. 4421 Woodward Ave, Detroit, 48201. 313.832.5700. Wolfgang Puck Pizzeria and Cucina: Italian. Dinner, Wednesday-Sunday. Reservations. Liquor. 1777 Third St, Detroit, 48226. 313.465.1646. Wolfgang Puck Steak: Steak & Seafood. Dinner, daily. Reservations. Liquor. 1777 Third St, Detroit, 48226. 313.465.1411. Wright & Co.: American. Dinner, MondaySaturday. No reservations. Liquor. 1500 Woodward Ave Second Floor, Detroit, 48226. 313.962.7711.
known as wings – an unbreaded chicked wing which they deep-fried and then coated in a hot sauce. Anchor Bar serves more than 1 million pounds of chicken every year, and with the opening of the Rochester Hills location, this American classic is available locally. “We are extremely excited to open the first Anchor Bar in Michigan and continue this almost 55-year tradition of serving the best Buffalo Wings in America,” said franchisee Gordon Sesh. “My partners Raj Ven and Ravi Ikkiurthjy and I, could not think of a better place than the restaurant that put chicken wings on the culinary map to dine and watch a game with family and friends.”
Detroit’s Frita Batidos Next year the Cuban-inspired restaurant, Frita Batidos, will expand to downtown Detroit on Columbia Street, near the Fox Theatre and the new Little Caesars World Headquarters. For owner Eve Aronoff, this is a long time coming. Aronoff, who originally gained fame for her high-end gourmet restaurant Eve, in Ann Arbor’s Kerrytown, switched her focus to Frita Batidos, which is her interpretation of Cuban street food. Fritas are traditional Cuban burgers; batidos are tropical milkshakes. Aronoff has been actively searching for a space to put the second restaurant – the original Frita Batidos is currently in Ann Arbor – for the last few years. Aronoff said the essence will be same, as will most of the menu. There will be a few changes though, such as their Burger Battle-winning burgers being on the menu, and some grab-and-go style options. Before the brick-and-mortar restaurant opens, which will be around the beginning of next year’s baseball season, they plan on opening an Airstream food truck, perhaps even as early as January. Hours haven’t been set yet, but if there’s good support Aronoff sees them being open the same hours as the restaurant. “We’ll be open whenever people want to eat Frita,” she said. “It’s going to be a really big, fun party fiesta out there.” The food truck will primarily be serving frita and their most popular batidos.
Barter and arts With bars opening all over metro Detroit, Cait Pluto, Jake Goodrich, and Jennifer Sandella wanted to make sure their bar would stand out. Enter Barter – located at 11601 Joseph Campau Avenue in Hamtramck – which will not only be a bar but a community arts space. “For us, it’s really about the arts and that’s kind of where this idea came from, and the bar sort of followed,” said Pluto, who is the marketing director of the unique combined space. “It just seemed like the perfect match.” With hopes of opening later this fall, ideally in late November/early December, Pluto said they want to have five acts a week once they open, ranging from live music to theater, with a focus on local artists. As far as the cocktails go, even a struggling artist should be able to afford them, and the menu is already on their website. Cans of beer will be in the $2-$3 range, and cocktails will hopefully max at $9, including Pluto’s favorite, the Get Up and Go, which combines bourbon, coffee, and chili liquor.
Food truck expansion Once a food truck, Norma G’s officially opened their brick-and-mortar spot August 17 according to the restaurant’s Facebook page. Named after his mom, Norma G’s owner and chef Lester Gouvia is bringing Caribbean comfort food to 14700 E. Jefferson Avenue in Detroit with a menu that has many items familiar to those who enjoyed the food truck, including jerk chicken sliders. He’s also bringing flavors from his Trinidadian upbringing, such as doubles – a mix of chickpeas and onions served between fried dough that’s a popular Trinidadian street food. The sit-down restaurant will also offer a full bar.
Tomatoes Apizza So far, since opening, things have been going well for Tomatoes Apizza’s newest addition, a Birmingham location at 34200 Woodward Ave. “I love Birmingham – it’s amazing,” said owner Mike Weinstein. “The people are so amazingly nice. I just feel like the community’s amazingly great.” The 1,400-square-foot spot, adjacent to Papa Joe’s, will offer carryout and delivery, but no sit-down service like their Farmington locations. The New Haven style pizza (which means that it’s thin-crust and cooked in a coal-fired oven) will be just as delicious though, with offerings like the green pizza, topped with mozzarella, spinach, and garlic; crab pizza; and the Naples Sampler, which is each a quarter of a different style. Why try New Haven style pizza in Michigan, with its own infamous Detroit style? “Have you tried my pizza?” Weinstein said. “It’s really delicious.”
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THE COMMUNITY HOUSE Sites and Sounds of the Season BACK BY POPULAR DEMAND! Women of Influence Series: Registration now open. Thursday, September 27, Wednesday, October 3, Monday, October 8, and Thursday, October 18. A lecture series sponsored by The Community House featuring women shaping Michigan’s cultural and societal landscape. Special guest speakers include Jenenne Whitfield, President & CEO of The Heidelberg Project; Angela Rogensues, Executive Director of Playworks of Michigan; Terry Barclay, President & CEO of Inforum; and Ora Hirsch Pescovitz, President of Oakland University. Tickets are $15 per lecture, $45 for the series. Reserve your tickets early, seating is very limited. The 33rd Annual OUR TOWN Art Show and Sale takes place November 2nd & 3rd at The Community House. Presented by the Deroy Testamentary Foundation, this juried all media art show provides a forum for Michigan artists to display and sell their unique work. The exhibition includes paintings, pastels, sculptures, glassworks, fiber works, photography, jewelry, mixed media and more. Hours are 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. Admission to OUR TOWN is free.
The Our Town Art Show and Sale kicks off with an Opening Night Party from 6 p.m. to 9 p.m. on Thursday, November 1. The evening includes strolling hors d’oeuvres, beer, wine and cocktails, live entertainment and the first opportunity to preview and purchase art. Tickets to the opening night party are still available: Friends, $75; Michelangelo Benefactor, $1,000; Picasso, $750; Monet Benefactor, $250. Benefactor incentives are available depending upon Benefactor level chosen. A portion of all art sales benefit The Community House. The show then opens free to the public on November 2 and 3. Other TCH Happenings: ON SALE NOW: The Sara Smith Youth Theatre and The Community House is proud to present Disney’s The Lion King Jr., running Saturday, November 10, and Sunday, November 11. The story of The Lion King has captivated the imagination of audiences around the world for decades and this spectacular show is sure to delight audiences of all ages. A talented group of young actors from our community ages 8-18 bring the African savannah to life with Simba, Rafiki and an unforgettable cast of characters as they journey from Pride Rock to the jungle and back again in this inspiring, coming-of-age tale. These performers have worked diligently over the past two months to learn not only their parts, but the skills and lessons that comprise a rich theatre education as well. Performance dates: Saturday, November 10 - 10:30 a.m. and 1:30 p.m, and Sunday, November 11, 2 and 5 p.m.. Ticket prices are: Children’s Floor Seating: $10/pp; General Admission: $15/pp; Reserved Seating, $30/pp. Tickets can be purchased by calling 248.644.5832 or visiting communityhouse.com. HOLIDAY SAVE THE DATES: 1st Annual Holiday Concert Series hosted by The Community House, sponsored by Detroit Public Television and WRCJ 90.9 FM will take place at The Community House in the Wallace Ballroom on December 6th, 13th and 19th. Featuring sounds of the season performed by extraordinary chief or visiting musicians from various world renown orchestras and theatres, including the Detroit Symphony Orchestra, Metropolitan Opera Theatre, Ann Arbor Symphony Orchestra, Chicago Symphony Orchestra and Chamber Music of the Scarab Club. Save the date. Sugar Plum Tea brought to you by The Community House Dance Academy on Sunday, December 9. Take a trip to the Land of Sweets. You and your little one will have the opportunity to dance alongside our TCH Nutcracker performers, make custom holiday crafts, and enjoy an exquisite tea fit for a prima ballerina. Tickets are $20pp for children; $15pp for adults. Tickets on sale now. The Nutcracker performed by The Community House Dance Academy will take place on Sunday, December 16th in the Wallace Ballroom at The Community House. Two performances at 1:00 PM and 5:00 PM. Spend the holidays with The Community House Dance Academy for this time honored classic. The Nutcracker is a beloved tradition that is sure to delight audiences of all ages. Tickets are: $10pp Children’s Floor Seating; $15pp General Admission; $25pp Reserved Seating. Tickets are limited and do sell out quickly. Tickets on sale now. For reservations, tickets or more information about The Community House classes and events, please go to communityhouse.com or call 248.644.5832. William D. Seklar is President & CEO of The Community House and The Community House Foundation in Birmingham. downtownpublications.com
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SOCIAL LIGHTS/SALLY GERAK Here is the update on the recent social scene. Many more photos from each event appear online each week at downtownpublications.com where readers can sign up for an e-mail notice when the latest social scene column is posted. Past columns and photos are also archived at the website for Downtown.
Women’s Fund of Rochester Summer Soiree
Women’s Fund of Rochester Summer Soiree Perhaps Rochester’s most famous humanitarian – Meadow Brook Hall founder, the late Matilda Dodge Wilson – arranged the weather for the event staged on the terrace there by a group of current philanthropists. Many of the 120 guests ($65 or $120 ticket) commented on how perfect it was as they socialized, sipped, nibbled and bought chances on one of the 12 raffle packages donated by the WFR board. (This is comprised of Sue Upton, Kathy Bogdziewwicz, Lynn Florek, Barb Cenko, Kelly Dean, Judy De Steiger, Christina Hogan, Erika Kruse, Kathy McCarter, Lynn Oates and Lori Roscoe.) Conversations and violinist Harry Hovakimian paused for a brief program emceed by WFR president Sue Upton in which Rochester Area Neighborhood House’s Katie Lamb thanked the donors for one of the 2017 WFR grants. Career Dress and the Assistance League of Southeastern Michigan are the other two non-profits who received 2017 grants from the Women’s Fund. Bill Sternfels then received warm applause when he announced a donation to the WFR Helping Hands Fund in the name of his late wife Carol Kirken. She was one of the original 100 women who founded the organization in 2000. It now has 225 Partners ($1,000) and nine Legacy Circle members ($5,000 and up) and makes annual grants to agencies that make a difference in women’s lives. The Summer Soiree raised $6,000 and inspired three new Partners to join.
3 1. Maria Trahan (left) of Rochester Hills, Sue & Brad Upton of Rochester. 2. Leanna Kavanagh (left) of Oakland, Christine Hogan of Rochester. 3. Kathy Bogdziewwicz (left) of Oakland, Lucy Renzi of Rochester, Shirley Gofrend of Oakland, Judy deSteiger of Rochester Hills. 4. Barb Cenko (left) of Oakland and Lynn Florek of Lake Orion. 5. Lori Roscoe (left) and Cindy Nicholaou and Judge Julie Nicholson of Rochester Hills, Diane Mamon of Oakland.
Judson Center Golf Challenge The 26th annual golf fundraiser for the Judson Center was chaired by John Giamarco and Ryan Krause and brought 130 players to Franklin Hills Country Club. The team from G2 Consulting Group finished first and John Andrews hit the longest drive. Then there was the raffle for whatever ball landed closest to the hole after being dropped from a helicopter as the cocktail hour crowd watched. Bob Bouren had the winning numbered-ball, but he gave the $5,000 prize back to Judson center. Inspired perhaps by two who spoke during the dinner program emceed by Anne Marie LaFlamme: JC foster navigator Melissa Covell, who has personally fostered 23 children and knows that “...love changes outcomes,” and Lucine Taman, who spoke about her son “...for the first time with Trey in the room... He has not only thrived with Judson Center therapies, he has become a performer, which is unusual for those with autism”, she noted. Four live auction items then garnered more than $11,000. Thanks also to generous sponsors, the sporting event raised nearly $130,000.
Judson Center Golf Challenge
1. Joseph Saker (left) of Bloomfield, John Giamarco of Clawson, George Contis of Beverly Hills. 2. Todd Lackey (left) of Dearborn, Bruce Rysztak of Bloomfield, Alan Blanchett of Monroe. 3. Tricia Ruby (left) of Bloomfield, Leonora Hardy-Foster of Rochester Hills. 4. Danny Mage (left) of Royal Oak, Paul Christy of Birmingham, Ken Mage of Rochester Hills. 5. Trey and Lucine Tarman of Birmingham.
Rochester Garden Walk The Rochester Garden Club, a branch of the Woman’s National Farm and Garden Association, was founded in 1935 and stages a garden walk each summer. This year it attracted more than 750 flower lovers who visited the garden and vendor stations set up at the Van Hoosen Farm Museum before touring five private gardens plus the Stone Cottage Garden at the Older Persons Center (OPC). It is the result of four years of tender, loving care by the OPC Late Bloomers Gardening Group directed by Master Gardener Nancy Szerlag. When the gardens closed to tourists, OPC members gathered for an afterglow with music by the OPC Musicians. Paul W. Smith Golf Classic Each of the 256 golfers who played in the Paul W. Smith 10.18
Classic at the Detroit Golf Club received a Bridgestone rescue club, a sleeve of Bridgestone golf balls and the knowledge that their entry fee would benefit lots of kids. In addition to the 14,000 who participate in Detroit PAL athletic, academic and leadership development programs, this year the event also benefited clients of Variety, the Children’s Charity and the Children’s Center. The after golf scene was energized by Simone Vitale’s music on the terrace and camaraderie in the grill. The dinner program featured sincere remarks by CC’s Debora Matthews and Variety’s Michelle Murphy, a Girls Like Us Save the Day cheer by the PAL cheering team and PAL Youth of the Year Leah Colwell ended her remarks with a verity: “Hard work beats talent when talent doesn’t work hard.” Sponsor WJR’s Paul W. Smith and PAL’s Tim Richey announced the prize winners. First place teams got a trophy and each member got two, first-class, round trip Delta plane tickets. Individual winners received gift certificates from Ahee Jewelers or the Grand Hotel. Thanks to many generous sponsors, the 15th annual classic will add $470,000 to the $6 million raised in previous years. Art & Soul Dreams Opening Detroit Country Day School art teacher Melissa Parks welcomed 100 well wishers to the Pontiac Creative Arts Center for the opening of her third annual portrait exhibition of Michigan children in foster care awaiting adoption. Thanks also to generous sponsors, artful booklets containing bios written by John Parks and helpful information regarding adoption resources were available. Many of the 14 featured children and the photographers who made the portraits were in the crowd that snacked, chatted and perused the images . Displayed beside each photograph was another work by the same artist, all of whom worked pro bono. This included Jenny Risher, Christopher Schneider,Sue O’Callaghan, Colin McConnell, Jeff Cancelosi, Robert Dempster, Patrick Gloria, Lisa Spindler, Catherine Sareini, Jocelyn Muirhead, Felicia Tolbert and Laurie Tennent. Socializing paused for two speakers. PCAC Executive Director Bill Dwyer made brief and entertaining remarks about the historic building and Melissa spoke movingly about something she knew as a child playing with dolls – all children need to be loved.
Rochester Garden Walk
1. Becky Compton (left) of Rochester, Ilene Townsend of Rochester Hills, Nancy Szerlag of Rochester, Mike Lawless of Rochester Hills, Lynn Storm of Washington Twp., Ivy Schwartz of Shelby Twp. 2. Pete Townsend (left) of Rochester Hills, Sylvia Cacossa of Shelby Twp., Nancy Szerlag of Rochester, Jai Gupta and Sandy Niks of Rochester Hills. 3. Overview of OPC Gardens. 4. Laurie Tennent “Botanical” in OPC Graden. 5. OPC musicians performing at Garden Walk Afterglow: Pam San Jose (left), Kit Schafer and Virgil San Jose of Rochester Hills.
Paul W. Smith Golf Classic
1. Tim Richey (left) of Ann Arbor, Steve Grigorian of Bloomfield. 2. Tom Celani (left) and Kim & Paul W. Smith of Bloomfield. 3. Felicia Shaw (left), Karen Gaudette and Ruthie Seltzer of Birmingham, Barb Brown of Beverly Hills. 4. Scott LaRiche (left) and Mark Merucci of Northville, Roger Rush of Novi, Rod Alberts of Bloomfield. 5. Erica Holton (left) of Bloomfield, Melissa Roy of Detroit, Beth Dryden of Beverly Hills.
SOCIAL LIGHTS/SALLY GERAK Ghana Mission Donor Dinner Last year, local supporters of Holy Cross Children’s Services sent Br. Francis Broylan off to his new assignment in Kasoa, Ghana with donations to build a high school there. He was in town last month and hosted a thank you dinner at St. Hugo of the Hills to report on the progress. Sue Nine coordinated the party for 60 who gathered in the Parish Center. Ghana native Br. Francisco, who is studying in Chicago, accompanied Broylan and spoke about the importance of the residential missionary schools in Ghana...”(to promote) peace among the many tribes.” Broylan also noted that money goes a long way in Ghana because the local people not only help build, they also bring handmade clay bricks with them to the construction site. Classrooms, dormitories and a staff home are already completed. Guests, impressed with the progress, donated another $15,000 toward the $400,000 second phase of construction. DIA Founders Junior Council FASH BASH Mother Nature again dictated that the Founders Junior Council’s signature event be held inside the museum. It was led by co-chairs David and Christine Colman, Andrea and Chris Provenzano, Farhat and Mohammad Qazi, Nedda Shayota and Nathaniel Wallace and attracted 520 ($250, $375, $750, $1,250) for cocktails and the Neiman Marcus Art of Fashion show, plus another 150 ($150 ticket) for the Lincoln Motor Company After Glow . As per usual, the guests’ fashion statements, Forte Belanger’s small plate cuisine and DJ Jared Sykes’ music were first rate, but the runway show was really the story of FASH BASH 2018. NM maestro Ken Downing employed an unheard of number of models – 55 – to show off the haute couture selections inspired by the 1980s. Think disco, punk, power dressing, new wave, urban cowboy, uptown opulence and downtown girls. He didn’t miss a trick and got enthusiastic applause when he took a victory lap at the end of the show. After the show, DIA loyalists like Lauren Fisher and Amy Zimmer raved about the spectacular theatricality of the presentation. This event has come a long way since it was modestly introduced in the 1970s with volunteer celebrity models showing apparel from many stores around the pool at the old Pontchartrain Hotel. Proceeds will also go a long way towards the Founders Junior Council’s $1-million pledge to the Detroit Institute of Arts.
Art & Soul Dreams Opening
1. Melissa Parks (left) of Bloomfield, Wendy ZarmbaJust of Berkley. 2. Robert Dempster of Bloomfield, Santoria. 3. Reyana Davis (left) and Jocelyn Muirhead of Rochester, Donald and Dylan. 4. Chrissy Morgan (left) of Oak Park and Susie Woodman of Rochester Hills. 5. Mindy Richards (left), Janine and Katie Rinke of Bloomfield.
Ghana Mission Donor Dinner
1. Br. Francis Broylan (left) of Kasoa, Ghana, Sue Nine of Bloomfield, Br. Franciso of Ghana. 2. Fr. Tony Tocco (left) and Kay Browne of Bloomfield, Cathy Weingartz of Washington Twp. 3. Marty Cochran (left) of Birmingham, Paul Nine of Bloomfield. 4. John Kruse (left), Ava Wixted, Beverly Thewes and Gail Keene of Bloomfield. 5. Mike Dunigan (left), Martha Condit and Grace Hoey of Bloomfield.
Beaumont Children’s Miracle Classic Sam Yamin, Ken Noonan and Dr. Brian Berman chaired the 29th annual golf benefit for Beaumont Children’s, A Children’s Miracle Network Hospital. It attracted 240 golfers to the Detroit Golf Club. Camaraderie, cocktails, an auction ($5,700), dinner and the awards presentation followed play. The swinging event raised $350,000 for life-saving services, vital pediatric equipment and scholarships for families unable to afford needed care. Crusin’ to Drive Out Hunger Some 500 supporters of Forgotten Harvest gathered to drive out hunger under the big, white festival tent at Westborn Market the night before the Woodward Dream Cruise. Each was warmly greeted by FH’s Tim Hudson before they bid $8,000 in the silent auction, watched the classics roll by, wined, dined and danced to the highenergy music of Larry Lee’s Back in the Day Band. was exceptional and included Vinsetta Garage’s mac n cheese, Fleming’s tenderloin sliders and Westborn Market’s paella loaded with mussels. Thanks also to sponsors, the annual charity event raised around $185,000 which will provide 740,000 meals for those in metro Detroit suffering from food insecurity. ORT Rub-A-Dub The 43rd anniversary of ORT Michigan Region’s Rub-A-Dub attracted 530 to Franklin Hills Country Club to “eat, drink, mingle and give.” And give they did. More than $75,000 in the silent auction; $45,100 in the raffle; $92,500 in the live auction, again conducted by the event founders’ son, Brian Hermelin. (A big chunk of that total emanated from Empire Kitchen and Cocktails’ donation of a party for 50 that sold for $10,000 and was so popular the donors gave two more, resulting in $30,000.) Then Rabbi Harold Loss spoke about ORT’s next fundraising project in Kiryat Yam, Israel. He told how the new state-of-the-art, multipurpose auditorium complex will be life-changing for this poor, working class community. Hermelin added that the project would cost $1.3million and invited pledges toward that goal. After that appeal generated $62,500, a historic moment for Rub-ADub occurred – a guest who asked to be anonymous told Regional Director Nicole Miller that a gift of $1 million would be coming for the project. Not counting that extraordinary gift, RubA-Dub 2018 grossed nearly $740,000. downtownpublications.com
DIA Founders Junior Council FASH BASH
1. Jim (left) & Connie Colman of Bloomfield, Christina & David Colman of Birmingham. 2. FJC president Ron Victor of Bloomfield. 3. Nedda Shayota (left) of Bloomfield, Don Manvel and Gretchen Davidson of Birmingham. 4. Christine & Dave Provost of Birmingham. 5. Mohammad and Nawal Quazi of W. Bloomfield.
Beaumont Children’s Miracle Classic
4 1. Sam Yamin (left) of Bloomfield, Dr. Brian Berman of Birmingham and Ken Nonnan of Troy. 2. John Trydal (left) Rob Kowalski, Frank Stone and Brian Shiny. 3. Ben Green (left), Rod Mathis and Mark Syms. 4. Bob Ruprich (left), Pete Muscio, Chris Kuzak, Tom Kubeshesky. 5. Tim Belanger of Bloomfield.
SOCIAL LIGHTS/SALLY GERAK Crusin’ to Drive Out Hunger
Other highlights included Doreen Hermelin’s presentation of the Hermelin ORT Legacy Award to Randy Werthheimer for his extraordinary passion for ORT’s mission of changing lives through education. He was introduced by Miller, whom he recruited as an event volunteer in 2003. That that may go down as one of Wertheimer’s most sagacious ideas was highlighted by ORT World President Dr. Connie Giles during the earlier VIP reception attended by 100 of the guests. Calling her “underpaid,” he listed Miller as one of ORT’s three essentials – the sales producer for the product (education) to the market (Detroit). “And Detroit does more than any city in the country for ORT,” he concluded.
1. Jonas Rodger (left) of Birmingham and Kevin Kernan of Lake Orion. 2. John Carter of Bloomfield, Mike Spicer of Swartz Creek. 3. Sue Conway of Bloomfield. 4. Kyle Zuker (left) of Lansing, Sam, Lori & Greg Winegerter of Rochester. 5. Houda Rodger (left) of Bloomfield, Drs. Bhavin & Sandy Patel of Birmingham.
1. Randy Werthheimer (left) of Franklin, Rabbi Harold Loss of Bloomfield. 2. Drs. Lynda (left) & Connie Giles of Bloomfield, honorary Doreen Hermelin of Bingham Farms. 3. Avi Ganon (left) of London, UK, Andi & Larry Wolfe of Bloomfield. 4. Nicole Miller (left) of W. Bloomfield, Enid Goodman and Meredith Colburn of Bloomfield. 5. Dr. Larry & Carole Miller of Bloomfield.
Christ Child Society Pink Party Some sixty Christ Child Society members ($75 ticket) flocked to the end of summer happening Laura Karmanos hosted at her Birmingham home. The comfortable weather made the terrace overlooking the pool and gardens a perfect venue for nibbling the savory comestibles catered by society board members and sipping pink vodka punch and rose’ wine. Society president Laura Keziah interrupted the serious socializing only briefly to thank the hostess for her warm hospitality and inform all of the date and place for the CCS signature fundraiser – Night of Angels. It is Saturday, Nov. 4 at Bloomfield Hills Country Club. MOCAD Interchange Art + Dinner From their arrival at the foot of Roz and Scott Jacobson’s Bloomfield Hills driveway and trip in a golf cart up the hill to the Rock ’n’ Roll theme party site, 100-plus MOCAD supporters ($500) relished generous, good natured hospitality. The English Cotswold residence was recently reinvented by architect Mark Johnson, who was in the crowd. In addition to the important art in the Jacobsons’ collection, the new pool house ceiling sports a large, metal chandelier circle with a tongue-incheek French legend in neon lights designed by the architect and Roz, a designer in her own right. Extraordinary victuals by Bacco’s Luciano DelSignore included passed hors d’oeuvres like large, lollipop lamb chops around the pool and, inside, buffet fare like lobster tails and crab claws deftly released from their shells by attentive service. But the raucous fun began when the Beatles legend band started rocking on the stage set up under the 10.18
moonlight in the auto courtyard out front. For non-dancers the thoughtful hosts even provided lounge seating. Although the band stopped at midnight some guests savored the unparalleled hospitality until 2:30 am. The wide ranging Museum of Contemporary Art Detroit programs benefited from the fun. Boys Hope Girls Hope Frank Torre and Kerrie Binno again chaired the annual benefit for the scholars of Boys Hope Girls Hope. They moved it to Franklin Hills Country Club this year (thanks to the sponsorship of members Kristin and Christopher Brochert) and 144 golfers ($1,000) vied for the opportunity to play in the Liberty Mutual Insurance Invitational at Pinehurst next April. The golfers were joined for cocktails, music by Royce & Jenn, dinner and the program emceed by Paul W. Smith by another 100 ($300) BHGH supporters. Among the dozen helpful and friendly scholars working as event volunteers were Jai’Chaun Banford, who won the Frank Torre Scholarship, and alum Omar Troncoso, both of whom earned applause for their expressions of gratitude. Dan Jenuwine also conducted a live auction that raised $34,050. Combined with the silent auction ($15,144), dedicated giving ($7,000), the raffle and mulligans ($7,312) and the generous sponsors, this brought to more than $4 million the amount Torre and Binno have raised for the program. It is unique because it provides homes and education through college graduation for academically capable children-inneed. Angels’ Place Friends & Family Fun Day After the early morning rain cleared, some 500 Angels’ Place supporters of all ages gathered on the Marian High School playing field to play. The Marian choral group ushered in the activities by leading all in singing the National Anthem. In addition to many of the AP residents, guests included Queen Elsa from “Frozen” and the Detroit Lions’ Roary. Kids of all ages savored carnival chow. Thanks also to presenting sponsors Medwest Associates and Joliat Ventures, the day’s festivities raised over $46,000 for the critical services Angels’ Place provides adults with developmental disabilities. Send ideas for this column to Sally Gerak, 28 Barbour Lane, Bloomfield Hills, 48304; email firstname.lastname@example.org or call 248.646.6390. downtownpublications.com
Christ Child Society Pink Party
1. Laurie Keziah, Sarah DuBay and Laura Karmanos of Birmingham. 2. Julie Wells (left) and Kelly Winkler Patterson of Birmingham. 3. Lisa Halsted (left), Kelly Eberlein, Gretchen Klotz, Jalenne Timmis and Sara Young of Birmingham. 4. Sara Marshall (left) and Allyson Bakewell of Birmingham. 5. Paula Boehner (left) of Beverly Hills, Carol Rooney and Pam Surhigh of Bloomfield.
MOCAD Interchange Art + Dinner
1. Mary Ann Liut (left) of Franklin, Monica George of W. Bloomfield, Roz Jacobson and Michelle Nelson of Bloomfield. 2. Judy Etkin (left) of Bloomfield, Terese Reyes of Birmingham. 3. Luciano DelSignore (left), Scott Jacobson and Ron Klein of Bloomfield. 4. Yousif Gafarhi (left) of Bloomfield, Linda Dresner & Ed Levy of Birmingham. 5. Nancy Hodari of Birmingham.
Boys Hope Girls Hope
2 1. Frank Torre (left) of Bloomfield and Kerrie Binno of Birmingham, Scott Crane of Grosse Pointe. 2. Laurent Fregonara of Wixom, Kristin Brochert of Bloomfield. 3. Claire, Mike and Grace Schuchard of Birmingham. 4. Dennis Archer (left) of Detroit, Chris Brochert of Bloomfield. 5. Sue Lockhart (left) of Grosse Pointe, Jo Schuchard of Birmingham.
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Our endorsements for November election irmingham, Bloomfield Township and Bloomfield Hills voters will be deciding among candidates in the November 6 general election for a variety of congressional, state and county political offices, as well as local school boards, along with determining the fate of several state ballot issues, either at the polls or with absentee ballots. Downtown newsmagazine, through questionnaires, queried candidates on a variety of issues, the answers to which can be found in the special Voter Guide inside this edition or online at downtownpublications.com. We also met one-on-one over the course of the summer with most candidates seeking state or congressional offices to gain added insight into office seekers. The results of our efforts, along with our institutional knowledge of people and issues, provided the basis for the following endorsements.
9th Congressional District – Two-year term (Bloomfield Township) When we were endorsing for the August primary, we had three strong Democratic candidates, so we opted to go with someone other than ANDY LEVIN in the contest to replace his retiring father, Congressman Sander Levin. But each election contest presents a new set of alternatives, and we feel Andy Levin is voters’ best bet in the race for this district which meanders through south Oakland and Macomb counties. Levin brings years of experience from both outside and in the heart of government at the state level, business knowledge from his work in the energy conservation field with his own commercial venture, and appears most qualified when discussing both the issues and the current day concerns that should be the priorities of any member of Congress. 11th Congressional District – Two-year term (Birmingham, Bloomfield Hills) Democrat HALEY STEVENS impressed us greatly when she first announced in 2017 for this congressional seat. A Millennial who has brought her government and private enterprise experience home, Stevens grew up in Birmingham, picked up undergraduate/graduate degrees, went to work as chief of staff of President Obama’s Auto Rescue Task Force effort and worked for the White House Office for Manufacturing and Office of Recovery for Automotive Communities and Workers. She cut her teeth, so to speak, helping to shepherd though the necessary components of the auto bailout through members of both parties in Congress and members of the business community. She has also spent time working in the private sector tied to job training and digital manufacturing. Bright, energetic, focused, with a good command of the issues. Her opponent in this race – a Trump acolyte whose blind allegiance doesn’t show through her deceptively shallow and evasive answers in our Voter Guide, no doubt on advice of her handlers who can read Trump’s disapproval polls. Congress is supposed to be part of the checks and balance system in government and we already have enough Trump handmaidens in DC who don’t understand their proper role. 12th State Senate District – Four-year term (Bloomfield Township) When he first ran for the state House we did not support Michael McCready, although in two elections since, we have backed him as a more moderate Republican who kept in touch with officials in the district and was not
afraid to buck the party on some issues. Unfortunately, we wish he would have broken more often from the party line, especially on key issues, like the environment and civil rights, to name just two. We understand the legislative game as well as anyone – in the caucus setting the best of intentions can get dealt away. But then again, perhaps McCready is just following his own personal beliefs which then raises the issue of whether he is in sync with district residents. Either way, a change is necessary. With both legislative chambers and the administration under Republican control, there has been a lack of progress in some areas and outright decline on issues of importance for the future of the state. His opponent in this race, Democrat ROSEMARY BAYER, is keenly focused on public policy in the state that needs a new direction and will not hesitate to push for that. Bayer has the necessary skills, honed through her experience in the high tech industry and business, to work with others to bring about change and is well grounded on the issues. We were impressed and voters will be too. 13th State Senate District – Four-year term (Birmingham, Bloomfield Hills) Incumbent Republican MARTY KNOLLENBERG is seeking his second Senate term after having served in the past as a Representative in the state House. This district also includes Troy, Rochester and Rochester Hills. Knollenberg has been a focused policy maker in the area of education and has worked equally hard in other legislative areas. Knollenberg has kept in touch with officials and residents of the district. 40th State House – Two-year term (Birmingham, Bloomfield Hills, Bloomfield Township) It has been everyone’s dream that the “brain drain” from Michigan would reverse itself and the younger generation, post-college and having gained experience elsewhere, would return to help guide and shape the future of Michigan. That is the story of Democrat MARI MANOOGIAN. Raised in Birmingham, received undergraduate/graduate degrees from George Washington University Elliott School of International Affairs, served time in the office of Congressman John Dingell and with Ambassador Samantha Power at the United Nations, then was a program officer at the U.S. State Department. Manoogian has a strong grasp of Michigan issues. She has the drive, attention to detail and understands the course corrections that need to be made for the state’s future. 12th District County Commission – Two-year term (Birmingham, Bloomfield Hills, Bloomfield Township) Republican incumbent Oakland County Commissioner SHELLEY GOODMAN TAUB has paid her dues. From 1993-2002, she served as a county commissioner, then as state representative from 2002-2006, then in 2009 came back to the county board and has assumed a top position with the board of a national organization for counties. We are backing her once again because of her impressive track record as a leader, her ability to reach across the aisle to get things done and her unwavering attention to her constituents. 13th District County Commission – Two-year term (Southwest Bloomfield Township) Democrat MARCIA GERSHENSON has always impressed us since she started representing this district
in 2004. She is dedicated to a number of critical issues and works hard on behalf of both her district and the county as a whole. Her passionate approach to board matters would be missed. 48th District Court – Six-year term (Birmingham, Bloomfield Hills, Bloomfield Township) DIANE D’AGOSTINI was first elected to the bench in 2000 and has been twice re-elected since. Both her time on the bench and her previous stint as an assistant prosecutor have helped her develop into one of the better district court judges. Her outreach to area youth through programs she has developed hopefully will help minimize future interaction with the court system. Birmingham School Board Three six-year terms Three long-term board members are stepping down from the Birmingham School Board, and of the seven candidates running to take their place, we were most impressed with LORY DOLAN, MIKE NUMMER and JENNIFER RASS. They are the best prepared to take on the tasks confronting the district as they choose a new superintendent and determine a new district strategic plan. Bloomfield Hills School Board Four four-year terms Incumbents HOWARD BARON, PAUL KOLIN and JASON PAULATEER have been strong stewards for the Bloomfield Hills Schools Board, and are deserving of another term. We believe LISA EFROS has the understanding and experience to join them in continuing to lead this district forward. State Ballot Issues Proposal 1 – Marijuana Legalization Michigan may well join a growing number of states allowing recreational use of marijuana if voters give their approval in this general election. No citizen-initiated ballot issue is perfect but drafters of this issue have done a reputable job of writing the rules and restrictions surrounding recreational pot use. Vote YES. Let’s hope officials in Lansing don’t take eight years to implement voter wishes, like they did with medical marijuana. Proposal 2 – Redistricting amendment This amendment to the Michigan Constitution would address the political gerrymandering that for decades has allowed whatever party is in power to redraw political districts to their advantage so they continue to remain in power. The proposal essentially creates a more independent commission that would redraw districts every 10 years following a federal census. Vote YES. Proposal 3 – Voting Regulations This proposal would amend the state Constitution to provide for, among other things, ‘no-reason’ absentee ballots, same day registration, restoring straight ticket voting and several other voting items, all designed to expand voting ability and enshrine these voting issues to protect against voter suppression efforts by lawmakers. Vote YES.
TOTAL SALES VOLUME ALL RESIDENTIAL AND CONDO SALES
PRICE: $2,000,000+ 150
$ in Millions
50 Mkt 13.5%
40 Mkt 10.6%
Mkt 3.1% Mkt 2.3%
RE/MAX New Trend
Bailey Schmidt Inc
Berkshire Hathaway Homeservices Hwwb
0 Signature Sotheby’s International Realty
Max Broock Realtors® Birmingham
Keller Williams Domain Birmingham
Hall & Hunter Birmingham
Max Broock Realtors® Bloomfield Hills
Shain Park Realtors®
Coldwell Banker Weir Manuel Birmingham
This statistical information has been obtained from Realcomp II Ltd and actual sales. These statistics are derived from data believed to be reliable. This information is not to be reproduced, redistributed, or combined with data from other sources without expressed permission from Realcomp. Date: 1/17/18
Birmingham | Bloomfield Hills | Northville | Grosse Pointe
October 2018 - DOWNTOWN is an upscale monthly full-color news magazine mailed at no charge to homes in Birmingham, Bloomfield Township and...
Published on Sep 25, 2018
October 2018 - DOWNTOWN is an upscale monthly full-color news magazine mailed at no charge to homes in Birmingham, Bloomfield Township and...