Candidates square off in Nov. 6 election




Jeffrey Wright

Jeffrey Wright

GENESEE COUNTY — Voters will go to the polls Nov. 6 to decide several political races.

Voters in Flint Township will be asked to decide who will succeed long-time 5th Congressional District Rep. Dale Kildee, who will represent them in the State House of Representatives as well as local township, county and school board races.

Here are the candidates on the Nov. 6 general election. Their responses are straight from the candidates themselves and were not edited in any way, other than for spelling, grammar and length.

View Staff

U.S. Congress — 5th Congressional District

Jim Slezak

Republican

Residence: Davison

Age: 45

Michael Stikovich

Michael Stikovich

Family: married to

Kathleen with three children Bridgette, Gabrielle and Jack

Education: Yale

University and in 1989 obtained a B.A. Political

Science

Profession: Vice President for Photo Factory, USA

Political Experience: State Representative for the 50th District from 2009 to 2010.

Community Service: Outreach East in Davison, at local schools. He also coached youth baseball and softball. He is part of the Knights of Columbus ,3rd Degree and is also a member of the Flint Chamber of Commerce.

Why should voters choose you instead of your opponent:

The voters of the 5th Congressional District are looking for new leadership to turn this district around. I will be that leader. I will be the eyes, ears and voice for the people in Washington. I will work to find solutions to make the 5th Congressional District prosperous again. I am the only Republican candidate that lives in the 5th District and I am ready to lead.

John J. Gleason

John J. Gleason

Most critical issues facing your district and your solutions?: Jobs, healthcare and education are three critical issues concerning the 5th Congressional District. This area has been devastated by job loss over the past three decades and unemployment is out of control. As your Congressman I will work to create a climate to bring jobs back to the 5th District. A start to accomplish this will be to simplify our tax code and remove unnecessary regulations that prohibit business growth in our Country, State and 5th Congressional District. Also, we need to become more energy independent.

Another critical issue concerning all of us is healthcare. The country needs health care that is good for everyone. We need healthcare that is healthcare and not multiple issues bunched together to please certain entities. In Washington I will work to repeal the healthcare legislation as it stands and work to empower the States to create their own programs that will fit their needs and their budgets.

Deborah Cherry

Deborah Cherry

Education is another critical issue that has affected the children of our district. I will work to eliminate the Federal Department of Education and bring education back to a local level by empowering teachers, parents and administrators to decide what is best for our children.

Dan Kildee

Democrat

Residence: Flint

Township

Age: 54

Family: Married 24 years to Jennifer Kildee they have three children Ryan, Kenneth, Katy and one grandchild, Caitlyn, daughter of Ryan and Ginger Kildee.

Education: Bachelor’s of Science in Administration, Central Michigan University

Profession: President and CEO of the Center for Community Progress (Currently on Leave)

Political Experience: Flint Board of Education (1977-1985) Genesee County Board of Commissioners (1985-1997) Genesee County Treasurer (1997-2009

Community service: Coached youth baseball and hockey, Past President and board member Genesee County Community Mental Health, past board member New Paths

Why should voters choose you instead of your opponent: Congress needs to end the partisan gridlock and focus on what is important— putting Americans back to work. I believe the leadership I have exercised throughout my career has illustrated that I am a pragmatic leader focused on results. Whether it is the development of the Bishop Airport Authority or the creation of the first in the nation Genesee County Land Bank, my focus has always been creating jobs and bettering our community. I ask for your vote so I can take that leadership to Congress and work every day to support working families and small business owners in our community.

The most critical issues facing your district/solutions: The number one issue in this campaign is jobs. We have to get America back to work with good-paying jobs that will rebuild our middle class. As a member of Congress, this will always be my highest priority. The current recovery is slower than anyone would like, in part because we have not made the investment in rebuilding our manufacturing base and the infrastructure that a growing economy depends upon.

Gregory Creswell Libertarian Residence: Detroit Age: 55

Family: wife with one son and one daughter.

Education: highest level; junior college/ fire science and fire protection technology.

Profession: Medical records clerk

Political experience: No public office; elected to post of an at-large Director to executive committee of LP.

Community service: Founding member; Brass Roots/pro gun group and Detroit coordinator/ vote Yes! proposal #2-2006.

Why should voters choose you instead of your opponent:

For several reason:

We would fight to defend life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness. We would fight to defeat political oppression. We would defend individual rights and the free market. We would oppose all forms of welfare, bailouts, subsidies etc. We would fight to repeal all federal fees, licenses, permits and business regulations. We would fight to reduce the pay, perks, benefits, staff size, also the power and control of every member of Congress. And lastly, we advocate there should be term limits on each member of Congress.

The most critical issues facing your district/solutions: Top issues: 1.) the national debt; 2.) taxes; 3.) foreign intervention; 4.) monetary policies; and 5.) losing our rights.

The solutions: 1.) returning the federal gov’t to it’s limitedfunctionsundertheUSConstitution;2.) repealing the 16th Amendment, all federal fees, licenses, permits and business regulations; 3.) withdrawing the USA from the World Bank, IMF, the United Nations etc.; 4.) returning to the gold/silver standard; and 5.) defending life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness.

David Davenport Non-Partisan Residence: Flint Age: 45 Family: Engaged Education: High school Diploma, Associates

degree, in Computer Info Technology, presently in school for bachelors degree in Computer Info Technology, U.S Navy Cooking School.

Profession: Current C.E.O, United Drivers Coalition.

Political experience: Presently, holding an elected position on the Flint Board of Education, since 2009. I am on the (Finance)(Human resources) and (C.O.W.) subcommittees, I have served on the(Academic)(Community Relations) and (Government) subcommittees in the past, I am a Certified Board member, by the Michigan Association of School Boards, also have my second year Merit award, and presently working on my third year award.

Community service: Youth Mentor (Flint Schools), former Basketball coach, Boys/Girls, community representative for (Department of human Services) Michigan.

Why should voters choose you instead of your opponent: Because I am running to represent ( All) of the 5th district citizens in Michigan, and to make sure that they are represented equally and respectfully in congress, not by what political party you belong to. Like how Jesus represents us in front of God(without discrimination).

The most critical issues facing your district/solutions: Jobs, Crime, senior property taxes, and free college education for everyone that wants to learn.

1. Job’s, will not come until the crime is contained, for safety purposes.

2. Crime can be slowed to a minimum, if we get (grants) from the federal government, that we can hire security companies to patrol the minimum crime areas, (like downtown Flint), so we can keep our regular police in the high crime areas. I will use my salary from this position to hire a grant writer to handle the grant’s that are needed in this district, so we as a district will not have to suffer.

3. I think (All) senior citizens should not have to pay property taxes, we have houses in the Genesee county land bank that no one is paying taxes on, so why should the seniors be harassed. (Ask Mr. Kildee, the creator of the land bank).

4. Free College education to all that want to learn; the reason our education ranking is number 25 in the world is because we will not spend money on educating our human population, but we can spend $6 million a year in foreign aid and defense, on countries that will thank us for our help, by turning the guns on our own troops “Wrong Answer people.”

Genesee County Drain Commissioner

Jeffrey Wright

Democrat

Residence: Burton

Age: 58

Family: Married (wife Kay), three children, three grandchildren

Education: Graduate of Atherton High School;

Genesee Area Skill Center

Architecture Program;

Ferris State University—

School of Architecture;

Ferris State University—

OSHA Federal Training

Guidelines Program

Profession: Genesee

County Drain

Commissioner

Political experience: 12 years as Drain

Commissioner; 12 years as Deputy Drain Commissioner; also served as Engineering Assistant, Inspector, Right of Way Agent and Assessor. CEO, Karegnondi Water Authority Community Service: Legislative Committee and Executive Board, Michigan Association of Drain Commissioners; Northeast District Chairman, Michigan Association of Drain Commissioners; Genesee County Parks Board Member; Genesee County Fair Board Member; Executive Board Member, Genesee County Democratic Party; Democratic 225 Club; former member, Metropolitan Planning Commission

Community service: Board Member, Sam Duncan Memorial Scholarship Fund and the Special Olympics 1300 Club

Why should voters choose you instead of your opponent?: “There is no substitute for experience.”

Most critical issues facing the county and your solutions?: To supply the highest quality and lowest cost water to our customers.

Genesee County has two options: a 30 yr. contract with Detroit or Karegnondi. Independent reviews have revealed that KWA will save customers a minimum of $200 million over 25 years. It will attract new agro business and green technologies. What we are currently paying to Detroit will pay for the new system and allow us to control our own destiny. ($25 million annually). It will put 1,000 people to work constructing the KWA and it will ultimately reduce water rates.

To run the most cost efficient office possible due to budget constraints. I will continue to work within the budget to offer prompt, reliable service to our residents in resolution to their water, sewer and drainage problems. I plan to continue the same programs that have resulted in 5 years of no rate increases on the Genesee County portion of your sewer and water bill.

Robert Stewart

Republican

Residence: Fenton

Age: 68

Family: Two children

Education: Michigan State University: Advanced studies 800 level Human Behavior Avg. 4.0/4.0; Central Michigan University: Masters Business Administration, Marketing, Finance — Avg. 3.6/4.0; Syracuse University, Post Grad Studies — Physical Chemistry — Avg. 3.4/4.0; New England College Bachelor of Science – Chemistry, dual minors Math & Psychology Avg. 3.4/4.0; New Hartford High School College Prep. — Science

Profession: United Steel Worker (Bendix), ClearWater Industries Inc., President; State Certified Drinking water laboratory, municipal waste water treatment equipment and laboratory services, water vending, Mister-Mister, membrane treatment equipment manufacture. More recent activities include bringing R&D biorespiration into power generation. ClearWater Bottling, Mentor Minority owned water bottling plant located in Genesee County.

Political experience: All done in the vein of Community Service. In 1987 with five others formed the Michigan Gray Panthers — Youth and Age in Action For Unlimited Retirement. Within months we successfully gained following, got a bill written which became Michigan Law. In 1995 I ran for Mayor of the City of Flint, a non-participant position. Woodrow Stanley, Don Williamson, Matt Taylor and Sam Riddle on the ticket. I finished fourth behind Councilman Taylor. Matt Taylor and I both wanted to move City Hall to the City of Flint owned AutoWorld complex, expand the existing city jail facility and city police department, and use local talent to bring businesses to flint based on our abundance of surface water.

In 1996 ran as a Democrat for State Representative watching AutoWorld demolished as Flint and Genesee County starts its decline. Chairman of GM comes in cutting union jobs by the starting of the closing of plants. In 1997 ran as a write in candidate for Genesee County Drain Commissioner breaking historical records as a write in candidate. In 1998 ran for Genesee County Drain Commissioner. In 2002 ran for Genesee County Drain Commissioner. 2008-2012 worked with the Spirit Wolf and Native American Tribal Council to sustain healthy wolf populations in our state. Volunteer Service Award – City of Flint, Christian Apostle

Why should voters choose you instead of your opponent?: 1.) Long Term Local Flooding. Folks are upset with hearing about “illegal connections”, “plugged lift pump stations”, “100 year rain events”, “lack of funding”, and passing the responsibility onto others. The Genesee County Drain Commissioner is the responsible party. Certainly other communities experience the occasional problem, but here in Genesee County the drainage problems are systemic. We hear about 100 year rain events ever few years. Newspapers report on sewage backups often. Even the waste plant dumps massive amounts of raw sewage into the Flint River during these events. This office must assume responsibility to become more pro active in protecting citizens.

2.) Water rates are out of sight. Folks just cannot absorb higher water rates at the whim of the City of Flint and of the County Drain Commissioner. Jeff Wright has already said water rates will rise (7 percent immediately) as the untimely water pipeline progresses. Look at reality, Chevrolet is gone, AC is gone, Buick is gone. We are sitting on excess water right now. And that is the issue with the existing, what I call the Trinity, between the Mayor’s office, the Drain Commissioner’s office, and the Sheriff’s office. The challenge of this Trinity is to entice manufacturing plants from areas around the US that don’t have water. To bring their manufacturing plants here. Part of the crime issue in Genesee County is the lack of jobs. Let’s use water to create local jobs, improve commerce, cut crime, and balance the City of Flint’s budget without taxing the people.

3.) Crime, jobs, and water — You know you can sin for what you have done but you can also sin for what you have failed to do. By selling water futures, that is water today-tomorrow we can bring manufacturing back to Genesee County, cut crime by creating good paying manufacturing jobs, and then have these manufacturing companies pay for the new pipeline when needed. We are fed up with high water rates, high crime, and not jobs.

Most critical issues facing your district and your solutions?: Jobs, crime, high water rates. The Mayor’s offices, Davison, Flushing, Fenton, Burton, etc including the Emergency Manager of Flint; the Sheriff’s office; and the Genesee County Drain Commissioner is the Trinity, the answer, to recovery. Water is the tool. The existing drain commissioner over nearly 40 years has not worked pro actively. The office has reacted defensively. Now we have the opportunity to reach out within our community to create enticements for industry to move back into our community.

Genesee County Clerk

Michael Stikovich

Republican

Residence: Davison

Age: 75

Family: wife Stephanie, two children, four grandchildren

Education: H.S. Flint

Northern, B.B.A. Northwood

University

Profession: Retired

General Motors systems analyst

Political experience: none

Community service: President St. Nicholas Church; March of Dimes, Elks, Eagles; raised funds for battered women and children

Why should voters choose you instead of your opponent: I will bring a private business mentality to the job. I have spent time with the current clerk and his employees to understand their duties and needs to continue improvement in clerks’ duties.

Most critical issues facing your district and your solutions?: Making sure the clerk’s office is fully funded to execute their duties

John J. Gleason

Democrat

Residence: Flushing

Age: 58

Family: wife Karen, daughter Clancy Rose, son Eamonn

Education: Mott College, NMU, skilled trades training

Profession: Millwright, State Representative, State Senate

Political experience: County Commission, state representative, state senate

Community service: Knights of Columbus, Masonic Lodge, Lions Club, Boy Scouts ex-board, 1st Vice-Chair – Old Newsboys

Why should voters choose you instead of your opponent: I served eight years as County Commissioner. I had control with other commissioners over the Clerk and Register of Deeds Budget. I’ve seen much waste in both offices.

Most critical issues facing your district and your solutions?: Work — put people to work. Factories have been knocked down and low-paying jobs have replaced high-wage jobs. Genesee County has 86,000 disabled citizens. I am committed to hiring disabled vets in my offices — they have earned it. First to serve, first to be hired.

Genesee County Treasurer

Deborah Cherry Democrat Residence: Burton Age: 58 Family: Single Education: Master’s in Public Administration from

UM-Flint

Profession: Public official and administrato

Political experience: Genesee County Commissioner and Chair of the Board of Commissioners; Michigan House of Representatives Member – 50th District; Michigan Senator – 26th District; Genesee County treasurer

Community service: Chairperson of the Greater Flint Health Coalition; Genesee Health Plan Board Member; Uptown Revitalization Council; Chairperson of the Genesee Land Bank; Quota Club of Flint

Why should voters choose you instead of your opponent?: At the end of this term, I will have served as your County Treasurer for two years. During that time I have saved approximately $500,000 in tax dollars by refinancing county bonds and decreasing the interest rate.

I also entered into a lawsuit against Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac because they were claiming an exemption to the Real Estate Transfer Tax. I won that lawsuit and there is a potential to collect over $500,000 in county revenue and millions of dollars that will go to the State Education Fund, providing more funds for our schools.

I have implemented programs for those who are faced with tax-foreclosures during these difficult times. Taxpayers can get assistance so they do not lose their homes if they are trying to meet their tax obligations.

I successfully created a program with Metro Housing to help qualified individuals get a low interest loan to pay their delinquent taxes instead of having to pay high interest rates required by state law. As Chairperson of the Land Bank, we have sold approximately $6,000,000 in tax-foreclosed property, putting that property back on the tax roll.

As treasurer, I will focus on finding ways to continue to improve our services, increasing efficiency while carefully protecting the County’s funds. Identifying services with other local units of government that can be shared will be one of my priorities. I will continue to assist taxpayers who are delinquent in their property taxes but wish to meet their obligations. The Land Bank will continue to manage and sell their property during my term so that we can get land back in the hands of private landowners and maintain the property owned by the Land Bank

I will continue to dedicate my service to protecting the tax dollars paid to the County by our residents and search for ways to provide efficient services. I ask for the support of all of Genesee County voters.

Critical issues facing Genesee County and your solutions?: Genesee County has had a difficult time because we have lost a significant number of manufacturing jobs over the years. The loss of jobs has created many problems including unemployment and increased crime. For the Treasurer’s office, that has resulted in an increased number of tax foreclosures. The Treasurer can impact these problems by strengthening neighborhoods, maintaining vacant property and by helping people keep their homes. The foreclosure prevention program administered by the Treasurer will continue during my term of office. Working with local government to maintain property in neighborhoods will be a priority of the Land Bank.

The Land Bank will also be a partner with businesses to reuse vacant property while I am Treasurer. Strong and clean neighborhoods make a safe environment for raising our families. I am committed to pursuing every avenue I can to help attract new businesses and keep the businesses we have so they can grow and provide opportunities for our residents. As Treasurer, I will be a partner with businesses, government and community groups as they work on improving our County. Once again, I ask for the support of Genesee County voters.

Adam Ford Republican Residence: Flint Mr. Ford did not submit answers to the View Newspaper’s questionnaire.


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