Candidates for Dearborn City Council

Vote for 7
14 advance to general election

Robert AbrahamRobert Abraham

My name is Robert Alex Abraham and I am running for re-election to the Dearborn City Council.
I have been a councilman for the city of Dearborn since 2002. Aside from being a councilman, I am the chief financial officer for Virginia Tile Co.; one of the leading ceramic tile distributors in the Midwest.

I am a graduate from Dearborn Fordson High School in the Class of 1985 and from Hillsdale College with bachelor of arts in Accounting and concentration in Computer Science with Class of 1989. I was granted a Michigan Certified Public Accountant license in 1992.
I am married to Mary Ann (Skrabucha) and have three children: Brandon, Jared, and Mary Kate. I am the son of Ronald and Shirley (Prisby) Abraham.
I believe that our community deserves strong leadership.  The city council is an integral part of the local government.  As I complete my third term of office as a city councilman, I have been able to work together with the other council members, the mayor and community leaders from many groups and organizations to provide direction, vision, strategy and action. I still bring fresh ideas, energy and a professional financial perspective from pre-911 and post-911 eras. I tend to be more of a “financial advisor” and decision-maker” than a politician.
I truly understand the city’s financial challenges and the tools available to solve these problems. I work hard to understand the service mix and priorities for neighborhoods; maintaining the high quality services is the biggest challenge during a time of financial cutbacks and shrinking revenues. Throughout the budget process I strive to balance the “needs” and “wants” of everyone. This establishes a clear direction for the administration. My goal during this term is continue to have a strong, positive influence on the budget process and prioritization of services, programs and activities used by all residents
I am committed to serving the Dearborn community for four more years.  I plan to leverage my professional experience, education and knowledge I have gained over the past three terms as a councilman to direct and guide the city the recession.  There will be many difficult and challenging decisions that require strategic thinking and a thorough understanding of the financial difficulties we are all facing every day.  I will listen carefully to the public viewpoint and address the concerns brought forward to me from the neighborhoods and homeowners.  I am here help residents and lead Dearborn into a post-recession economy.

Jane AhernJane Ahern

I graduated from the University of Michigan-Dearborn in 1993 with a bachelor’s degree in Political Science and coordinated the political science internship program.  Since I am not a Dearborn native, this experience taught me just how vibrant a place our community is, and so I chose to live here after graduation.  My other job experience includes working in customer relations for an automotive supplier and working in the field of data recovery.
What I regard as my most valuable work, however, is on a volunteer basis.  I am a member of the Highland Neighborhood Association, the Dearborn Federation of Neighborhood Associations, and served in 2010 as chair of the Budget Revenue Enhancement Subcommittee for the city.  In that role I supported a replacement millage that ultimately made up for the dollars lost by declining property tax revenues during the economic downturn.  The replacement millage was ultimately adopted, and put Dearborn on the path to greater economic stability.  Chairing the committee, along with my other work in the community, shows just how much influence individual citizens can have on the policies and civic affairs that affect us all.   This explains why I am running for city council.  I want all of our citizens to know that they have the means to make their voices heard, and I want to listen and act on their behalf.
Two pressing and related issues we face are declining revenues and the fate of city services.  As a member of council, I will support policies that will attract business to our city by making everyone aware of just how much Dearborn has to offer, and how much more it will have to offer as we look forward to the completion of the new intermodal rail station.  Attracting businesses to expand our revenue base is crucial, of course, as we protect our police and fire departments and all the other services that we enjoy.  I will fight to make sure that Dearborn continues to be the service-rich community it has been for so many years.
My choice to live in Dearborn is one that thousands of others who live here have made.  I am committed to our city, and want the best for all of us.  I pledge that if I am elected to council, I will do my utmost to serve my fellow citizens.

Michael AlbanoMichael Albano

I have been a Dearborn resident for 38 years, graduated from Edsel Ford High School, and have an associate in business degree from Henry Ford Community College.  Currently I am a city of Dearborn Telecommunications commissioner, and founder and co-host of the CDTV Telecommunications Show.  I am also a Dearborn Federation of Neighborhoods member, author, freelance writer, and guest writer for the Dearborn Press & Guide and Dearborn Patch, and contributing author to “Best Dearborn Stories – Volume II,” helping raise funds to save Dearborn’s historical museums.
I am a volunteer member of Dearborn’s Save Our Pools, a wireless consultant in the top 5 percent of Gerson Lehrman Group, the largest research firm in America serving investors and brokers, and have extensive, successful business start-up and turnaround experience, which will be very beneficial in setting budgets and turning around Dearborn.
Over the past few years, numerous services and amenities that make Dearborn a great city to live, raise a family, and establish a business, have been eliminated or diminished by current city leaders.  We need leaders who can stop further erosion of these services and amenities, or it will continue to diminish the quality of life for current and future residents.
City leaders state we have no money for these services and amenities.  However, city leaders suddenly found $3.75 million to purchase a new city hall residents did not know we needed, and they have another $8.5 million from Severstal Steel they want to spend on remodeling the new city hall and giving Artspace to purchase our old city hall.  If I were a council member, I would see this funding utilized to restore two closed swimming pools, to reopen the Snow Library, to help fund the Dearborn Historical Museum, to restore the inoperative Henry Ford Centennial Library library, and more.
With all due respect, to current council members, city council members are supposed to be listening to and abiding by the wishes of the people they serve, and I believe the majority of our current council members have failed significantly at this part of their duty, thus letting down the people of Dearborn.
If I am elected, I will work full-time on gaining sponsorships and grants to save many amenities and services we cherish, based upon what the wishes are of the people of Dearborn, who informed us in our recent Master Plan they want amenities and services kept and/or restored.
Thus, I will be your ultimate “public servant.”

DavidBazzyDavid Bazzy

Hello, my name is David Bazzy and I am seeking re-election to the Dearborn City Council. Besides my work on the council I am president and chief operating officer of Kenwal Steel Co. I have been married 29 years and have three children.
I have been a Dearborn resident for 55 years and graduated from Edsel Ford High School before receiving my bachelor’s degree from the University of Michigan-Dearborn and my master of business administration degree from Wayne State University. I belong to the Divine Child Parish.
I am and always have been a resident of this great city and although like all municipalities we have experienced many issue the last seven years, I speak to a number of citizens like myself that consider Dearborn a place they want to live and raise their families.
If I am re-elected, I want to continue to focus on the areas that citizens have shown to be their greatest concerns:
1. Public Safety. I will continue to be an advocate for police and fire as I have been both on and off the council supporting them in all areas.
2. Neighborhoods. I will continue to be visible in neighborhoods and respond to citizens issues making sure that their voice matters everyday, focusing on rental policies and consistent enforcement of ordinances in the neighborhoods.
3. Services. Growing up in Dearborn we played sports in parks, swam in neighborhood pools and skated at outdoor community rinks. I understand this all comes down to one item: money.
If re-elected I will work, as I do now, every day to move to a leaner and more efficient government, which by virtue of its efficiencies will allow for a greater level of services given the dollar constraints we face.
I continue to believe the role of a city government is to listen to its residents and supply the greatest value for all of us, given the budget constraints. The budget process more than any other is where the council has the greatest impact on the community and where I will promise to stay diligent on your behalf.

MoBerroMo Berro

My name is Mo Berro and I am running for the Dearborn City Council. I was born and raised in Dearborn and am married with three children. I am a graduate of Fordson High School and attended Henry Ford Community College (where I received an associate’s degree), Schoolcraft College and the Oakland College Law Enforcement Academy.
I am a retired Dearborn police officer and currently I am busy enjoying the time I have with my wife and children, working as a real estate agent for Re/Max Team 2000 and campaigning for city council.
After serving the city for 25 years on the police force, I want continue my service in a different position.  A position where I am able to be a voice for the resident’s of Dearborn and be able to take action on their behalf.
As a police officer I’ve heard many complaints regarding our city and changes that need to occur to make our city vibrant again and produce economic growth.  I want to keep our city services at a high level, i.e. police, fire and public works, etc., and not cut their pay and benefits.
I am concerned about the purchase of the new city hall and the effect it may have on our city budget. I hope our city services are no longer victim to pay cuts and cutting hours and days of important city offices that service our community.
I believe that we need to bring in more brand name business that will service our community.  There are many vacant spaces in our business district this is hurting the city financially.  I would like to eliminate the parking meters, I think this is a big obstacle to in attracting successful business, not to mention the effect it has on patrons trying to enjoy the downtown area.
We need to support the school board in improving our children’s education, scores and improve security in our schools.
We need to improve better care for our senior citizens,
Finally, we need to keep our parks and pools open for our kids.  We need to make Dearborn alive again with more activities and events for our community, this will also help our economy.

Steven GuibordSteven Guibord

Hello, my name is Steven J. Guibord. I am a third generation Dearbornite, the son of Candice Prechowski and Jerome Guibord and a second generation Divine Child alumni. My grandparents helped Msgr. Herbert F. Weier build and grow the parish. I learned the values of civil service and community involvement from my Uncle Greg Guibord, former Dearborn police chief.
In 2012, I left a 15-year career as a nationally recognized leader with Covidien Healthcare to focus my time and energy on Dearborn. I realized our city needed help and I have created new opportunities because I focus on getting things done.
I have a long history of being involved with the community in Dearborn. Including committee appointments on the West Dearborn Downtown Development Authority, Parking Advisory, Design Review and a former City Beautiful commissioner.
I also helped originate the west Dearborn block parties in 2012 and 2013, Food Truck Rallies 2012 and 2013, Oktoberfest 2012, and worked to market the west district as west Dearborn. My management company also revived a long standing west Dearborn business.
I am also on the Dearborn Goodfellows Board of Directors, a Dearborn Area Chamber of Commerce ambassador and active member of the Dearborn Rotary Club
There are five parts to my strategic plan for Dearborn:
1. Public safety and city services makes Dearborn special. We need to maintain high standards and expectations to keep Dearborn safe and clean.
2. Increase property values and improve city finances by expanding tax base. Work to bring new businesses and industry to the city. Improve marketing and value of Dearborn.
3. Improve communications between City Hall and our residents. Communication and information drive political accountability.
4. Facilitate cooperation between City Hall, Dearborn Area Chamber and East and West DDAs to brand and develop business districts.
5. Invest in neighborhood associations to encourage and empower residents to enforce a uniform standard for home owners and renters.
I have the passion, dedication, and especially the vision to facilitate leadership in Dearborn for you the taxpayer. I know Dearborn’s best days are ahead of it. I have committed a tremendous amount of my time to help others create positive solutions. For this reason I am asking for your vote to continue my efforts and make them more effective as a member of the Dearborn City Council.

MaureenMcIlrathMaureen McIlrath

Hello, my name is Maureen A. McIlrath and I am seeking your support in my bid for the Dearborn City Council.
I am the CEO/founder the Going Green Foundation, CEO MoTownMedia.net, CEO Quinndustries LTD, farm market manager Dearborn Farmers and Artisan’s Market. My political affiliation is to the Green Party.
For my education, I attended St. Benedictine High School, Western Michigan University, Henry Ford Community College, Schoolcraft College, and Kaplan University.
I am a single parent with two children, ages 20 and 8, who both attend or previously attended Dearborn schools. I am from a family of six children born and raised in Detroit, in an Irish Catholic household. I moved to Dearborn when I was pregnant with daughter in 1991.
From the age of 21 in 1987 to around the age of 30 or around 1996 I was the manager of Chaplin’s West on Telegraph Road. I was married in 1992 to a local headliner divorced in 2002. By the age of 28 I was the executive general manager of the Chaplin’s Comedy Club chain running clubs in Canton, Plymouth, Windsor, Chicago and Detroit. I also started my own management and booking company called Mo Town Entertainment now MoTownMedia.net.
After I left Chaplin’s I was then manager of Kickers Complex and Joeys Comedy Club, in Livonia, until I changed my focus and started my own production company and standup comedy career, which I did until my son was born in 2005.
In 2005 I was licensed in health, life and accident Insurance and worked as a benefit consultant to many municipalities including the state of Michigan.
In 2009 I started the Going Green Foundation a 501(c)(3) that operates the Crowley Park Sustainable Organic Farm; I took a grant writing class and have been writing grants for the foundation for four years, I implemented the Chefs Move to School Program at my son’s Long Elementary School and would like to start a program called Farm to Cafeteria where we get locally produced organic foods into the school system.  I was recently hired as the farmers market manager by the Dearborn Chamber of Commerce and I was a partner in the Studio A Comedy Café at the Ford Community & Performing Arts Center last season.
I have previously been elected to the offices of PTA president, Dearborn Federation of Neighborhood Associations vice president, Crowley Park Neighborhood Association vice president.
Currently I am president PTA Samuel B. Long Elementary School, vice president DFNA, City Beautiful commissioner, Telecommunications Commission, Environmental commissioner, organizer of Green Expo (Dearborn Homecoming), organizer of first green festival in Dearborn 2011.
ColetteRichardsColette Richards

I have been a Dearborn resident for 15 years and I am married to a lifelong resident, Scott Starks, who is a graduate of Edsel Ford High School. We both have one child each and both of our sons attend O.L. Smith Middle School. I am a graduate of Mercy High School (’87) and received an associates of science degree from San Diego Community College. I was a retail manager for over 10 years and self-employed for 15. I am now working for Dearborn Public Schools as a media secretary. This works well with my son’s school schedule and gives me time off when he isn’t in school.
I became a parent advocate for families with children with special needs not to long after my own child entered school and I had to work with the Special Education department to help him get the proper services he needed.  I was appointed by the school district as one of the parent representatives to sit on the Wayne County Parent Advisory Committee and have done so since 2007.
I was very invested in the children of the schools so I became heavily involved in the PTA and served on the executive board of the Dearborn PTA Council for five years, four of them as president.  Between the PTA and being a parent advocate, I was able to build bridges and help in all sorts of situations from conflict resolution to mediations.  I learned the art of compromise and how to help everyone from all sides come to an agreement on their issues that they could all be happy with.  Effectively learning how to talk and listen to people and their issues helped me build strong PTAs across the district.
In the community, I have been helping the Goodfellows during paper drives, boxing nights and delivering Christmas presents since 2009.  I have been an active member of the Dearborn Rotary Club since March 2010 and have served on the board of directors since July 2011.  I am currently serving my third term and am the director of Membership and president nominee. I have been involved with Relay For Life of Dearborn since 2007 as a team captain and since 2008 as a member of the planning committee.  In 2010, I was appointed to the City Beautiful Commission.  I served as my neighborhood association president from 2010 to 2011.
I am running for City Council because I feel that I can be most effective with my unique abilities to help the citizens of Dearborn. I have a way of working with all sorts of people in a team like atmosphere while being independent and fair. I want to bring the voice of the average resident to City Hall. I am a proven leader who will be accountable for her actions and will be fair to all concerned. I will listen to all sides of an issue in order to find the proper solution that will be in the best interest of all parties involved.
I’d like to improve communication between the city and the citizens. I feel there is a lack of proper information given to the people of Dearborn and we need to find alternatives to getting the information out to the masses. I also feel that the citizens should feel comfortable communicating with the city on matters they need to and not feel like they have to go through so much red tape to get anything accomplished.
I think we need to be more proactive in bringing in new businesses into our city. Working more closely with the chambers in our area and with the business owners themselves can help us find new ways to move forward and bring about a thriving Dearborn like we once had.
It’s time we make some changes and bring in someone who will work with others as well as be independent. City Council is part of our checks and balances system and it’s time we have more independent thinkers sitting on the council. I am that independent person and I hope I can earn your vote.
For more information about me please go to my website at http://www.coletterichards.com or you may also find me on Facebook at http://www.facebook.com/ColetteRichardsForDearborn.

Mike SareiniMike Sareini

I am 41, married with five children and a lifelong Dearborn resident.  As a child growing up in Dearborn my parents taught the importance of community service.  I believe that it is my turn to give back to the community that has given my family and myself many opportunities and a life rich in history and tradition. I hope to continue the legacy of serving the people of Dearborn.
I returned to school at the age of 34 to complete my education at University of Michigan-Dearborn and then on weekends and nights I completed law school. I am a licensed attorney. I did all this while working full time ranking No. 1 in Michigan and third in the nation for Ford in sales and raising a family of five children.
My 18-plus years of sales experience has taught me the people skills necessary to get the job done and my law degree affords me the knowledge necessary to make those critical decisions that are in the best interest of Dearborn.  I am a very passionate person who sets goals and achieves them.
Clean and safe neighborhoods are my priority. Like you, my home is in Dearborn and I am raising my family here.  I believe that rental homes in our city should be held to the same high standards that owner-occupied homes are held to.  Like you, I want to insure that my children live in a clean and safe environment.
I will work hard to maximize our resources and take advantage of opportunities to reduce the cost of services without losing the quality and streamline the process for residents to access the services that are paid for by their tax dollars.
Dearborn is a great place to live and raise a family; I know I can help keep it that way and I am asking for one of your seven votes Aug. 6.

Kristyn TaylorKristyn Taylor

I am Kristyn Taylor and I am asking for your vote for Dearborn City Council because I want to bring the voices of Dearborn residents to the city table. I have brought issues forth in my neighborhood association and I continue to serve as a voice for the Dearborn pools. I have brought the resident’s voices to the City Council on the budget, new city hall, and other issues by directly addressing the council at meetings and asking important questions. I have also fought against discrimination with and for our Arab American community. There are many issues facing Dearborn and many priorities for how taxpayer money can or should be spent. I believe we can make the best decisions for Dearborn when residents are invited to participate in the process.
My work educating residents and demanding information on the city hall issue is a great example of what you can expect from me as your next councilmember. When the City Council was recently asked to vote to approve money and authorize closing documents to move City Hall, there was very little information before them. I called for more information and an opportunity for resident input. Since then, the city held a study session and residents are able to come to their own conclusion about the best choice.
As a Dearborn city council member, I will be proactive in reaching out to residents about issues, encouraging participation in the process, and opening lines of communication between the city and the people. I will continue to advocate for preserving the treasures of our neighborhoods, like pools and libraries. I will also pursue creative solutions to secure a vibrant future for all of Dearborn to help new businesses and new residents choose Dearborn.
I recently graduated from Wayne State Law School and will soon take the Michigan Bar Exam. I have my master’s degree in Integrated Marketing Communications and my bachelor’s in Electronic Media and Film, both from Eastern Michigan University. I am engaged to Phil Mattern and we look forward to our wedding in 2014.
I invite you to join my group on Facebook — Kristyn Taylor for Dearborn City Council — and to read more about the issues and my candidacy on my blog at www.kristyn4council.wordpress.com.
I have shown that I can be your voice. Now I ask that you vote for Kristyn Taylor on Aug. 6 for Dearborn City Council.

Robert WatsonRobert Watson

Hello, my name is Robert William Watson and I am running for the Dearborn City Council. I have been a Dearborn resident for 42 years. My parents live in Dearborn as do my seven children. I am married to Julie (Rose) and in addition to the seven children we have two grandsons.
I am a graduate of St. Alphonsus High School and Henry Ford Community College and I studied business at Wayne State University.
I am a licensed building official and residential builder through the state of Michigan. I have worked for the city of Detroit for over 13 years and have been in charge of overseeing hundreds of community projects such as the building of Comerica Park, Ford Field, Compuware, Book Cadillac Hotel, Motor City Casino and Greektown.
I am also chairman of the Dearborn Demolition Board of Appeals and an active member of the Divine Child Parish.
Once elected to office I would establish good lines of communication with all the neighborhood associations. I believe good listening skills and hands-on involvement are important for a City Council member. This is not a position to just show up for an occasional meeting, this is a show up and roll up your sleeves and get to work.
My experience with communities and business would be used to focus on a thriving and attractive Dearborn. Researching similar cities such as Royal Oak, Ferndale, Wyandotte, Clawson and Rochester show me that Dearborn has so much more potential and more to offer. Our business community needs council members to invest time and new ideas that will help not hinder. We need to grow and fill our vacant buildings.
Focus on our city services is very important. Dearborn residents pay good money in taxes and should benefit from responsible investments and decisions. We have a very strong police and fire department and should maintain and continue to improve their capabilities  and presence. Our schools need to be a priority and not a place to cut spending. I would like to research the costs of moving City Hall verses the cost of maintaining one of our historic buildings. Committing to buying a new property for city hall when we haven’t even sold the old City Hall is not financial responsible. It’s a liability to the taxpayers with now bottom.
My goals as a city council member are quite simple. The city of Dearborn and it’s city council should be the voice and reflection of the people and not the personal plans or agenda of any one individual. Dearborn should always reflect what its citizens want and what is best for the future generations of our families.
(Candidates Tarek Baydoun, Bob Bochenek, Susan Dabaja, Stephen Dobkowski Jr., Sharon Dulmage, Patrick Melton, Brian O’Donnell, Mary Petlichkoff, Mark Shooshanian and Thomas Tafelski did not submit material by the deadline.)