Dearborn Heights Election Preview

Mayor
Daniel Paletko
1. Who are you? (50-word limit)
I’m a CPA and a retiree from Ford. I’ve served the City as Councilman, (Chairman for 19 years), State Representative and Mayor. I have degrees from HFCC, UofM-Dearborn, and two Master s from UofD and WSU. I am a member of St. Linus, the MACPA and KofC.

2. Why are you running for office, and why should people vote for you? (75-word limit)
These are troubling financial times for Southeastern Michigan which resulted in reductions in revenues and required us to look at creating a new economic model. For the fiscal year 2012-2013, the City’s revenues exceeded expenses by $3,000,000. This is attributed to the voters, employees and management working together. With my financial background, knowledge of, and contacts with the State, I believe I am the best candidate to continue to serve as Mayor.

3. What are two key issues facing the city and what should be done about them? (100-word limit)
The first issue is financial. We are continuing to address this issue with very positive results. When the economic decline struck, I worked to solve our financial problems. Employees took pay reductions, the voters authorized a Headlee override, retirees had healthcare changes, vendors reduced their charges and we received an insurance refund. Expenditures need to be constantly examined and we will continue to partner with communities to get more efficient.

Secondly, we need services at affordable prices. I will continue to ensure essential Police and Fire services, and we must continue to provide programs for our senior and youth populations.

Janet Badalow
1. Who are you? (50-word limit)
I am 43 years old, a 35 year resident (North and South), married in 2004, and a City Councilmember for 12 years. I have a MBA in Finance from Wayne State University, a BSBA in Accounting from Lawrence Technological University, and I am a 1988 Divine Child High School graduate.

2. Why are you running for office, and why should people vote for you? (75-word limit)
In the last several budget years, the city has accumulated at its peak an almost $5.7M deficit. We are all paying higher tax rates (Headlee Override) and receiving fewer services. Realistic budgeting is critical to our City’s survival and emergence from deficit. If elected, I will implement accountability (expenditure tracking) in all departments, utilize technology and our website to streamline processes and provide more information for residents, and create a 3 year budget plan.

3. What are two key issues facing the city and what should be done about them? (100-word limit)
Uncertain Revenues-I would start by implementing a zero line item budget, which requires departments to prove the need for requested funds year to year. I intend to seek out other sources of revenue for all departments, by contracting with a professional grant writer.

Aging Infrastructure-After assessing the current condition of buildings, streets, and other infrastructure, I will create a three year plan for improvements and set aside funding for them. I will coordinate with other cities, the State, and Wayne County for combined projects which produce cost savings.

Other information can be found on my website at www.Badalow.com.

City Council
Thomas Berry

1. Who are you? (50-word limit)
My name is Tom Berry, I am an Incumbent Dearborn Heights Councilman seeking to serve the city for a third term. As a Business Development Manager with a local retailer and having two Council terms under me belt I’m eager to serve my city, seeing us through our deficit.

2. Why are you running for office, and why should people vote for you? (75-word limit)
Dearborn Heights is a City with a future and I have a future in the city. My insight into our Government and my Business experience in the private sector allows me an opportunity to blend the positive attributes of both sectors to better serve our residents.

3. What are two key issues facing the city and what should be done about
them? (100-word limit)
The City is in a great position to make leaps into the future. We’re on the verge of overcoming our deficit and with the positive growth we’ve experienced in the community we can begin looking at expanding our residential services, marketing our commercial/retail opportunities and expanding that foundation. We’re rounding the final turn in this race to recovery, we’re on the home stretch and now is the time to make our move.

Bob Constan
Did not respond by the deadline.

Joseph Kosinski
1. Who are you? (50-word limit)
My name is Joseph Kosinki and I am a city councilman for Dearborn Heights. I have been a resident for 53 years and I have been in public service for 40 years.

2. Why are you running for office, and why should people vote for you? (75-word limit) People should vote for me to allow me to continue to serve the citizens of Dearborn Heights. My 40 years of public service experience at various levels of responsibility demonstrate a lifelong commitment to serve the interests and well-being of my constituents. I ask voters to please consider my record of public service as the basis for re-electing me. I enjoy good health and I have the time, energy and a depth of leadership experience in both the private and public sector to perform the responsibilities of councilman.

3. What are two key issues facing the city and what should be done about them? (100-word limit)
Two keys issues facing the city are revenue short fall and a lingering multi-million dollar financial deficit. These circumstances demand conformance to known policies of fiscal responsibility. Department heads manage the allocated budget without variation and city council members exercise rigid oversight of all expenditures. To put it simply, there has to be a unanimous commitment by all to do more with less. A persistent enforcement of city codes and ordinances would offer a source for an immediate infusion of revenues. Long term, if the housing stock is maintained at optimal values, greater revenue returns will coincide with the general financial recovery for the city. Grant sources should also be researched constantly.

Margaret Horvath
1. Who are you? (50-word limit)
Marge Horvath, resident of DH for 47 years. Council member for 20 years. Mother of six grown children all educated in DH. Retired from AT&T. High school grad two years of college at Madonna.

2. Why are you running for office, and why should people vote for you? (75-word limit)
Because I continue to make a difference on the council. I am a clear thinker. I serve the public and the city with pride. I hope people would vote for me on my past record of service to the city.

3. What are two key issues facing the city and what should be done about them? (100-word limit)
The four day work week. I would like to go back to five days but that would take some negotiating with the various unions and I am not sure it would go anywhere. People like the four days and it is going to be very hard to make changes anytime soon. Secondly the deficit. We have a plan in place and we must continue to make sure we are working the plan by keeping a close eye on the budget on a monthly basis which we do.

Lisa Farrens
1. Who are you? (50-word limit)
I am a resident, homeowner and landlord. My educational credentials include a MSA in Labor Relations/HR and a BA in Business Admnistration. This education with 25 years of business experience brings a strong base of competentance to assist in financial and strategy decisions for the city.

2. Why are you running for office, and why should people vote for you? (75-word limit)
I began attending City Council meetings regularly in 2011, as decisions for IT support contracts were being made. It was shocking to me that support contracts were being agreed without definative scope/cost/time criteria. Budgets are passed without adequate studies to define strategy beyond current year. I realized that my professional abilities may help the city, and I decided to run.

3. What are two key issues facing the city and what should be done about them? (100-word limit)
Animal Control position & Vector Control programs: The ACO positions was eliminated for cost savings, and certified vector control requests from homeowners were largely ignored. Certification requires hours of training. Budgeting and priority need to be given to these issues to protect our citizens.

Budget: A long term strategy needs to be developed that removes duplicate services, respects the citizen stated priorities of Police and Fire protection, DPW (including ordinance) and recreation. Stretching the city’s funds with grants is needed.

Bob Constan
Did not respond by the deadline.