Southgate Elections

COUNCIL (7 from 12)
Ernest Abercrombie
Did not respond by the deadline.

Bill Colovos
Did not respond by the deadline.

Sheryl Denham
Did not respond by the deadline.

Gerald A. Dusik
Did not respond by the deadline.

Mark Farrah
1. Who are you?
My name is Mark Farrah and I am 52 years old. retired from the Southgate Police Department after serving for over 25 years. I have been a lifelong resident of Southgate, graduating from Schafer High school. I raised my family in Southgate, and graduated both children from Southgate Anderson High School. I have made a commitment to the City of Southgate, a career of protecting our residents. I promise to continue to serve you, and all our residents, as a councilman for the City of Southgate with the utmost pride and integrity.

2. Why are you running for office, and why should people vote for you?
I know that with my background and experience, I will be an asset to our city government. I will work with our Mayor and City Administration to ensure Southgate remains a strong and financially sound community. I understand to be a strong community; we must provide our citizens a safe place to live, and provide exemplary services. I will help in every effort to make certain Southgate achieves its full potential and maintains the quality of life our residents expect. I want Southgate to continue to be the place where people choose to come and raise their families for generations.

3. What are the two key issues facing the city and what should be done about them?
The biggest issues facing the City of Southgate in the upcoming years is making certain we can continue to provide the high level of services our citizens deserve, at the same time maintaining a balanced budget. I will work along with our Mayor and City Administration to attract new business to the city, look for additional revenue sources while maintaining and protecting the services and programs provided our residents.

Patricia Ganzberger
Did not respond by the deadline.

Edward Gawlick Jr.
Did not respond by the deadline.

Karen George
Did not respond by the deadline.

John Graziani
1. Who are you? (50-word limit)
My name is John Graziani. I am an attorney who has a law practice in Southgate. I am seeking one of seven seats on the Southgate City Council. I have been raised in Southgate and have lived here for 43 years. I also attended Southgate Public Schools. I have previously served on Southgate Council for six terms. I was elected council president three times in 1995, 2003, and 2005.

2. Why are you running for office, and why should people vote for you? 
(75-word limit)
My major goal for the future is to make sure Southgate prospers. As a person who has been invested in the community as a long-time homeowner and small businessperson who owns property in the community, I believe I know what it takes to buck the trend and keep Southgate on the right track. I have the background, education, and solid experience to do a good job for you and your family.

3. What are two key issues facing the city and what should be done about 
them? (100-word limit)
Though the economy has stabilized; by historical standards, we are still not doing well. Southgate is hurt by the fact that Detroit, Allen Park, and Ecorse have had an emergency manager. Furthermore, Lincoln Park may soon follow. With the more than 30 percent decline in property values, we experienced the greatest contraction in the economy since the great depression. Such a decline underscores the seriousness of this economic problem that we are facing. By not giving incentives for people to stay in Southgate, along with the confidence to make improvements on their property, we could also go that same route. I own a house and a business in Southgate. I know what it takes to be successful and to keep businesses in Southgate in addition to expanding them.

Altinia Kandrevas
1. Who are you?
I am a founding partner of my own law firm, graduate of the University of Michigan-Ann Arbor and University of Detroit Mercy School of Law. I have been active and involved in my family’s restaurant operation from an early age. I am also married to State Representative Andrew Kandrevas.

2. Why are you running for office, and why should people vote for you?
As a child of immigrant parents, I understand the needs of those that do not understand the processes that can sometimes be complicated in dealing with government. I want to ease the complications and make government more accessible to the community. I want what every resident of Southgate wants, a safe place to live and raise a family. I will be raising my family in Southgate and I want our community to be the best in Downriver.

3. What are two key issues facing the city and what should be done about them?
We have been faced with a lack of funds from which to provide important services. I will work to find alternative methods and sources of community financing, looking for other means to accommodate the needs of the community with limited resources. Southgate also needs to better market itself to the rest of Michigan and young people who are looking to establish roots. We can do a better job of delivering highly-desired services, i.e. public safety, recreation, and educational opportunities. Given our mix of businesses, housing stock, location, and community programs, Southgate should showcase its potential and be recognized as the jewel of Downriver.

Dino Papadopoulos
1. Who are you?
My name is Dino Papadopoulos, and I am a candidate for Southgate City Council. I’m married with two sons in elementary school. My parents are both proud Greek Americans. I am an attorney who fights for seniors, at a non-profit agency called Great Lakes Legal/Elder Law Division. I served the people as a government attorney in Florida and with the Department of Human Services here in Michigan.

2. Why are you running for office, and why should people vote for you?
I am running for office because I’m dedicated to serving the people, in finding ways through grants or otherwise to beautify and improve the overall image of our city. The people in Southgate are truly great neighbors and friends, but everyone knows the problem lies in the overall appearance. People should vote for me because I will not waiver from my determination to help Southgate become the safest and best looking city in the region. I have more information at

3. What are the two key issue facing the city and what can be done about them?
The first issue is revenue. Obviously, it’s an issue in most cities that relates to the value of homes and to the business climate. Attracting successful businesses is always a benefit. Home values rise when their streets are free from eyesores. That is why I do believe in encouraging the enforcement of ordinances related to the appearance and safety of a home and in creating any necessary laws that assist in their enforcement. We can count on the mayor to present a balanced budget, but we must always do what is necessary to increase revenue.

Another issue facing the city is crime. There are people walking around especially late into the night that could care less about the residents. We can support local law enforcement and assure that their contracts are fair not only to the taxpaying residents of the city, but also to the police officers who serve as our line of defense against people who would have no issue with stealing what is yours. This isn’t the same city police had to defend twenty years ago. We can craft constitutionally sound laws that give assistance to police officers in ridding Southgate of the people who come here with no good intent.

Dale Zemecki
Did not respond by the deadline.