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VOTE411 Voter Guide

Mayor of Kalamazoo

The Mayor is a member of the Commission with the same duties as other members and serves as the representative of the City.The Mayor is elected for a two-year term. Vote for one candidate.
CHOOSE TWO CANDIDATES FROM BELOW TO COMPARE
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    Bobby Hopewell President and CEO

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    Michael Hussar (write-in) Realtor

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    Chris Wahmhoff (write-in) Health care

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Biographical Information

Why are you running for Mayor of Kalamazoo? What strengths or talents especially qualify you for that office?

What do you think will be two major issues confronting Kalamazoo in the next two years? How do you propose to address them?

What aspects of the Foundation for Excellence are most exciting to you? What aspects, if any, concern you?

Age 53
Occupation / Current Position President and CEO, Mobile Health Resources
Education Western Michigan University, M.A. Organizational Learning and Performance. Siena Heights University, B.A., Public Service/EMS Administration. KVCC, A.S., Health Technology. KVCC Certified Paramedic.
Experience & Qualifications Mayor, City of Kalamazoo, since 2007. Vice Mayor, City of Kalamazoo, 2005-2007. Kalamazoo City Commissioner 2003-2005.
Campaign Website http://www.bobbyhopewell.com
Campaign Email bobbyhopewell2@gmail.com
Campaign Facebook Page Hope 4 Kalamazoo Re-elect Bobby Hopewell Mayor of Kalamazoo
Campaign Twitter Handle @hope4kzoo
I am running for Mayor of Kalamazoo because I love this City! I want to see our city thrive and improve. To do so, we must continue to: (a) maintain fiscal stability of city government; (b) build strong neighborhoods; (c) ensure public safety; (d) support an environment of economic growth and innovation; and (e) consolidate government services. I believe my experience on the City Commission since 2003 and as Mayor since 2007, and my style of leadership, which is experienced, balanced, inclusive, and passionate, can best help address the challenges facing our community.
(a) Staying true to the city's Strategic Vision which was informed by over 3,500 residents through Imagine Kalamazoo 2025. This is the best guide we have to what our citizens want for their neighborhoods, their lives and our city. I will keep this vision in the forefront of the work that we do for Kalamazoo. (b) Success of the Foundation for Excellence will be key to our city’s future. I will work with the Foundation’s board to guide the best work possible. I will partner with the lead donors to raise the dollars needed to sustain the Foundation and the city.
The Foundation enables us to move our community forward not from a place of scarcity, but one of real possibility. This is truly amazing and exciting — especially given the blueprint set forth by our residents with Imagine Kalamazoo 2025. The challenge will be to raise the remaining dollars needed to fully fund the Foundation and then to manage those resources in a manner that honors our citizens’ vision. It will be challenging work, but we are just the community to meet this challenge.
Age 38
Occupation / Current Position Realtor with Berkshire Hathaway Home Services MI Real Estate
Education 2002 Graduate of Western Michigan University with a major in General Management and a minor in Economics
Experience & Qualifications -KPS Graduate -WMU Graduate -25 aggregate years of being a city resident -Productive Employment Resume
Campaign Phone (269) 488-0162
Campaign Email mihussar@gmail.com
My goal is to contribute towards the long term economic viability of the city so the city is viewed as a desirable place to live, even if the philanthropy is removed. I want KPS students to be highly prepared to transition from High School to the next phase of their lives. I also want Kalamazoo to be regarded as a forward-thinking city.
The activity of the Foundation is going to be the most important issue the city will have. The Foundation is striving to create several solutions and the implementation of this program is going to set the tone for the city moving into the future.

I think secondary issues that both deserve equal consideration are the city's infrastructure and water quality. I want to contribute towards fluid efficient movement throughout the city for both vehicles and pedestrians. I also want to contribute towards the upgrading of the city's plumbing to ensure that our drinking water remains safe.

The most exciting aspects of the Foundation for Excellence is the sense of altruism and the desire to create a beacon of economic vitality across the city. My main concern lies with the decisions that will be made with an economic windfall. I'm concerned about the optimization of this amazing gift that the city is so fortunate to receive.
Age 39
Occupation / Current Position Mental health services / Home health aide
Education I graduated from Plainwell high school, and attended the Art institute of Pittsburgh, and Kalamazoo valley community college
Experience & Qualifications My field of work requires me to build relationships, overcome significant communication challenges, and consistent lack of resources to ensure the safety of the people I serve. I have worked on several state budget cases for decades. I also have been involved in multiple boards and associations in Kalamazoo including the Edison neighborhood association and Environmental concerns committee
Campaign Phone (269) 599-3327
Campaign Email Chriswahmhoff@gmail.com
Campaign Facebook Page https://www.facebook.com/chris4kazoo/
Campaign Twitter Handle @ChrisWahmhoff
Campaign Video https://youtu.be/V8buXZZjavc
Why: I'm running because I am concerned about the lack of transparency around the foundation of excellence, and the continued disproportionate tax system locally. I want to use our resources to help the people who live in the city, not large companies.

strength & talent: I let action dictate who I am here for, from skate boarding into the expansion of the pipeline that ruptured, to organizing an emergency response to fire's, or teaching kids in Edison about farming. I show up to help every way I can. I believe in action so my pay as mayor will go to help city families in tax foreclosure, to start offsetting our disproportionate taxes.
Good Governance, and Poverty

Good Governance, (transparency, accountability, and oversight), we need realistic citizen oversight of departments like The city managers office, Foundation for excellence and police department. They are not publicly appointed, and our working class is exploited by it.

Poverty, we must first understand poverty is layered with issues like racism, and corruption playing large roles. It cannot be "fixed" with a glance, but individually. We need relationship building to address poverty, and then we need to provide relief from our disproportionate economic burdens and invest in opportunities that help people up.
My grandpa would say "If something sounds too good to be true, it probably is.” We just privatized 1/3 of our General fund to Snyders PAC Chair and Wallstreet. It's never happened before. From the start it has been a changing story or no strings, when commissioners found strings and spoke up we were told "trust us" and then an amendment to remove them was voted down. This is the reason for a late decision to run for mayor. The people have to look at this more carefully.

1: we need to revisit the amendment to remove donor restricted funds

2: we need the city resident board seats to be publicly electable

3: we need to ensure transparency

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