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Farmington Hills City Council {_getChooseLabel(this.selections.length)}

THREE 4-year terms available.Vote for no more than THREE.
CHOOSE TWO CANDIDATES FROM BELOW TO COMPARE
  • Michael Bridges City Council

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    Valerie Knol Manager, State and Local Government Relations

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    Mary Newlin Registered Nurse

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    Samantha Steckloff Manager of Unergraduate Admissions at Wayne State University

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Biographical Information

Please provide biographical information and explain why you are running for City office and relevant qualities and skills you would bring to the position.

What are the top 3 Priority Issues that the city should address and what actions would you take regarding each of them?

I was elected to the Farmington Hills city council in 2008 and reelected in 2009 and 2013.

I served as Mayor–Pro Tem in 2010. I am married and have two sons.

I am running for reelection because I have the necessary experience and understanding of the issues facing the City of Farmington Hills. I am an independent tinker and strive to make decisions that our in the best interest for both our citizens and the business community.

The three top issues facing the City of Farmington Hills are as follows:

1) How are we going to fix our neighborhood roads? I strongly support putting a millage proposal before voters. I believe it essential that we hear from our citizens and follow their lead.

2) How are going to address our long-term capital needs? The City of Farmington Hills is in very good financial shape. Currently we have a triple AAA bond rating with a low debt expense. Therefore we do have the option to bond fund most these projects without affecting general service operations.

3) City of Farmington Hills has been named a safe city for several years. We also have one of the best Fire / EMS services for a city of our size. It will be one of my top priorities that we remain a safe city by providing our public safety organizations the resources they need to maintain our safe city designation.

I am running for re-election to the Farmington Hills City Council. I was elected to Council in 2013 and served as Mayor Pro Tem in 2016. I serve as the Council Liaison to the Beautification Commission and the Historical District Commission. Prior to my election in Farmington Hills, I served on the City Council of the City of Farmington for eight years and served as Mayor from 2007 – 09.

As a longtime activist in the community, I have served on the board of the Farmington Players Theatre, the American Association of University Women, the Farmington YMCA, and the Greater Farmington Area Chamber of Commerce. I currently serve on the Oakland County Zoological Authority.

I am a Manager of State and Local Government Relations at FCA US LLC and previously worked as a senior staff member for the Michigan House of Representatives. I have received a B.S. from Western Michigan University and a Master's Degree from Eastern Michigan University.

The City Charter currently requires the reconstruction of local subdivision roads to be funded through a Special Assessment District (SAD) with the city paying 20% and the residents paying 80% of the costs over 10 to 15 years. Many other cities, use a different local road funding system in which the city levies a millage for local roads instead of a SAD. I believe it is time to ask the voters if they want to transition from a SAD to a millage funding system - as long as we can develop a process which is legal and fair so that the residents who are currently paying a Special Assessment do not have to pay both.

In certain areas, Farmington Hills is faced with older, underutilized commercial properties. I believe we must continue to encourage redevelopment of these properties in order to minimize blight and increase our tax base. We must continue to review our zoning to ensure it is flexible and seek out tools to incentivize quality redevelopment. While we need to stress code enforcement, we must also establish effective, collaborative relationships with the building owners.
I am proud to say this is my first public office candidacy. My style is like an Erin Brockovich. To represent well you must know those you represent so I am knocking on doors. A resident of Farmington Hills for 30 years I have raised three children graduates of Farmington public schools with my husband. A registered nurse for 30 years I have managed many teams. I believe in service, empowerment, ownership and responsibility for myself and the community. You should feel at home in your city so I am running for council to ensure a strong community that is welcoming to all. I will push for cost efficiency and best practices to provide programs and services for all of residents. I believe in community involvement in decisions that affect your homes and the city. Oversight must be in all city departments to ensure quality services for everyone. I want to be your voice so city decisions do not place a burden or decrease the quality of life for anyone in my community. Please contact me at-yourvoicemarynewlin @gmail.com or Facebook-Mary Newlin for Farmington Hills City Council 2017
1. Special Assessment Districts which place a disproportional burden on many homeowners. A citizens task group representing all areas of the city should be formed to explore different approaches to determine an equitable solution. A transition must occur that is in accordance with state laws regarding taxation. A progressive millage and a review of those that have been paying on a special assessment would provide a transition to a equitable long term solution.

2. Disclosure of information and involvement of citizens. There should be development of citizen groups, education about the city Listserv and more frequent mail based city communications so citizens are aware of city issues and decisions.

3. Business Development. There needs to be a review of business and what is needed to attract new citizens and then a plan outreach to those businesses to location within the city.
Life-long resident of Farmington Hills; Currently serving as Farmington Hills Mayor Pro Tem; employed as the Enrollment Management Coordinator at Wayne State University; Bachelors degree from Purdue University in 2006; Authored city’s Human Rights Ordinance; Created first of its kind Community Health Commission; Council Liaison, Children Youth and Families Commission; Founding Member and Council Liaison, Mayor’s Youth Council; Former Member of Parks and Recreation Commission and Committee to Increase Voter Participation; Served as Miss Farmington/Miss Oakland County in 2003 and 2007, receiving Community Service Award both years; Keynote Speaker at numerous conferences sponsored by the Michigan Municipal League, the Indiana League of Cities and Towns and the National League of Cities; daughter of Mark Steckloff and State Representative Vicki Barnett.
a. Maintaining and repairing our local roads and city infrastructure while working with our residents to make sure we assess costs fairly and with the approval of individual subdivisions.

b. Maintaining our exceptional AAA bond rating and keeping tax rate among lowest in Oakland County while continuing to deliver exceptional city services by reducing costs, increasing cooperation and service consolidation with neighboring communities;

c. Address needs of our growing senior population and attract young families by expanding use of public buildings to accommodate new programs and recreational offerings, improve dial-a-ride and other public transportation programs, maintain our high quality and rapid emergency response and public safety with highly trained police officers and fire fighters to keep city one of the safest in the state.

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