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Royal Oak City Commissioner - Partial Term ending 11/2019

ONE Partial term ending 11/2019.Vote for ONE.
CHOOSE TWO CANDIDATES FROM BELOW TO COMPARE
  • Candidate picture

    Brandon Anthony Kolo Small Business Owner

  • Candidate picture

    Randy LeVasseur Attorney and Business Owner

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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?

Before starting a family, my wife and I knew that Royal Oak would be the best place to raise our future children. Today, we are proud to call Royal Oak our home and I want to help make sure the community we’re raising our son in is as healthy and strong as possible.

Our city consistently makes lists of best places to live, and with the right leadership, the future only looks brighter. Our downtown will see major changes with additions of a new hotel, office space and civic center bringing new jobs, residents, and retail. We also have an opportunity to develop a new 40-acre residential park at Normandy Oaks. We need strong leadership to manage these projects and to ensure the voice of our community is heard every step of the way.

As your commissioner, I will ensure Royal Oak remains a vibrant community that we are all proud to call home, whether raising a family or enjoying one's golden years.

About Brandon: Father, husband & Royal Oak homeowner Graduate of Michigan State University Expertise in sustainability and green technologies Small business owner Member RO Library Board
We have a great community, with strong neighborhoods, and quality city services. But to keep things on the right track, we need leadership that listens, understands the needs of our residents and is always striving to improve on what’s not working. With your support, I will dedicate my passion, skills, and expertise to making Royal Oak even better. I will stand for:

Strengthening Neighborhoods

• Better maintain our parks & protect greenspace • Hold landlords and builders accountable for maintaining their sites • Use green infrastructure to capture water runoff and reduce risk of flooding

Improving City Services

• Expand senior transit options • Fully fund police, fire, and EMS protection • Protect and Invest in the Senior Center & Farmers’ Market

Increasing Community Engagement

• Increase resident participation in all decisions • Better use technology to share information • Strengthen & empower citizen boards and committees
I moved to Royal Oak in 1988, found I loved the City, and have been here ever since! I'm married with a college-aged son who graduated from Shrine High School in 2015. I'm running for city commission because Royal Oak is a great city, but we have problems in city hall. Our elected officials are doing a poor job listening to residents, are spending money unwisely, and have exceeded the borrowing limit set by voters through our charter. To ensure that we maintain a great quality of life in Royal Oak, we need some changes. Professionally, my expertise is in real estate law and I started my own law firm in 1999. I've been self-employed ever since. In 2010, I noticed that many people needed help fighting unlawfully high property tax assessments, so I started a small business dedicated to helping them. Since then, I've helped the owners of thousands of homes throughout Michigan reduce their property taxes! With my background, I believe I can help Royal Oak focus on providing cores services that matter to residents while keeping costs down.
My focus would be on (1) maintaining and improving public safety, (2) fixing our roads and sewers, and (3) keeping costs down for residents. Addressing these priorities will require city officials to be more prudent with city finances. Unfortunately, they have done poorly here in recent years. Our millage rate is up 50% since 2012. Water and sewage rates are among the highest in the region. Property owners are charged for expensive sidewalk installations and repairs. Residents are willing to pay for quality services, but too often city officials have not used tax dollars wisely. For example, city officials recently voted to give $5.5 million of taxpayer funds to a politically-connected developer to build his private office building, PLUS give him one of the most valuable parcels of real estate in our downtown for just a dollar! Their contract with the developer also would require the City to demolish and relocate its city hall and police station. Total costs would add up to more than $2,000 per household. Those funds would be better used serving the priorities of city residents.

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