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BURTON - City Council

CITY COUNCIL 4-year term - VOTE for No More Than Four (4) CandidatesDuties of city council members can vary, however, they are public officials elected or appointed to represent a ward or district of a city as the municipal governing body. City council members, with the Mayor, and other elected, appointed, or municipal staff work together, as appropriate, to conduct the daily business of the municipality, including meeting with citizens and representatives of groups affected by city government.

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  • Candidate picture

    Tina Conley

  • Candidate picture

    Gregory A. Fenner

  • Candidate picture

    Genevieve R. Field

  • Raymond Freiberger

  • Steve Hatfield

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    Steven D. Heffner

  • Candidate picture

    Greg Hull

  • Tom Martinbianco

Biographical Information

What are the THREE most pressing issues currently facing your community? If elected, how will you address them?

If elected, what best practices would you employ in making decisions for the city?

What efforts, if any, would you take as an elected leader to ensure transparency in governance?

What QUALIFICATIONS do you possess that will make you an asset on the council?

City/Town Burton, Michigan
Education Attended Holy Rosary, Graduated from Kearsley High School 1978, 5 years skilled trades program.
Experience Burton City Council - 2005 -2009, 2016 to current.
Community Involvement Parks and Recreation, Friends of the Library, Public Access, Zoning Board Appeals, past Legislative Committee and Metro Alliance Committee
Endorsements Yes
Campaign Message I will never forget that residents have put me on the council to represent them. I pledge to always be available to the residents and when I am making my decisions on how I will vote I will always keep the residents best interest the top priority.
1. As your elected official I will keep public safety as my top priority. By making sure all the dollars slated for police and fire are used for their departments. 2. Blight has become a major problem in our city. Blight must be addressed by enforcing all codes, and seeking federal grants to remove blighted properties. 3. A majority of our roads are in need of repair and need our attention. Just to let you know more road projects are slated for 2019 and 2020. We must continue to plan for our future by seeking grants and Federal road revenue sources and not to put it on you the tax payers.
"You work hard for your money to pay your taxes”. I understand that you want me, as your city council member, to see to it that every dollar is spent wisely. I am committed to lowering the tax burden and to maintain the high quality of service that you, the citizen, deserve".
I would invite you the residents to come to visit our council meetings and express your feelings on the city. Council meetings are twice a month at 7pm on the first and third Monday's of the month at Burton City Hall. If you are unable to attend I would encourage you to watch our live council meetings on our city website, www.burtonmi.gov.
I come with 6 years of Burton City Council experience. I currently sit on the Public Access Committee, Parks & Recreation Committee, Zoning Board of Appeals, and Friends of the Burton Library. Past member of Metro Alliance and Legislative Committee.
City/Town Burton
Education Graduated Flint Southwestern. Graduated Flint Institute of Barbering
Experience Delivered the Flint Journal at age 14. Started at Hamady Brothers Grocery at age 16. Started at Fenner's Barbershop at age 22 until present.
Community Involvement Commissioner of the Burton Youth League baseball and softball, Member of Burton Downtown Development Authority. Member of Burton Chamber of Commerce, Burton Eagles, and Flint Elks 222.
1. The exodus of our young educated hard working families. 2. Blight 3.Infrastructure. These 3 things are all intertwined and will need a number of approaches to fix these issues. We have low cost housing which would be great for young families to invest in. This housing is being bought up by investors who don't live in the community and are not being maintained. When the neighborhoods start to decay the young families leave for the surrounding communities. These same young families want nice parks, local businesses to support, and things such as walking trails and bike paths. All this needs to be Safe.
As a long term business owner I'll balance the cost of things with the benefit received. We can't expect people to want to locate and stay in Burton if we have high taxes and nothing to show for it. We need to convince businesses and residents that the effort to keep up their properties will pay off. Businesses are key to improvement. They should be the forerunners to improvement. Let's all work together to make Burton a place where people want to go.
Burton records all of their council meetings and makes them available on their website.
Common sense and honesty.
City/Town Burton, MI
Community Involvement board of directors, Crossover Downtown Outreach; vice chair, Equality Caucus of Genesee County;
1) Tax revenue/debt management: work to develop and diversify the economic base of the city and push to make sure that the operating millage of the city is at a proper level to provide the services needed to the city. 2) transparency/accountability within city hall in all departments: have regular audits and incorporate other methods of conduct verification and public scrutiny. 3) infrastructure: develop a list of repair and upgrade needs for the city and explore partnerships and maximize the amount of grant funding any other monies to fund the project.

First and foremost, I will listen to the residents and visitors to the city at regular constituent meetings. I will work for you. Your viewpoint and ideas are valid and critical to the city's success. My criteria for making decisions will be 1) What have my constituents said about this? 2) How will this benefit the city? 3) Who will this harm? 4) What will it cost? 5) Why is this important?
I will work for the proper and minimal use of the closed-door meetings. I will share the reason for my votes and decisions with the public. Regular financial reviews by both internal and external entities are vital to make sure everything is on the up and up. I will also work to make sure that information is made available to the public as soon as possible.
I have a spirit of service that I have expressed in various non-profit leadership positions. I am deeply concerned about the prosperity of our city and have disagreements with the direction we are headed. I provide new perspectives and ideas to address our weaknesses and enhance our strengths. Aside from that, I am a citizen of the United States and a resident of the City of Burton and those are the qualifications that were set in place as our government is one that is designed to be ran by the people.
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City/Town City of Burton
Education Bendle High School, National League of Cities University
Experience 23 years experience as a small business owner. Served on the Council from 2007 to present. 6 of the 12 years served as Council President.
Community Involvement Served on the Parks and Recreation for 8 years as Council Representative.
Endorsements State Representative Tim Sneller, Former Mayor and State Representative Charles Smiley
Campaign Message We must continue to move the City Forward. By fixing the roads and cleaning up the blighted properties. I am committed to lowering the tax burden and to maintain the high quality of service that you, the citizen deserve.
Fixing the roads is one of the biggest issue facing the City. We must continue to seek federal grants and we must find and use dollars the city has already collected and put them towards fixing the roads. Lowering the tax burden. I purposed lowering the general operating millage in 2016 and with a majority vote it passed. I have consistently opposed higher fee's and tax's. Blight must be addressed. We have continued to demolish abandoned and dilapidated properties. I ask the city attorney to draft a ordinance regulating litter and solicited and unsolicited printed matter. ( ditch newspapers)
I have worked with Council colleagues, city staff and residents to enhance the quality of life for residents. I am talking with folks about what we have achieved and what I'm working on. More importantly, I am listening to residents talk about what they think is important for Burton.
I created the Public Access Committee to make local government more accessible and transparent. We have since updated the city website and made it more useful and user friendly. We also have made it possible to watch all council meetings live or anytime at your convenience 24/7. We also have budgeted for a council news letter.
I have served on the Council for the past 12 years. I have Owned a small business for the last 23 years. I have reached Platinum Level with the National League Cities University.(The highest level ever achieved by a Burton City Council Person) I am a lifelong Burton resident.
City/Town Burton, MI
Education BAs in Philosophy and Political Science from the University of Wisconsin
Experience Currently employed by Genesee County Habitat for Humanity as Development Director, promoted from Volunteer Coordinator in January 2018. Real estate agent for ten years specializing in affordable and fair housing. Hands on experience assisting buyers and sellers during challenged market times. Extensive volunteer work with local and state non-profits on policy initiatives surrounding affordable and fair housing issues. Former neighborhood association president, former board member for various non-profits and former member of Metropolitan Planning Organization (MPO).
Community Involvement  Habitat for Humanity of Dane County  Board of Directors, January 2009 – January 2015  Chair of Land Acquisition, January 2013 – January 2016  Founded Habitat for Young Professionals, Dane County  Realtors® Association of South Central Wisconsin (RASCW)  Board of Directors, January 2009 – December 2011  Vice President, 2010  Active member of Governmental Affairs Committee, 2007 – 2016 (Also member of Wisconsin Realtors® Association public policy committee four years)  Active member of Affordable Housing/Equal Opportunities committee, 2008 – 2016. (Also member of WRA Diversity in Housing committee four years)  Other  Has volunteered for 12 Habitat affiliates in four states  President, Spring Harbor Neighborhood Association, April 2011 – January 2016  Co-chair, Habitat Michigan’s Development Topic Council, September 2018 – Present  Volunteer for Team Rubicon, Team RWB, and Life Remodeled  Former member of Metropolitan Planning Organization (MPO)
Endorsements County Commissioner Ellen Ellenburg, State Representative Tim Sneller
Campaign Message A Fresh Face.
1. Homeownership: Homeowners complain about renters not respecting the neighborhood & renters have a desire to become homeowners. I can use my background in housing to help create practical incentives for converting renters to owners. 2. Transportation: We recently missed out on some federal funding for local road improvements. As a former MPO member, I can help our chances in the federal funding process (TIP). 3. Lack of greenspace: The most popular place for kids in my neighborhood to play is in the streets. I will use my grantwriting & nonprofit experience to leverage funds for parks and playgrounds
In an article from March 2017, Forbes Magazine describes the "3 Best Practices For High Performance Decision-Making Teams":

They are:

1. Fill the right roles. 2. Get input separately, then share perspectives. 3. Communicate what and why, and how they helped.

These are the techniques I apply in work and life. This is the same method I will use for decision-making if elected. You can read the full article here: https://www.forbes.com/sites/eriklarson/2017/03/23/3-best-practices-for-high-performance-decision-making-teams/#47050429f971
My door will always be open and my cell phone always on. Any and all decisions and votes are open to public scrutiny and I will be happy to explain any of them to any interested party.
My entire life is dedicated to the service of others. I have built a career around community service & engagement. In my day job I work for a local non-profit doing everything I can to help build a better life for the people in our community. I continue my service in my time off & have volunteered for 13 Habitat for Humanity affiliates in four different states. My volunteerism gives me extensive experience in local governance, housing, & community engagement. I will apply all of these skills in order to serve my constituents. I will always put the people of Burton first.
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