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

TWO 4-year terms. (Two highest vote totals). ONE 2-year term, (Third highest vote total)Vote for no more than THREE.
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    Greg Cowley Principal- John Cowley & Sons

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    Bill Galvin Financial Advisor

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    Joe LaRussa Manufacturing Engineering Manager

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    Jeff Scott Architect

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    Maria Taylor Editor

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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?

First elected to City Counsel in 2011 I am seeking re-election to continue the growth plan for Farmington as defined by our residents during the Vision Project. I have cast votes for: the Flanders Sub delivering 33 new homes, the Grand River/Halsted Plaza bringing 200 new jobs and Fresh Thyme to Farmington recently to execute that plan. Prior to election I served 10 years on the DDA (3 as President) delivering - Riley Park, Farmers Market, Grand River Street Scape, Los Tres Amigos, Art on the Grand & Harvest Moon towards that growth plan. I am a 20 year resident and in 2002 delivered our personal investment to downtown - John Cowley & Sons, now a second generation Farmington business providing 30 jobs and a destination location. I am married to Maureen (my high school sweet heart) for 37 years, father of 3, grandfather to Seamus. After graduating from U-D in 1980 (Accounting/Finance) I spent 25 years in Fortune 100 companies. We were fortunate to live in many diverse markets FL, CA, CO, GA (giving me a larger perspective) before returning to MI to retire and invest in Farmington
1. The long-term City economics are NOT sustainable, revenue does NOT meet expenses($350k from Fund Equity last year), residential tax revenue is down 25% from 2008 (residential is the majority of our tax base), expenses are increasing-retiree healthcare, Lansing is requiring Cities to double up on the retiree healthcare funding, No funding source for Capital Improvements, AND we already are one of the top 5 tax rates in Oakland County.

Growing taxable value/revenue is priority 1,projects like Maxfield will add an est. $250k. 2.adding density projects to the downtown is key 3.Increasing parking capacity to facilitate growth where ever possible. I believe raising taxes will inhibit growth!

2. Move City Hall to 9 mile and deliver a mixed use project adding residents, office space and retail & jobs to the tax base. Work with FPS to bring a residential development to 10 mile/Court House.

3. Explore additional Shared Services with Farmington Hills for expense reduction and shift operating expenses from the general fund to the DDA as TIFF growth is achieved when projects come online.
"Moving Farmington Forward Together"

I have proven, committed leadership. I have honorably served two terms as Farmington’s Mayor and member of City Council since 2011.

My contributions to civic organizations exemplify my dedication. This includes our DDA Board, Chamber of Commerce, FH Beaumont Advisory Board, South Oakland County Mayor’s Association, Farmington Public Schools Building Committee, and the Joint Commission on Aging.

I have demonstrated experience, compromise, and level-headed diplomacy as your mayor and city council member. This successful approach has improved our neighborhoods while engaging our future challenges.

I graduated from the University of Dayton with a B.S. in Business Administration and Economics. I am a self-employed self-starter. As a Farmington homeowner since 1998, my wife and I have raised two children in our community.

I am seeking re-election to City Council to maintain and improve our traditional high level services with the fiscal responsibility our citizens expect.
1)Grow the Tax Base. Local government provides services. I will continue to stimulate tax base growth through redevelopment to fund services, your new ideas, and our traditional Farmington lifestyle.

2)Invest and Improve Our Infrastructure. Water, roads, and sewers require continual investment. Infrastructure also comprises new forms of technology, expansion and asset management of public parking downtown, ongoing sidewalk replacement, new crosswalks for pedestrian safety, improved way-finding signage, repairs to city buildings and replacement of worn out equipment.

3)Maintain Our High Level of Services. Farmington Public Safety; 24 hour snow removal; curbside leaf pick-up. I will maintain these flagship services along with our DDA, Economic & Community Development, Zoning and Planning, Finance and Treasury, Parks & Recreation, and established shared services arrangements.

By growing our tax base and investing in infrastructure we will sustain and improve our traditional municipal services.

"Moving Farmington Forward Together"
I am a registered professional engineer in the state of Michigan with a track record of success in the automotive and non-profit sectors. I also have a record of service in Farmington that includes three years on the Downtown Development Authority's Design Committee, and a year on the Downtown Master Planning Update Committee. My service garnered me a nomination for the Mary Martin Service Award, Farmington's "Volunteer of the Year" award.

I am running for City Council to use my expertise, communication skills, and ability to get results to help Farmington grow and prosper. As a licensed engineer, I am uniquely qualified to evaluate proposals and policies regarding development and redevelopment in the city. As a husband and father of two children, I am motivated to build a bright future for Farmington. I would add to the council's geographic diversity, and my skills and abilities are unique among the candidates and the other sitting Council members. I have new and innovative ideas that can energize our city, and I will contribute creative solutions to complex issues.
Farmington's top priority is revenue growth that can enable the city to continue to provide top-notch services, cover pension and health-care obligations, and keep taxes from increasing. To achieve this, we need to launch new, proactive services based on technology that can generate revenue for the city and increase the engagement of our residents.

A second priority is to accelerate the accomplishment of the parks and recreation master plan, and the downtown master plan. The health and maintenance of the city's green spaces are paramount for the community, and the continued growth of downtown will continue to supply a steady stream of tax revenue for the city. Executing these plans must be a priority.

A third priority is to engage other municipalities to capitalize on Downtown Farmington's reach, and create new opportunities for shared revenue streams, again using technology. Bike sharing, regional free wi-fi, and apps that connect residents and visitors with our businesses and history will unlock new revenue and create fresh ways to showcase Farmington's charm.
Over the past 30 years as a resident of Farmington, my roots have grown deep as well as my love for the City. My wife and I have raised our four children here. All received a quality education through the Farmington Public Schools, have graduated college and are now in the workforce. I have operated my own architectural firm for nearly 25 years with the office located in Farmington for the past 17 years.

For the last 4 years I have served on the City Council. I sit on the Board of Directors for the Eight Mile Boulevard Association as well as the Southeast Michigan Council of Governments. I have continued to serve on the Grand River Corridor Authority which I have served on since its inception. I have also been involved with many committees to develop the Downtown Area Plan, The Parks and Recreation Plan and Capital Improvement Plan. Prior to being elected to City Council I served approximately 10 years on either the Planning Commission and Zoning Board of Appeals.

My professional and business background along with my extensive community involvement makes me the ideal candidate.
Quality of Life: It's not just about the downtown. Without safe neighborhoods, all other plans and ideas would be fruitless. I would maintain the current public safety system and response times. I would promote greater bike friendly access, greater river access. I would continue to promote upgrading our outdated types of housing to attract millennials and families.

Fiscal Responsibility: Continue to foster and implement ideas to reduce the tax burden on our neighbors, but do not cut the heart out of the community. Foster new development in the direction desired by our neighbors which will increase our tax base. Anticipate and make decisions looking to the future. Reactionary decisions are costly.

Business Cooperation: Continue to create a positive business environment throughout our city, encouraging private development with existing and new property owners for redevelopment. Promote public/private partnerships to increase parking. I would seek to encourage both business and residential property owners to maintain their properties to community standards.

I’ve lived in Farmington since 1999. I’m a long-time Warner Mansion volunteer. A former member of the Historical Commission. And a young person who looks to the future.

As an editor by trade, my job is to combine different ideas into the best possible product: to get things done even when folks disagree. I seek accountability, ask questions, and demand that those questions be answered.

I’ll bring the same ethic to the council table. I’ll keep what works, fix what does not, and champion the issues that make a difference in our everyday lives.

I’ve spent the summer knocking doors, asking questions, listening to ideas. Truth is, there’s a lot of overlap between what seniors and young people want from our city. They want a walkable downtown. Things to do. A distinct vibe. Some call it “historic character” or “sense of place.” My generation calls it “authenticity.”

Farmington has that. We need to leverage it. And I will work as hard as I possibly can to honor our city’s historical legacy while ensuring that we innovate, expand, and bring our amazing, vibrant community into the future.
Sensible Development: Changing needs have spurred on new developments; I insist they be in scale with the surrounding neighborhoods. Redevelopment should complement, not bulldoze, the historic character that gives the city its one-of-a-kind vibe. I support balancing investment downtown with investment in neighborhoods across the city, improving property values so Farmington continues to be a great place to live.

Boosting Downtown: Our half-mile jewel of a downtown is the heartbeat of our city. I’ll advocate to allow new events like food trucks, support icons like the library and farmers market, and push for common-sense parking laws and better walkability to make the downtown more vibrant.

Community Engagement: Farmington needs to bring its communications into the 21st century so we can stay informed on city updates that affect us all. I’ll focus on digital channels that deliver on a budget: a biweekly e-newsletter, a city app, expanded social media. I’ll listen to your feedback and advocate for things you care about, and I’ll always respect citizens who care enough to speak up. logo


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