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VOTE411 Voter Guide

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

THREE 4-year terms available.Vote for no more than THREE.
  • Candidate picture

    Kelly A. Breen Attorney

  • Candidate picture

    Brian G. Burke NOVI CITY COUNCIL

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    Cindy Gronachan Insurance Agent

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    Gwen Markham Retired Manufacturing Engineer

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    Andrew Ian Mutch Library Systems Administrator

  • Sam Olsen

  • Bryan Valentine

Change Candidates

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?

As Novi residents since 2006, my husband (Matt) and I are raising Abigail (7), Elliott (3), and Ozzi (golden retriever) in a small neighborhood on the north side near Walled Lake.

Neighbors and friends have expressed significant concerns about overdevelopment, traffic, loss of green space and an unresponsive local government. I have joined with neighbors to try and force the city to abide by the master plan and listen to citizen concerns. Too often, Novi residents are heard, but ignored.

With a political science background from James Madison College at MSU, a law degree from Wayne State, years practicing law advocating for both people and corporations, I can bring fierce advocacy for citizens and compassionate leadership to Novi.

I've knocked on hundreds of doors, reached out on numerous issues with social media, and held discussions around the city on various topics, including Novi developments, human trafficking and public safety. Residents have found that I am accessible, transparent, caring, and honest. I will bring these qualities to Novi City Council.
#1 Development /Environment: Development exceeds our infrastructure's capabilities. This is evident by traffic, roads, and razed green spaces. Developers frequently increase housing densities, mitigate protected areas, and alter zoning laws. I will hold developers to the master plan, address citizen concerns, and ensure infrastructure can accommodate new projects. I would encourage eco-friendly practices like living walls, solar energy, and electric car usage.

#2 Improve Government Transparency and Access: We can improve communications with citizens and give them an earlier opportunity to review plans and voice concerns. Regular Council Office Hours allows residents to have a dialogue with elected officials, and a city phone app will give greater flexibility to obtaining information.

#3 Being Neighbors: Embrace our diverse community, and work together on mutual problems. We need to find better ways to support to working parents, combat human trafficking and drug abuse, and help fellow citizens and our children. Smaller and more frequent community events can address these issues.
I am seeking re-election to Novi City Council. Having served on Parks & Recreation Commission, Planning Commission, ZBA and twice on City Council, I bring the experience in all matters of local government needed to continue Novi on its path. As a longtime resident and taxpayer in Novi, I have a vested interest, as do my colleagues, on the delicate balance facing the City as we approach build-out.
Continue to provide high quality services to the citizens of Novi while maintaining one of the lowest tax rates in the County.

Economic Development continues to grow in the Novi and we will continue to use all available resources in our Economic Toolbox to attract and retain businesses. These Corporate Residents provide balance to the tax rolls and allow Novi to keep property taxes low. In fact, I am the only Incumbent City Council Candidate to vote to LOWER property taxes.

Corridor Improvement Authority - Establish, Appoint and Implement the Grand River CIA. This body will use incremental tax increases to improve the Grand River Corridor from Haggerty to Wixom with public amenities such as sidewalks, pathways, boardwalks, plantings and more that will help attract viable and long-term projects to this area.

Infrastructure. The voter approved 1mil increase to property taxes allows the City to work on improvements to City Property such as Lakeshore Park and the DPS campus. Additionally, we will continue to repair roads, streets and sidewalks within the City.

I have been a resident of Novi for most of my adult life. I have served on the Garfield Road Homeowners association, The Garfield Road Mitigation Wetland Project for 11 years, which resulted in the creation of a 106 acre wetland, protected for 100 years. I have served on the Zoning Board of Appeals from 2001 to 2006 then 2013 thru present, 4 of those years a Chairperson, currently serving as Vice Chair. I have a paralegal degree which has served me well on the ZBA . Local Government works for you. Elected officials should be respectful, professional and cooperative. I have those qualities along my many years of experience. I am proud of the government the City of Novi has established , I want to continue to listen to our residents and work with mutual respect for the needs of all.
I feel it is important to maintain balance within our city. Balancing the financial base of Novi so it can continue to be a strong and vibrant city. This means there must be both commercial and residential growth in our city. Infrastructure will always be an issue in an ever changing and evolving city of Novi. These issues are not new and as a long time resident I know that . The solutions come from an experienced council, people who have seen where Novi has been, is apart of Novi Present and has the longevity, commitment passion and dedication to see to see Novi into the future. I want to see Novi moving forward. I want to be a part of a team that wants the same thing, so these issues can continually be worked on.
Gwen Markham has been a member of the Council since 2013. She has served on the Planning Commission, with Friends of the Novi Theatres, and is a founding member of Sustainable Novi. She represents Novi at SEMCOG, serves as a board member of Oak-Mac NOW, and volunteers with several organizations in support of women, children and the environment.
The City’s top priorities are related to its rapid growth.

1) Too many cars are on Novi’s roads. Our malls, hospital, and Suburban Showplace are employment and visitor destinations. 60,000 cars come and go from Novi each day. We should follow the Transportation Master Plan of 2015, which included a mall circulator, traffic calming measures, more non-motorized pathways, and possible public transit on main corridors. Long term solutions for Beck and Ten Mile also need to be addressed.

2) Recent developments have ignored natural site features. I want our ordinances modified to tighten the requirements for protecting unique quality features of our community’s landscape during development.

3) We need better ways for individual citizens to communicate directly with their elected officials. Bringing back Mayor and Council office hours would be a good start.
I am a lifelong resident of Novi. Married to Wendy, we live in a 1926 Sears Catalog House on Taft Road. I have served three terms on the Novi City Council. I previously served on the Library Board and the Planning Commission. Professionally, I have over 20 years of experience working for local governments in the Information Technology field.

I offer voters a strong record of service on behalf of Novi residents and taxpayers. I ask questions, insist on accountability, and seek out constructive solutions. I am committed to ensuring that citizens are heard, their questions answered and their concerns addressed.

I am asking voters for another term on the City Council. I want to see Novi build on the successes of the past four years while meeting the challenges that come with new growth, shifting economic priorities and the changing demographics of an evolving city. With your support and your vote, I can help guide Novi’s progress in a way that benefits all Novi residents.
Neighborhoods First: Good neighborhoods are the foundation of a great city. Novi residents expect and deserve safe neighborhoods with well-maintained streets. I will encourage neighborhood-focused investments and services that maintain property values so Novi continues to be a great place to live.

Fiscally Responsible Government: Government must live within its means, and I am committed to upholding that principle. Balanced budgets, paying down debt, prioritizing services and reducing legacy costs – I have supported these measures to keep Novi financially sound. Likewise, I have backed prudent investments in city facilities and infrastructure.

Preserving Novi's Character: Overdevelopment taxes Novi's roads, destroys woodlands and wetlands and negatively affects the quality of life for too many Novi residents. Protecting woodlands and open spaces contributes significantly to Novi’s community identity and protects our quality of life. I will insist that new development follow the Master Plan, be compatible with existing neighborhoods and not generate excessive traffic.


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