ISSUES

In Westland we can continue to create progress for everyone and build an inclusive culture that reflects every resident - if we invest in our people, our families, our neighborhoods, and our city.  

FORWARD-THINKING, PROGRESSIVE ACCOMPLISHMENTS FOR WESTLAND

I often hear people asking questions like "what are my elected leaders even doing for me anyways?" Well, I'd like to answer that question and let you know what we've been doing for you here in Westland since you first elected me to serve on your City Council here in Westland. We've been doing quite a lot actually.

It's true that we all may not agree on everything that has been done and there are certainly changes and reforms that I have personally advocated for that we haven't yet accomplished yet. I wanted to highlight some of the bold, progressive accomplishments and reforms that your city council has implemented over the past year. From bringing back a curbside recycling program to supporting residents and small businesses with Covid-19 relief funds to rolling out a Covid-19 vaccination program your city council has worked to improve your quality of life here in Westland.

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A 10 Point Plan To Continue The Progress And Build A Better Westland For Everyone!

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PUTTING PEOPLE AND FAMILIES FIRST

   ACCOMPLISHMENTS:

   MY PLAN FOR THE FUTURE:

   MY PLAN FOR THE FUTURE:

KEEPING WESTLAND RESIDENTS SAFE

   ACCOMPLISHMENTS:

BUILDING COMMUNITY WITH POLICE

   ACCOMPLISHMENTS:

   MY PLAN FOR THE FUTURE:

   MY PLAN FOR THE FUTURE:

SUPPORTING OUR LOCAL ECONOMY

   ACCOMPLISHMENTS:

3. ATTRACTING NEW BUSINESSES, DIVERSIFYING OUR ECONOMY

4. UPGRADING OUR PARKS AND RECREATIONAL SERVICES

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5. ENSURING GOVERNMENT IS ACCOUNTABLE AND TRANSPARENT

Government must always be of, for, and by the people. As a City Council member I can assure you that I will always work for your interests, not special interests and people who have business contracts with the city.

  • REINSTATE A BOARD OF ETHICS: If you visit the cities website you can review all of the boards and commissions that our council appoints residents to. One board and commission however has sat vacant for over 8 years, the Board of Ethics. I believe we need to reinstate our Board of Ethics as a means to guard against any future ethical conflicts and keep our elected leaders accountable and transparent.​

  • PUT ALL CITY BIDS AND CONTRACTS ONLINE: Residents and taxpayers have a fundamental right to know who their city is doing business with and how those tax dollars are being put to use. While many city contracts can be found within the bi-weekly council packets, I would like to see the city website include a section where residents can see current city business contracts and (recognizing bid privacy and that it isn't possible with every business contract) the competing bids offered up after the city has made its decision.

  • A PLEDGE TO TAKE NO CAMPAIGN DONATIONS FROM CITY CONTRACTORS: City contractors and those with significant financial ties to city government have wielded far too much influence in our city government in years past. It is my pledge to you the residents and taxpayers of Westland to take NOT ONE SINGLE PENNY of campaign donations from contractors who have business interests. The City Council should be doing our bidding, not that of City Assessors, Construction firms, and other contractors.

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6. REPAIRING OUR ROADS, KEEPING OUR DRINKING WATER CLEAN

We have made great progress and improvements when it comes to repairing our crumbling roads and replacing our aging infrastructure, including water lines. I want to make sure that we are in a position financially to maintain the upkeep and upgrades of our roads and infrastructure.

  • MAINTAIN & REPAIR OUR CITY AND NEIGHBORHOOD ROADS:

  • The Neighborhood Makeover program in Westland was launched to repair our subdivision streets. Through continued fiscal responsibility and the dedicated work of our DPW team we can continue the progress with road and street repairs in neighborhoods all across Westland.

  • Priorities for neighborhood road repair must be decided on the areas of greatest areas of need first and foremost.

  • REPLACE LEAD WATER LINES AND KEEP OUR WATER CLEAN AND SAFE: When news breaks about finding lead water lines here in the city it isn't about scaring residents, but informing them. We want to make sure the water our families drink and bathe in is clean and clear.

  • When we identify lead water lines here in the city it is vital that we have funds available to replace future lead water lines.

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7. MAINTAINING TRASH & RECYCLING, PROTECTING OUR ENVIRONMENT

Communities all across our state and our country are faced with challenges when it comes to their trash and recycling programs given the changes in our current economic climate. As a City Council Member I want to ensure that Westland is able to maintain its city-wide, award-winning curbside recycling program.

  • FINDING CREATIVE SOLUTIONS TO CONTINUE OUR RECYCLING PROGRAM: Recycling programs face significant challenges in communities across the country. These challenges have been largely thanks to changes in the global commodities market thanks to the Chinese government and their businesses buying less of our plastics and other recyclable materials and dealing with more of their in-country waste and material. Recycling programs have also been impacted by our current trade and tariff war with China.

  • We must have elected leaders who are interested in doing the research and analysis necessary to find creative, long-term solutions to our current recycling problem. Looking at what other communities and organizations, like Eureka Recycling out of Minnesota, are doing is one of many steps and partnerships we can take to save our recycling program.

  • MISSION GREEN AND COMBATING CLIMATE CHANGE: Westland has a great, local environmental program called Mission Green. Building off of the progress of our Mission Green program we can do more as a city to reduce our carbon footprint, reduce our plastic consumption, combat the serious threat of man-made climate change, and protect our environment.

  • REDUCING OUR PLASTIC CONSUMPTION: Plastics and the carbons they are made of are a severe harm to our environment, pollute the air and land, and contribute directly to man-made climate change. We can follow the lead of cities like Ann Arbor and set a goal to reduce our carbon-based plastic consumption both at city buildings and events, and as residents as well. The city itself can being to find creative ways to use less plastic materials and products on a day-to-day basis.

  • We can also launch a city-wide educational program, just as we have done for public safety matters, to work with residents and help them better understand the crisis climate change poses to us all and how we can work together to better reduce our plastic consumption. Just as we have the "Stand by Your Pan" campaign to reduce house fires, we can have similar initiatives centered around plastic reduction.

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8. KEEPING OUR CITY FINANCES BALANCED AND STABLE

The long-term financial health of our city depends on our elected leaders and the Administration investing in our community, its residents, and local services. In order to make these vital investments and keep our city growing and thriving we need to ensure that our finances are balanced and stable to allow for future investments.

  • FISCALLY RESPONSIBLE SPENDING: Fiscally responsible spending means not only spending taxpayer dollars on the right programs and services, it means being transparent in how you do it. With decreasing resources from the state government and decreased property values, Westland's elected leaders have by and large done a good job managing the cities budget and spending priorities.

  • However, you occasionally have situations, like the purchase of mobile generators or the sale of a cell phone/radio tower that bring up questions in-regards to city finances. As a Council Member, I want to make sure that every sale and every expenditure is done transparently and for the best interest of residents and improving city services.

  • MILLAGE/TAX RATES: The millage rates we are taxed at directly impact the quality of city services provided to us as residents. We need to make sure that our tax dollars are being used in a fiscally responsible manner on the right programs and services. The millage/tax rate needs to be in-line with our current and future priorities so we aren't forced to make deep, harmful cuts to our public safety and other vital city services.

  • REVENUE SHARING: State revenue sharing to local communities has been gutted by elected leadership in Lansing over the past decade. Westland alone has lost over $40 million in revenue from the state government. Part of keeping our cities finances stable over the long-term is going to rely on getting more revenue from state government in Lansing.

  • Cuts to revenue sharing mean harmful layoffs to our Police, Fire, and EMS workforce. These cuts mean reducing city services and closing down recreational facilities. They mean less resources to repair our roads and infrastructure with.

  • We must continue to work with other local communities, county governments, the Michigan Municipal League and others to ensure our State Legislature and Governor make revenue sharing and funding our communities a priority. 

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9. EXPANDING SERVICES TO KIDS, SENIORS, AND FAMILIES

A community is only as good as the services it provides its residents. I want to ensure that Westland kids, families, and seniors have a wide variety of support services available to them. I also want to to ensure that we can continue to attract new families to move into the Westland community with well-funded, local amenities.

 

  • AFFORDABLE HOUSING: Westland is an economically diverse community with different economic needs than some of our neighboring communities like Canton and Livonia. The median household income in Westland is $44,641. Through partnerships with our Planning Commission, Economic Development Team, and others we should promote affordable housing developments as a part of our cities future development initiatives.

  • YOUTH JOBS PROGRAMS: Here in Westland the Mayor's Administration has developed a terrific program called the "Wild About Youth Works Program" that offers summer jobs and internships for local teenagers looking for work. I believe that we can partner with the Wayne-Westland Community Schools to further expand jobs and internship programs to year-round programs help give kids the life-skills they need to succeed.

  • One of the ways in which we can expand these programs are by partnering with our Police and Fire Departments to offer Jr. Police and Jr. Fire Academy programs during the spring and summer for Wayne-Westland students looking to get into a career in public safety.

  • PROTECTING SENIOR SERVICES: We have an array of great services for seniors here in Westland: from the Friendship and Dyer Centers to activities programs to our senior living facilities like Taylor and Marquette Towers. I want to ensure that we have the financial capability to continue offering programs for seniors in our city.

  • COVERED BUS STOPS FOR SMART RIDERS: Right now, Westland residents who ride the SMART Bus in and around town or to and from work are left to stand out in the elements. Rain or snow, these people have no shelter from the weather. I believe we should invest resources into putting covered stations at each of our SMART Bus locations.

  • ADDRESSING HOMELESSNESS IN WESTLAND: Homelessness is one of the great scourges of society that we as human beings continue to allow. While the Westland City Council cannot itself solve the problem of homelessness, we can better address the crisis.

  • I believe that we need to create permanent warming centers during the winter, like our fire and police stations, for those people who have nowhere to turn. By having the same facilities used each and every time those without a home will better know where the warming locations are in Westland.

  • Another solution towards addressing homelessness in our city is through partnerships with organizations like the Salvation Army and others where we can better direct information about our warming facilities to ensure people know when and where they are able to go.

  • IMPLEMENTING A CIVILIAN REVIEW BOARD: In the wake of numerous incidents of law enforcement misconduct, with cases receiving national attention like the deaths of Philando Castile, Sandra Bland, Laquon McDonald, and so many other, I believe we need to bring citizen oversight and accountability to our police departments and end the racial bias in law enforcement

  • Implementing a Civilian Review Board is not about punishing our men and women in law enforcement or making it harder to do their jobs, it is about increasing transparency and keeping them accountable to us as citizens. A Civilian Review Board would allow for allegations of police misconduct or alleged wrong doing to be reported to a board of 3-5 individuals who are residents of the City Westland. After the incident is received, the board would review it together and determine whether further action or an independent investigation is needed. The board would have the responsibility to work with the city's administration and the police department to conduct a thorough and independent investigation into the alleged incident of bias or misconduct.

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10. COMBATING THE OPIOID CRISIS

The City of Westland must be compassionate and responsive when it comes to addressing the growing Opioid Crisis that is hurting people and families across this country. City Council has a role to play in acknowledging the problem and working with our public safety and health officials, as well as neighboring communities, to tackle this epidemic. 

  • END THE STIGMA AROUND DRUG USE: A drug addicted person does not make them a bad person. We need to ensure that as a city our leaders and our law enforcement are treating opioid users and other addicts as individuals with health problems, not criminals to be locked away in jail. Addiction is a chronic disease that should be treated as a public health problem, not a criminal one.

  • DEMAND RESOURCES FROM STATE HEALTH OFFICIALS: City leadership must partner with our representatives in Lansing, as well as public health officials throughout the state, to provide our public safety officials the resources they need to deal with the crisis. This goes beyond providing free, life-saving drugs like Narcan.

  • PROVIDE INSTRUCTIONAL AND INFORMATIONAL COURSES: We can form partnerships between our public safety department and local health officials to offer interactive, instructional and informational courses to the general public and families who are dealing with a drug-addicted individual. The city can offer quarterly sessions to inform people on how best to prevent the problem from spreading and to better deal with those who currently have an addiction problem.

  • ENACT A GOOD SAMARITAN ORDINANCE: Good Samaritan laws provide immunity from prosecution related to drug possession charges for overdose victims and those who call for help. These laws are designed to encourage users and bystanders to contact the authorities in the event of a potential overdose. We can work with our law enforcement officials in Westland to ensure that they can best assist family members, friends, and people in the community who are dealing with someone with a drug addiction problem and ensure that they aren't afraid to come forward and get that person help.