October 24, 2013Incumbants Vicki Granger, Kevin Ketels and Todd McConaghy and newcomer Robert Sheehy are vying for three open seats on the Grosse Pointe Woods City Council during the Nov. 5 election. Mayor Robert Novitke is running unopposed.
Robert J. Sheehy, 74
Occupation: Real Estate Broker
Education: Austin High School; BBA, Detroit Institute of
Statement: "1. A strong public safety department would be my first area of concern. We are down in the number of police offi cers from several years ago and need to protect our residents and business with more offi cers not less offi cers. I do not want to privatize our EMS. We have the best of the best now and want to keep the EMS we now have.
2. Fiscal accountability is my next concern. I helped fi ght the Headlee Override our current council wanted to pass. We can work to garner savings from our current budget and not give a blank check to government. 3. Keep our city services, curbside leaf pickup, snow clearing streets and roads and parks clean, safe and well kept."
Todd A. McConaghy, 42
Occupation: Senior Associate Counsel to the Michigan Attorney Grievance Commission
Education: Juris Doctorate, May 1996, University of Detroit Mercy School of Law. Bachelor of Science, May 1993, University of Detroit.
Statement: "As a city council member, I have worked diligently to maintain the high standards that make Grosse Pointe Woods special while ensuring fiscal responsibility. My top three priorities are balancing the budget, maintaining City services, and improving roads. If reelected, I will continue to work closely with elected officials, appointed offi cials, administration, and employees to preserve our community in these diffi cult economic times. Further cuts in expenditures will, no doubt, be necessary. The city must also maximize all potential sources of revenue including any available state and federal funds. Although challenging, I welcome the opportunity to continue to serve and am confi dent that the current city council has the knowledge, ability, and experience to persevere on behalf of our residents. Please join Mayor Robert Novitke, as well as City council members Arthur Bryant, Victoria Granger, Kevin Ketels, Richard Shetler and former city council member Al Dickinson in supporting my candidacy."
Kevin Ketels, 42
Occupation: CEO, KMED LLC; Adjunct Professor, School of Business Administration, Wayne State University
Education: B.A., Michigan State University; M.S., Boston University.
Statement: "The critical challenge in Grosse Pointe Woods is to maintain quality services while also managing the budget in a fiscally responsible way.
Since 2007, the taxable value of properties has declined by 30 percent. Grosse Pointe Woods has reduced its workforce by 19 full time positions, increased employee health contributions, reduced wages, added unpaid furlough days and delayed road construction. Additional strategies for savings include: 1. Consolidate services with neighboring communities. 2. Identify grants such as federal funding recently made available for improvements on Marter and Morningside. 3. Combine purchasing requests with other cities to get better pricing for materials and equipment. We must continue these efforts to identify efficiency and savings in city operations, while also maintaining public safety staffing levels, quality parks, and services. It is critical we maintain Grosse Pointe Woods as a very special community to live and do business. For more info, visit www. ketels.us."
Vicki Granger, 64
Occupation: Director of Communications and Public Relations, Website/Social Media Manager, De La Salle Collegiate High School.
Education: Bachelor's from Wayne State University (teaching); Master's from University of Detroit (educational administration); Master's
from Eastern Michigan University (communications).
Statement: "In addition to continuing to pay close attention to the budget, to provide the services residents expect, such as public safety, public works, road improvements, and the parks, two other areas need to be addressed: First, the use of technology within the city. Many government agencies have gone to the "cloud" and have saved thousands of dollars. We need to examine these new technologies to see how our residents may benefit, such as using online forms, and if such technologies would save money in software licensing and server upgrades. We also need to be able to use the data such technologies can provide to allocate resources in public safety, public works.
Second, the city's website. We need to upgrade the site, and insure that the site is user-friendly for current residents, and provides the kinds of information potential residents and businesses need to help them learn more about the city.