F2H Votes: Ken Massey, Farmington Hills City Council

Our F2H Votes series brings you candidate interviews and information about the 2019 local elections in Farmington and Farmington Hills. Follow local election news on social media with the #F2HVotes19 hashtag.

Farmington Hills city council candidates include: Jackie Boleware, T. R. Carr, Danette Duron-Willner , Kenneth D. Massey , Mary Newlin, and Theresa Rich (incumbent). 

Mayor Ken Massey
Ken Massey (City of Farmington Hills)

Ken Massey, 61, is a 60-year resident of Farmington Hills and is employed as a biomedical scientist and consultant.

CIVIC INVOLVEMENT

  • Mayor, 2015-2019
  • Council member, 2003-2015 (Mayor Pro Tem; 2006, 2010, 2015)
  • Emergency Preparedness Commission; 2001-2017, Council liaison 2017-present
  • Commission on Aging, Council liaison; 2003-2006
  • Michigan Municipal League Member, 2003-present
  • National League of Cities, Public Safety Steering Committee, 2004-2016, Chair 2012
  • Farmington SAFE; 2010-present, Founding member, Chair 2010-2016
  • CARES in Farmington; Founding member, Board Chair, 2016-present
  • Botsford Hospital, Board of Directors; 2006-2014, Chair 2013-2014
  • Beaumont Health; Member of Community Advisory Board & Patient Safety Board 2014-present
  • Greater Farmington Area Chamber of Commerce Board member; 2015-present
  • Xemplar Club; 2012-present

Why did you decide to run for a seat on council?

I would like to continue to serve my fellow Farmington Hills residents and the community of which I am proud. I have served the residents of the Farmington Hills community for the last 16 years. As part of the governance team, I worked through both good and tough economic times. As examples of the issues council confronted during that time, we worked through the recession, balanced budgets, maintained financial stability, reached a AAA bond rating. We revitalized City Hall to meet the future needs of the Community. We ended paving of local streets through special assessment districts and now ensure infrastructure of the community will be maintained for the future. I worked on mental health challenges in the City and many other topics. These experiences provided me with substantial experience and background to contribute as we face future challenges.

What unique strengths will you bring to the table?

Life-long resident, serving on council for a number years, understanding of the issues, focus on the long-term future of our community, logical, data-driven decision making, a proven ability to work in a non-partisan manner, and a real passion for the community in which I live are unique strengths.

What one issue do you plan to address first if you win a seat in November?

Continue to ensure our citizens receive the best services possible and ensure they feel safe in the City in which we live, raise families, and play. This makes Farmington Hills a great, caring, and inclusive community.

The city has taken on a significant project in the renovation of Harrison High School as a community center. Do you have any concerns about the project? What role do you see council members playing as construction begins?

I have no concerns about the success of the project. Much financial planning and modeling went into planning this long before the plan was discussed outside of council. That planning focused on ensuring not just that the project could be completed, but operational funding would be available long into the future. This plan meets the challenge of having outgrown our current activities center, protects the long-term investment our taxpayers have in the property, and it also protects the proud legacy of Harrison as it starts a new chapter in the history of the Farmington Hills community.

Farmington Hills officials often hear from concerned residents when major projects (like the new office building at 12 Mile & Drake Roads) affect surrounding neighborhoods. How will you respond to those concerns and ensure that residents feel heard and represented in the process?

Our community has a balance of residential and business citizens. Business investment helps to expand our value and long-term vitality as a community. Every 5 years, our Planning Commission reevaluates our master plan for land use. This deliberation process continually seeks public input and seeks to find a balance of commercial and residential land use. During the planning process for any project, public hearings are an integral component; including those that come before council. Planning and zoning also focus on minimizing impact on residents, while allowing for the City’s evolution.

What role you believe the arts play in building a stronger and more resilient community, and how will you support the arts as a council member?

As one of only two cities in Michigan to have an arts division, we proudly support the wide variety of art that our citizens enjoy. We hear a lot of positive feedback on the Arts Division programming. The arts are one of those quality of life benefits of Farmington Hills, and I will continue to support these programs.

Both cities are looking at whether it makes sense to create a municipal broadband system. What’s your take on this idea?

Historically, these systems are very expensive to build and operate in a climate of ever-changing innovations in this space. Unlike utilities that cities often run, broadband and wireless is a business that requires continuous updates to stay abreast of the rapid rate of change these technologies require. However, we do need to look for ways to attract more competition from existing commercial entities. In fact, just having conversations on this topic appears to be stimulating commercial interest and could lead to more options for our residents at better prices. We should continue to study the idea.