F2H Votes: TR Carr, 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). 

TR Carr
TR Carr (Contributed)

TR Carr, Ph.D., works as a consultant.

Civic Involvement

I am a member of the Farmington Hills Community Health Commission, the Greater Farmington Chamber of Commerce, and I attend the Farmington Hills Economic Development Commission meetings and serve as President of the Independent Commons Home Owners Association. I worked with the successful effort to gain voter approval to eliminate the Special Assessment District road tax though a public information campaign.

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

My vision is to be an effective voice for residents and maintain Farmington Hills as a great place to live, work, and raise a family. I will work to grow the city’s economy for jobs, provide quality services for seniors and young families, and support quality education for our children.

What unique strengths will you bring to the table?

I have extensive experience in city government: President of the St. Louis County (MO) Municipal League and former Mayor of Hazelwood (MO).  As Mayor, I assembled a regional leadership team to retain the Hazelwood Ford Assembly Plant. Negotiations with Ford provided a 6-year extension which allowed employees to retire, transfer, or retrain. The site was cleared and became a distribution employment center. The City was able to adjust without a reduction in services or personnel. I have made presentations on American public policy and on health care to universities in Latvia, Finland, Germany, Russia and New Zealand. I am currently working as a volunteer development staff member for Compassion Evangelical Hospital in Mamou, Guinea (West Africa). This small, 40-bed hospital has the only X-Ray machine in a region of over 2 million people.

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

The City has 17 citizen commissions that provide recommendations to the City Council on a wide range of issues. I will seek input from the Commission on Aging and the Commission on  Children, Youth and Families as I establish my priorities. Citizen commissions gather and provide insights into citizen preferences and desires. I will serve in an independent listening role to hear and understand citizen preferences. My first priority is to listen to these and other residents of Farmington Hills.

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?

Harrison High School was built and paid for by the citizens of Farmington Hills. Since we as citizens paid for it, the building should revert to the City.  After residents invested millions of dollars into the facility, it should be developed into a resource for the residents. The Council and City Staff should rely on the advice from citizen commissions such as Parks and Recreation, and individual residents as detailed plans for future usage are developed.

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?

Economic investment and development are critical for the future of the City. These developments provide jobs, support demand for housing, and retail development. The City needs those revenue sources to keep taxes in check. I will work with the various boards and commissions (Economic Development, Historical Commission, Planning and Development) to be sure that their recommendations reflect citizen concerns. I will also make significant efforts to hear and listen to resident concerns as developments such as these move forward.

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

“Public Art” adds to the quality of life in a city. I will work with the Arts Commission, the Beautification Commission and other groups to ensure that this important dimension does add to the cultural flavor of Farmington Hills.

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

Access to the internet is critical for education and businesses to thrive. Access is also critical for families and individuals as they are connected to the wider world. As Farmington Hills moves into the future, I plan to support initiatives that connect individuals, businesses, schools, and other entities to the world. I will receive and review information on this initiative from citizen committees.