Farmington Voices: Geof Perrot, Farmington city council

The Farmington Voices: 2021 Elections podcast offers candidates for city offices in Farmington and Farmington Hills an opportunity to provide information about themselves and their candidacy. Local candidates running on November 2, 2021, can schedule an interview by writing to joni@farmingtonvoice.com.


Transcript

Speaker 1

Geof Perrot is running for a seat on Farmington City Council, and Geof, thanks for taking a few minutes to talk with me today about you and about your campaign. Let’s start with a little bit of information about you. How long have you lived in Farmington, information about your career, your community involvement, that sort of thing.

Geof Perrot
Geof Perrot (contributed)

Speaker 2

Thanks very much for having me, Joni. So, I’ve been Farmington resident and homeowner for the past thirteen years. A little bit about my career information, I am a global product manager at Tenneco in the diesel engine parts aftermarket. Mine is a marketing role that requires me to be the, pretty much the hub of the wheel that connects multiple internal and external resources while determining the needs of my product line. I’m part of a exceptional, global team that manages just over a hundred million dollars in annual business. Community involvement, I’m currently the vice-chair of the city’s Planning Commission that I was appointed to by city council four years ago. I was also, before that, I was also appointed by Council to zoning board of appeals. I’m also in my fifth year as a Farmers & Artisans Market volunteer. The award-winning Farmington Farmers & Artisans Market volunteers. So it’s, we are as a volunteer organization at the market, I think it’s pretty well-known that we’re very, very proud of, what we’ve been able to accomplish with such a small crew. So we love to say that we’re award-winning. So also my girls are in the Cub Scout Pack 45 and I volunteer with the Cub Scout Pack as much as I possibly can. Also the Harvest Moon celebration, I’m also a set up and service volunteer, which we just completed just a week ago and and was an absolute blast with such a great time it was such a great event for everybody and perfect weather. I also participate with the Farmington Area Goodfellows their holiday season, the reindeer delivery of toys for the kids, and food, and supplies for the whole family. My daughters and I did that last year and it just was, we couldn’t wait to do it again. We were bummed we couldn’t deliver more than the families that we were able to reach out to. And then last but not least, I’m an Advisory Board member for the program that I graduated through at Ferris State University. It’s the heavy equipment program. And I’ve been an Advisory Board member for about fifteen years now. And it’s been a really great experience being able to help connect the industry to the students that are about to enter the industry.

Speaker 1

All right, why did you decide to run for a Council seat?

Speaker 2

So I choose to run due to the, just the decline of relative, relevant experience on council, currently on council. Over the last four years, this has prevented us from focusing on key priorities to move the city forward. You know, I learned early on in my time on zoning and then reinforced on the Planning Commission that in towns like ours, there is no standing still or treading water. You’re you’re improving even slightly, you know, incrementally year-over-year or you’re declining, and we simply do not have the luxury of wasting time. My overall goal is to preserve the, the current quality of life we enjoy today and to have it available honestly for my kids’ generation and future generations, when, you know, they grow up and choose a place to live. Also, you know, as a council member, I have no interest in just taking my picture around town at events, you know, attending events. You know, I’m, I’m here to do the work necessary to give Farmington a bright future.

Speaker 1

Okay, and what do you see as the city’s biggest challenge and what solutions will you propose if you’re elected?

Speaker 2

Okay, you know I see our biggest challenge is one that impacts all residents, private and commercial, you know, our budget and our strategy to maintain the quality of life our residents expect. You know, this 197-year-old city of ours is nearly a hundred percent developed, and I will support smart, informed redevelopment of existing properties as our best option to increase tax revenues, which will help prevent, again, increasing our residents’ property taxes to fund the city. I’ve also proposed developing a graduated tax program to draw new business to Farmington. This program would attract new businesses to occupy one of, any one of the several vacant storefronts throughout our town, while they, you know, essentially grow into their tax responsibility over time. You know, this would be a win-win for any new business that came to Farmington and ultimately Farmington residents. If the landlords and property owners in our town are not interested in filling these vacant spaces that have remained empty year over year over year, the city must actively market itself to draw businesses to look at Farmington as a new home. We’ve proven that when businesses come here, be it an additional location or it’s a new business, that Farmington has this inherent almost like a, like an incubator environment and we are very interested when someone shows interest in us and we do a, in my opinion, we do a great job supporting our local businesses. So we need to encourage that environment. You know, and I, you know, this is something I’ve learned over the years through my career, and it applies to the city of Farmington also, is that the city needs to treat businesses less as guests or tenants and more as valued community partners, because when we work together, it’s, it’s again, it’s a win-win for the businesses, it’s a win-win for residents. So one other point is, I’m also, I’m a strong advocate for actively listening to the advice of our city staff. They are much too far few in numbers, you know, but they are fierce in their ability and effort. I figured fierce was the best word that I could come up with. They’re, they are absolutely fierce in their ability and effort. And every year, our department leaders, our subject matter experts in their respective fields, they provide a prioritized list of what they need to keep our city running. This is known as, you know, this is our, our capital Improvement plan, these lists vary, you know, department to department, of course, and they include everything from, you know, Public Safety equipment to vehicles to sidewalk and road repairs. You know, we can’t disregard our department leaders’ recommendations and choose what we feel needs to be addressed and when, without an extremely good reason.

Speaker 1

How would Farmington better by the end of your term? What do you expect to contribute on council?

Speaker 2

I want to create a renewed sense of teamwork and productivity on council. In addition to my, you know, my private sector experience, my zoning and planning commission experience will help build up the council’s overall, city specific experience and that’ll complement the skills and experience of others. Again, we cannot afford to waste time, and council members must work together as one executive team. You know, I also expect to complete, you know, noticeable infrastructure improvements. I’m a firm believer that strong neighborhoods make strong towns, and I want to start making sizable improvements to all of our neighborhoods. Lastly, I want residents and city staff to have a renewed confidence in council, and its ability to lead the city again at that executive-level.

Speaker 1

Now is there anything that you thought of, or anything that you’d like to add that we haven’t talked about?

Speaker 2

You know, I just, I’ve just a couple of quick comments. And you know, I just respectfully I just ask that voters please study all the candidates closely and vote for the most qualified ones to lead the city at an executive level. You know, history has proven that when candidates treat our council elections as popularity contests and not as job interviews to identify the best qualified candidates, all residents lose in the end. Just one other, you know, one other quick comment, is if voters are interested, they can learn more about me on my Facebook page facebook dot com forward slash GeofPerotFarmington, it’s all one word. And you know, I’m a small-town guy. If you don’t do the Facebook thing, totally understandable. Feel free to give me a call or shoot me a text at 231-250-3774. I’m very passionate about our town and look forward to speaking with you.

Speaker 1

All right. Well, thanks again, Geof, for your time and letting voters know a little bit more about you. Much appreciated.

Speaker 2

Thanks very much, Joni. I appreciate you.

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