Farmington Voices: Randy Bruce, Hills 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

Randy Bruce is a candidate for city council in Farmington Hills. Randy, thank you for taking the time to talk with me and to share some information about yourself with voters today. Let’s start with some information about you. How long have you lived in Farmington Hills, talk about, you know, what you do for a living, your community involvement and and that sort of thing.

Randy Bruce
Randy Bruce (contributed)

Speaker 2

Sure, well, first off, thanks again for the opportunity for this interview and for me to get my information out there. I appreciate it. Start with, I’ve been a resident of Farmington Hills for thirty-five years, I currently work as a neuropsychologist and a board certified rehabilitation psychologist working with brain and spinal cord injured adults. And I’ve been doing that for about the last thirty-plus years, thirty-five years or so. It’s a been a while I’ve been involved in that industry and the health care industry. So I’ve been involved with the city for over twenty-five years, including eight years on the zoning board of appeals, sixteen years on city council, including three years as mayor pro-tem, three terms, I should say. I was a member of the National League of cities from 2003 to 2016 and was also a member of the human development steering committee for eight years, including one year as vice chair and one year as chairman of that national committee. I’ve also been the past president of the Forestbrook Hills Pebblebrook Estates Homeowners Association, past president of the Saratoga Farms Homeowners Association, and I’m a current board member of Colony Park West Homeowners Association, where I currently live.

Speaker 1

And what led you to decide to run, I guess again, for a council seat?

Speaker 2

Well, I loved being on council for those sixteen years that I was on it. As you know, I let my last term expire without running again because I ran for state rep, was not successful in that, but I miss being on council. I miss having a voice in the community and really, I think making a difference in how our city is developed, how we move forward. I feel like I contributed quite a bit to the city over the last twenty-four years and through those contributions helped make us one of the best cities in Michigan to live. We were always highly rated both in the state and nationally in terms of being a great place to live. We are one of the most financially stable cities, one of the safest cities, and I’m very proud of that record in terms of what we were able to do, and I want to go back on council and continue to work on a number of those issues. I mean obviously we want to continue to make Farmington Hills a great place to live, where, as I was saying, we’re competing now with many cities around us, new cities, growing cities, and you know we’ve lost residents over the years. Our schools have lost students because we don’t, we’re not attracting the young families anymore, and we have to look at how we compete with cities going forward, and I think we have to look at development, how we do development here differently. What we can do to be an attractive place for people to move to. I think that’s going to challenge us in terms of how we, again, develop the city going forward. And, you know, we have to look at development from a more modern point of view. I think we’re still looking at development from a seventies and eighties kind of point of view here in the city. So I think we have to take a closer look at the master plan and our ordinances and look at what other cities are doing that have been successful for them in terms of redevelopment and, again, drawing people back to the city. I think that we’re going to have our hands full and I want to be able to look at what we can do, again, to modernize those master plan and ordinances, so that we can have development here that reflects more of what people want and what they want their families to have and again to be able to move to this area and and be that city that people want.

Speaker 1

You talked to quite a bit there about some of the issues that are facing the community. What would you see as the city’s biggest challenge? And what solutions are you going to propose if you’re elected?

Speaker 2

Well, I think the ongoing challenges are financially, I think we’re in a good position right now. I think that, you know, we obviously saw some business losses here because of the pandemic. So I think we have to look at what we can do to make sure we market the city so that people know all of the advantages that we have here in Farmington Hills for both residents and businesses. I think we have to get the word out and continue to make sure the people know that we’re open for business and we’re a great place to live and work, so I think that we have a great public safety department, the police and fire departments are great and we want to continue to fund them and make sure that we stay that safe city that people want to be in again. I think that one of the biggest challenges going forward is how we redevelop. You know, we are 99.9% or more developed and our housing stock here is, you know, built mostly in the fifties, sixties, seventies, and eighties. So the vast majority of our housing stock is thirty plus years old. So we have to ensure our infrastructure is there so that people feel encouraged to keep investing in their homes and their neighborhoods. That’s why years ago I brought up doing a road millage over ten years ago, because I knew the SAD process was not working and our neighborhood roads were deteriorating faster than we keep up with them. And you know, people see the roads deteriorating, they’re not going to be as incentivized to invest in their homes and you know we were finally able to get that road millage through about two or three years ago and now when you go to through some of these neighborhoods, the roads look beautiful. I think it brought the values up of homes in those areas and again that incentivizes people to reinvest and we have to keep that up. We have to look at other areas of technology that we can leverage. So that again we have people wanting to not only move here but the people that live here to continue to reinvest in their homes. So obviously the cities are taking a look, at broadband as a public utility and and making that available. I think that’s something that we will continue to need to look at and what are the other areas that we can bring forward so that we keep Farmington Hills a modern feeling city and a city that is well positioned for the 21st century.

Speaker 1

Okay. And how would Farmington Hills be better by the end of your term? What is it that you really expect to contribute on council?

Speaker 2

Well, first off, I have a tremendous amount of experience in public service and I think I have an excellent track record of accomplishments being on council for the last sixteen years. So I think that record of accomplishments and that experience really helps me be able to see what the city needs and to be able to get things done. I am able to work with people from across all walks of life whether all political persuasions and to really put things in motion and get them done. So I think hopefully by the end of my next four years you’ll see more of things that I’ve been able to accomplish whether that’s changes to ordinances or programs or whatever else. I think I’ll leave a track record of just being able to do more that makes Farmington Hills even a better city than what we are today. So again there’s a number of things that I’ve been able to do in the past such as it was my idea to build the water tower that’s now saving our residents over three and a half million dollars a year, co-founded SAFE which is Suicide Awareness for Everyone, pushed through one of the most comprehensive dangerous animals ordinances in the country, led the push for a rental inspection ordinance that says we have a tool to make sure that landlords keep their homes up in neighborhoods so that they’re not letting those homes deteriorate and again bring down the value of our of our homes in our neighborhoods, and many other policies and and things that again, I was successful at and I plan on keeping that track record going.

Speaker 1

Anything that you wanted to add that we haven’t talked about yet?

Speaker 2

Well, I live here with my wife, Jill, which is one of the reasons I’m able to do this and be successful so I couldn’t do it without her. And again I just would love to be back on council serving the people. It was one of the most, one of the greatest experiences of my life and I hope that I have the honor of serving again.

Speaker 1

Okay. And do you have a website, Facebook page that sort of thing where people can get in touch with you and learn more?

Speaker 2

Yeah, I just started a (Facebook) page. I’m going to be adding to it here coming up, starting in August, it’s Randy Bruce for City Council. I don’t have a web page yet, that should be coming online here sometime next month as well, and so I definitely will be working on getting that information out there, hopefully here very shortly.

Speaker 1

Alright, well thank you for your time today, Randy, I really appreciate it.

Speaker 2

Thank you very much Joni and I really appreciate the opportunity.

 

Reported by