TO THE EDITOR:
Like many Farmington residents, I go to work and later enjoy relaxing in the family friendly community in which we live. Likewise, I’m not overtly engaged in the city in the same manner as many of our selfless volunteers.
Unlike all of you, I am married to a woman who has dedicated over 15 yrs. in the Farmington city government. You may know her as Mayor Sara Bowman. My proximity to senior leadership has afforded me the opportunity to observe the actions and commitment levels of many City, DDA, and volunteers. We have an opportunity to remedy prior appointment and election choices during the upcoming Farmington election.
The ballot will only contain local 7 names. Since many people do not vote when there isn’t a party affiliated national election occurring, I am encouraging all Farmington residents to vote for three candidates who can devote their time and get things done for us.
Please consider the following when voting for new city council members:
- We need active members on the council that will make things happen, not just show up and vote
- We need members who will show up because they made a commitment to a leadership position; too busy to attend is not an excuse
- Focused on keeping Farmington’s financial position in the black, and understands that a small budget overage doesn’t mean let’s spend
- I believe the primary role of a council member is to “shepherd the dollars”, and so should you
- Is independent in thought and action – we don’t need external PAC politics puppets influencing what is good for Farmington
Our candidates are:
Johnna Balk – A new face to Farmington city government. Recent experience with candidates who are aiming at city council as their first position should give voters pause. Planning commission has shown to be a valuable first step prior to reaching for city council. I do not know Mrs. Balk, and wish her well.
David DeLind – Since being appointed to city council, his sporadic participation has clearly demonstrated an unwillingness to fulfill his commitment. When he does attend, there are questions regarding the content of his contributions. One of the roles of city council members is to represent the council on various city committees. Since his appointment, Mr. DeLind has failed to participate in this capacity while other members participate in as many as three committees. One only has to refer to the last city council meeting in which his closing statements with regards to Maria Taylor were made. Reading prepared notes from your phone is fine; however, it was observed from behind the dais that the content came from the message bubbles on the left. If I ever met Mr. DeLind, to whom would I be speaking to?
Jake Nelson – He has a senior leadership position at AAA and was a lobbyist in Washington DC. He has effective experience that would bring new perspectives to our city. I’ve known Jake since he chose Farmington as his new home. He possesses strong character traits that would augment our city government.
Geof Perrot – He personifies what we want in a city council member. Like Cathi, he has developed a working knowledge of the city operations and vision while participating on the Farmington Planning Commission. He volunteers his time to the city, and is often seen supporting at downtown events such as the farmer’s market and Harvest Moon. I’ve known Geof for many years. His actions in making the City of Farmington a quality place to raise a family deserves acknowledgement.
Steven Schneemann – This ex-Mayor grants his professional skills and time to the city. He has played foundational roles in recent city scape projects. Upcoming Drake and Shiawassee Park bathroom and park access renovations are being made possible because of the cost savings he donates to the city. I’ve known Steve and his family for many years, and the actions he has taken to assist Farmington to meet its vision plan is valuable.
Maria Taylor – Since being elected to city council, Miss Taylor has become a divisive presence. We do not need to refer to recent slate debate or attacks on Mr. Perrot’s children to make a determination of Maria’s character or effectiveness. I would submit to residents to review the city council recordings that are posted in the spirit of disclosure and openness. Ask yourself if her actions align with what she posts on Facebook. For example: The following is from her posted core values “…BOOSTING OUR DOWNTOWN through new norms like the social district – common – sense parking laws and better walkability – and restoring Farmington icons like the Founders Fest …”. Upon review: As a member of the parking committee, she knows of the limited space available in close proximity to downtown, yet consistently consumes one of the few Oakland St parking spaces instead of using the parking facilities provided by her apartment complex. I watched the Mayor dedicate evening after evening working with a vendor to make this year’s Founders Fest occur. Zero assistance was provided by Ms. Taylor. As a core value, wouldn’t assisting in planning the event have been of interest? Clearly her inactivity does not align with fanciful Facebook declarations of support. Is just voting the support we expect of our city council members? I have met Maria on many occasions, and find that her content does not align with her posts.
Cathi Waun – She has been a successful member of Farmington Planning Commission, whose real estate experience has been valuable. I’ve known Cathi and her husband Todd, who is on the DDA, for many years. Their commitment to the city is in line with that of the most dedicated residents. She is an asset to our community.
Please take an active role in the upcoming Farmington elections, and please vote for someone who will actively seek to improve our community.
John V. Bowman