Saline's two Mayoral candidates have differing views on the most important three issues facing the city. Saline City Council member Brian Marl and former Saline City Council member Glenn Law are running to be Mayor of Saline.
Readers can see the candidates side-to-side at 7 p.m., Oct. 22 at Liberty School, where the Saline Coalition for a Quality Community will host an election forum.
What are the three biggest issues facing the city and how will you address them?
1. Ongoing economic downturn. As property values have declined, so has city revenue been reduced while the need for public services has remained the same or even increased. Economic changes, along with decisions being made in Lansing and Washington, D.C., affect city government’s ability to do business. These changes are not all bad, but they force municipalities to adapt and evolve to provide more streamlined services to citizens with shrinking resources. As mayor, I would be committed to going through every possibility in looking at ways for city government to be more efficient and save precious taxpayer dollars.
2. Public safety. No matter the economic or political climate, public safety is always going to be an issue of vital importance to our community, and something leaders should be cognizant of. Well supported, quality public safety services draw people to Saline, and serves as a source of pride for our community. As mayor I would work hard to listen to department leadership and on-the-ground staff to ensure that public safety services are adequately supported, both financially and with sound policies.
3. Business-friendly environment. City government does have a role to play in fostering an environment in which businesses can survive, and thrive. There should be a limit to that role, but its importance is undeniable. As Mayor, I would work hard to seek out new opportunities for businesses, developing and nurturing relationships with groups like
Ann Arbor SPARK, the Michigan Economic Development Corporation, the Michigan Small Business and Technical Development Center, and our own new Main Street Program. I look forward to partnering with the Economic Development Corporation (EDC), the Tax Incremental Finance Authority (TIFA), and the Local Development
Finance Authority (LDFA) to find ways to reward and encourage current businesses within our community so they can continue to thrive, while providing incentives for new businesses to establish and expand in the Saline area. At the same time, it’s important to keep our historically low millage rate, which is certainly not the only reason why families and businesses stay here or relocate here, but it’s an important factor. Only by thinking carefully about economic development and its role in our community will Saline be able to continue to grow and thrive for years to come.
1. Financial stability: the next mayor and city council will have a very tough challenge with the upcoming budget and making sure the city is on a strong financial footing. Key to this is putting a cap on spending. Projects that we would like to do will have to wait until our financial house is in good shape.
2. The personal property tax issue: this is an issue with potential serious ramifications for all municipalities in Michigan. The elimination or reduction of the personal property tax without a measure to replace it or prop it up would place a heavy strain on the city's financial base. It's vital that the next mayor and council work hard to lobby our legislators in Lansing to not leave municipalities and it's citizens in the cold. I am in favor of giving businesses the ability to grow and compete without additional taxation, but not without ensuring that cities and towns also thrive and survive.
3. Strong and viable business community: I believe that the city must continue to promote it's business areas. Not just those that are most visible such as the downtown area, but also those businesses on the east and west side of the city. Promotion could include features on the city web site (s) or in a separate news letter. Utilizing the cable channel more effectively to help promote Saline's business areas could also be investigated.
1. Why do you want to be Mayor?
2. What are your guiding principles and beliefs in public service?