Brian Cassise is one of four candidates running for three seats on Saline City Council, along with incumbent Jack Ceo, Jim Dell'Orco and Kevin Camero-Sulak.
Here is The Saline Post's Q&A with Brian Cassise.
Name: Brian Cassise
Career: Chassis design Engineer at Toyota
Education. Bachelor in Mechanical Engineering
Volunteer experience: H4h (Habit for Humanity), I also volunteer through Toyota sponsored opportunities.
Why are you running?
I’m running for city council because I want to be more involved in the community that live and work in. I want to ensure the Saline maintains the small-town charm and character the inspired me to settle in Saline.
Why should city voters elect you to council?
I should be elected to council because will bring a unique perspective and approach each issue in an engineering manor. My decisions will be based on data and include the culture of Saline.
What are the top issues facing the city and how should the city address them?
Should the city expand its borders to take on new subdivisions? Why or why not?
There are many situations where it may or may not make sense to expand the borders. If the reason to expand is only for the increased tax dollars the decision isn’t a good one. If the reason to expand incorporates the vision of the city for the benefit of everyone- example schools or city services, and those new developments are seeking to be in the city then expansion of the city limits can be explored.
If elected, there will be times when you’re faced between choosing between what you know is right, and what the public wants. How will you face such a decision?
Interesting question. What is right should always be right. However, the voice of the public needs to be heard and understood. It’s very situational, if the public request is something unbefitting to our community (ex the dispensary’s) then I’m ok with standing up for what is right! Open discussions and council meetings would be an avenue for city members to make their opinions known.
City residents have incurred several tax increases since 2013 - at the local, school district and county levels. Have we hit the limit yet? Are there circumstances that might warrant further increases?
I’m a fairly new resident to Saline and since moving here have been shocked by our property taxes. Have we hit a limit, I’m not sure but we should understand where the tax dollars are going and ensure they are being utilized responsibly. I value education and support appropriate spending. As a future member of City Council, I’d like to understand the budget and how it’s managed. Before we spend more, we have to be responsible for the resources we have.
Should council allow recreational marijuana dispensaries in the city? Why or why not? Should council allow medical marijuana dispensaries? Why or why not?
No, our city should not be supporting Marijuana. We are a family community with family values. Strong families are drug-free. I believe that Saline values education and family. We shouldn’t be sending the message out the families and children in the community that drugs are acceptable.
City council debate on Andelina Farms issues and strategy has generally not taken place in front of the public. Do you think key public policy and strategic decisions should take place in public, for the record? Why or why not?
I have not been involved or fully aware of the Andelina Farms issues. However, based on the content of the discussions and the impact to the full community strategic discussions and decisions should be open to the public and on record. It keeps everyone honest and upfront with the changes in our community. It also shows clear documentation of how and why decisions were made.
Saline is a desirable place to live and can be a great place to do business. Should city council bend its zoning ordinance or use tax incentives to entice development and attract business?
No I don’t believe that city council should bend any zoning ordinances or incentive business to come to Saline. Those types of tax breaks are essentially robbing Peter to pay Paul. Once the enticement dies up; why stay? I don’t see the long term commitment with this type of spending.