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Support for Main Street USA program

October 23, 2013 - As the City of the Village of Clarkston considers signing up for Oakland County's Main Street Program, candidates running for a two-year seat on City Council are all on board.

"This is a great program that has the potential of developing a more vibrant downtown retail district," said Richard Bisio. "I support the city's participation in the program."

Eric Haven said the Main Street Program was created to serve small communities like Clarkston.

"We are privileged to live in Oakland County, so well run and resourced under Brooks Patterson's leadership," Haven said. "To have county expertise available is certainly valuable to us, but as in all things economic, we need to be wise about what we spend to receive corresponding value."

Haven said he expects the program to be addressed during master planning discussions.  

Thomas Hunter said he favors any assistance the city can receive from programs like Main Street. 

"The city cannot afford to hire additional staff, such as a downtown development executive, which the county requires in order for further participation in some of its programs," he added.

David Marsh the collaboration is positive and has been very beneficial and effective in other communities.

"I love the fact that Oakland County wants to work with the City of the Village of Clarkston to suggest any changes that may better our community," said Marsh.

Sharron Catallo, running unopposed for a one-year council seat, said the program does not seem to be the right fit for Clarkston, though she is open to hear opinions on the issue.

"A few years ago we didn't feel the expense of the program gave us any value," said Catallo. "We didn't feel like the expense of the program gave us any value and that we just didn't necessarily need the assistance for the cost."

She added many businesses are owner occupied, so there is not many looking for tenants.

"We didn't seem like we need that kind of help," she said.

The election will be on Tuesday, Nov. 5. Call 248- 625-1559 for more information.

– Andrea Beaudoin

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