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Village candidates vie for position

September 07, 2011 - By Gabriel Ouzounian

Review Staff Writer

The village elections are right around the corner, and on Sept. 13 the council may look a little different. But everyone should get a chance to argue their case, so The Review posed some questions to the five candidates.

1.) Leading into the election, what are the main issues you choose to take stances on? If you could change one thing in the Village of Lake Orion, what would it be? Please try to relate this to elements the council has control over, omitting things like property value.

2.) Where do you see the village in the near future: prosperous or working hard to maintain itself in the hard times we all have seen? How have you been (or how do you plan to be) a part of improving the downtown's atmosphere, economic climate and general health?

The candidates are Michael Toth, Ken Van Portfliet, David Churchill, Douglas Dendel and newcomer Shauna Brown. Here are the candidates who responded.

1.) The Village is a great place to live and I would not want to alter anything that would change the atmosphere in general, but one thing that could stand improvement is how easily the wheel of cooperation between elected officials and neighboring municipalities can turn, so that the needs of the residents, business owners and developers could be more easily addressed and implemented. I still hear all too often how difficult it is to get understanding and assistance from our local government.

2.) I see some bright spots in the future, with the eleven new businesses that have trusted themselves to make a profit in this area. We have much to be excited about: the new Streetscape (this will win awards and gain recognition state.

wide) new events, all coupled with the possibilities of the historic Union Church and the Angel Center. We're poised to be a recession fighting community.

1.) I honestly do not have any current situations in which I am unhappy. I am not running with a personal agenda; I am running for Village Council so that I can be a part of growing, developing and maintaining the town in which I live.

2.) I would love to see our village grow and prosper despite the recent economic downfall. We need to find new methods to achieve our goals in order to allow us to grow, all within sticking to a budget. There are ways to obtain the lifestyle we are all used to but by using fewer resources.

Our residents and business owners should be heard and the Council should consider their goals as well, in addition to helping them achieve them. Successful businesses bring revenue and visitors and new homebuyers. If we all work together toward a common goal it will be an easier hill to climb.

1.) I believe the Village is doing well as it is. The one thing that I would like to see is to have the Village Council be more willing to work with business owners who want to move into the Village. Currently, the Council seems to take a stance that it doesn't want anything new, that it is more afraid of risk than it is excited about the future. I don't share this belief and I will continue to work for the future and learn from the past, not be stifled by the past mistakes but motivated by them.

2.) In the next three years the Village will be working to maintain itself. Property values will still be down but hopefully on the rise. The Village has already done as much as it can. At this point, continued budget cuts will only continue. It will be harder and harder to make the money go the same distance. It has been said that the budget money can go farther and it will have to, but the Village staff has already done a great job of stretching the budget.

David Churchill and Douglas Dendel did not respond in time for this article's publication. Look for their responses on our Facebook page.

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