If elected, what would be your top three priorities? Please describe each priority?
My top three priorities are tightly related: housing availability, land use, and transparency. I’ve done enough overnights at Safe Harbor to know that a full-time job does guarantee a place to sleep in Grand Traverse County.
I believe that the outward migration Michigan has experienced during my life will reverse, and that growth in Northern Michigan will be much faster than in the recent past. The housing shortage in the region will only get worse without major effort. Although I only returned to Michigan a little over two years ago, the 30 years I lived in Texas give me experience with rapid expansion that life-long residents of Grand Traverse County do not have. I’ve seen massive land-use mistakes and decisions that looked good at 2 million people, that don’t look so good at 6 million people.
The root problem in many of the poor decisions that I saw in Texas was a lack of transparency; the suburbs that gave everyone a seat at the table for zoning and development discussions ended up with much more livable communities with much more sustainable tax bases. It was sometimes messy, but the results were much better. Transparency means more and longer meetings so that everything is done in the open, but the results are much better.