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Macomb County Commission District 8

Choose one candidate. Macomb County Commissioners serve two-year terms and receive a salary of $35,000.

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  • Paul Esposito
    (Dem)

  • Candidate picture

    Phil Kraft
    (Rep)

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Biographical Information

What are the most pressing challenges facing the county in the next four years?

What are the county's biggest budgetary concerns, and how would you address them?

How would you propose handling the county jail population and existing and future criminal justice programs?

How would you propose having the county's executive and legislative branches of government work together more cooperatively?

What is your stance on raising elected officials salaries? If you support raises, what kind of raises do you support for the county's non-elected employees?

What programs would you enhance or introduce countywide and why?

What programs would you propose cutting countywide and why?

Which county-provided services need the most improvement, and what suggestions can you offer for making them better?

What is the county’s role in assisting financially struggling cities?

Do you support the proposed millage to fund regional transit in metro Detroit? Why or why not?

What is your position on outfitting the county sheriff’s department with body cameras?

Do you support the legalization of recreational marijuana?

With reports showing Michigan behind on education, what role if any do you see the county taking to improve education?

Has the county taken appropriate steps to prevent gun violence?

What is the county’s role in assisting financially struggling cities?

Where do you stand on settling refugees in Michigan, and Macomb County in particular?

What will you do to improve the lives of low-income residents in Macomb County?

What would you do to improve the county’s workforce development efforts?

How would your policies help to fix aging infrastructure in Macomb County?

Do you support and will you appear at campaign events with your party’s presidential nominee?

Have you ever filed for personal bankruptcy? If so, explain.

Have you ever been convicted of a felony or misdemeanor? If so, explain.

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City of residence Chesterfield Twp.
Age 30
Family Engaged to Pam Oriold. Parents are Doug and Pam. Sister is Sarah.
Education Graduate of Anchor Bay High School. Bachelor of Arts from Saginaw Valley State University
Vehicles owned Pontiac Grand Am, Dodge Avenger, Saab 9-3
Professional Experience Communications Director for David Wolkinson for State Representative, Victory Center Director for the Michigan Republican Party, Student Assistant and eventually Mid-Michigan Director for Secretary of State Terri Lynn Land, Voter Fraud Program Assistant for Secretary of State Ruth Johnson, Constituent Services Representative for Congresswoman Candice Miller
Political Experience Precinct Delegate
Race/ethnicity Caucasian
Campaign Website http://kraftformacomb.com
Infrastructure and maintaining a balanced budget are the main challenges. With aging above and below ground infrastructure, significant funds will need to be used to repair and replace troubled areas. In terms of the budget, incoming revenue is always in flux and if there is a shortfall those challenges will need to be faced so that essential services are maintained.
Funding for infrastructure is a concern due to the amount of improvements that need to be made across the county. This will need to be spread out over many years to keep within the yearly budget but with the number of projects increasing, funding is always a concern. An annual review of all programs is necessary to determine effectiveness and need. Non-statutory services must be justified and proven necessary for the county.
The county sheriff’s office needs to be given the tools to succeed when it comes to funding and technology. Criminal justice programs in the county need to continue. Continuing to educate the community when it comes to issues such as drug abuse, scams and gun violence are important to the welfare of the residents of the county. The sheriff’s study will have to be examined once completed to learn about programs that are effective in keeping people from being incarcerated.
I would propose having an open line of communication between the county executive and legislative branches. Each side should be able to discuss goals, ideas and their vision for the direction of the county. We all may have different ways of moving Macomb forward, but if we understand each other and each branch’s role under the charter, it could lead to a more cooperative environment.
At the present time, there is no need to raise the salaries of elected officials. With the uncertainty of income tax revenues going forward, the county is in no position to raise salaries and the focus needs to be put on funding essential programs and functions.
Enhanced services for all departments need to be looked at. Technological advances are continuous and it is imperative for every county department to be operating at the highest level to provide maximum services to the residents of the county while keeping costs low. Technology can help cut costs and provide more efficient service.
Programs that are duplicated at the state and other local levels can be looked at first. Before cutting any program, I would want to look at each one to determine the cost of the program and compare it to the service and benefits provided. An entire program may not need to be cut, but it is possible that cost saving improvements could be made across the board. Forming partnerships with non-profit organizations can also be considered.
There is always room for improvement when it comes to senior and veteran services. With an aging population, access to these programs is important. Many seniors use services provided by the county’s community action department. Macomb County also has a strong, innovative Veterans Affairs department. Depending on the outcome of the upcoming millage, this department could expand services further.
The county should not have a role in assisting financially struggling cities.
While I appreciate the need for a more efficient, cost effective regional transit plan for metro Detroit, I disagree with the current plan because it places another tax burden on residents in the region. The plan needs to make sense for residents of Macomb County and the benefits should outweigh the cost.
I support outfitting the county sheriff’s department with body cameras as long as funding allows. These cameras add an extra vantage point to help provide clarity on situations in question. The only potential issue is determining how long the video footage needs to be stored and creating an infrastructure to house and maintain this information.
I do not support the legalization of recreational marijuana at this time because the on-the-spot testing methods are inconclusive. Driving while under the influence is a major concern.
The only role the county needs to be taking is letting residents know about the availability of Head Start programs through the county’s community action department. The Macomb Intermediate School District in conjunction with local school districts carries the responsibility.
I believe the county has taken appropriate steps to prevent gun violence.
The county should not have a role in assisting financially struggling cities.
Michigan has the highest number of settling refugees than any other state in the nation. It is time for other states to step up and do their fair share and relieve the pressure of having Michigan continue to house refugees. I do support a person’s right to locate here as long as it’s done in accordance with immigration laws.
Better access to county services for low-income residents of all ages. From children to seniors, access is the first step. Reaching out to low-income residents is another step to improve their lives. Many are unaware of the services the county provides and this would go a long way to improving their lives.
The county needs to focus on creating an environment that is conducive to business growth. Keeping taxes low and improving infrastructure will attract new businesses to Macomb County. Also, the county needs to work with Macomb ISD, Macomb Community College and other universities that have regional branches in Macomb County to improve on current economic trends as well as provide proper training for traditional and non-traditional students to be successful finding jobs.
It is no secret that infrastructure is aging throughout Macomb County. I would work with the Road Commission to assess their upcoming strategy and discuss what needs there are in terms of fixing our roads. There is also the issue of aging infrastructure beneath the surface with water and sewer lines. I would work with the Public Works Commissioner to assess the worst conditioned and oldest lines in the county to improve our infrastructure.
Yes.
No.
No.

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