Oakland County Commission District 16

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  • Candidate picture

    Wade Fleming

  • Candidate picture

    Charles Salgat

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Biographical Information

What do you think county’s three most pressing problems are, and where would you start to solve them?

Do you support the proposed millage to fund a regional transit system? Why or why not?

What, in your view, should be the county and the region’s transportation priorities?

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

Do you support the legalization of recreational marijuana?

Has the county taken appropriate steps to prevent gun violence?

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

What should Oakland County do to fix its aging infrastructure?

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

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

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

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

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

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

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.

City of residence Troy
Age 63
Family Married to Paula Fleming for 42 years, son Mark married and one grandchild
Education B.B.A. Business--Accounting Major
Vehicles owned 2016 Jeep Grand Cherokee and 1998 Jeep Grand Cherokee
Professional Experience I worked for over 35 years in corporate management ending when I retired as President/CEO of a global tier 1 automotive supplier having responsibility for North American and European operations.
Political Experience I have served the past 2 years as County Commissioner for Dist. 16, and previously 9 years on the Troy City Council.
Race/ethnicity Caucasian
Incumbent? yes
Improving our roads and infrastructure: I will work to improve the quality, timing and efficiency of our road construction. We must ensure that we get our fair share of state and federal funds, therefore maximizing what we can spend on existing infrastructure before spending money on any new roads.

Safety: I will continue to support our local police and fire departments including our Oakland County Sheriffs Dept. to ensure that we have well trained personnel who are also well equipped to do their jobs fairly, effectively and efficiently to ensure the safety of all our residents.

Jobs: I will work to keep Oakland County a place where businesses want to locate and hire local residents.
I am generally in favor mass transit and did vote in favor of the Troy Transit Center as the Federal dollars were going to be spent on a train station elsewhere if we did not use them at the time. At this point the Regional Transit Authority is still working on finalizing a master plan and possible millage proposal but it is not complete yet. I like the RTA goals but need to be sure that our taxpayers are receiving the best bang for their buck and excellent services for their tax dollars. We need a better understanding how any millage will improve services for people throughout the county. I look forward to seeing the completed RTA plan before making a commitment.
We need to fix our existing roads and infrastructure before building any new roads. I will continue to support additional road funding through our Tri-party and Local Road Improvement Programs which enables us to double and triple the money the county invests with the required match from the Road Commission and local governments. We need to continue to work in cooperation with others in the region to meet our transportation needs. This means more open discussion with our neighboring counties to develop the best strategy for all as we determine how we should spend the limited resources available to the maximum benefit for our entire region.
I feel that body cameras can be an effective tool for the protection of our officers as well as our citizens. There are still some serious privacy issues that need to be resolved before we adopt a wide ranging use of cameras. There is also a considerable amount of cost associated with storing and properly retrieving the data from cameras, as well as, a variety of legal issues that need to be sorted out including but not limited to FOIA and privacy rights for the public. I am confident that our Sheriff's Department will continue to cautiously investigate all these and other potential ramifications and insure an adequate due diligence process before we adopt widespread use of body cameras.
The Oakland County Commission and the Oakland County Sheriffs Dept. has been very active to try and reduce gun violence and promote gun safety. A bipartisan effort by our Board of Commissioners has enabled the annual distribution of thousands of free trigger locks to our local police departments, as well as, an ongoing public education campaigns regarding safe firearms storage, improving mental health training for law enforcement and promoted common sense action at the state and federal level. In 2014, Oakland County received a national award for our efforts to reduce gun violence. We will continue exploring more ways to control gun violence while respecting individuals rights.
My wife, Paula, serves on the Troy Board of Education and we are incredibly proud of the excellent schools in our community. Throughout my district, public schools perform well on standardized tests and are ranked above the state averages. County government isn't directly in the school business but we can be good partners. We can make sure kids have safe neighborhoods, have access to health care or human assistance programs where needed and most of all provide for a vibrant quality of life where learning thrives. I am a believer in technical education and will be a voice for alternative for students through Oakland Community College or Oakland Schools. We must provide the opportunities.
The County Commission is continuing to invest more funds to support local efforts to repair and maintain our poor roads. We have doubled our 1/3 investment in the Tri-Party Road Improvement program which matches the investment from the Road Commission and the local governments. We invested $1 million for the Road Commission to purchase more equipment which freed up more money to be spent on urgently needed road repairs. I am currently Chairman of a new Pilot Local Road Improvement Matching Fund Program for the purposes of improving economic development in Oakland County cities and villages. The county intends this program to assist its municipalities by offering limited matching funds.
Oakland County should continue to utilize our talent and resources to assist local communities in order to build a stronger future for all our residents. We have targeted specific communities such as Pontiac to try and assist with some of their unique challenges.
We need to continue to focus on our improving our deteriorating roads and infrastructure. I will be a strong voice to ensure our county and the communities I represent get their fair share of road funding available. I will support the Road Commission to make sure we are spending smarter and on better quality construction. Potholes are now being patched using some new technology that last longer. Technology is being used for the rapid reporting and better coordination of road repair problems. I also support looking at the impact of truck load weight limits on our already overburdened roads.
Oakland County is ahead of the curve nationally with our rolling five year budget plan. The County Commissioners have worked very closely with the County Executive to develop this world class budget planning process. This process allows us to address the costs such as, long term employee pension liabilities. As a result, we have been able to maintain our AAA bond rating, which saves taxpayers millions of dollars while weathering financial downturns without raising taxes, laying-off employees or cutting back needed services, As a member of the Finance Committee, I will continue to use my private and public sector business/accounting background to help maintain this strong fiscal record.
We must diligent ensure that any refugees accepted in Michigan and Oakland County are properly vetted and be reasonably assured that these individuals do not pose a threat to the security of Oakland County residents. I am concerned about the lack of credible information available about individuals who are leaving countries with unstable governments and conditions that make it impossible to gather reliable information regarding the background of the refugees. While I support helping people in need, there must be a careful balance not to put our residents and communities in danger. We must be very diligent in this process to protect ourselves.
I am currently serving on the Board of OLHSA (Oakland Livingston Human Services Agency) a community action agency which deals with a variety of issues and provides services impacting low-income residents, such as, housing, energy and community services, early childhood services, older adult services, health and nutrition, financial education and workforce development. We can improve on these programs by continuing to coordinate the many services and providing even more simple and easy ways for people in need to know and obtain assistance when needed.
I am a big believer in technical education and will be a voice for alternatives for students through Oakland Community College or Oakland Schools. We must provide opportunities for children of all talents in many of the noble professions that are available. In addition, as we build on the emerging growing markets, the attraction of higher education investment in the life sciences and engineering is a key goal. We must do what we can to retain and build on our pool of high skilled and well educated citizenry in Oakland County.
I care about this country, Oakland County and the communities I serve more than any political party. At this point, I have concerns about the options we have for President but do feel that the current administration has been leading America in the wrong direction. I am not sure that I will be attending any presidential campaign events but will reserve the right to change my mind as the campaign progresses.

All the problems with our country will never be solved by a presidential election as our problems are not all political. America needs a spiritual awakening and a revival that starts with individual prayer and in our churches that spreads throughout our nation and around the world.
City of residence Troy,MI
Age 68
Family Wife- Margaret. Children; Mike, Kathleen and Matt. Three granddaughters.
Education BA- History University of Detroit 1970
Vehicles owned 2014 Ford Escape
Professional Experience 35 years in telecommunications sales with multiple companies. I have been with Complete since 2010.
Political Experience Precinct delegate. Candidate for County Commissioner in 1980, 1982, 1986 and 1988. Former member, City of Troy Board of Canvassers. Current member City of Troy Economic Development Corp., (1980-current), City of Troy BRA, 92015- current), and Selective Service Board 065, (2002-current).
Race/ethnicity White
Campaign Website http://N/A
Facebook http://N/A
Twitter http://N/A
YouTube http://N/A
1. The development and maintenance of mass transit systems.Light rail to transport people throughout the Metro area would reduce wear and tear on our roads, reduce emissions and provide transportation to those who can not afford a vehicle or who are not able to drive. The use of a comprehensive bus system would also help, especially for to work transportation. 2.The quality and cost of road maintenance. Potholes and constant construction remain areas of concern. The development of mass transit would help alleviate some of these problems. Study other countries methods of highway construction. 3.Protect and maintain the quality of our water sources and Parks. These are quality of life issues.
Yes.As stated in my previous responses, the development of mass transit systems will reduce wear and tear on roads, make it easier for people who are unable to drive or own a vehicle to be able to get to work, appointments, etc. Light rail would be the primary and a comprehensive bus system would be the secondary. As people enjoy the mass transit locally I believe it would spur the development of high speed rail transportation to cities like Chicago, Cleveland and beyond. The development of improved rail transportation would spur infrastructure development which would create jobs. In the 1930's and 1940's the Detroit area had the best above ground mass transit in the U.S. We can again.
1. Development of light rail. Start with the extension of the M1 line up Woodward and extend spur lines through the County. This will be a long term project done in co-operation with our neighboring counties. 2. Improve and maintain an effective bus system in coordination with light rail. We have a bus system in place and we need to make it as effective as possible to make sure it serves the people who need it, especially those who rely on it to get to and from work. 3. Continue to development bike trails and bike lanes. The use of bikes is not only important from a health perspective, but if used in lieu of cars, a great way to reduce emissions. 4. Effective maintenance of our roads.

Mandatory. More than anything else, these cameras provide our officers with the proof that they are in fact doing their jobs professionally and correctly. Use of the cameras can also provide information that can assist the sheriff's office with ideas for training and improvements to policing work. The cameras let the citizens of the County see what our officers are experiencing and in some instances can provide evidence that may assist in the prosecution of those who are arrested. Long term I believe the benefits of the cameras will outweigh the costs.
Yes. The decriminalization of marijuana will free up police to go after serious crime. We will reduce costs for jail time, court time, etc. We will eliminate putting a criminal record on so many people. The use of marijuana must however come with the same stipulations as the use of alcohol. You drive impaired, you face a DUI charge. You injure somebody while under the influence. you face serious criminal charges.Like alcohol the use must be limited to those of a specific age, i.e. 21. Many will say this is a slippery slope, but with marijuana now being used by so many for medicinal purposes and with so many more medical applications being studied, I believe marijuana is part of our culture
The reality is gun violence is a national problem. A County is limited to what it can do. Mental health services, community policing, citizen participation, etc. reduce gun violence to some extent. The problem of too many people who should not have access to guns having them is the critical problem. Background checks of all gun purchases whether by dealers or privately must be completed and adequate time to complete the checks must be allowed. Strict enforcement of laws must occur, especially on"straw man" purchases. The reduction of poverty, etc and other factors that contribute to crime must be reduced. Finally we must ask do you really need assault rifles on our streets? I say NO!
Education should be in the hands of the local communities. If the County wanted to develop a County-wide district to reduce overlapping costs, that might be a different story. I don't see that happening any time soon.
Infrastructure improvements are needed across the country. We could urge the Federal government to start a series of New Deal type programs such as the Works Progress Administration, the Civilian Conservation Corps, the National Recovery Act, the TVA, and similar programs. These would accomplish two critical goals: the improvement of our roads, bridges, parks, etc. and the creation of millions of jobs. I know how well the term New Deal goes over with our friends in the Republican Party, but I say, give me your ideas. I also believe that climate change is a clear and present danger and programs like these may help us address this issue before it is too late.
If asked by the cities I think the County's financial professionals can offer advice to these cities. I think the best thing the County is doing now is attracting jobs. Jobs create income, companies provide a tax base, workers spend money which helps businesses to thrive which creates a positive environment. As is the case in many areas, Oakland County is a prosperous entity, with pockets of less prosperous communities. The encouragement of business expansion into these area is the only realistic action right now. I don't see one County wide government entity with shared resources ever occurring in my lifetime.
Right now I am satisfied with County services. I would want to monitor our water resources and expand and improve our Parks system within budgetary availability.
No comment at this time.
If vetted correctly no problem. We are a nation of immigrants. I understand the concerns people have. In Italy, there is a province called Avalino. There were three families that came from there to the U.S. One family was fictitious; the Sopranos, of HBO fame. The second was a poor barber who came over with his wife and sons. Their name was Capone, and Al was one of the sons. The third family was the Mainolfi family. Who were they you ask. My maternal grandparents. So you see, while one family was terrible, they were imaginary. The second family was terrible, but we got them and put them away. The third family was law abiding and contributed to society. The same holds true today.
Jobs. Oakland County must continue to add jobs. We also need a Federal government that helps job growth. In 2008 under President Bush we were losing 600,000 jobs a month. Under President Obama we have seen 9.8 million private sector jobs added. We now need to see that continue and to see incomes rise. The raising of the minimum wage will be a step in the right direction. We are a consumer driven economy and for it work we need consumers to have money to spend!i
No comment at this time.
Yes. Although I will admit if the nominee was Bernie Sanders this response would be longer.