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Oakland County Commission District 18

Choose one candidate. Oakland County commissioners serve two-year terms and receive an annual salary of $33,717.

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  • Candidate picture

    Helaine Zack
    (Dem)

  • Candidate picture

    Steven Zimberg
    (Rep)

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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 Huntington Woods
Age 63
Family Husband, 3 daughters and 2 son-in-laws
Education BA, University of Michigan MSW, University of Michiga
Vehicles owned Ford Escape and Chevrolet Malibu in the family
Professional Experience Over 35 years experience in the Employee Assistance Program field
Political Experience County Commissioner since 2003
Race/ethnicity Caucasian
Campaign Website http://FriendsofHelaineZack
Incumbent? yes
1. Improve roads and infrastructure-invest more Oakland County dollars in roads and infrastructure repairs to support local community upgrades 2. Protect Drinking Water-Test drinking water in schools and child care centers, closely oversee GLWA operations, maintain close oversight of wells and septic systems, and invest Oakland County dollars to add to WRAP (water assistance program) for residents 3. Strengthen family economic security- Increase job development and training programs and promote better human resource policies such as earned sick leave for part-time employees
Absolutely! I am a champion for regional transit. I serve on the Citizens Advisory Council for RTA and ACT, A Coalition for Transit. Personally, I would prefer to use public transit if it was "Rapid, Reliable and Regional." In particular, regional transit is important to help seniors and others with disabilities be more independent. Regional transit is critical to get employees to and from jobs that cross County lines.
Presently, I hope that leaders in Oakland County will support the proposed RTA plan. In the future, I would like to see that the Oakland County SMART millage be renewed without allowing communities to opt out.
I am in favor of body cameras, providing that funding can be budgeted appropriately.
I am in favor of regulation.
The Board of Commissioners conducted a study several years ago about how to make Oakland County safer from gun violence. Many public service announcements, gun lock safety days and educational programs have resulted. The Sheriff's department and most local police departments in Oakland County regularly participate in specialized, "active shooter" trainings. The County is also investing in more security measures through out the County buildings.
The County does not oversee education; this is a State responsibility. However, the County partners with Oakland Intermediate School System on programs such as anti-bullying and preventing suicide when it can.
Oakland County needs to provide more funding to help local communities upgrade infrastructure. We have a new pilot program that allows Cities and Villages to match funds to do local road repairs. There is another long standing, Tri-Party program, that matches County, Road Commission and local dollars to do road repairs. I would like to replicate and invest more in these types of programs to address other infrastructure issues beyond roads.
The County does not give struggling cities money or free services. However, the County offers services such as policing or dispatch through the Sheriff's department at cost.
The Animal Care Center needs improvement and is getting a new building to improve operations. I would also like to change some of the existing animal care policies. Overall the Health Department is run well. However, I would like to reinstate family planning services and emergency contraception that were available until 2002. Affordable Housing is a big problem in Oakland County. Like Wayne County, Oakland County could use some CDBG (community development block grant) funding differently to invest in affordable housing initiatives
Oakland County is fiscally balanced. Oakland County does three year budgets and forecasts beyond three years. Actually, I would prefer to use more fund balance to help communities address infrastructure issues.
I support settling refugees in Michigan and Oakland County, providing that they undergo the legal, immigration screening process
Again, I would like to see more County investment in affordable housing collaboratives and job development and training programs.
There are numerous creative, evidenced based job development programs in other parts of the Country, such as P2E (Platform to employment). We need to bring more attention and resources to Oakland County to invest in workforce development efforts.
Yes
No
No
City of residence Huntington Woods
Age 60
Family Son and Daughter
Education Hillsdale College
Vehicles owned three
Professional Experience Certified Financial Planner, Certified Paralegal, Union Electrician, Business Executive. Held executive Office in each field.
Political Experience Executive Board Oakland County Republican Party, Precinct Delegate State Convention, Dads and Moms of Michigan
Falling behind in property taxes is bad enough but a first year 35% interest and penalty is usurious. Our cities and county should not be ripping off homeowners. A simple bond fund would do wonders while make our communities and families stronger.

Needing lawyers for most every little problem is wrong and must be changed. Especially when nobody can ascertain the outcome of anything anymore. Judges need to be held to the rule of law. Allow paralegals more latitude is one good way to begin.

Help our college graduates restructure their loans in exchange for staying and working in our community. We can achieve this with a lower interest bond.
I personally do not support this millage or plan. We can do better. $2.9 Billion is a lot of money with limit benefits. Yes, we should be putting some money aside for regional transit because it is a problem, especially with 20% of vehicle owners driving without insurance. It simply does not address the real problems equally nor economically. With the lower cost of gas and more efficient buses, we should improve this classic standard first. We could provide 10,000 vehicles each year for this amount which just illustrates how munch we are talking about here.
The need to help citizens get around is critical especially with the increasingly high cost of living. Since the plan only addresses limited areas, we should provide better busing and routes first. So improve our existing bus system.
If it is not a nuisance for the officers they should have body cameras as an elective. It will hold both sides to a higher standard of courtesy for one another, especially towards the officer.
The cost of litigation and incarceration for this one offense alone is asinine. Until recently, nearly half of those incarcerated we there for marijuana possession. My guess is we will not require all the jail space anymore and that is a good thing. It also has rid the community of illegal dealers.who also paid no taxes on their profits. However, if someone wants to come to work stoned, or drive stoned. No problem, they’re fired and thrown in jail.
No, they allow mind altering prescriptions almost along with the permits. Pick your drugs or your guns but not both. Our prescription drug problem is a far greater problem. This can be expanded to include other common sense limits as well.
Wake up people. Our kids were brought up in broken families. Many have lost their heritage, respect and values. Many have been raised on meds. Common Core advances a terrible and limiting mind set for our kids. These are our future leaders. Like Chief Sitting Bull said, “Let us put our minds together and see what life we can make for our children”. So far we flunked miserably.
Like the transit plan, start putting some money aside to reduce the higher cost down the road. This is too big a problem to handle in one quick swoop especially when it is not our only problem.
The county with its AAA bond rating can do a lot. They should create a pooled structure to allow qualified cities to convert some high interest loans into lower interest loans. Especially now while rates are low. The important thing here is there should not be an indefinite free lunch.
Number one is correct the family courts and stop noncompetitive court referrals. They cannot go to one group whose owner is affiliated with the Judge or county relative. When a decision has the appearance of impropriety, it must be avoided even if the cost is greater. This has been ruining tens of thousands of lives for the benefit of a handful… and hurting our kids the most. Imagine what this has cost the taxpayer now and down the road.
Our water drain system is getting worse and worse as we have more cement and less greenery. Whether the billions of damage is personal or public matters not. The aftermath is devastating and mostly avoidable. We cannot rely on FEMA. We must learn to slow and divert the flow of water before the next crisis surprises us.
We have always accepted refugees. However, where they hate America, hate Jews and Christians, when their own schooling promotes terrorism, in these instances I would say sorry but no.
Unfortunately, it is increasingly difficult to be successful and independent. So we must have more affordable housing along with the other necessities of life and survival. However, any recipient must not get this money automatically nor indefinitely. We can reduce the red tape, however, recipients should serve the community in some fashion and be involved for their own good. We should each be grateful for the others assistance.
I would promote for a moratorium on international chain stores from moving into our community. The small family business must be able to compete and survive. They need less red tape in hundreds of areas. Even the largest business in the world would not have made it today so how can the little guy? For example, Sebastian Kresge had about 80 department stores before he incorporated years later. Just imagine how that would have worked out today. We need the entrepreneurs.
First, let me say that 95% of Americans feel the same way about most important things. Nobody likes Trumps mouth sometimes, but I believe his heart is in the right place. While he lacks politically correct standards, he does learn quickly. He knows how to put together a winning and dedicated team. He wants to do what’s right and make this country great again. We cannot let the wealthy rip us off. We can no longer give everyone everything. Overall, we now owe over $100 trillion dollars and the idea of double or nothing is unacceptable. Washington has become a greedy bully and must be stopped. As a business and economics person and considering the options, I support Trump.
Yes, when I was 28. I was a part owner of a mini warehouse and about 20 condos. The economy turned and I got stuck with millions in debt. I wasn’t in charge of the finances but I had my feet in the fire. Yes the fire was really hot and I melted. I learned many lessons from all this of course.
No, my record is clean. But most of us have been in the wrong place at the wrong time and perhaps done the wrong thing. I had fun growing up and suppose if everything we ever did was under a microscope, absolutely we are all guilty. It doesn’t have to be theft or murder… getting caught with a roach when it was illegal could cause this. Wanna help out the work force... expunge from the record all those past minor marijuana possession crimes.

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