Oakland County Commission District 20

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  • Candidate picture

    David J. Harrell

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    Gary R. McGillivray

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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 53
Family Barbara A. Harrell - Wife
Education B.S. Engineering Management
Vehicles owned Chrysler 200 Ford Escape
Professional Experience 29 years in Engineering and Program Management in the Automotive industry. Small business owner for 7 yrs.
Political Experience My involvement in Republican politics includes:  State convention delegate in most of the last 15 years  Twice elected to the Oakland County Republican Party (OCRP) Executive Committee  On Issues Committee and Budget Committee for OCRP  Elected by peers as County Convention Caucus Chairman in the last several conventions  Secretary of the Troy-Clawson Republican Forum  Active volunteer in many campaigns and events
Race/ethnicity American
Road Improvements Our roads were neglected for many years and Oakland County has had to take on many repairs, but there is more to be done. This will be a budgetary priority for me.

Eliminating Excess Spending I will work tirelessly to prioritize our budget and prevent wasteful spending. I will treat your (and my) tax dollars as if they were my own family budget. I have not and will not vote for any tax increases.

Attracting New Business Oakland County is a great place for business with a highly talented work force. I will help attract new businesses and increase the corporate tax base so we can give tax relief to the residents.
I do not support tax increases. If this is truly needed then government entities should prioritize it in their budgets instead of just piling additional taxes on the hard working citizens of Oakland County. Better yet, if this made economic sense, a private company would create the business case and attract the necessary investors.
I believe that the main transportation priority should be improving the quality of our roads. The automotive capitol of the world should not be suffering with poorly built and poorly maintained roads. We should be researching and investing in the best road technology available and I would like to make Oakland County a leader in road building technology.
I am in favor of anything that helps the sheriff's department to do their job with the professionalism that we are accustomed to seeing. Of course this would need to be accounted for within our current budget.
No. There is nothing positive that would result from more people being intoxicated.
The most appropriate steps to prevent gun violence is to enforce the law and keep criminals off the streets. I believe our sheriff is doing everything possible to take those steps.
If the county can help to eliminate Common Core and improve the curriculum in the schools, then I will work with the local school boards in any way that is requested. Of course, I support local control of schools so that parents have as much input as possible.
I support the prioritizing of the budget to take care of these needs as they come up. We will need to invest in some investigative resources to make sure we are aware of any infrastructure problems before they become critical. We should never have an emergency that surprises us when it comes to infrastructure.
I think the county can provide advice and direction to help cities, but I do not favor any financial bail outs.
Unfortunately, the county clerk's office has degraded significantly in the last few years. We need new leadership in the Clerk's office in order to improve the responsiveness and to catch up to current technology. Fortunately, Oakland County voters can fix this problem themselves in November.
The biggest concern is maintaining our excellent budget planning that goes at least 3 years out and helps to make Oakland County the best run county in the country. We need to retain Republican control of the Executive and County Commission or we may never see another balanced and fiscally responsible budget again. As far as specific concerns - I would prioritize road improvements and maintaining our Sheriff's office but do not want to increase overall spending. If the economy starts improving, county revenues should also improve and we can speed up our efforts to correct road and infrastructure issues.
Under the Obama administration we are being forced to secretly take in "refugees" that are not vetted and that are not being investigated. I don't think that this administration can be trusted to bring in refugees and I do not support more coming in at this time.
I will promote economic growth and bringing in new business to allow people to move up the economic ladder. I believe that most people prefer to benefit from taking advantage of new economic opportunities rather than hoping for government hand outs.
The county can be a resource to connect people to companies and education institutions that have development programs. I would seek out and meet with these companies and institutions and work out a process that helps the citizens of Oakland County make a connection to the program that will work for them.
I will do what is necessary to prevent Hillary Clinton from becoming President.
City of residence Madison Heights
Age 64
Family Married to Diane (41 yrs,) Two Adult Children Andy (37) Amy (33)
Education Oakland Community College (Law Enforcement) Dondero High School - Royal Oak
Vehicles owned Ford Explorer
Professional Experience 31 years Circulation Management ( Daily Tribune & Macomb Daily
Political Experience Mayor for two years & 24 years on Madison Heights City Council. Oakland County Commissioner 2009 to present
Race/ethnicity White / Scottish
Campaign Website
Incumbent? yes
Top Priority Issues County and Local Roads – Recently I played a major role in setting up a Bi-Party program so that Cities and Villages will have additional dollars for local road projects. We must work toward more durable roads so they last much longer. Parks - Nice parks will draw residents and business to live and work in Oakland County.It’s important to provide the parks, Wave pools, Golf courses, Campgrounds, Nature Centers and Walking Trails for the families of Oakland County. As a board member of Oakland County Parks, my goal is to create more recreation programs for families. Economy - I support good programs like Automation Alley and Medical Main Street
Yes, If you look at all the larger metro cities they have some kind of a regional transit system. It we be vital to have that system if Detroit and the region hopes to bring our population and business back. Will I use a regional system? Probably not, but I'm looking at this for all of our grandchildren. Just maybe if we had a Regional Transit system, we won't need to widen freeways every 10 or 15 years at a much higher cost.
Look at higher standards for road builders. Our roads must be built to last longer than 7 - 10 years. Other states with our winters can do it, why can't we. Some roads in Europe last 50 PLUS years.
Body cameras would make for a more open police force but I'm not so sure we need it. Sure we have a few bad eggs out there, but we must consider how this will impact the law enforcement community and our legal system. Do we need to make it easier for our government workers to get sued
No. We already have traffic accidents caused by drinking drivers. Do we need to add a chance for more traffic fatalities ?
As a member the Public Services Committee on Gun Safety, we have talked to Education leaders, Law Enforcement Leaders, Mental Heath Leaders and State and Federal Law Enforcement Leaders. We have done several P.S.A.'s on Gun Violence which has aired on several TV stations. We have also had Gun Lock programs for free gun locks. And we continue to work on this major problem.
We have used County tax dollars on anti- bulling programs in our schools. I have attended several classrooms over the years to teach them about how Government works. The County Commission really does not have a role in public education.
Better construction of our roads. How about warranties from our Road contractors ? As you know, no one wants to pay more in taxes either property or Gas & Weight taxes. Most all funding comes through the state for infrastructure. The state keeps "passing the buck" onto the county.
I believe there are ways the county can help the cities. Combined Dispatch throughout the county. Auburn Hills just save several hundred thousand dollars by switching over to our county dispatch systems. A county wide Dog Catcher, so that all these cities could save money.
Dispatching Public Safety as I stated above. We could have four dispatch centers (north, south, east & west ) for all police and fire. We could also make them detention center for local police departments
The biggest concern is spending our tax dollars wisely. We should not be just spending because we have it. We need to be sure we are getting the best bang for our tax dollars.
I have no problem with refugees coming to Oakland County or Michigan. What makes United States, Michigan and Oakland County a great place to live is the diversity of our Country. I have relatives as does everyone who at one time came from a foreign county.
I and my family have fallen on hard times years back when I was layed off. I think it's important that we help those folks out when they need it most. It is also important to help them find jobs to be able to return to living on their own.
Programs like Automation Alley and Medical Main Street are great programs to help people return to the workforce. I would also support Michigan Works! that does a fine helping those families get back on their feet.
Yes I do support the Democratic nominee. Yes I would appear with the Democratic nominee.