Eaton County Treasurer

Eaton County Treasurer, four-year term, vote for 1

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    Mike Atayan

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    Bob Robinson

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Biographical Information

What are the three most important issues facing the office you are running for and how would you address them?

What would you do in your first month in office?

What services do you consider most vital?

What services do you consider least vital?

Which of these can be trimmed to lower expenses?

Are you current in all tax, alimony and child support obligations? Yes or no. If no, please explain.

Hometown Lansing (Delta Township)
Education Graduate of Michigan State University, Graduate of General Motors University, FEMA (Federal Emergency Management Agency) Training, Eaton County Sheriff Office Special Deputy Training Mounted Division, CERT (Community Emergency Response Team) Training
Family Single
Professional Experience Besides a strong educational background, my professional experience consists of General Manager of our family owned full service dealership. I have strong back ground in governmental accounting, budgeting and operations. Strong banking and contract negotiations experience. I have experience writing grant requests along with working together with multiple agencies on large projects. I also have a strong and successful experience in governmental financing and bonding. Always on schedule in addition to balanced budget on numerous large governmental projects. Ability to save money and do more with less.
Political Experience Drain Commissioner, Eaton County (2009, 2010, 2011,2012)
First would be working with local people and local businesses. The current Treasurer uses a St Joseph MI based real estate Auction Company, instead of recruiting local Realtors and local auction companies for these services. The owner of this company just happens to be a large campaign contributor to his election committee. Use low bidder, use local vendors, and Recruit local businesses to assist with services needed by the treasurer’s office. The current Treasurer has increased the Treasurer’s amended budget over 32 percent compared to his predecessor. Working together with families, businesses, financial institutions, and faith based organizations to address tax foreclosure.
Review all debts and obligations and the security and solvency of all county treasury funds. Under current leadership, the treasurer’s office is rife with cronyism and self-dealing. I would place an immediate stop order on any work orders pending and perform a thorough analysis. To help reduce spending, I will aid when needed in securing grants for the sheriff department as well as local fire departments. I will use new fresh ideas regarding writing Brownfield Redevelopment grant requests to help protect property values. I will not take credit for others hard work or exaggerate the facts; I will continue my record in government of being a straight shooter.
In addition to the security of the county’s funds, working with people and businesses on an action plan to help eliminate tax foreclosures. To create a positive community environment that will welcome families and economic growth. Work to make Eaton County more business friendly.
Dog licensing. The policy although required by law, consumes great efforts and discriminates against other domestic pets. Heavy money spent on broad advertising foreclosure prevention. This mass targeting is ineffective to the end user and is wasteful.
Unnecessary travel. Reduce wasteful and needless advertising. Implement a Ban on the Pay to Play system. Mandate a low bid requirement and recruit local businesses to take part in the bid process.
Yes, all my taxes are current. I have never had alimony or child support obligations.
Hometown Vermontville
Education Goodrich High School, 1976; Mott Community College, 1976 – 1978; Lansing Community College, 1998 – present (writing); Michigan State University, 1992 – 1993 Accredited in international public relations – Universal Accreditation Board – Public Relations Society of America; Advanced Certified Public Funds Investment Manager, Municipal Treasurers Association of the United States and Canada
Family Amy Rose Robinson, spouse; Son Jonathan Robinson, 34; Daughter Zoey Robinson, 20; Daughter Keeley Robinson, 16
Professional Experience Self Employed, Robert Anthony Marketing and Communications, 1978 – 2012; Membership Manager – National Association of College and University Food Services, 2008 – 2010; Marketing Director, Michigan Recreation and Parks Association, 2001 – 2008
Political Experience I am currently the treasurer of Eaton County, elected in 2012. I ran for State Representative in 2010 and lost the Primary Election
1) Economic development, 2) Updating and improving the technology and efficiency of the office and, 3) Cultivating better communications between the treasurer’s office and the public. I am moving this vision into reality in several ways. I have refinance old debt and saved taxpayers more than $3,650,000 since 2013. I have reduced annual borrowing by more than $600,000. In 2014 I successfully lobbied for bipartisan state legislation to let the treasurer’s office foreclose tax delinquent properties in Eaton County instead of giving them away to the State (PA 132 of 2014). This has enabled my office to retain more than $300,000 in fees that used to go to the State.
1) Work for reduction of debt, 2) Look for ways to increase revenue through efficiency and reduction of operational cost and, 3) Cultivate better communications between the treasurer’s office, local units of government, and the public. The county has a AA rating from Standard and Poor’s credit rating agency. Sound financial management, diversification in county assets, and good investment practices have enabled us to maintain that rating. I will work to improve it to AAA. I will continue to improve taxpayer service with services such as the new satellite office in Delta Township opened last year for the convenience of residents living in Delta Township and surrounding areas.
The good management of foreclosed property in Eaton County. This helps schools, supports business and agriculture, and will generate millions in economic activity in the years ahead. As we continue foreclosure status in Eaton County, I will study the feasibility of creating an Eaton County Land Bank, a proven tool for reducing vacancy and increasing sagging property values. I will work to alleviate borrowing so the county can operate on a “self-funded” basis, without paying interest and loan costs. I created Eaton County’s first foreclosure prevention nonprofit collaboration to help families, seniors, and veterans avoid tax foreclosure and will maintain those efforts.
Over-the-counter sales of dog licenses. I created an online dog licensing website in 2014 that will save pet owners time, save the county and local units of government manual operating costs, and reduce the expense of dog licensing in the county. I hope to gradually and eventually move most dog licensing to the online system in my next term of office.
While I have refinance old debt and saved taxpayers more than $3,650,000 since 2013, additional savings of $1,500,000 to $200,000,000 are possible with continued analysis of the county's existing debits and refinancing them at lower interest rates. I have reduced annual borrowing by more than $600,000, and will continue to look for ways to reduce borrowing to $0 so that the county can operate on a "self funded" basis in future years, without interest payments and loan costs. Foreclosure status will enable my office to retain more than $300,000 in fees that used to go to the State, which can now be retained in a restricted fund to better manage foreclosed properties.
Yes. I am current on all taxes and hold no interest on any ventures or properties that are tax delinquent. I have been happily married for 22 years and have no alimony or support obligations.