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Delta Chrt Twp Trustee, 4-Year Term {_getChooseLabel(this.selections.length)}

Delta Charter Twp Trustee, 4-Year Term, vote for 4

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  • Candidate picture

    Andrea M. Cascarilla
    (Dem)

  • Leslie A. Denardo
    (Rep)

  • Candidate picture

    Dennis Fedewa
    (Dem)

  • Linda Marquardt
    (Rep)

  • Karen J. Mojica
    (Dem)

  • Candidate picture

    Deana Newman
    (Dem)

  • Rick Olivarez
    (Rep)

  • Carah J. Spadafore
    (Rep)

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Biographical Information

What makes you more qualified than other candidates for this office?

Do you support raising taxes as a way to pay for road improvements? Yes or no, please explain.

Are you comfortable with the structure and scope of local government? Yes or no, please explain.

Related to government structure, what would you change?

What are the three most important issues facing the city/township and how would you address them?

As property tax revenue and state aid decline, is it appropriate for the county to assume a larger role in providing services to city/township residents? Yes or no, please explain.

What city services do you consider most vital?

What city/township services are least vital and 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 Born in Delta Township
Education BA in Economics from Michigan State University with an emphasis in public finance
Family Married to Chuck Cascarilla for 23 years with three children: Charles Jr., Kayla and Virginia.
Professional Experience Chair - Delta Township Planning Commission (commissioner since 2010) Legislative Director - Acuitas (2014 - present) Chief of Staff - Michigan State Senate (2003-2013) Legislative Aide - Michigan House of Representative (1989-2002)
Political Experience 2012 State House Candidate
As a native of Delta who raised my family in the township, I believe my experience as a member and Chair of the Delta Township Planning Commission, a successful government relations professional who is a proven problem solver and coalition builder, and a senior legislative staff member doing policy and appropriations work on numerous issues impacting local governments, together with my education in economics and public finance and my involvement in the community through the Kiwanis of Delta Township and my church, St. Gerard, make me uniquely qualified for this position.
I supported allowing residents the opportunity to vote on a local road millage to fund road improvements in Delta Township and Eaton County. That millage was approved by the electorate.
I generally believe Delta Township officials and staff provide very responsive, efficient and effective government services. However, I know that periodic reviews and assessments are important to ensure continued improvement in the delivery and scope of services provided.
I am not aware of any serious concerns with government structure that demand immediate change, but do intend to continue to review and evaluate services and structure to ensure that the reflect the priorities of the residents the township serves.
Ensuring Delta Township remains a desireable, affordable & livable community as it continues to grow & evolve is critical. This requires balancing strong neighborhoods with healthy job growth to support working families, investments in valued services (including our parks & pathways and public safety) and quality schools. That balance and distribution of resources and services must be struck throughout the township and for all residents.
I do not believe there is a need for Eaton County to assume a larger role in providing services to Delta Township residents. There is very little, if any, overlap in the services provided by these two different levels of government.
Public safety, roads and our parks/pathways.
Delta Township continues to operate in a very fiscally sound manner. It has been very responsible in its use of taxpayer resources. I support the ongoing review of the costs and benefits of the services the township provides to identify potential efficiencies and opportunities to reduce costs while meeting the priorities of Delta Township residents.
Yes.
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Hometown Delta Township
Education Masters & B.A. Public Administration Fellow at MSU Political Leadership Program
Professional Experience 35 years of fiscal and executive management with the State of Michigan. Former Chief Deputy Director of the Michigan Department of Natural Resources. Former Director of Administration of the Michigan Department of Environmental Quality. Former Michigan Aeronautics Commissioner.
Political Experience Trustee, Delta Charter Township
During my 35 year career in state government, I worked for both the executive and legislative branches. This gives me a unique understanding of how policy and administrative responsibilities should interrelate. I was also responsible for managing the fiscal affairs of state department budgets exceeding $500 million. My fiscal background gives me a clear understanding how Delta Township's $40 million annual budget and financial condition should be managed.
Yes. Public infrastructure is paid through dedicated taxes, fees and assessments. We tend to ignore our infrastructure investment until it becomes so degraded, it costs even more to repair or replace. Unlike cities, townships have no authority over their roads which are managed by their independently run county road commissions. This is problematic for urban townships like Delta which constitute over a third of Eaton County’s economic base and population.
No. The laws governing townships were first written in a different era. They have been amended piece meal for decades. The statutes governing general law and charter townships should be re-codified wholesale and reflect today’s responsibilities of township government.
Urban townships should have the same authority and be treated equally as cities. Delta Township with a population of 33,000 is not the same as a city of 5,000. Yet, cities receive preferential status is many areas such as direct distributions from the Michigan Transportation Fund for their local roads, for example.
We must continue our focus on the East Saginaw Corridor so our older neighborhoods and businesses will not be left behind. We are in the process of modernizing our zoning code which will encourage redevelopment.

We need to boldly pursue our non-motorized trail plan. Demographers tell us an important consideration young talent, families and retirees have in common are a community’s outdoor assets, especially trails. Delta has a great trail plan to interconnect our neighborhoods, schools and business but little has been done for almost 10 years! Delta also needs to connect to the Lansing River Trail to make a truly regional interconnected trail system.
No. That may make sense for smaller, rural townships or small, isolated cities but not for a large, urban township like Delta. We actually provide services to neighboring communities and even the county itself on a collaborative basis, such as elections training, fire protection services and assessing, for example.
Of course the most vital are the health and safety services provided by the township. But increasingly are the recreational opportunities our residents desire for a meaningful quality of life.
To put this question in perspective, the City of Lansing’s general operating millage is 19.44 and Delta Township’s general operating millage is 4.92. We do not provide social service or public health programs. We contract with the Eaton County Sheriff’s Office for police services but we do have our own fire and EMS services. Delta also has very low administrative overhead costs. The remaining discretionary costs would be our parks and recreation programs which are very popular with our residents. In short, Delta provides great value at very low cost to our residents.
Yes, I am current in all taxes,. Alimony and child support do not apply.
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Hometown Chicago, Illinois
Education •Master of Public Health - Michigan State University •Master of Health Communication - Michigan State University •Bachelor of Science in Perfusion Technology - Rush University •Bachelor of Science in Biology - Kentucky State University
Family David L. Newman - Husband (10 years) Lola M. Newman - Daughter (6yrs old) Coltrane - Family Schnauzer
Professional Experience •Health Policy Analyst Lead - Michigan Public Health Institute •Cardiovascular Perfusionist, 13-years •Freelance health & wellness journalist
Political Experience N/A
Having over a decade of combined responsibilities as a medical professional, freelance health and wellness writer, researcher, and public health policy analyst, I am additionally passionate in community engagement and advocating for the basic necessity of healthy living environments for everyone. Life and professional experiences, coupled with, understanding the importance of viewing all policies through the lens of health, have prepared me for innovative leadership within my community. During campaign season and beyond, creating a space for open dialogue with every stakeholder will remain my number one priority to successfully attain feasible goals with continuous positive outcomes.
As revenue generated from current gas tax continues to decline quantitatively, as well as, our capacity to meet the 80/20 requirement for additional Federal assistance, I am definitely in support of raising taxes to meet the dire needs of rebuilding Michigan’s infrastructure. Roads and bridges are what we rely on daily to care for our professional and personal livelihoods and they deserve proper attention to ensure public safety is prioritized.
While I am comfortable with the structure and scope of local government, the culture of its implementation is not always in alignment with its innate purpose. Typically, every layer of governmental entities operate in silos which creates barriers to leveraging full capacity and progress. This phenomenon can be alleviated through both developing and evaluating strategic plans for long-term stakeholder engagement.
I would help to develop a continuous space for open dialogue with every stakeholder to help solidify an understanding of mutual requirements to build long-lasting trust and productive collaborations.
Present concerns include progressing economic development, building a healthier community, and executing road improvements. My plan involves: 1) Engaging with LEAP, the LRCC, and MEDC to expand economic growth & redevelopment opportunities while advocating for the middle class. 2) Active participation in the planning of non-motorized transportation routes to facilitate a healthy lifestyle for all residents. 3) Working with the Legislature to prevent the shifting of constitutional revenue sharing from the Township, due to potential variances between projected v/s actual revenues, to help meet the deliverable needs of our Township’s adopted 2014-2019 Capital Improvements Program and beyond.
The sustainability of revenue generation is very important and should remain a focused/shared effort within every level of government to promote both quality and efficiency. The party who assumes a greater role in the provision of certain services can only be determined by both evaluating and leveraging available resources, and is not limited to the county.
Developing diverse communities, ensuring the public’s safety, protecting the well-being of environmental and land use, and expanding access to reliable public transportation are my service delivery priorities.
While every aspect of city/township services are vital, those entities which may be reorganized to lower expenses, without compromising quality and efficiency, are those with regionalization capabilities. Research is key for successful implementation.

For example, in 2012, Plante Moran published results from their Shared Public Services Initiative study to discover collaborative options amongst six independently operated Capitol Area Fire Departments (including Delta Township). As a result of exploring the possibilities, today these six departments have increased their capacity to provide stellar protection across municipal borders while leveraging financial resources collectively.
Tax payments are current, while alimony and child support obligations are not applicable.
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