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Michigan Representative District 86

Choose one candidate. Representatives in the Michigan State House serve two-year terms and receive an annual salary of $71,685.

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  • Thomas A. Albert
    (Rep)

  • Bill Gelineau
    (L)

  • Candidate picture

    Lynn Mason
    (Dem)

  • Candidate picture

    Cliff Yankovich
    (Grn)

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Biographical Information

How should the state assist other municipalities and school districts whose solvency is threatened by its financial obligations to current and future retirees?

Is the way the state funds our cities adequate to ensure safety and service delivery? If not, what changes would you support to our municipal finance model?

When cities are struggling, what is the appropriate way for the state to intervene? Should state intervention – through the emergency manager law or some other avenue – come with dollars attached? Why or why not?

How would you rate the state’s response to the Flint water crisis?

Explain your answer and what you would do, if anything, to improve the state’s response.

How would you rate the federal government’s response to the Flint water crisis?

Explain your answer and what you would do, if anything, to improve the federal government’s response.

Have you ever been convicted of a felony or misdemeanor? If so, explain.

Have you ever filed for personal bankruptcy? If so, explain.

Do you believe Michigan’s tax system is generally fair? If not, what changes do you support?

Would you support the establishment of a Detroit Educational Commission that would have authority to site, open and close traditional public and charter schools?

What changes, if any, would you support in the way Michigan authorizes and regulates charter schools?

Do you favor amending the Elliott-Larsen Civil Rights Act to prohibit discrimination based on a person’s sexual orientation or gender identity?

Do you support state-level laws modeled on the federal Restoration of Religious Freedom Act?

Have you signed any public pledge to support or oppose any organization’s public policy objectives, such as outlawing abortion or barring any increase in taxes?

Do you support legislation to minimize or eliminate the influence of political parties on drawing lines for legislative districts?

Do you support decriminalization of recreational marijuana?

Do you support and will you appear at campaign events with your party’s presidential nominee?

Do you support the renewal and/or expansion of renewable energy mandates for Michigan energy producers?

Do we incarcerate too many people in Michigan? What would you change in the criminal justice system?

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City of residence Belding, MI
Age 59
Family Husband Frank Mason, Son Martin Mason, Son Richard Mason, I have 2 grandchildren.
Education Belding High School Graduate, Bachelor Degree Grand Valley State, Master Degree Grand Valley State
Vehicles owned Jeep Grand Cherokee, Pontiac Firebird
Professional Experience Belding Area Schools teacher 1986-2012, Co-owner of apple orchard, Member of MSU Extension State Council, Chaired Substance Use Disorder Commission, Chaired Midwest MI Rail Trail Authority, Chapter President of Delta Kappa Gamma International, and many other community organizations.
Political Experience Ionia County Board of Commissioners 2006-2014, Chairperson of Ionia County Democratic Party, Precinct Delegate
Race/ethnicity Caucasian
Incumbent? false
The state should be monitoring municipalities and school districts on a regular basis to forestall solvency issues. There should be training and mentoring on how to budget for long term obligations. An obligation is a contract meant to be kept. If the state were adequately funding our municipalities and schools, if the pension funds would be paid back from past withdrawals, and if there were more investments in our public infrastructure, the retiree obligations would not be an issue. Gaining revenue through making Michigan great again, leads to less pressure on local governments.
According to US Census data, Michigan was the only state in the country that provided fewer economic resources to cities in 2012 than it did in 2002. It also showed Michigan dead last over the past 10 years in municipal growth and state investment in local governments. The Detroit Free Press itself has reported this data. This disinvestment indicates a lack of vision from our current legislature. Long term planning, which includes an increase in revenue sharing, taking a good look at regional service coordination (transit as an example), and concentrating on finding reliable revenue will be ways to bring Michigan up from the bottom. A change in budget priorities will help us be strong again.
When cities struggle, there are many reasons. Population loss, mismanagement, recession, and cuts to revenue sharing are examples. State law allows the governor and the legislature to set the formula for the statutory portion of revenue sharing. The current, one-party ruled, legislature has continued the trend of causing a shortfall in this portion of revenue sharing. During the last 12 fiscal years, this trend amounts to more than $6 billion. Therefore, the state should fulfill its obligations and intervene by changing the formula for revenue sharing. Let’s give local municipalities the revenue they need and watch thriving communities return. Using unelected, undemocratic EMs is wrong.
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The state’s response to Flint was embarrassingly slow, lacked transparency, and continues to show a lag in accountability. The Snyder Administration and the majority party in the legislature prefer to coast when it comes to dealing with our state’s desperate infrastructure needs, as opposed to taking strong and professional action. Let’s push for a long term strategic plan for rebuilding infrastructure, borrow the money taking advantage of low interest rates, put Michigan people to work and watch our communities grow. Flint and our state deserve better.
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I believe the Flint "manmade" disaster has many dirty hands to blame. The federal government’s place is to identify the scope of the problem, mitigate, advise and help with future long term planning. I think their role was adequate. It is my hope that everyone at the local, state, and national levels now understand that those who are charged with keeping our citizens safe and healthy is a collaborative job. We all expect qualified, competent, and professional action by those at the policy level and those who do the work.
no.
no.
I believe Michigan’s tax system is unfair. If an average Michigan citizen was to add up how much they pay in property taxes, sales tax, fuel tax, and income tax, they may be upset. Especially when they look at what percentage of their income it is. According to an article in the Detroit News in July 2014, the bottom 80% of families making $88,000 per year or less, contribute 9.2-9.5% of their income, while the wealthiest 1% contribute only 5.9%. That doesn’t seem fair to me. I support a graduated income tax, like some 30 other states have. Everyone contributing their fair share would allow us to fix our crumbling infrastructure and provide all kids the education they need.
I support a Detroit Ed. Commission. I saw the proposed commission as a collaboration of education experts, local citizens, business owners, and elected officials. The decision on the number of schools and the location should be a locally made decision.
If a charter school is designated a “public school”—it should play by the same rules as traditional public schools. I do not support for-profit charter or cyber schools. No one should be making a profit off of our kids and their educations. I believe that all charter schools that take taxpayer money should be operated and authorized by the elected school board in whose district they reside.
Yes. I am opposed to discrimination in any form. This amendment is the right thing to do.
I oppose discrimination in any form. There needs to be a common sense balance between religious liberties and business or government needs.
I signed a pledge to repeal the Right to Work for Less legislation.
Yes. I support a non-partisan commission to draw legislative districts. This is long overdue. The people are supposed to elect their representatives, not the other way around.
Yes. I also support a strong, well funded system for prevention and treatment of Substance Use Disorder.
Yes.
I support requiring Michigan’s utility companies to achieve at least a 1.5 percent annual increase in energy efficiency. Replacing fossil fuels with clean and renewable energy sources such as wind, solar, geothermal, and efficiency is extremely important. Many people at the doors I knock, say the same thing.
I do believe that we incarcerate too many people in our criminal justice system. I am a strong supporter of prevention strategies. There should be greater investment in pre-k and higher education than in prisons and jails. There are too many people incarcerated with minor drug related and non-violent crimes. Substance Use Disorder is not a crime, but rather a health issue.
City of residence Ada, MI
Mailing Address 8639 52nd St.
Ada, MI 49301
Age 58
Family Julie Claire DeVoe - wife James Bolan - son Ella Bolan -daughter Amy Tiemeyer - daughter
Education Forest Hills Northern HS - 1976 Grad GIA Diamonds Graduate - 1998
Vehicles owned 2015 Toyota Prius
Professional Experience Chimera Design has been on Main Street in Lowell since 2002. It is a mom and pop jewelry store. Prior to that I was in the wholesale jewelry business after leaving WITL-FM in Lansing.
Political Experience Precinct delegate Republican Party. Lobbied congress regarding internet taxation.
Race/ethnicity White-ish.
Incumbent? false
The emergency manager plan clearly does not work. I would like to see a more cooperative method put in place. One that would allow the State to have oversight while at the same time respecting and empowering the local officials who were put in office by the people of the particular municipality or school district. By this I do not mean creating the illusion of empowerment, but keeping the power intact with assistance from the State official(s) sent to assist the situation. I believe we need to do away with Us vs Them thinking and work together for solutions for the good of all concerned.
I make no claim at expertise on this subject. The best answer at this time would be to make any and all bills regarding financing limited in their scope to just the issue at hand. The current practice of attachments obfuscates the issue and is done many times to actually impede any progress intended by the drafting of the initial bill.
As I mentioned in the first question, my focus would be on a more cooperative level. Party politics must be put aside because the failure of a municipality or school district has a debilitating effect on the entire State. Like it or not, the failure of a school system on one side of the state does have consequences all over the Mitten. As a Green Candidate who cannot accept PAC or Corporate monies, I am confident that I will be able to keep the greater good of everyone concerned in perspective to help my District and the State move forward.
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Flint demonstrates my point about the failure of the EM model. At this point I think the State should spare NO expense to address everything than can be addressed including the replacement of all the pipes ruined by the total mishandling of the situation. Lead in water will have terrible long term consequences - children have been poisoned. If it take millions to replace the pipes, then so be it. If we can find millions to give billionaires for stadiums, then we have enough money to address this NOW.
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This is a tough question. When you have a State government that thumbs its collective noses at Federal government UNTIL it needs financial help it creates an adversarial set of conditions. My method to improve on a situation like this would be to foster more of a cooperative method of doing business from the outset. Government was created to provide and insure things we cannot do on our own - water and other infrastructure are prime examples. Safety and health need to be the priority - not cronyism and party politics. By refusing PAC money, Green candidates can look out for the interests of the people, not whom ever wrote a big check.
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The biggest change I would like to promote is the recognition from everyone that taxes are not The Great Evil. If we want to have safe drinking water, sturdy bridges, smooth roads, and other infrastructure which benefits everyone, those items need to be paid for. That being said, gasoline taxes should build roads and bridges - by that I mean we need to keep the purpose and use of taxes easily understood and tracked. I do NOT favor tax breaks for billionaires and huge corporations. e.g. Nestle does not need 13 million in savings to come and drain our aquifers for a pittance in order for them to make more millions.
Yes, I believe the local authorities need to be given more power. They have the knowledge of the area far better than a hired gun sent in to oversee from Lansing would.
As a former Republican the concept of charter schools had initial appeal to me. The luster is long gone. After observing charter schools in our state, I believe it is simply a grab for profit and little else. When you combine the push for standardized testing with the inclusion of teachers with little or no training it becomes clear that the end game is to create schools devoid of the creativity and the potential of reaching the individual student who might learn differently and just create an assembly line to line the pockets of a few. If we truly value our children, then professional, qualified teachers should be celebrated with well paying, secure jobs.
Yes. The will of the people in Michigan and across the country is clear. We can no longer discriminate against any group of people for any reason.
Not when they are used by a particular religion to oppress the rights and freedoms of other people.
No. This is the beauty of being a Green candidate who cannot and will not accept PAC money from any group. Candidates from both of the big parties constantly point out the "special interests" that fill the coffers of the other side. (Even when many times money is given to both by the really wealthy donors.) The voters in my District can put full faith in my clearly stated position:"I will put the best interests of the tax payers of Michigan as a whole, and the 86th District in particular, ahead of my own interests and ahead of the interests of large corporations and companies."
Yes indeed. The answer lies in total elimination or total cooperation. I do not think cooperation between the big two parties is likely, so elimination is the answer. Gerrymandering is a stain on our system, no matter who puts it in practice. This is more true now than ever because of the technology that allows lines to be drawn down the center of a street if need be. Putting men and women from the Green Party or simply a group of empowered citizens from all parties in charge of this activity would eliminate the problem. The result of tossing out all the partisan blockages could mean Districts with easily understood boundaries which would save a lot of time and money for everyone concerned.
Yes. I favor it for a number of reasons. Michigan can look to Colorado for the tax revenue benefits.But beyond that it is time to end the travesty we call the War on Drugs. People in Michigan and in America use marijuana at the same rate across racial, social, and income lines - but the ones who end up in prison for the same tend to be the poor and people of color. Marijuana should be treated like alcohol. The will of the people of Michigan was demonstrated in the recent campaign, which was blocked, to get this matter on the ballot this fall.
Certainly. I was pleased to hear Jill Stein and her vice presidential pick Ajamu Baraka speak in Detroit when they visited in September. Their vision for lessening our military budget and their push for creating an economy based on Green energy creation and consumption gave me a renewed sense of purpose. They are not blinded by big money, their hearts are on fire for the regular men and women of this country. They have a sustainable long term vision involving energy, education, and health care that I completely support.
Without a doubt. What a shame that we argue this in Michigan and America in general when second and third world countries are moving forward in leaps and bounds. (Never mind what Germany and other first world countries are doing.) Bangledesh is providing rooftop solar power to thousands and Chile is producing an immense amount of solar power. Once again, the specter of PAC money comes into the picture - Big Oil has a lock on Lansing as demonstrated by the existence of Pipeline #5 under two of our Great Lakes. The time has come to walk away from the technology of the last century and move forward. The more renewable energy we use and demand, the lower the price for it will be.
Yes. First and foremost drug offenders need to be returned to freedom - by that I mean those who have done no harm to anyone else. The first step would be to decriminalize marijuana and grant amnesty to those imprisoned for the use of it. Secondly, the model of For Profit Prisons is a massive failure. The Federal government has recognized this. Incarceration should be a last resort reserved only for those who harm or demonstrate a clear intention to harm others. Imprisoning people is EXPENSIVE and self-defeating.

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