Macomb County Commission District 10

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  • Candidate picture

    Linda Burns Torp

  • Candidate picture

    Robert A. Leonetti

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Biographical Information

What are the most pressing challenges facing the county in the next four years?

What are the county's biggest budgetary concerns, and how would you address them?

How would you propose handling the county jail population and existing and future criminal justice programs?

How would you propose having the county's executive and legislative branches of government work together more cooperatively?

What is your stance on raising elected officials salaries? If you support raises, what kind of raises do you support for the county's non-elected employees?

What programs would you enhance or introduce countywide and why?

What programs would you propose cutting countywide and why?

Which county-provided services need the most improvement, and what suggestions can you offer for making them better?

What is the county’s role in assisting financially struggling cities?

Do you support the proposed millage to fund regional transit in metro Detroit? Why or why not?

What is your position on outfitting the county sheriff’s department with body cameras?

Do you support the legalization of recreational marijuana?

With reports showing Michigan behind on education, what role if any do you see the county taking to improve education?

Has the county taken appropriate steps to prevent gun violence?

What is the county’s role in assisting financially struggling cities?

Where do you stand on settling refugees in Michigan, and Macomb County in particular?

What will you do to improve the lives of low-income residents in Macomb County?

What would you do to improve the county’s workforce development efforts?

How would your policies help to fix aging infrastructure in Macomb County?

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 Harrison Township
Family Widow, son and daughter, three step-daughters, grandchildren
Education Bachelor of Arts Degree, Human Resources Administration, Concordia College
Vehicles owned 2014 Ford Edge
Professional Experience MetLife - 1988-2011 Benefits Administration and IT Insurance agent, mutual funds sales; Warren Consolidated Schools 1982-1988 Adult Education Facilitator
Political Experience Macomb County Republican Party, 2014-present - Chairman, 2012-2014 - Executive Director, 2008-present - Precinct delegate
Race/ethnicity Caucasian, Irish
Campaign Website
YouTube http://N/A
We need to make sure government does not stand in the way of job growth. Lowering taxes to help citizens will always be a priority.
Spending more than necessary is government’s biggest failure. Any money in the budget comes from hard working residents, those in retirement, or on fixed incomes. Government has no money that is not someone else’s first.
The best future criminal justice program is a jobs program to eliminate repeat offenders. The county charter is specific on the requirements of the jail. It is not the county commission’s role to handle the jail population. The commissioners can make recommendations to assist the elected sheriff as needed. The first responsibility to protect our citizens.
An open dialogue between departments and clear agendas for the progress of our county is necessary. Transparency in negotiation of contracts is critical.
Elected officials have a responsibility to their constituents. They know the salary prior to running for elected office. I do not feel those elected to office should be in charge of voting in their own pay increases. Each department has its own needs. I cannot make a blanket statement prior to hearing from department leaders and employees.
I have concerns about our water cleanliness and safety. The IDEP (Illicit Discharge Elimination Plan) testing program can help mitigate the incidents of discharge accidents by testing storm sewers for leaks and improper sanitary sewer hookups. We also need to work together to make sure no Flint type crises happen under our noses.
There is always room to tighten a belt. I need to have the best informed ideas before proposing eliminations and review all programs to determine whether they are statutory.
The county’s administration and maintenance of township and county roads needs to be improved.
I do not believe the financial problems of cities are the county’s responsibility. The county should not choose one city over another. All Macomb County residents have the responsibility to live within their means. However, consolidation of some duplicate services might be something to consider.
The entire county, the entire taxpayer population, and the needs of Macomb County residents must be first and foremost. The proposed plan of the Regional Transit Authority (RTA) must include the details to help voters understand the issue. The entirety of the regional project is expected to be 4.6 billion taxpayer dollars. A very expensive plan that will create a dedicated bus lane on only Gratiot to Hall Road does not appear to be in the best interest of many of the 854,769 Macomb County residents. When speaking to voters, few feel the RTA expansion is something that they will benefit from or be able to utilize.
Transparency and protection for both the public and our loyal and effective officers is something I will consider an acceptable use of taxpayer funds. I feel that the cameras protect the officers but the plan would have to be implemented with the cooperation of the county sheriff department.
I do not think there has been enough research on the long range effects of marijuana for me to support legislation allowing its recreational use.
Michigan is not behind on its expenditures for education. Education is the responsibility of the state, not the county, although the MISD’s delivery of services is vital to Macomb County.
I support the second amendment. I am a Lifetime member of the NRA. Violence can not be controlled by the county government.
I do not believe that solving the financial problems of cities is the county’s responsibility. The county does not have the authority or the means to solve the financial problems of cities. The county cannot prioritize one city over another. All Macomb County residents have the responsibility to live within their means. Consolidation of some duplicate services might be something to consider.
Refugees must be vetted prior to being settled anywhere, in Michigan or Macomb County, for the safety of all. It is not unreasonable to know who you are inviting into your home. This is a federal program but Macomb County families and their safety must come first.
Emergency assistance and job training efforts to help lift people out of poverty is important. Our seniors, veterans, and disabled deserve our respectful help. Our goal should be to help our residents become successful so they no longer need government.
We need to help employers identify their skill set needs, contract with educational institutions that offer the necessary training, and screen and identify potential workers that match interest and abilities, to maximize training and subsequent employment.
Repair of aging infrastructure such as bridges must be budgeted prior to their failing, or the county will be in the situation where three or more bridges in one township were closed at the same time. Prior planning and budgeting is necessary in order to not unduly inconvenience or bankrupt taxpayers.
I am a Republican and I support the nominee of my party. I will appear at campaign events if I am asked.
City of residence Harrison Twp.
Age 45
Family Amelia Leonetti (wife of 15 years) Veronica Leonetti -daughter
Education East Detroit High School-1989 Wayne State University B.A. Summa Cum Laude w Honors-1993 Wayne State Law School Juris Doctorate-1996
Vehicles owned 2 automobiles 2 boats
Professional Experience Attorney. Self employed private practice Law Firm- 20 years.
Political Experience None
Race/ethnicity Caucasion
1. Transparency in how county government awards contracts, and to whom. 2. Protecting and promoting Lake St. Clair with Michigan's "Blue Economy." 3. Standing by Veterans to ensure they, and their families, are not left behind after serving our country. 4. Helping Seniors to remain as independent as possible, for as long as possible.
1. Infrastructure regarding waste water and roads. I will advocate for more transparency in how county government awards contracts to meet these required services so we can assure fairness, efficiency, and competency. 2. Senior and Veteran services need to be expanded and enhanced, and coordinated with others services. We have an aging population, and many young veterans in need of help. 3. Legacy costs are always a concern. The county must honor its commitment to it's employees, so we must always be vigilant in making sure the county pension fund remains fiscally sound to meet such commitments without straining the budget for the service we need today.
1. Drug courts are an excellent method of avoiding overcrowding in the jail. These courts help to rehabilitate offenders, and in my law practice, many clients have benefited from such services to go on and live productive drug free lives.
1. Transparency from the executive branch and various departments always helps to eliminate any mistrust between the branches. 2. As a member of the legislative branch, I myself will always be more concerned with effectively managing the functions of county government to meet the needs of the people before playing politics or jockeying for position.
1. First, if there are to be raises in salaries, then the non-elected county employees get their raise before the commissioners, executive, clerk, treasurer or any other elected official. The county employees are the men and women who actually perform the daily services we rely on from county government. We need good, and maybe even more people, to fulfill the expanding needs of seniors, veterans, law enforcement, and public works. 2. I was outraged that the commissioners voted to give themselves raises along with the county executive and other elected officials. Moreover, the amount they gave themselves in raises would be enough to hire more non-elected employees.
1. Enhance Senior services because our population is aging. 2. Enhance Veteran services because we have many young men and women, and their families, who are in need after a decade of wars. 3. Any and all programs that protect Lake St. Clair, and programs, such as Michigan's Blue Economy, where we can promote Lake St. Clair and boost the tourism, commerce and overall economy of Macomb's crown jewel -Lake St. Clair.
1. Certain programs that advertise the benefits of living in Macomb County that are played in movie theaters throughout Macomb County. These ads appear to be more for political promotion within the county than for informational purposes. If anything, the ads should be placed in theaters in other counties.
1. Infrastructure regarding waste water and roads. Advocating for transparency will help to assure that we are getting the most efficient and competent service for our tax dollars. 2. Senior and Veteran services need to expand and enhance with more outreach as we have an aging population, and many young veterans so in need of help, they do not know where to begin to receive help.
1. County government should work to help coordinate fire, EMS and police services for struggling cities.
1. Very tough choice. There are proven benefits to mass transit systems and how they enhance economies when you look at other cities and multi-county areas throughout the nation. It really works when you look at the Bay Area of San Francisco, New York and Boston and Philadelphia, and even Denver's recent mass transit system has created a corridor of commerce. However, metro Detroit is unique in that we build, rely and thrive on the automobile. Also, with the advent of "driver-less cars" (for better or worse), mass transit will have a new form of competition in the coming years. I will not vote for the millage.
1. It will be an overall benefit to the county. First, the cameras will verify what I know: deputy sheriffs act in the most professional and appropriate matter under all circumstances they face. In my experience as an attorney, the Macomb County Sheriff Department is simply the best group of law enforcement professionals I've come to know. The cameras will help to protect our deputies against frivolous claims. Second, the camera is an objective tool in assuring justice for all involved.
1. Tough. It's the trend, and, if its the overall demand of the people, my personal opinion is irrelevant. If it becomes legalized, I would advocate vigorously for a tax revenue from its sale. Colorado has increased its treasury, and the money can be used to offset negative effects of legalization.
1. Maintain, improve, and expand Head Start programs.
1. Yes.
Answered above
1. Tough issue. Immigration when legal, and when done by people who want to become part of the American Dream, is a big part of what has made this country thrive in the past century. Immigration brought innovation, commerce, skilled workers, culture, good food, and, to some extent protection--as the rest of the world can claim to have a relative living in the USA. Refugees are not necessarily seeking to be part of the American Dream, they are unfortunately displaced, and often from regions we have conflict. I would allow refugees a temporary placement, but the cost of their maintenance must come from the Federal government. Their path to citizenship, if any, must be heavily vetted.
1. Make sure education is available. 2. Assure that county services are meeting demands of the needy efficiently and effectively.
1. Education, education, education.
1. i will advocate transparency to assure that we are getting the most efficient and competent service to fix our infrastructure.
1. No, not during this campaign season. I myself will always be more concerned with effectively managing the functions of county government to meet the needs of the people before playing politics or jockeying for position.