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Oakland County Commission District 19

Choose one candidate. Oakland County commissioners serve two-year terms and receive an annual salary of $33,717.

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  • Candidate picture

    Jim Fulner
    (LIB)

  • Candidate picture

    Michael Ryan
    (Rep)

  • Dave Woodward
    (Dem)

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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 Berkley
Age 33
Family Wife (of 8 years), Daughter (3 years old), Cat (10 years old)
Education Bachelor of Science
Vehicles owned 2009 VW Rabbit
Professional Experience Jim Fulner is a Systems Engineer; and brings that high level overview to the politics of public and private interactions. An Engineer's perspective is to find the root cause of the issue, and tackle that issue head on; rather than simply addressing symptoms.
Campaign Website http://www.jimfulner.com
1.) Property Taxes - The county is telling you "your money or you land" this threat of violence has no place in civilized society. I will take every effort to end taxation where I can and return money directly to the taxpayers when possible.

2.) Water - Water is a precious resource, and some members of the commission are trying to do strange things with our water market, whether it be specifically given money collected from Oakland County to the city of Flint, or to add additional oversight by government, their efforts are well indented but misguided. We must open the water market to competition.

3.) Civil Asset Forfeiture - The practice must be stopped.
No. I oppose all taxation. You wouldn't break into your neighbors' house and steal money from their wallet whilst they were asleep. You know that is wrong. Of course, if you did break into your neighbors home and steal from them you could probably buy twice the transportation services, because your thievery wouldn't have the high overhead of government bureaucracy, but it would still be immoral.

The Detroit Bus Company is a private business based in Ferndale originally envisioned as to fulfill the gaps of the public system. Quickly they learned that the only real need, as evident by the price system, is a late night drunk bus to the party spots.
Stay out of the way. The situation must get worse before it can get better. If governments stopped trying to provide transportation eventually the market would find some other solution. Like the saying goes, "if the government weren't making so many damn roads, Chrysler would be selling Jetsonmobiles by now."
It Is a very good idea in theory. I am concerned with many of the proposals to have the government mange them. That's the fox guarding the hen house. If an officer has nothing to hide, he should be willing to pay for the camera himself and find a way to ensure the video is captured and preserved correctly. If an officer chooses not to, or if the system happens to fail conveniently, when it becomes necessary a jury should be informed of such.

You don't have to wait for the police to make the right decision. You can make a difference now. Learn more at CopBlock.org
Yes. As I support the legalization of all recreational drugs.
I don't want them to do anymore.
I hope that the county government will start using only free software like GNU/Linux. If schools and other educators adopted similar practices and focused on how a computer works and WHY Free Software is important to individual freedom and education, we may be better off. Our opponents in the global market such as South America and Southeast Asia are already making some of these changes.
The best thing Oakland County can do is to sell their infrastructure to an appropriate party. While in such sales usually the highest bidder is chosen, the County should consider all offers just as when selling a classic car one loves.
Being able to take over necessary roles and allocate resources when a city chooses to dissolve, preferred, or otherwise stop providing a service that the market hasn't yet taken over. The decrease in violent crime in the city of Pontiac since they closed the city police department is a great point to reference.
Snow removal. We need to open up competition in the snow removal services and allow those who use the roads to make a decision with their pocket book. Who knows what services an unencumbered market would provide?
Long term County Employment and retirement benefits. We need to end government employee benefits as soon as we can so that we can close the county offices. Government has no legitimate roll except, where it exists, to protect the rights of the residents of its community. "Good Benefits" and entitlement for the political class is detrimental to the residents of Oakland County. While employees may rightly be upset by the breach of contract, courts will have to decide if it is legitimate for politicians to put taxpayers in debt without their specific signature.
I welcome them with open arms.
As one of the founding members of the Povertarian Caucus, I am committed to exposing free market solutions to help the impoverished. The first thing I would want to do is end making being poor a crime. Michigan has a history of charging inmates for housing them against their will. Earlier this year there was a national media story of a Michiganander who was found to have been wrongly committed, but he had not been allowed to leave prison due to his inability to pay the fees to do so. Thankfully some anonymous angel paid the cost, but it should not have been that way. License fees and prosecuting those who resell products they own is damaging to those trying to better themselves @Povertarians
End the effort
I was a delegate to the national convention that chose my Party's nominee, as well as a member of the national platform committee that wrote the platform he is to run on. If given the opportunity I would gladly appear at campaign events with Gary Johnson, as I would take the opportunity to appear with anyone.
No
No.
City of residence Berkley
Age 56
Family Wife: Ilene, Children: Chelsea-Rose, Joylene, Rummana, Daniel
Education 3 years undergraduate Mich State Univ, D.D.S. from Univ of Michigan 1985
Vehicles owned 2010 Dodge Grand Caravan, 2002 Dodge ram 1500 Van, 1991 GMC VanDura 2500
Professional Experience 31 years as general dentist
Political Experience Unsuccessful candidate for state house 2014
Race/ethnicity white
Campaign Website http://ryan4oakcom.com
1. As all organizations in the U.S., the cost of health care for employees is crowding out other needed spending. I would look for an insurer that would create three tiers of coverage (90%, 80%, and 60%) for health care services. 2. The sheriff's office's acceptance of proceeds of the sale of assets of unconvicted citizens (civil asset forfeiture) is undermining the public's confidence in the sheriffs' integrity, I propose to not accept proceeds unless and until the person is convicted, 3. Public transit is not practical for many people to get to work, I would work to end the practice of people having to get off one bus and wait for another just because their route crosses 8 Mile Rd
I do not support the millage because the proposed uses of the funds are for a duplication of part of the Amtrak route to Ann Arbor, and to save a few minutes on the Woodward bus routes by blowing by most of current bus stops. If the plan had more useful components like enclosing the current shelters and installing on demand infrared heat, accelerating the use of driverless vehicles to affordably serve the less used routes, or eliminating the need to transfer buses at the county line, I would have a different opinion. Instead, the plan seems to want to repeat the mistakes of the "bougie boondoggle" that is about to start operating further down Woodward.
Most people and goods still move around using the roads, and even public transit uses buses on roads for the vast majority of its present and future mileage. Although Oakland Co. doesn't directly fund road repairs and maintenance, it should use its voice to keep MDOT to focus on keeping the roads safe and in good repair. In regards to public transit, the commission needs to keep the conversation on practical, financially sustainable proposals so we don't end up wasting tax dollars on duplication of existing underused and impractical "solutions" . This would sour the public against good projects in the future that promise better results.
I like the idea of trying out body cameras on county sheriff's deputies if problems with this experiment are carefully monitored before it is fully implemented, and procedures on when to activate or deactivate them are carefully thought out. They should be used in continuing training of the department, much like athletes used game films to improve performance, as well as for legal evidence to be used in court.
I don't support the legalization of marijuana, although making enforcement of the laws should be a low priority. Problems with conflict with federal laws have shown up in Colorado, especially with the businesses selling it being unable to use banks, requiring a lot of cash handling which creates problems with security for the sellers, and the increased concentration of THC in the products, especially edibles, causing overdose problems especially from tourists. If these problems get ironed out, I would drop my opposition to legalization.
Very few incidents of gun violence have occurred in Oakland county, and their are tight limits on what the county can do. It can continue to have the sheriff's department emphasize community policing and deescalation of situations with people with guns and anger so fewer tragedies occur, so that we don't have a spike in firearm incidents that sneak up on us, especially in areas that the sheriff's department patrols.
The county has a very limited official role in education, other than collecting a major part of the taxes that fund it. It can, of course, be sure to collect those taxes in an efficient manner, but can informally interact with state legislators and the businesses that employ those who are being educated to help focus resources on the true needs of the students.
Most of the infrastructure of the county is controlled by other entities, such as the County Road Commission, the state, and the utilities in this service area. The county does operate the county jail, courthouse, health department, parks, and others, so those facilities do need maintenance, upgrades, and eventually replacement. The county needs to continue to not defer maintenance, set aside funds to pay for upgrades and replacements as the need arises, and carefully watch the costs as it has already been doing. As for infrastructure controlled by other entities, it needs to communicate the priorities of the people of the county to keep them from wasting money or ignoring problems .
In addition to trying my proposal to control health care costs, the county needs to have a plan for these cities to maintain funding if (or more likely when), the state doesn't live up to its commitment to replace tax dollars lost by action of the legislature. Most recently, the state cut back local governments' ability to raise money through the personal property tax, which is a good thing, but I'm not sure that the state" promise to replace that money will hold up when state tax collections drop in the next recession. I have already thought up a way to replace those tax dollars when that happens.
When people are released at the end of their term from the county jail, we need to do better to prevent them from reoffending. We need to examine successful programs from other areas and try them in Oakland county.
Oakland county"s biggest budgetary concerns come from not being prepared for the next recession. If we can get health care costs under better control not only for county employees, but spread it to the private sector, the county will have more total income and jobs and be better able to come through the next downturn with no long term damage.
If we are going to settle refugees, we have to be sure that we have the capacity to assimilate them into the area and have reasonable expectations that they won't become a burden on the social welfare state that is not serving the people that need it who are already here. I am skeptical that we in Oakland County can settle them in any large numbers without depriving our own citizens of needed services.
Reducing health care costs and making sure that public transit is functioning efficiently would open up many more employment opportunities for low income residents, as well as keep the cost of living down. Keeping crime down in places like Pontiac and Royal Oak Township where the Sheriff's department patrols would help improves their lives even more.
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I support my party's presidential nominee and would, if invited and I'm available, appear with him at campaign events. People who oppose him have left out important parts of his statements in order to make the case that he is "racist" or against all Muslims, etc. While I don't agree with all of his positions, I never do with anyone, Mr. Trump has changed the conversation on many important issues that needed to happen.
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