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Meridian Township Supervisor - 4 Year Term- Vote For Not More Than 1

Meridian Township Supervisor

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  • Candidate picture

    Tom Klunzinger
    (Rep)

  • Candidate picture

    Ronald J Styka
    (Dem)

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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 East Lansing
Education B.A. in Advertising, MSU
Professional Experience Advertising copywriter, House GOP staff writer, medical transcriptionist.
Political Experience Former Meridian Township Treasurer and Trustee (8 years total).
Eight years of experience on Township Board. Professional communicator who can achieve consensus and cooperation among the various Board members. Republican who can provide a helpful antidote to the current one-party rule.
Yes, if the voters approve, as they already have in Meridian Township.
Within Meridian Township, it seems to have been working well.
Again, the structure of Meridian Township government has been working well for at least the past 50 years.
1. Maintaining the quality of life in Meridian Township, through the provision of essential services like police, fire, parks & recreation. 2. Improving a business-friendly attitude in order to enhance the Township's property-tax base. 3. Maintaining and improving essential utilities such as water/sewer and local roads.
No, not appropriate - cities have a separate and larger taxing power and receive grants directly. Townships must wait in line with all other townships to receive anything through the County. Meridian Township has long practiced self-reliance as much as possible and should continue to do so.
As noted above, police, fire, parks & recreation.
Township budget has been trimmed in recent years and is lean at this time. Public would have to be consulted on what they view as "non-essential" services to eliminate (if any).
Yes.
Hometown Detroit, MI
Education BA, University of Detroit ('68) JD, University of Michigan ('71)
Family Married to Georgia Styka. Four sons with families. Five grandchildren.
Professional Experience Michigan Assistant Attorney General for over 39 years. Chief, Community Health Division for 12 years.
Political Experience Elected to and served on Okemos School Board for 22 years, starting in 1990. Elected to Meridian Township Trustee in 2012.
Campaign Website http://www.ronstyka.com
My experience, skills, and temperament make me the most qualified to serve as Meridian Township Supervisor. I served 40 years as an assistant attorney general advising state boards and departments, 22 years on the Okemos School Board, and 4 years as Meridian Trustee. I listen to citizens, study every issue, bring logic and insight to decision-making, and guide others to a consensus that benefits all citizens. I am even tempered and get things done at meetings without raising my voice or being rude. Through example and diplomacy, I help others move to consensus decisions.
On the local level, I do not support raising taxes for roads. I favor working within the township budget to fund more road improvements. On the state level, I do favor a comprehensive funding plan to improve our roads. In order to be adequate, that program will have to include new taxes. However, road improvements will improve the state's economy, which will help compensate for the increase.
I am comfortable with the structure and scope of local government. Whenever possible, I prefer local control over the day-to-day issues that affect our daily lives. When the issue or efficient use of government resources dictate, under current laws local governments can work together on a regional basis to solve problems or provide services.
Local government needs to have greater control over its revenue sources. Too often local governments are unable to perform tasks desired by their citizens, because the State controls many of the revenue sources. In addition, townships need to have greater control over the roads within the township and of funding sources to maintain and improve the roads. Finally, charter townships need to have more control over annexation of property to neighboring communities. Charter townships function much like cities and loss of key development areas can reduce their tax base and hamper the provision of services that are wanted by local residents.
The first priority is to maintain the good qualities of the township through efficient use of township resources. This requires good management practices, including periodically reviewing both the services provided and the manner in which they are provided. Second, the township must carefully examine its budget and find funds within the current budget to improve township streets. Third, it needs to proactively seek out appropriate development for the three core areas of the township that are in particular need of improvement—the Haslett Village Square area, downtown Okemos, and the Carriage Hills area. A fourth critical issue is its unfunded retirement obligations for township employees.
Regionalism can be a good thing. Some services can be more efficiently provided on a regional basis. The county government is a logical level of government to facilitate regional solutions to problems. Planning on a regional basis can also result in more efficient use of land and government resources.
The most vital services of local government are public safety, the provision and maintenance of local infrastructure including roads, and planning for consistent and beneficial development of land within the township. Public safety includes police, fire, and the regulation of health and safety related matters, such as building permits and inspections. Planning includes the development of a master plan, zoning, and the provision of land use regulation.
At the township level there are few easily identified services that are of less importance to the citizenry. Townships do not provide many of the services found in cities, such as trash pick-up or public lighting. These are already self-provided by citizens through private contracts. By the nature of townships, these local governments are already focused on the provision of vital services.
I am current in all my tax obligations. I do not have any alimony or child support obligations.

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