CFF’s Ferndale Candidate Forum Video and Live Blog Thread (video)

waterworkTOP_whiteCFF’s Ferndale Candidate gardenfreshADForum Video and Live Blog Thread (video)
(Crystal A. Proxmire, Oct. 26, 2015)
On Oct. 24 candidates for Ferndale City Council joined Ferndale Mayor Dave Coulter for a candidate forum hosted by Citizens for Fair Ferndale. Oakland County 115 reporter Crystal Proxmire posted live updates from the forum. And Keith Dalton of The Dalton Group recorded the event.

Mayor Coulter is on the ballot unopposed. There are two seats available on Council. Mayor Pro Tem Dan Martin is running for re-election, and is listed on the ballot along with Raylon Leaks-May and William White. There is also a school millage renewal and a ballot question.

Election Day is Nov. 3, 2015, and the oc115 has done extensive coverage of the race, including individual video interviews with the Council candidates. Go to http://oaklandcounty115.com/2015/10/21/ferndale-whats-on-your-ballot-compilation-of-election-stories/ for the most comprehensive coverage of all that Ferndale voters will face on the ballot.

Below are the videos by The Dalton Group, followed by the updates that were given live as the forum happened.

Crystal A. Proxmire Raylon: Three years ago elected to Ferndale Public Schools Board of Education. Part of strategic planning, restructuring of schools, hiring a progressive administrative team, Montessori program,, etc. Enrollment increasing, elevated schools to next See More
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Crystal A. Proxmire Dan: Four years ago, exciting journey together. know more about chicken coops, drains and drones than ever thought I’d be engaged in. Grew up in Bay City, moved a lot, settled in Ferndale 12 years ago. Cherish opportunity to serve community. Works See More

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Crystal A. Proxmire William: First political adventure. Lived in Ferndale 27 years. Children in Ferndale Schools. Lot of passion for the city. Owned own company for 35 years. City Council is doing a great job the ones that are there now. Big on City, Fire, Police and DPW. If they are strong we are strong. I’ve had union employees, done negotiations, done safety meeting, bring that experience to the city.

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Crystal A. Proxmire William I’m a member of Elks and doing Christmas baskets, wheelchair ramps, involved in the schools when my children were in the schools. I’m running for council because I am retired and I want to get involved.

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Crystal A. Proxmire Dan: Community foundation, Ferndale Youth Assistance, Michigan AIDS Coalition, Ferndale Arts and Cultural Commission, pension boards, volunteer work though pub crawl, blues festival, end of prohibition, Clean the Ferndale up. It’s easy to get involved in this city.

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Crystal A. Proxmire Raylon: CFF, Civility pledge, how to be a good neighbor, Ferndale Education Foundation, Involved in Grant elementary when children were there, any time the DDA has event I love to volunteer, daughter Ava follows around and passing involvement on to her.

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Crystal A. Proxmire Should city privatize the DPW? All candidates said no.

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Crystal A. Proxmire Question: how would you approach people who just don’t trust government?

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Crystal A. Proxmire Raylon: had to deal with that on school board. There was chaos and mistrust before she went on the board. Trust is difficult to gain back once its lost, but I encourage anyone who has lack of trust to stay involved, ask questions. I value transparency. …. You have a voice and it should be expressed.

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Crystal A. Proxmire William: Why? Is there something that happened to them? Find out why they don’t trust. …I think if they get involved we can get their trust back.

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Crystal A. Proxmire Dan: public service has been maligned in the past 20 years. by and large the people engaged are great people. Part of the job is dealing with people who don’t trust you. It doesn’t lessen the responsibility to represent them. Not everybody is going to be happy, but if you leave people with facts and respect. Move forward together because there are common causes.

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Crystal A. Proxmire New businesses you want to see?

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Crystal A. Proxmire William: more retail, we have enough bars and restaurants.

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Crystal A. Proxmire Raylon: more retail. As a mother of 5 children we have crafts and projects all the time. Would love craft store, more toy stores and more family style restaurants.

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Crystal A. Proxmire Dan: Not keen on expanding any kind of restaurants with liquor licenses, I’m not willing to concede we are an entertainment only district. Need to address parking. Retail that is not a chain. See local retailers that can grow. Incubator. Low vacancy in the industrial sector. Mayor’s Business Council has done a great ob of development in industrial.

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Crystal A. Proxmire Overall vision for the city?

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Crystal A. Proxmire Dan: What kind of growth and character. Economically diverse. Strong industrial that we need to continue to maintain. Housing and job opportunities for all levels of the spectrum. Everyone welcome here. Amenities in parks that help support residents. Community that continues to have honest and open discussions. Not just my vision.

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Crystal A. Proxmire William: The city has changed in 27 years. Housing has grown, more apartments are coming in. Room for companies to come in and bring jobs. Parking is the voo doo word (double check on that word). Downtown is booming, and more parking will help. The word is out that everyone is welcome in this city, everyone gets along.

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Crystal A. Proxmire Raylon: I have a multi-generational vision. Want to see people move families here. people that go to college can move back here and want to keep that affordable for them. Between 2000-2010 the numbers of families have declined. The city needs to woSee More

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Crystal A. Proxmire How is City’s Master Plan used?

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Crystal A. Proxmire Raylon: like school’s strategic plan as guiding. Looking at transit, sustaining environemnt, promoting business. Plan to guide progressing city forward.

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Crystal A. Proxmire Dan: What Raylon said but also a communication device. When people are looking to invest in a city this gives vision. Beyond development tool, we play an eye to green solutions and a more sustainable environment long term.

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Crystal A. Proxmire William: Like how city takes care of residents and parks. Have things for residents to do. Keep whole community nice. Green stripes did not get explained like they were supposed to, but like bike lanes.

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Crystal A. Proxmire What one thing would you change in Ferndale?

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Crystal A. Proxmire William: The main thing would be parking. The city is doing fine we’re on the right track. Everything is fine. All I hear about is parking.

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Crystal A. Proxmire Dan: Parking too, but also a more concentration on rat problem, we’re an inner ring suburb and we’re never going to get rid of them, but have to do things to communicate prevention methods. The city could do everything perfectly and we will still have rats. We are working abandoned property and code enforcement.

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Crystal A. Proxmire Raylon: More diversity. Diversity in police force. In neighborhoods and on our city government. At the schools we are working with the police department so students have an opportunity to seek being in law enforcement, have mentors in the department, so that we can have that diversity. I’m proud of the police department for working with us. Its a vision and I hope it will come to fruition.

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Crystal A. Proxmire Dan: I support a regional approach to mass transit. Ferndale will benefit from mass transit making city more accessible to others. More flexibility for people to live in relation to where they work and where they go to schools.

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Crystal A. Proxmire Raylon: We have a small community, four square miles, I love that we people can use services to get where they need to be. I see a lot of people at bus stops. I’m glad we have that. We know how hard it is for people to get around day to day.

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Crystal A. Proxmire William: I support mass transit. if you go to any city mass transit is how that happens. I’d love to be able to take a tram down to a football game. People would get around better. I feel mass transit is coming, may be ten or 20 years down the road but we will get it.

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Crystal A. Proxmire Schools – how can city and schools work together to make both are successful?

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Crystal A. Proxmire Raylon: more families in the community mean more support for the schools. Schools worked with city to make the library an area district library. Schools have to be strong. when people more to a community the first thing they look at is the schools. There is a non-homestead renewal on the ballot and we need that for our schools.

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Crystal A. Proxmire William: city and school used to meet. I would love to set that up so they can meet quarterly so each knows what each other is doing.

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Crystal A. Proxmire Dan: I ageee, communication and collaboration is the key. Baker college program is a good example (police and kids in criminal justice program) City and police partnered for the Digital Learning center, and we need to work together for development as real estate changes. We are all tied at the hip in this.

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Crystal A. Proxmire Consistency in Code Enforcement?

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Crystal A. Proxmire William: I know some people that got tickets for their garage and they don’t even have their garage. I don’t know how code enforcement job enforcement job description is. maybe if neighbor’s yard is shabby there can be a form they can use. Maybe people don’t want to rat out their neighbors so maybe we can find a way to get that info better.

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Crystal A. Proxmire Raylon: Code enforcement exists for a reason, and they work with people. If things seem unfair this is where peoples voice comes in. Continue to educate residents on what they need to do. If there are issues come to city and voice concerns. You have a right to do that.

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Crystal A. Proxmire Dan: I tend to think code enforcement is more equitable than it seems. We don’t have a wall of shame or anything, but you don’t know what you don’t know. There are mistakes but it is more equitable than people think it seems. Sometimes the process takes a long time, particularly with an absentee owner. Just becausee something is not resolved right away does not mean something is not being done.

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Crystal A. Proxmire Would you support one public safety director for police and fire? All said no.

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Crystal A. Proxmire Nondiscrimination Policy in Ferndale?

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Crystal A. Proxmire All candidates are in favor of diversity and policies that are equality based and they are being used.

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Crystal A. Proxmire What is your plan to keep housing affordable in the city?

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Crystal A. Proxmire William: housing works on its own. As the city gets better the housing goes up.

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Crystal A. Proxmire Dan: successful cities have housing levels affordable for everyone. Though planning commission and planning you can make sure different levels are available.

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Crystal A. Proxmire Raylon: Affordable is key to work with planning commission. We have to have variety available: apartments, townhouses, different levels of houses. I want to be at the table to ask questions. How does it benefit families? How does it benefit seniorSee More

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Crystal A. Proxmire How to increase resident involvement in the city?

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Crystal A. Proxmire Dan: reach out to people in the vehicle they are comfortable with. Ages interact with each other in different ways. Millennials may not want to come to meetings. Town-halls don’t always work. So we have to get creative with technology, ways to attract people of all generations and ask what works for you? Social media. In person. Written forms. We’ve invested in personnel that help us to do that in the future.

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Crystal A. Proxmire Raylon: One of the ways I think citizens can get involved is Boards and Commissions. Way to guide council and have a voice. Attract professionals and people who just have experience an knowledge in this community. We can reach people face to face, quarSee More

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Crystal A. Proxmire William: how to get more people to come to the council meetings? How can we reach people on their phones?

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Crystal A. Proxmire Closing statements….

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Crystal A. Proxmire William: friendly race, agree on 99% of stuff.

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Crystal A. Proxmire Dan: this can be a really uncomfortable experience, people have made us feel welcome. reach out if you want – gave his phone number

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Crystal A. Proxmire Raylon: proud of my progressive community and proud to lend progressive leadership – lots of endorsements – humbled to have so many supporters – will work with multiple stakeholders. Thanks to family and fellow school board members. Believe we can be even better together.

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Crystal A. Proxmire Citizens for a Fair Ferndale has questionnaires on their website and the forum will be put online.

 

Crystal A. Proxmire

 

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