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Name: Steven Zimberg
Website(s): www.zimberg4commissioner.com, and on Facebook, http://www.facebook.com/zimbergforCommissioner?ref=hl
Occupation: Executive Director Societism Institute; Union Electrician Local 58
Education: Bachelor of Liberal Studies, Economics and Business Administration, Paralegal Certification, Hillsdale College, Hillsdale, MI; Certified Financial Planner, College for Financial Planning, Denver, CO
Previous and/or current elected positions: Current Precinct Delegate, Huntington Woods and Republican State Convention appointee; Former Trustee, IBEW Local 58, Pension and Annuity Funds; Board Advisor, Dads and Moms of Michigan; Parliamentarian Legal Assistants Association of Michigan; Vice President and Treasurer, Michigan Association of Certified Financial Planners.
Why do you want to be on the County Commission?
I have a special gift for spotting and grasping issues and expressing them in easy to understand words. Government and each of its departments and each of their lobbying friends have become too big and powerful. This has lead to the breakdown of our local communities, businesses and families. I recently read a report that the average family’s wealth has declined nearly 40% in the last 3 years alone. There are many things we can do to correct this and I want to be part of creating the common sense ideas and solution we so desperately need.
What do you think are the top responsibilities of the County Commission?
I believe the most important responsibility is to keep within budget as to avoid deficits and other surprises. We can best accomplish this by listening and better understanding the needs of our citizens. Library hours are declining while jail expenses are increasing. Should we build more jails for $100,000,000 when most of those incarcerated are for minor drug possession or child support? Understanding the real issues and coming up with sound solutions are vital too.
Why should people vote for you?
Very seldom do we have someone who truly wants to be the voice of the people. Not to promise and give everyone everything they want. We can do that easily and today that would be fantastic. But tomorrow it would leave us in much worse shape because after everyone went through their benefits we would still have to pay the piper. We must look beyond the short term and consider the longer term consequences of our actions.
I can help spark the interest of citizens in our District to get more involved in our cities and county. Each and every change we make would have a tremendous impact not only economically and socially for our community today, but more so for our kids and future generation.
For example, the DIA houses billions of dollars in artifacts and is in financial trouble. They do need our help. I support our assistance but feel we can do better to work without the extreme requirement that all Oakland County Residents go for free, as well as including $150,000 in free transportation and other unreasonable stipulations. If nothing else, subtract these perks and reduce this additional tax portion. I don’t think the Oakland County residents will mind.
Concerning Mass Transit. Ask the people. Personally, I think it would be good to have a modern public transit plan and system. It could initially cover our District as a pilot. It might go along I-75 and 696 as well as along Woodward. I think it would have a positive social and economic result if done right and over time. I love going to the Thanksgiving Day Parade and other downtown events by taking a $1 direct bus ride from the Detroit Zoo. That works for me!
If you could pass three resolutions, what would they be?
1) A resolution to help citizens who are in jeopardy of foreclosure with assistance in spreading out their delinquent property taxes over a longer period of time and at a lower interest rate. 30% the first year and 100% over three years is unacceptable. We can do better. The results would generate more desperately needed tax revenue into the communities and also reduce the breakup of families and all the problems that causes. It could likely be done without costing the County any money.
2) A resolution to extend financing and at lower rates for those with student loans who live and work in Oakland County. This would be a worthwhile incentive that would spur economic growth and attract many college educated people into our county. This could be accomplished with a lower interest bond issue.
3) A resolution to reduce the incarceration for possession of marijuana and for child support. These two areas represent over 75% of people in county jails. This is a waste of taxpayer money and there are many less expensive alternatives. This very often destroys a family more than the act itself. Of course violent crimes must not be tolerated. But as discussed above turning citizens into criminals is no way to make a community strong.
Anything else readers should know about you?
Most of my major accomplishments have been from my ability to spot issues and apply creative thinking. Creating innovative trends based upon common sense ideas and solutions. While our incumbent democrats have each supported their favorite causes, government and most of its branches have run astray. What is missing is the true and active voice of the citizens. We need to reclaim our voice and clean up our county. Restore its strengths. Reduce it weaknesses. Replace its bureaucracy with a moral entrepreneurial spirit. I am not perfect. But I do promise to help my fellow citizens get more involved in the political process and help restore a stronger and more stable community now and for a more rewarding and fulfilling future.