Meet the Candidates for West Bloomfield Township Clerk
West Bloomfield Patch begins a week-long series of profiles prior to the Aug. 7 election with incumbent Cathy Shaughnessy and challenger Neha Patel.
The Aug. 7 primary election is drawing closer every day, but how much do you really know about the names on the ballot?
Patch is interviewing candidates running in the Aug. 7 primary, including positions on the West Bloomfield Township Board of Trustees: Supervisor, Clerk, Treasurer, and Trustee.
On Monday, we covered two candidates for Supervisor: the incumbent, Michele Economou Ureste and challenger Jonathan Warshay.
Today, we'll cover both candidates running for Clerk: the incumbent, Cathy Shaughnessy, and challenger Neha Patel.
Stay tuned. On Wednesday, Patch will feature interviews with candidates for Treasurer: the incumbent, Teri Weingarden, and current Trustee Gene Farber.
Continue reading for highlights from interviews with Shaughnessy and Patel. To read the complete interviews, check out the following on Patch:
For Shaughnessy, it's a matter of her record — one that Patel says could use improvement.
The means of keeping minutes have been a point of contention on the Township Board during Shaughnessy's term, although she has maintained that she follows a precedent set by former West Bloomfield clerks which is legal in Michigan. Patel criticized Shaughnessy for a perceived lack of closed session minutes being prepared, although the incumbent has maintained she does keep closed session minutes.
The preparation of open session minutes have been another topic of controversy, as Patel criticized Shaughnessy for a perceived lack of verbatim open session minutes. Shaughnessy has said that she keeps an audio recording of open session minutes, in addition to a summary in written form.
"I have stressed open, honest and accountable government," Shaughnessy told Patch in her interview, "by greatly expanding the amount of township information available to residents on the clerk’s page of the township website."
Shaughnessy claims to have saved the taxpayers over $450,000 in her first term through various savings in the office. She said she hopes to build on those savings by promoting open bidding for services on township services.
More efficiency can be found in software applications designed to track resident concerns as they come into Town Hall, Shaughnessy said, and she hopes to use those information technology resources to better manage the township and improve customer service.
Patel hopes to keep township board meetings — customarily held on the first and third Mondays of the month at 7 p.m. — from straying into the 11 p.m. hour.
"This can be accomplished by limiting major agenda items to one per meeting to ensure that everyone gets out at a reasonable time considering most of the trustees come from another job," Patel said.
For more on the 2012 election in West Bloomfield, visit its Topic Page on Patch.