Meet the Candidates for West Bloomfield Township Supervisor
West Bloomfield Patch begins a week-long series of profiles prior to the Aug. 7 election with incumbent Michele Economou Ureste and challenger Jonathan Warshay.
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'll cover two candidates for Supervisor: the incumbent, Michele Economou Ureste and challenger Jonathan Warshay.
A second challenger, Robert Egren, has not responded to Patch. Dennis W. Thomson, the lone Republican running for Supervisor, filed to run as a write-in candidate earlier this month.
Stay tuned. On Tuesday, Patch will feature interviews with candidates for Clerk: the incumbent, Cathy Shaughnessy, and challenger, Neha Patel.
Continue reading for highlights from interviews with Economou Ureste and Warshay. To read the complete interviews, check out the following on Patch:
Neither candidate holds back on discussing one problem in West Bloomfield — the manner in which the Township Board operates. Board policy and decorum both have hurt morale of employees, according to the candidates, and cost taxpayers thousands in the form of attorneys fees as a result of lawsuits between board members.
Economou Ureste stands up against board policy on hiring and firing of township employees, which, she claims, creates a hostile work environment as there are now "seven elected officials to report to."
One such lawsuit, filed by Economou Ureste and Trustee Steven Kaplan against the township board majority, has been repeatedly criticized by Warshay for a reported bill from attorneys at upwards of $36,000.
The decision on the suit, which was upheld last month by the Michigan Court of Appeals against the plantiffs, had ruled on four issues, most of them involving the power of the board majority against the power of the supervisor. Economou Ureste said last week that she had paid upwards of $5,000 out of her own pocket to appeal.
"I empathize with these employees and have used my personal funds to attempt to resolve the matter by way of an appeal. I am hopeful that this will change as a result of the election and through future board action to rescind the policy change to 5.C.3," Economou Ureste wrote in her survey answer.
Warshay suggested that the suit was filed without the best interest of citizens in mind, rather, as a result of personal or political vendettas.
Economou Ureste has devoted lots of time in her first term to streamlining operations in order to improve the business community in West Bloomfield, she said. In her second term, she said, she'd like to build on township utilities.
Hikes in water rates to keep up with the township's water supplier could be alleviated by constructing a water reservoir in town, according to Economou Ureste. She also hopes to reduce the cost of gas and electricity at township facilities.
Warshay hopes to find outside funding sources for senior activities which are not being currently utilized. He said he also hopes to hold foreclosure prevention seminars, to address foreclosures before they happen.
For more on the 2012 election in West Bloomfield, visit its Topic Page on Patch.