Election 2017 Coverage
Over the past few evenings I’ve been putting the finishing touches on my Election 2017 candidate information package, a continuation of a series that I began producing several years ago for the 2013 election. I believe you can look long and hard and still not find better coverage of the local election in Sterling Heights in any of the traditional media. I am pleased to announce that this year’s coverage is complete, subject only to revision for errata if they come up. All of the articles are linked below, however if you’re in a hurry, click or tap on the Election 2017 menu above and you’ll find information on every candidate on the Sterling Heights ballot for November 7, 2017.
Knowing the candidates as I do, both incumbents and challengers, it is difficult at best to produce information like what you will find in this package without including a certain amount of my own personal biases. Since each year we have many new readers I think it is only fair to explain that in general, I find myself very satisfied with the direction the city is taking, and therefore my support goes toward the incumbents. In 2015, the slate of candidates was so truly awful that I abandoned all pretense of objectivity in these pages. My sentiments were reflected in the outcome of the vote: the residents agreed with me 100%, returning all of the incumbents to their posts.
This year, we have a number of interesting new candidates along with some retreads from 2015. New to the ballot for 2017 will be candidates Castiglia, Cavalli, Choulagh and Radtke. Perennial also-rans Early and Elias round out the six-candidate City Council ballot. I feel the first four challenger candidates could be reasonable choices for reasonable people. Mrs. Early and Ms. Elias, however, are a different story.
On the incumbent side, familiar candidates Koski, Schmidt, Shannon, and Ziarko reappear this year. New additions are appointees Lusk and Sierawski, both seeking to retain the offices they were temporarily appointed to earlier in 2017 after the departures of councilmembers Doug Skrzyniarz and Joseph Romano. I intend to vote for the incumbents. That is my bias.
For the Mayoral Election, any regular reader of this blog can tell you that I am an unabashed supporter of Mayor Michael C. Taylor. I do not feel that council gadfly Jeffrey Norgrove is worthy of your consideration for numerous reasons that I believe are objectively observable and well-founded.
After it’s all said and done, it is important to remember something: I am not a news reporter. The reason this blog exists is for me to express my own political viewpoints which I have come by through my heavy involvement with the city. That it falls upon a political blogger to present information that the media can hardly be bothered to is more an indictment of the local news coverage than it is a problem with blogging in general. If they were doing a better job, I wouldn’t spend dozens of hours every election year doing it myself. As it stands, this is currently your best source of information.
How to Use This Information
My hope is that regardless of my admitted biases, you will find the information useful no matter who you want to know more about or who you wind up voting for. Aside from a few lines of text and a graphic image I have created, all of the information presented in these pages comes from either the candidates’ own websites, or from their appearance at the city’s Meet the Candidates event, to which I contributed a number of questions. I have excerpted segments of the overall video from each candidate’s summation and linked to it directly on their respective pages; a couple of minutes of reviewing their video and campaign websites will serve to present their information to you exactly as they would themselves. No, I could not resist the impulse to editorialize in my own writings, but it’s hard to argue that the candidates would not be their own best representatives, and they are given full rein to do so here.
Want to know even more?
If you’re really interested in the politics of what has become a major city in Michigan in its own right, you would do well to visit my Facebook group, Sterling Heights Local Politics. Anyone can view the group. Membership is only limited to people who are using their real names on their Facebook accounts. Topics for discussion are strictly local; no national politics are permitted. Many of our city’s politicians participate in one way or another, and you can be sure that all of them are reading it. It is not unusual for a resident to mention a concern or problem they’re having on the group and find out that it has been resolved within a few short hours. Do come pay us a visit; all opinions are tolerated as long as they are expressed civilly. Your voice will be heard directly by the politicians, and you will be treated equally alongside them as long as you observe the rules. Disagreement with me in particular is encouraged and invited.