Candidate Joseph Judnick
History and Evaluation of the Candidate
Joseph (Joe) Judnick is a taxidermist, butcher, and hunting guide who first ran for Sterling Heights City Council in 2011. He was defeated, coming in 9th out of 10 council candidates that year with 8,424 votes.
Mr. Judnick sat out the 2013 election, but now has re-emerged for 2015, running on a platform similar to what he ran on in 2011: opposition to Industrial Facility Tax Exemptions, reducing city expenditures, complaints about “blight” in the form of empty commercial buildings, and new for this year, a “return to Christian values.”
Unfortunately for Mr. Judnick, the times have passed him by.
In 2011, when he first ran for office, all of the issues save the “Christian values” were in play. The city was reeling from a dramatic drop in tax revenues which caused it to spend more than it took in just to stay afloat. His argument was that large corporations such as Chrysler were taking advantage of Sterling Heights by applying for and receiving tax exemptions for capital expenditures. He also charged the sitting council with reckless spending, inattention to blight, and failure to maintain the city’s road system.
Most of these issues no longer exist. City revenues have come up significantly. The personal property tax, upon which the exemptions were granted under Michigan state law, is in the process of being phased out by Lansing, the revenue to be replaced with another arrangement. With the improvement in the state’s economy, the number of empty buildings has steadily dwindled. With the approval of a new local tax, the city’s streets and roads are now under a great deal of repair and reconstruction, as virtually any driver in town can attest.
On June 10th of this year, Mr. Judnick made a public Facebook post which was interpreted by many as a racially charged statement about blacks and police officers. In the post, he stated, “my advise (SIC) to all police, when there is any doubt…shoot!” At the time, I publicly stated that I did not believe this statement meant Mr. Judnick was a cold-hearted racist. Unfortunately, he did very little to recover from this misstep, and I’m sure doubts remain in the minds of many.
My conclusion from all of this is that Mr. Judnick is out of touch with the city’s current issues, is perhaps in need of some racial sensitivity training, and ultimately is unfit for office.
I am recommending you NOT vote for Joseph Judnick on November 3, 2015.