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BLOOMFIELD TOWNSHIP TRUSTEE - REPUBLICAN

Four-year term


Five candidates are competing for four open seats.



MARK ANTAKLI


Mark Antakli is a consultant with an undergraduate mechanical engineering degree and an MBA from University of Michigan. He has been a precinct delegate from 2020-2024.


Trustee responsibilities


Mark Antakli believes the role of the trustee is to be a representative of the people's interests and concerns as it pertains to all decisions made by township management. He believes the residents elect trustees to hold the township accountable, both financially and ethically, to do what is right and proper on behalf of all residents, and taxpayers. No one interest group should have sway over township decisions. The decisions are made during board of trustee and township committee meetings. Oversight is provided for activities such as budgets, ordinances, tax appropriations, elections, land use and fee structures such as water and sewer fees. Too often government has a “because we can” approach to its decision-making process. This was evident during the Truth-In-Taxation agenda item at the March 25, 2024, trustee meeting. Although social security payments increased 3.2 percent, and seniors make up more than 20 percent of township residents, the board of trustees voted to increase property tax valuations by more than 3.2 percent just because they could. During the public comment, Mark Antakli advocated reducing the tax increase and the financial burden on residents.


Financial knowledge


Mark Antakli has an MBA with a Finance Concentration and a BS in Mechanical Engineering. The following examples highlight what Mark Antakli will bring to the table. During the spring of 2023, Antakli advocated lowering water and sewer rates. Antakli’s financial analysis was valid, considering the $6,264,167.93 water and sewer gross income presented in the April 24, 2024, board of trustee packet. Antakli’s post can be found on the Better Bloomfield Township Facebook page. To be sure, the audited financials will not be available until the end of September 2024 and will adjust for depreciation and capital improvement. During Public Comment on May 13, 2024, Mark Antakli inquired about the investment income on the $9.825 million of assets in the Equipment and Replacement Fund. Did the treasurer invest the funds? Where was the investment income allocated? Mark Antakli has advocated for Public Safety’s Healthcare Retirement Trust Assets. When public safety liabilities and assets were placed in a separate sub-account the township board never addressed how investment income was allocated to public safety retirees. The split occurred in May of 2021. According to the township’s website, the township generated investment income of more than $2.4 million during the period considered. Yet none of the investment income was allocated to public safety retirees. Why? A presentation was made to the board of trustees in the August 28, 2023, board of trustee meeting.


Upcoming issues


The Township has large recurring costs that will end in the next 10 to 15 years, for example, the pension bond debt, the healthcare retirement trust contributions, the pension benefit contributions, and campus debt. What happens when a large recurring cost ends? Should the township reduce tax millages, keep collecting the full millage, and spend the additional revenue or fees? Mark Antakli believes the township should start planning to eliminate the second general fund millage to coincide with the final pension bond debt payment. The pension bond debt payment is over $5 million per year, the last payment is due May 2033. Antakli believes separating recurring costs and capital improvements during the annual budget process would validate how much the tax millages can be reduced and provide insight into an appropriate time frame.


Township master plan/ordinances


Mark Antakli believes the public comments made during the Bloomfield Village Road SAD hearings highlight the importance of a good strategic plan. By coordinating the timing of road replacements, sidewalk replacements, and water and sewer replacements, the township can reduce expenses and assessments for residents and businesses. Antakli would like the strategic plan to include a water storage system. This would allow the township to purchase water at night at wholesale rates. The water can then be released during the daytime when the cost of water is higher. This would help reduce water and sewer rates for township residents and businesses. For a water storage system, would it be appropriate to lease property from the Bloomfield Hills Schools to preserve the baseball, soccer, and lacrosse fields at Fox Hill School? The lease payment would help cover the expenses to maintain the playing fields for the children in the community. Is this the right time to consider this project with all the construction currently taking place at Square Lake Road and the I-75 interchange? With a good strategic plan, it becomes easier to answer these questions.


Business community


Mark Antakli believes providing good governance to everyone will result in better outcomes for businesses and residents. Good governance includes consistently applying ordinances, utilizing long-term plans to stabilize the impact of capital expenditures, identifying opportunities to reduce expenses and lower taxes, and identifying opportunities to lower fee structures such as water and sewer.


2020 presidential election results


Election integrity is a bipartisan issue. Bloomfield Township is fortunate to have such wonderful election volunteers supporting election integrity in Bloomfield Township and throughout the local community. Mark Antakli has received Six Sigma Black Belt Training and views elections as a process with opportunities for continuous improvement. Antakli views elections by answering the following questions: 1) Was the election process fair? 2) Was the election process transparent? 3) Was the chain of custody preserved throughout the election process? When the answer is “NO,” it becomes the clerk’s responsibility to improve the process and remove the concerns in the election process. When transparency is high throughout the election process, it builds confidence regarding election outcomes.


Why vote for you


Mark Antakli grew up in West Bloomfield and Bloomfield Hills and was fortunate to attend Brother Rice High School.In 2018 Mark returned to his Michigan roots and settled in Bloomfield Township with his wife and three children. Mark Antakli believes the township is overcharging residents on water and fees by about 10 percent. The incumbents have supported the high water and sewer rates resulting in a $15 million increase in fund reserves from March 31, 2020, through March 31, 2023. Over the past four years, Mark Antakli has actively and consistently voiced concerns during township board of trustee and financial sustainability meetings. The incumbents have not been able to explain why Antakli is wrong. Antakli has created a group on Next Door to engage the community. The group is called “Bloomfield Township Trustee Meeting Topics”. Here is the web address of the group nextdoor.com/g/geioyf49n/.



NEAL BARNETT


Neal Barnett is attorney/managing partner at Sills, Charboneau & Barnett, PC. He received his undergraduate degree from Michigan State University's Honor College, a master's in clinical psychology from Oakland University, and his law degree from Wayne State University. He has served on the township's board of trustees since 2004, and is also on the township's planning commission, election commission, financial sustainability committee, and served on the township's zoning board.


Trustee responsibilities


The role of a trustee is to represent the concerns of the residents to the board. The role of a trustee is also to provide a check and balance on the non-trustee board members. It is not a rubber stamp position. Personal views are important as are the views of the residents. Trustees should provide a balance between the two. I am the most qualified candidate for the trustee position. I have over 20 years experience as a trustee on the Bloomfield Township Board. In addition, I have the most in-depth background as a Planning Commisioner for over 19 years, a member of the Financial Sustainability Committee, Election Committee and former member of the Zoning Board of Appeals.


Financial knowledge


As an attorney with over 35 years of experience in asset protection and retirement plans, I bring a significant financial acumen to the board. I have worked on the township’s budgets, special assessment districts, investments and retirement assets during my 20 years on the board and as a member of the Financial Sustainability Committee.


Upcoming issues


Bloomfield Township is primarily a bedroom community with aging infrastructure and long term financial liabilities. I have always advocated upgrading and investing in our water system and below ground infrastructure. In addition, we have made significant progress on our financial long term liabilities and that must continue. We must improve the services we provide our residents. We can do better, whether clearing the ice and snow, reducing crime, providing waste management services, providing building inspections in a timely manner or repairing damaged safety paths faster. We are a service provider. Historically we were known for providing exemplary services to our residents. In addition, we should appoint a sub-committee of board members and department heads to develop a more independent and professional Human Resource Department for Bloomfield Township.

Township master plan/ordinances


I am extremely familiar with our master plan and zoning ordinances. I am the only candidate who has been on the Bloomfield Township Zoning Board, worked on our current strategic plan and current master plan. It is important that we review and update our current strategic plan and master plan. The plans need to reflect the current values and objectives of the residents.


Business community


We utilize many of our retail, financial and business constituency via their participation in the Financial Sustainability Committee. I often meet informally with many of our retail, financial and business constituency to better understand their concerns and how we as a township can provide the services they need.


2020 presidential election results


I accept the presidential election results of 2020 in Michigan and will accept the results of the 2024 primary and general election. There is no legitimate evidence that the 2020 presidential election results in Michigan should not be accepted. The non-believers have been destructive and attempted to destroy the Michigan Republican party by turning it into a clown show. As a member of the Election Commission, I am familiar with all of the strong security measures that the state has implemented.


Why vote for you


I am the most qualified candidate. I have been a trustee on the Bloomfield Township Board for over 20 years. I provide the institutional knowledge and understanding of Bloomfield Township that the other candidates lack. I have a strong financial background. I am non-political and look out for the best interests of our residents. I believe in providing exemplary services to our residents. I have a strong understanding of all of the issues that are presented to the board. Bloomfield Township will have many issues that we need to address. The residents deserve to have someone represent them who understands the history and culture of Bloomfield Township and who will strive to continue to make it better.



MALISSA BOSSARDET


Malissa Bossardet is a customer success manager for Wedgewood Pharmacy/Blue Rabbit Inc. She has a degree from Indiana University in theater. From 2016-2020, Bossardet was an executive committee member with the Oakland County Republican Party and has been an elected Republican precinct delegate.


Trustee responsibilities


Township trustees serve on the board in a purely legislative role, as opposed to the legislative/ministerial roles assigned to the full-time members. Trustees are both policy makers and the guardians of the taxpayers’ money. As the four trustees serve as the elected majority on our township board, they must act as fiscal watchdogs of the how money is budgeted and spent. Trustees vote on all ordinances and many land use questions. It is not the job of the trustees to involve themselves in the day-to-day operation of the township. While it is important to represent the residents as an elected trustee, voters understand that each candidate standing for election hold certain beliefs. This understanding has served as the basis of our representative democracy for nearly 250 years. It is not possible to precisely ascertain the personal views of every resident, so keeping open lines of communication with them as an elected official is vital. I have worked for many years in animal healthcare and understand the needs of my clients, especially how economic conditions impact their ability to deliver services while remaining profitable. This understanding, along with my project management background, make me qualified to serve as trustee.


Financial knowledge


I have an extensive business background which provides me with an understanding of the fundamentals of budgets and finance. Trustees must vote to hire an accounting firm each year to provide a comprehensive audit of the townships’ finances. I am familiar with municipal audits and can determine when certain red flags appear in an audit report. It is of the utmost importance that trustees hire a reliable accounting firm to provide the peoples’ elected representatives with a professional and accurate reporting of our books.The investments made by the township are largely dependent upon the township treasurer, with oversight by the entire membership of the board. It is crucial that retirement funds remain adequately funded to prevent shortfalls needing to be paid for by the taxpayers. Special assessment districts are a particularly sensitive matter. While a certain percentage of property owners in the district may trigger the creation of a district, there are occasions when other property owners may be vehemently opposed to the project being funded and being forced to pay for something they do not agree to as being needed. As a trustee, I will carefully weigh all sides before voting to approve such a district.


Upcoming issues


The delivery of basic township services tops my list. The ice storms earlier this year created rutted road conditions for days on major east-west roads such as Quarton. The township did nothing to resolve this, placing blame everywhere else. Bloomfield Township residents observed bare pavement east of Adams Road entering the city of Troy while our roads bordered on being impassible. If I am elected trustee, I will help develop an action plan to prevent such conditions from persisting for days. We need to demand better from all service as we pay for much of our own road services other townships rely upon the Road Commission to service. We must demand accountability when the services are not provided. I support efforts to strengthen our police protection. High-tech gangs have targeted Bloomfield Township for frightening home invasions. We must work with multijurisdictional task forces to combat these gangs, while providing our own police department with the resources to make sure we are protected.


Township master plan/ordinances


A responsible municipality frequently updates their master plan. A hopelessly out of date plan paints a legal target on our backs if rezonings and land use approvals are challenged in court. A comprehensive and contemporary master plan helps to strengthen our legal position should those being turned down for a noxious use decides to litigate. This measure of prevention is much cheaper the long run and simply makes sense in a community claiming to be among the elite in Michigan.


Business community


Bloomfield Township is primarily a “bedroom community” with retail and office corridors. While businesses must pay taxes at a rate usually higher than residential properties, they are frequently underrepresented at township hall. As a trustee, I would work with the business community, including business and trade organizations, to better provide for their needs. We need to be mindful that in this post-Covid world, the need for traditional retail and office space has changed. While there may never be a need for as much of these uses going forward, we can work to attract premium users to serve our high end community.


2020 presidential election results


While I’m unsure how this question is particularly relevant in a race for township trustee, I do accept the presidential elections results in Michigan. I have often served as an election worker for the township clerk, both at the polls and the absentee counting boards. I am very familiar with the multiple safeguards providing for ballot security. As someone who served as an election worker on the day of the November 2020 election, I saw with my own eyes that the process with conducted with the utmost of professionalism and integrity.


Why vote for you


While three of my primary opponents are all long-term residents of Bloomfield Township and well-known Republicans, candidate Margo Cargill registered to vote and filed for office on April 23, 2024. She claims residence in a home with no record of her, yet she has extensive records indicating she resides in the state of New York. As an actual homeowner, taxpayer and established voter in this community, I believe that I am better suited to serve its taxpayers than a completely unknown candidate having registered to vote and run for office on the last day to file. I have previously been elected as a Republican precinct delegate, served as a delegate to the state Republican convention. I have also run for office in Bloomfield Township. I have often served as an election day worker for multiple township elections. I have been a Republican activist concerned about the disturbing lack of value for money township taxpayers receive.



MARGO K. CARGILL


Margo Cargill is CEO of Titanium Linx Consulting. She has a communications degree from University of Michigan, and has been involved with Habitat of Humanity and YouthTank Detroit.


Trustee responsibilities


The significance is within the root word itself… Trust. It is the highest honor to be trusted by those you represent and to be entrusted with the livelihood of these same individuals. The responsibility is not to be taken lightly nor taken for granted, or else the integrity of the role is degraded. A trustee must be pragmatic, impartial, and informed on all topics related to the township, its people, its assets and its governance while being intentional and resolute in their decisions on behalf of constituents. I aim to be a steward and embodiment of the community and ensure the board considers not only the loudest voices or most popular views but also the most tempered and most vulnerable to safeguard our measured growth and continued prosperity. To contribute my knowledge, expertise and experience in external affairs, public relations, business, government and labor negotiations to my community while bringing unique perspectives and best practice approaches utilized by other municipalities. Everyone has a unique perspective shaped by their life experiences and background, which adds absolute value to decision-making. The vital key is to recognize and appreciate one's peculiar lens and inherent biases and endeavor to use intellect and logic to balance them at all costs. While I believe it is important to challenge the status quo and, at times, do so on the record, there's a fine line between stubbornly sticking to one's opinion/views and demonstrating a unified front and ability to compromise. One’s voice/personal opinion or opposition shapes decisions, irrespective of whether it goes in one’s favor. It is crucial that if it is a very close situation that is controversial, one must assess whether it is for the good (protection and stability) of the public to move forward or to make a point. It does not mean we do not reflect on or forget these decisions, but we move forward and take the experience as a lesson, not a loss. In the end, it is not primarily about my own belief but about what is in the best interest of the community. That is ultimately where my vote will always go.


Financial knowledge


By definition, the ascension from founder to CEO of a successful and profitable corporation operating in multiple states requires budgeting and financial acumen. Until I could afford to hire people much wiser than myself who specialized in these areas, I did everything myself. It included cost determinations, profit and loss, cash flows, and other financial statements. Now, as we have evolved into investments and retirement accounts for both myself and my employees, these are careful considerations and deliberations. I am well-versed in these matters. The township, in many respects, is a business (for the profit and gain of our community) and is accountable to its shareholders (our community). However, its performance metrics are sometimes subjective instead of objective. So, my strength is not crunching the actual numbers but instead helping constituents understand what “profitability” ultimately means for them. My day-to-day job is to take highly technical engineering concepts and terminology and translate them into a digestible form to ensure communities understand project impacts. I will bring that same simplicity and transparency to township.


Upcoming issues


Water, land, energy. For the past few years, almost every public meeting I have had the opportunity to view or attend has encompassed these areas. Shared resources and how they are paid for, managed and maintained will always be at the top of the list of concerns. Every growing community faces these challenges as demographics and density shift. The differentiator is how they overcome them with practical approaches and cooperation. Whether it’s the rising cost of water, noise on roads or lakes, safety/walkability of sidewalks, or grid reliability, all of these increased impacts on community members need to be continuously measured, monitored and evaluated. It allows us to react and manage a course correction without discomfort. Growth cannot outpace capacity; it is a recipe for disaster, and I’ve witnessed it firsthand. My experience with various infrastructure projects gives me the advantage of clearly and precisely contributing to solution strategies. When faced with tough issues/decisions, my process is to approach them critically (verifying sources of information) with integrity (to ensure fairness) and with humility (acknowledging my limitations). If we all come to the table in this manner, there isn’t anything that we can’t resolve.


Township master plan/ordinances


The master plan is empirically and periodically critical. However, zoning ordinances must be permanently and continuously reviewed and updated. I am very familiar with both due to the fact that I researched virtually everything about Bloomfield Township before choosing it as the community to live in. Through the building process itself, one learns about some of the most essential ordinances and, in turn, the benefits and drawbacks of their existence. I support the process of assessing the community's needs and ensuring they are still consistent with previous assertions, predictions and goals. Especially considering the long-term post-COVID effects, we still see how it has changed how we all live, work, and play. It is an investment that is worth ensuring we are on the right trajectory for economic stability, environmental sustainability and social vitality of our community. In planning, we will continue to support and attract the family and business balanced dynamic needed to prosper in perpetuity.


Business community


As a past president of a chamber of commerce, a vice president of a county chamber of commerce, and a committee member of a regional economic development council, I know there are many ways to achieve this. However, it is not done by throwing out a few general ideas; it is done decisively through research by the township and collaboration with the local businesses and industry leaders. It is what the business community respects and expects if the initiative is to be taken seriously. The business community is a diverse landscape, with needs that vary based on factors such as age, size, industry, revenues and location. There are no one-size-fits-all solutions that actually work, so we must avoid making assumptions. The key is assessment; understanding the composition of the area businesses can guide us in identifying their majority interests and universal needs. Whether it's assistance through the permitting process, licenses, streetscaping or other challenges, understanding their struggle to balance their bottom line with their corporate responsibility to the community is crucial. Our responsiveness and willingness to identify public-private initiatives and partnership opportunities will encourage and sustain engagement.


2020 presidential election results


Yes, to both. Our voting system is a pillar of our democracy, and it is critical that it not only functions correctly but that we trust it. This trust is built on confidence that standards in place secure this process.


Why vote for you


My background, expertise, and insight speak for themselves. I’ve worked on impact projects virtually my entire career, with a laser focus on building strong economies and communities. I have no specific revelations about any other candidates. It would be premature to comment on their ideals or proposals for the township. However, I will not engage in negative campaigning. It is beneath me and all of us.Unlike other candidates, however, I have a fresh set of eyes with no allegiances, influences or historical partialities based on experiences (good or bad) within the community. I cannot be swayed, intimidated or guilted by any status quo as it hasn’t been established. I can listen, watch and assess people, situations, data and documents absent of prior history or hang-ups. This circumstance allows me to examine the latest issues or persistent problems critically. It will enable me to dig deeply into my community’s inner workings and set strong roots, serving it as I have served every community I’ve lived.



CHRISTOPHER M. KOLINSKI


Christopher Kolinski is a Northville Township firefighter/paramedic who is completing his first year as a township trustee after being appointed in September 2023 to complete Michael Schostak's term after he became treasurer. He is the former chair of the Bloomfield Township Board of Review and is a former member of the financial sustainability committee. He is former treasurer of the IAFF Local 3961Union Executive Committee. Kolinski has a degree in finance from Oakland University. 


Trustee responsibilities


As a Bloomfield Township Trustee, I am dedicated to serving the community by overseeing administrative and financial affairs. As a trustee, I believe the focus areas include budgeting, land use, infrastructure, public safety, community development and collaboration with local governments. While I am elected based on my personal views, I prioritize the needs and concerns of the majority of my constituents, putting aside personal views. I am committed to listening to their voices and making decisions that benefit the community as a whole. My qualifications for this role are rooted in my diverse experiences, including those as chair of the Board of Review, where I developed expertise in assessments and property valuations. I also served on the Financial Sustainability Committee, ensuring wise pension investments. My background in public safety enables me to advocate for our fire and police departments, ensuring necessary resources for world-class service. Additionally, my experience in data analytics and process improvement will help streamline township operations for greater efficiency. My construction and property development experience will also serve me well in addressing property-related issues that arise at the board level. All these unique and diverse experiences will to make me an excellent trustee.


Financial knowledge


As a seasoned professional with experience in financial accounting, data analytics, and process improvement, I leveraged my expertise gained at Ernst & Young to drive efficiency and accuracy. In my role as chairman of the Board of Review, I honed my skills in assessment and valuation processes. Additionally, I contributed to the Financial Sustainability Committee, where I collaborated with experts to develop investment recommendations for the township's pension assets. Currently, I serve on the Retiree Healthcare Trustee Committee, providing strategic guidance on investments for the township's healthcare trust. I am confident that my diverse experience and skills will enable me to continue to serve as a trusted asset to the board of Bloomfield Township.


Upcoming issues


I have identified two key challenges facing Bloomfield Township: staying competitive in the current labor market and investing in our infrastructure. Historically, our township has been a sought-after destination for top public sector professionals in our region. However, due to various factors, we have lost our competitive edge in the labor market over the past few years. To address this issue, I intend to collaborate with our unions to negotiate fair and competitive contracts that ensure the township's financial stability and enable us to continue providing exceptional services to our residents by attracting exceptional people. I will work closely with our administration to develop innovative solutions to this issue. Additionally, I believe it is essential to invest in our infrastructure. Our police station, fire stations, water/sewer infrastructure, and township hall all require significant investments to ensure the safety and well-being of our residents. Moreover, these investments are crucial for attracting top talent to our township. We have already initiated a needs assessment for our fire stations and police station, which will guide our planning and decisionmaking. With several bond expirations approaching in the coming years, I propose exploring the use of bonds to finance the necessary investments in our community.


Township master plan/ordinances


I have a working knowledge of our township's master plan and zoning ordinances. I strongly advocate for a new strategic plan and a new master plan that takes into account the current needs and priorities of our township and its residents. The current master plan, which was last updated in 2007 with an amendment in 2017, is no longer relevant to the current economic landscape and challenges we face today. As our community has evolved, so too have our needs, and it is essential that we develop a new master plan that reflects these changes. A new plan, created by community input and collaboration, will provide a clear vision for our township's future and help us achieve our goals. I am proud to support the development of a new strategic plan and master plan for our township.


Business community


By fostering ongoing, active discussions with our business community, we can create a collaborative partnership that exceeds expectations. By actively listening to the needs, struggles and aspirations of our business leaders, we can work together to drive meaningful and relevant changes that benefit everyone involved. As a board, it is essential that we continue to meet with our business leaders, engage with the community, and ensure that their concerns are heard and addressed. To achieve this, we can take a proactive approach by attending chamber of commerce events, speaking at conferences hosted by local organizations, and seeking out opportunities to connect with business leaders. It is crucial that we prioritize accessibility and focus on listening, ensuring that our efforts are tailored to the unique needs and goals of our business community.


2020 presidential election results


I acknowledge the integrity of the 2020 presidential election results in Michigan and accept the outcome. I am committed to upholding the democratic process, and I will have faith in the voting process and the dedication of our state's clerks to ensure the integrity of future elections. In 2024, I will accept the results of both the primary and general elections, trusting that these public servants will prioritize the will of the voter above all else, as they are sworn to do.


Why vote for you


As a candidate for Bloomfield Township, I believe my extensive work experience makes me the ideal choice for the voters. With my experience as a financial consultant at Ernst and Young, I honed my skills in data analytics and process improvement, which will serve me well in addressing the complex issues that the board faces. My experience in public safety is particularly relevant, given its significant impact on our township's budget and residents' interests. I have also developed expertise in labor relations and union contracts, having negotiated them in the past. With multiple contracts set to expire in 2025/2026, I am confident that my knowledge will be a valuable asset to the board. Additionally, my background in property development and construction will aid in making informed decisions on these critical issues within our township. I firmly believe that my diverse experience makes me the best candidate for the primary election, and I encourage voters to select me for the board.

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