John Ewing is one of two candidates competing for the position of Brighton Township Supervisor. Continue following Brighton Patch this week for more Township Board of Trustees election coverage.
[Read John Ewing's Letter to the Editor]
I am single, my name is John Ewing.
Brighton High School '83 - National Honor Society
University of Michigan '87 - BA, Economics
Chartered Financial Analyst Institute, CFA Credential - '08
For the last two years, Mike Palmer, Candiate for Trustee, and I have been employed attending Brighton Township Trustee meetings, observing and attempting to fix problems with Brighton Township officials. Due to the extent of the problems, it became a full-time job - at some point it became clear that in order to fix the problems, we would have to seek election, and finish the job as people's representatives. I have professional experience in information systems and technology development, business process engineering, and financial analysis, most recently at Andersen Consulting (now Accenture).
What groups/organizations are you involved with in the community?
Mike Palmer, candidate for Trustee, and I formed a small coalition to hold Brighton Township officials accountable to the people and the law. It is a terrific organization which hopes to finish its objectives as representatives of the people after after the November 6th election.
Why are you running for office and what relevant qualities/skills would you bring to the position?
Having attended nearly all township Board meetings the past two years, I discovered serious problems with arrogance, incompetence, and law-breaking by Brighton Township officials. The most important quality in a public official is understanding that you work for the people. If you are true to that principle and have even a minimum of talent, it's pretty hard to screw things up. The level of problems at the township hall suggest that Mr. Murphy and others may not understand or embrace that principle. Beyond understanding that its about the residents not the Board members, I have analytical and financial skills which will be useful in solving financial and legal problems caused by the current cast of characters.
What are the top three priority issues the Township Board should address and what actions would you, as an elected official, take to address them?
1. The Sewer Problem. The basic solution will require refunding of any unlawful capital charges and elimination of the capital charge from future billings, all funded from the general fund balance of $12 million. With that done, we will have to review the unfunded liability taken on by the township. It is likely that this cost will have to be borne by the general fund, but there may be some ways to seek remedies from bond lawyers or financial consultants who may have been involved in promoting the unlawful capital charge and unlawful interest charges.
2. The Private Developer Tax Evasion on State Police Post Problem. The fix here is fairly straight-forward: Bruce Dietz, the private developer, will be required to pay property taxes on the public land he gained for $1 per year, and on the building for which he will receive all rents. I will also require the State Police to pay Mr. Dietz directly for lease of the building – this may require amendments to contracts approved by John Harris and Tom Murphy.
3. The Culture of Corruption Problem. I will transform the culture, and make it very difficult for those who would seek unlawful charges from residents to thrive at the township hall. My job would be made much easier if Mike Palmer, candidate for Trustee, were also to succeed in getting elected. For the past two years, Mike and I have really been the only residents “watching” and attempting to hold accountable the township board members – put us on the inside and things will begin to get better immediately.