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Candidate Q&A: Patrick Michel for Brighton Township Trustee

Patrick Michel will make a bid for Brighton Township Trustee in November.

Patrick Michel is one of six candidates competing for the four open Trustee seats on the Brighton Township Board of Trustees. Continue following Brighton Patch this week for more Township Board of Trustees election coverage.

Family

I've been married to my wife, Marnie for 11.5 years and we have 3 children: 9-year-old Margaret, 7-year-old Patrick, and 6-year-old Madeleine.

Education

I graduated from Detroit Catholic Central High School in 1983, The University of Michigan with a BS in Finance and Economics in 1988, and The University of Detroit with an MBA in Marketing Management in 1992.

Employment

I'm a Global Strategic Technical Sales and Marketing Specialist working in the Transportation Industry, mostly Automotive.

What groups/organizations are you involved with in the community?

  1. Member of Livingston County Republicans
  2. Second Term as Republican Precinct Delegate, Brighton Township.
  3. Our family belongs to and is active at St. Patrick Catholic Parish in Brighton. Active in Right-to-Life.
  4. My children are involved in Cub Scouts, Girl Scouts, SELCRA Athletics (Soccer and Flag Football). My daughters are students at Ginny's Dance Works.

Why are you running for office and what relevant qualities/skills would you bring to the position?

As a father of three young children, I felt compelled a few years ago to help preserve for them the quality of life in the Brighton Area and so became involve with the Livingston County Republicans. Because of the fiscal responsibility of my predecessors, we enjoy here some of the lowest property taxes in the State of Michigan with the highest standard of living. I'm confident that I can bring my value of fiscal conservatism coupled with my successes in private business and strategic nature to bear on dealing with issues as they come to light.  Our Board of Trustees needs to be not only proactive but certainly effectively and efficiently reactive.

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. Sunset Park. All of the facts need to come into the light and, most importantly, the "Voice of the People", those who would be most impacted, needs to be heard and considered.
  2. Water and Sewer System. Certainly, the fiscal setbacks of the last few years experienced nationwide have been felt hard right here in Livingston County. Housing starts and other development grinding to a near halt have made it difficult for Brighton Township to live up to even the most conservative of forecasts. With fewer customers than forecast connecting to the sewer system, containing the costs and meeting bond obligations has been difficult. In order to avoid increasing per-customer cost increases to an unreasonable level, the effort needs to be ongoing to meet the original objectives without blowing a hole in Brighton Township's budget.
  3. Maintaining the low taxes.
john ewing October 15, 2012 at 02:23 PM
It appears that Mr. Michel is blaming the problems with the Sewer on "forecasts" and "the economy". Maybe he's not aware that in 2003, one year after the Sewer went live, there was already an operational shortfall and the first of many poorly tracked loans was made from the General Fund. Or maybe he doesn't know that some of the supposed special assessments represented to the bond market (Orchard Estates, Deerfield, and maybe others) did not actually exist, were never obtained through any legal special assessment process, and mysteriously disappeared from the bond books after the 2005 bond refinancing. Or maybe he's not aware that the sewer project started with a dubious payment of $1,012,000 to Pleasant Valley Partners for wetland. Or maybe he's not aware that the township ordinance required an annual audit which reviewed the sewer books for equitable fees and was supposed to ensure that fees were in line with expenses - something which wasn't done in a single year of the project in its 11th year. With all of the supposed financial experience on his resume' and the apparent close association he would have to other party members on the township hall board, you would think he might be aware or understand these things. To me, Mr. Michel looks like a guy who might help Brighton Township officials continue the fable that the Sewer problem is economic and not related to the irresponsible mismanagement of township board members.
john ewing October 15, 2012 at 04:18 PM
Mr. Michel: Are you aware that in 2005 Brighton Twp. refinanced the sewer bonds, resulting in an average interest rate of about 4% on the bonds which remained outstanding ? Are you aware that State law allows the township to charge 1% above the average rate on bonds outstanding to sewer users assessed over 20 years ? Are you aware, that despite the fact that the township was lawfully allowed to charge only about 5% (4% plus 1% statutory spread), it began charging 6%, a 2% spread over borrowing costs ? Are you aware that this has resulted in $700,000 in unlawful extractions since 2005 ? Are you aware that the unlawful extractions continue to grow, including about $70,000 this year, and trending down to zero in 2022 when the last bonds are retired ? Are you aware that the Public Act which Brighton Twp. originally sought petitions for special assessments (PA 188) does not allow borrowing in excess of special assessments ? Are you aware that Brighton Township borrowed at least $12 million in excess of special assessments, and has repeatedly and unlawfully sought to place that burden on the special assessment enrollees ? Are you aware that the Municipal Finance Revenue Act does not permit borrowing in excess of special assessments ? John Ewing No offense, but we don't need excuses for financial mismanagement at the township hall...we need people standing up for the residents of Brighton Township.
stev October 16, 2012 at 12:15 AM
Hey, John Ewing, what do you mean, "No offense, but we don't need excuses ...." It's obvious you're offended about something ... or just an axe to grind! Wow! Get off it.
Kelly Meisling October 16, 2012 at 01:14 AM
Looking forward to Patrick being elected. Praying for you.
john ewing October 16, 2012 at 03:48 AM
The axe that is grinding is: $2,000,000 in illegal sewer "capital charges". $1,000,000 fraudulent land transaction for wetland to put the sewer plant on, in which a bogus parcel which never existed legally was claimed to be donated. $700,000 in excess interest charges to sewer users. and another $70,000 each year. I don't know Mr. Michel personally. However, I do know that the only township hall meeting he has attended the past two years was to announce his candidacy. To me, this suggests he may be buddies with the apparent scoundrels and law-breakers on the current board of trustees. If he is a serious candidate, he should understand the illegal sewer billings at the township hall. His suggestion that the main problem is "economic" is not accurate, but is consistent with the fairy tale told by Supervisor Murphy. I will repeat: We don't need excuse makers at the township hall, we need people who will protect residents from the pattern of illegal activity by Murphy and the current Board. Mike Palmer and I have been working from the outside for two years pressuring Murphy to stop the illegal activity. Mr. Michel has not attended a single meeting the last two years, except to announce his candidacy for trustee. Mike Palmer has been working hard for two years to fix illegal sewer billings - I think his voice is needed as Trustee. Chop-chop. John Ewing
Scott Amman October 23, 2012 at 11:42 AM
Patrick, where do you stand on the possible reopening of the Sunset gravel pit? Would you support a proposal, if it were to come before the Board, that would allow for the reopening of the gravel pit? Thanks.

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