, candidate for Plymouth Township Trustee
Name: Michael J Kelly
Party affiliation: Republican
Family: Resident since 1991, married for almost 28 years to Brenda, no children, one Golden Retriever
Profession: Laboratory Development Analyst, 33 years, Ford Motor Company
Previous public-sector experience: Ridgewood Hills Homeowners Association board member, Township Compensation Commission, 3.5 years Township Trustee.
What made you decide to seek re-election?
I am running for a second term to continue our work to provide our residents the services they need with no increases to their taxes. Many of the new candidates are special interest firefighter candidates that want to raise our taxes. That is their main agenda. I want to work for ALL the residents.
What issues do you see affecting the township?
- Legacy costs: We need to continue to make the difficult decisions to gradually reduce our long term retiree pension and health care costs. Every community is faced with these same problems, either reduce the cost or raise taxes significantly to cover them in the future. It is not fair to ask the taxpayer to pick up the tab for benefits that were never sustainable.
- Property Values: Our property values have increased, but we are still below the 2004 peak before the recession. We are also facing declining commercial property tax revenue. Overall we are bringing in less revenue. We need to be focused and keep our expenditures and revenue in balance.
- Taxes: If we do not keep out tax rate low, we lose a valuable tool to attract new residents and businesses to the township.
What is your plan to address those issues?:
We need to continue to look for consolidation of services where it makes sense and saves money. We need to keep our costs under control as we go forward in this slow economic climate. We need fair and balanced labor agreements that provide services while not over burdening the taxpayer.