Investing in the places we live, work and play

There is nothing more important than where we live, work and play.

In the wealthiest country on earth, we should expect to drive on decent roads, our children should have safe sidewalks to ride their bikes and walk to school, we shouldn't have to worry about sewage backups, and we should have the resources to imagine and create vibrant parks and community spaces, and entertain all by hosting dynamic events that make you love your community.

Today, Michigan ranks dead last in the percentage of our tax dollars that make it back to our local communties. This must change, because the services our local governments provide are the most essential: roads, sidewalks, water, sewer, parks, police, fire, EMS, etc.

While other states have been investing in their local communities, Michigan is the only state to have actually reduced funding for local governments since 2002 and done so little for its major cities.

In fact, the 49th ranked state, Ohio, has actually increased revenue to local governments by 25 percent, meaning we’re not just last, we’re far behind every state.

​During my 20 years serving in local government, I witnessed the impact of these decisions firsthand.
But it’s not hard to tell something is terribly wrong when you pick up the newspaper and see the recent headlines.
 
Detroit became the largest city in our nation’s history to go through bankruptcy. The residents of Flint have been enduring the worst health crisis in our state’s history. And, many other communities have been taken over by Gov. Snyder’s “emergency financial managers” in response to the state’s disinvestment in our communities.
 
What’s troubling is that Gov. Snyder and Republican lawmaker’s solution to their disinvestment has been to usurp local control by appointing emergency financial managers who have made ill-conceived decisions that have cost our state hundreds of millions of dollars and will have an untold impact on the families who live in
Flint for decades to come.
 
Residents place great trust in their local government because it provides for their most essential services.

It’s time for the state to place its trust in our communities by making sure our tax dollars make it home so we can invest in the services that enhance our quality of life.

I'm running to finally honor the revenue sharing formula for our local governments that was enacted in 1998 and make sure every community is in strong financial health and has world-class schools.

Julie's been getting the job done for two decades!

1. She doesn’t just talk about growing our economy. She’s helped generate $1.4 billion of sustainable investment and growth in property values in Meridian Township. She did this while placing 953 acres of ecologically-valuable land, over 16% of our available land, into the public trust for permanent preservation.

2. While most counties and communities across our state are grappling with unfunded pension and health care plans, Julie got to work and put Meridian Township in the strongest financial health of any community in Michigan. She developed and implemented a comprehensive plan to fully fund Meridian’s plans.

3. She doesn’t talk about fixing our roads, she’s been leading the effort for two decades. In her first year on the Meridian Board, Julie invested an additional $1 million to help repair our neighborhood roads, which had been neglected for years. She also helped create our neighborhood road millage and has continued investing hundreds of thousands of dollars from our General Fund every year to maintain our neighborhood roads and protect our property values as the county failed to do so.

4. She doesn’t talk about our children’s future, she helped raise over $50,000 to
support the relocation and expansion of our Haslett and Okemos Libraries to larger
facilities that meet the needs of 21st-Century libraries without having to raise taxes.

5. She’s doesn’t talk about protecting our environment, she lives it. After earning her
degree in environmental toxicology, she ran a mobile laboratory, conducting
investigations and cleanups of contaminated sites all over Michigan. She’s investing
Meridian in clean, smart renewable energy. She brought curbside recycling to every
home in our community and helped pass our County’s farm preservation millage.