Candidate Profile: Fred Shadko Seeks Northville Township Board of Trustees Seat
Who do you plan to back in the election?
Today, we continue featuring a series of interviews with the six candidates vying for one of four seats on Northville Township's board of trustees.
Fred Shadko is seeking election to the board. He's one of five Republican candidates running in the Aug. 7 primary. In our Q&A profiles, we asked the same questions of each candidate. Shadko's replies are below.
Q: Name and profession
Fred Shadko, Information Technology Manager and Executive and part-time videographer
Q: Number of years a resident of Northville Township
Q: Educational and/or military background
Bachelors in Engineering, and Masters in Business Administration, University of Michigan. Registered Professional Engineer in the State of Michigan.
Q: Why are your running for office?
During my sixteen years in Northville Township, I have often been the beneficiary of this community's great heart and I have enjoyed its welcoming environment. I have served in leadership roles on numerous ad hoc committees and worked for many causes and initiatives. Now that I am an early retiree I have the time to give back to this community in more of a “full-time” manner. Northville Township has been transitioning from a semi-rural and institutional landscape to a bedroom community wrapped around the City of Northville. The Township can grow by another 10,000 before it is completely built out. At this critical point in its development, I believe the Board of Trustees should be made
up of people with proven leadership talent, who have the time and the drive to move Northville Township forward.
Q: What are the biggest issues facing the township that you hope to address?
1. Living within the Township’s budget – even as revenues continue to contract. Diversifying the tax base by adding commercial and even light industrial facilities can help bring in additional revenues.
2. Maintaining our level of service – especially in public safety and water and sewage. This includes the plans to clean up the state hospital property using the tax increment financing of a brownfield plan.
3. Ensuring that new development is consistent with adjoining neighborhoods and the Township’s ordinances and values. This includes the Seven Mile Road property, the Scott Prison, and the Five Mile Road corridor.
4. Working with Lansing to revise the annexation laws. There are still properties in the Township vulnerable to annexation. I led the successful grass-roots Stop Annexation campaign in 2008, but that stopped only the state hospital property annexation to Livonia. There are other properties in Northville township at risk of annexation under the current law.
Q: What are its biggest successes that you hope to continue?
1. Northville Township is a safe, visually attractive community which has maintained its property values better than most.
2. The Township is fiscally stable, thanks to the hard work of its staff including the Finance, Public Service and Planning departments. We need to retain and, as openings occur, add capable people to the Township staff.
3. The Township provides a high level of services, in part through shared services. We need to continue to explore additional sharing agreements with neighboring communities, as well as Wayne County and the State.
Q: We've reported quite a bit on developments at the Seven Mile property, the former psychiatric hospital, and at the Robert Scott Correctional Facility. What do you hope to see done with the Seven Mile Property and Robert Scott Correctional Facility?
My priority is to make sure Robert Scott does not continue as a prison facility. Northville Township has “served its time” as host to thousands of acres of hospital, prison and other institutional facilities. However, it is essential that we see a thorough financial analysis of the Township's costs and probable returns before committing to a purchase. If the existing Board does purchase the property, the next Board will be responsible for turning it into a township asset.
There is a master plan for the property the Township owns on Seven Mile Road. The first thing that has to happen is the cleanup of the site. This will be funded by the tax revenues from the commercial area in the northeast corner of the site through a brownfield agreement. The Township has already received an EPA grant of $200,000 and the first of the buildings are scheduled to be demolished. I was on the Green Ribbon Committee that worked with the Township staff and a planning firm to develop a long-term plan that should be implemented as funding becomes available. We need to ask the community to prioritize the many amenities proposed for the park, and work to obtain grants, sponsorships, etc., to fund the development.
Q: Anything else you would like to briefly add?
I am very proud to have led the campaign to create an off-leash dog park in the Township. Operated by Northville Parks and Recreation, this park and the one in the City have over 400 household members, with over 650 dogs. I continue to volunteer for the dog parks, co-leading the monthly new user orientation sessions.
I am also proud of the volunteer work I have done for the Northville Historical Society and the Northville Township Historic District Commision creating multi-media events documenting our community's history. I serve as secretary of the Township's Historic District Commission.
For more election coverage details, see our Northville voter guide.
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