Candidate Profile: Mindy Herrmann Seeks Re-Election to Northville Township Board of Trustees
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.
Mindy Herrmann is seeking re-election to the board. She'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. Below are Herrmann's replies. Two trustee candidates' profiles will be featured in alphabetical order throughout this week.
Q: Name and Profession
Mindy Herrmann, Officer, US Marine Corps
Q: Years a Northville Township resident?
Q: Educational and/or military background?
Education: BS (United States Naval Academy) and Masters-Level Command and Staff Planning Course/USMC
Military Background: I have served my country in the military since I was 18 years old when I was appointed a Midshipman in the Navy. At 22, I was commissioned as a Second Lieutenant in the Marine Corps and I have remained in the Corps until today, where I continue to serve as a Lieutenant Colonel.
Q: Why are you running for office?
Northville Township is a place people aspire to move to, not from. My husband and I were thrilled to move here with our young daughters years ago, and even still, we often pause and reflect on how happy we are to be living here. As a graduate of the US Naval Academy and as a career officer in the Marine Corps, I bring the skills and qualities one acquires in serving nearly 30 years in the military: Leadership coupled with my training as a Supply and Fiscal Officer and as a trained Planner are attributes which have great applicability at the municipal level. When you benefit from something, such as our family and our children have benefited from living in such a wonderful Community, it really is a privilege to give back, and to do my part in helping to negotiate our way forward. The challenges ahead demand ethical, capable and tireless Leaders and I’m able and eager to serve Northville Township in this capacity.
Q: What are the biggest issues facing the township that you hope to address? What are its biggest successes that you hope to continue?
1. Continuing to provide residents with excellent public services at the lowest possible cost. Also, despite Wayne County’s owning our roads, we need to look for innovative ways in which to improve the quality of more of our roads.
2. Ensuring that future Township development (i.e. the former Prison Property) is consistent with our Community’s values.
3. Full transparency in government and improved communication with residents.
With the assistance of a wonderful full-time staff, we DO provide excellent public services at a reasonable cost. In order to do this, we've been proactive... for example, we've worked with other communities to reduce costs. We've also been innovative - such as providing residents with Advanced Life Support, which has not only improved the emergency services provided, but increased revenue. We've improved the Waste Service to the community (largely through the efforts of a sub-committee that I was proud to serve on), and saved residents hundreds of thousands of dollars by being creative and thinking beyond simply renewing our contract with the old vendor.
Northville Township IS a very desirable community in which to live, work and play, and we have managed to preserve home values at better than nearly all, if not all, communities within 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?
As for the Seven Mile Property, regardless of what Mindy Herrmann wants or doesn't want, the majority of Township residents who voted on the millage proposal elected to buy the property for "passive recreation," and we need to honor what the voters said they wanted done with the property when they voted to acquire it. Informed residents know that the development of this property into a park was always to be (and remains) a long-term project. Given that, I'm happy that initial progress will get underway this summer, with the first of the buildings scheduled to be torn down -- and not at the expense of Northville Township taxpayers. Also, I look at the rather lofty Master Plan for that property as an "options menu," of sorts. In other words, I do not support billing the taxpayer for any of the improvements outlined in the Master Plan without the future approval of Township voters.
As for the Robert Scott Correctional Facility, we are still conducting our due diligence to determine whether we should buy it for $1. However, if there are no surprises and the Township does end up purchasing it so that we can best control the development of the former SCF, we should not bear the expense of tearing down the buildings. Rather, we should sell the property “as is.” Both courses of action have risk (buying or not buying). However, if the Township passes on this opportunity, another municipality could potentially buy it, and could decide to make it a jail (either private or public). I think that would be very disappointing to most Northville Township residents. Ultimately, I would like to see us get the property on our tax rolls, be developed in accordance with Township values, and ultimately, have whatever development that occurs there enhance, rather than detract from, the surrounding residents’ quality of life.
Q: Anything else you would like to briefly add?
Despite our fairly substantial population, I like how our Community still feels like a small town. This didn’t happen accidentally, and we need to work to preserve this “feeling”, while still capitalizing on the benefits associated with a Township of our size and ideal location. Northville Township residents will benefit financially from diversifying our tax base, so that more revenue comes from businesses who locate here, and I’d like to see us attract the kinds of businesses who would be good corporate neighbors. These businesses minimally drain public safety and school resources, and their tax dollars could help afford residents opportunities and amenities that would benefit our “small town” – such as improving our pathways in the Township, so that all residents can safely walk or ride to the major attractions within our Community (our schools, downtown, Maybury State Park and other parks, and eventually, the 7 Mile Property).
Also, the importance of developing responsibly can’t be overstated, because we only have one chance to get it right. Poor development can detract from residents’ quality of life and good development can enhance it. The Township can control development on property that we own or sell, but like it or not, private development happens. Residents will be well-served by Trustees such as me who understand the process, importance, obstacles and strategies needed to ensure the best possible outcome of future development. Unfortunately, some developers are more interested in turning a profit rather than turning a profit while at the same time enhancing the surrounding community. Within the constraints of Township zoning ordinances, it’s our job to work with developers in order to secure the nicest possible development for our residents and the Community at large.
For more election coverage details, see our Northville voter guide.
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