Candidate Profile: Robert Nix Vies For Northville Township Supervisor Seat
Who do you plan to back in the election?
Here's the second in our series of our Northville Township candidate Q&A profiles.
Today we feature Robert Nix, who is running for Northville Township supervisor. He is one of three Republican candidates for supervisor who will be on the ballot for township voters. They seek to replace Mark Abbo, who is not running for re-election. The winner of the primary will also win the November general election, as there is no Democratic challenger.
The candidate's replies to Northville Patch's questions are listed below.
Q: Name and profession
Robert R. Nix II, commercial lawyer specializing for more than 20 years in business transactions, commercial real estate development and finance.
Q: Number of years a resident of Northville Township?
Moved to the Northville area in 1977, and a current Township resident for 26 years.
Q: Educational and/or military background?
B.S., Eastern Michigan University. J.D., Wayne State University Law School.
Member of Army Reserve, Armor Corps.
Q: Why are you running for office?
I seek the Supervisor position to ensure that the next phase of development preserves and enhances the character and core values of the Township. The Township Supervisor is a leadership position requiring the ability to build consensus among the Trustees and create cooperative partnerships with community leaders and governmental representatives. My professional background and previous leadership roles make me uniquely qualified to serve as the Supervisor to meet the real estate and financial challenges confronting the Township in the next 4 years. I will use my professional leadership to make sure that the Seven Mile and prison properties, Five Mile corridor and new developments benefit the Township. I will implement fiscally conservative policies to protect our financial condition during this uncertain economic environment. I am committed to serving the needs of the residents by promoting responsible development, fiscal responsibility and resident involvement in the decision making process.
Q: What are the biggest issues facing the township that you hope to address? What are its biggest successes that you hope to continue?
First, maintaining and enhancing Township services, including police and fire protection, utilities, and recreational programs. Repairing and improving roads serving the Township should be our primary focus. Second, ensuring that real estate development is compatible and harmonious with Township character and provides services and amenities needed by the residents. "Cleaning up" the State Hospital property is our first priority. Development of the Five Mile corridor should be sought for the creation of new businesses and additional tax revenues to minimize tax increases to the residents. Third, maintaining and improving the Township financial condition, including careful spending and budgeting, increasing reserves, and reducing costs. Implementing budget controls and reducing debt will increase the Township bond rating and save money by reducing borrowing costs.
The Township has successfully implemented shared services for police dispatch,
recreation, youth and seniors. I would expand the shared services model to a level of intergovernmental partnerships or private/public partnerships to reduce costs without reducing service. This approach would require careful study and I would engage the Township's skilled staff to develop proposals for Board consideration.
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?
Although Township residents have strong opinions regarding the purchase of the
Seven Mile property, we are now obligated to implement the purchase decision of the majority. The priorities are (1) demolish the buildings, "clean up" and maintain the state hospital property, and (2) make those improvements desired by the residents based upon available funding. Although the master plan provided a long-term guide, the specific improvements should be based upon the priority set by our residents. Funding can be sought from increased tax revenues from the REIS project, grants, donations, partnerships with governmental agencies, recreational facilities promoted by local residents, and "creative thinking." The correctional facility creates the southern gateway
to the Township and presents an opportunity for a change in use which would benefit the Township. However, the Township should not be in the real estate development business. Property acquisition should only be considered when it meets a Township purpose and does not create a financial risk. Residents are concerned that the prison property will remain vacant creating a blight in the Township or reopened as a prison by government or private enterprise. The Board should perform its due diligence of the site to determine whether it can satisfy these concerns without creating a financial burden before proceeding. The Board of the future will not plan by accident.
Q: Anything else you would like to briefly add?
My goals are to provide real transparency in fiscal matters, including open bidding of services, an electronic checkbook and online budget reporting. This transparency should be proactive and extend to resident participation in decision-making process. I will periodically meet with homeowners associations and provide notices to residents that will be affected by Board decisions. I will promote consensus building and decisions will be made on the basis of "what is in the best interest of the Township" and not special interest groups, political motivation or other considerations.
For more election coverage details, see our Northville voter guide.
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