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.
Michael Nolta is seeking election to the board. He's the sole Democrat running in the Aug. 7 primary and will automatically advance to the November election., we asked the same questions of each candidate. Nolta's replies are below.
See to view interviews with the three candidates for supervisor and treasurer candidates and
Q: Name and profession
Michael Nolta, Capacity Planning Supervisor – Ford Motor Company.
Q: Number of years a resident of Northville Township?
Q: Educational and/or military background?
Bachelor of Science – Applied Engineering Sciences, Michigan State University.
Q: Why are your running for office?
I am running for the Board of Trustees to restore fiscal conservatism to Northville Township, especially as the State of Michigan divests itself from its Township assets. Fiscal conservatism is something I feel the Township has gotten away from since the last election 4 years ago, especially with regard to the former State psychiatric hospital property on Seven Mile. Also, whether we’re talking about the Seven Mile property, the Scott Correctional property or any other parcel the Township owns or has jurisdiction over, the Township only has one chance to get it right – whatever ends up on these parcels we will all live with most likely for the rest of our lives, or however long we each choose to remain in Northville. I can think of no greater responsibility at the local level than to plan our community appropriately and this is why I am running for the Board of Trustees.
Q: What are the biggest issues facing the township that you hope to address? What are its biggest successes that you hope to continue?
The biggest issues facing the Township are the former State psychiatric hospital property on Seven Mile and the Scott Correctional property on Five Mile, which will be addressed in the next question. Also, our roads urgently need to be addressed – I am a proponent of the proposed regional authority that would receive road funding directly from the State and bypass Wayne County. Finally, I believe each park within the Northville Parks system should have adequate space for passive recreation.
Regarding successes, I believe the Township is a trendsetter in the area of community collaboration – examples include the dispatch service and park system shared with the City of Northville, as well as the WTUA. I also believe Northville Township does a good job living up to its slogan – “Looking toward tomorrow without forgetting yesterday” - Northville Township has always had a unique sense of its own history and a certain pride in it. More important, it has always been careful to grow at a measured pace in order to maintain its quality of life. I hope to continue steering the Township in this direction for years to come.
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?
Regarding the Seven Mile Property, Stantec Engineering did a great job incorporating the wishes of the Green Ribbon Committee and the residents who responded via the web to the four proposals put forth by the Committee. However, the $83 million Master Plan adopted by the Board of Trustees in January 2012 is simply not affordable - it needs to be scaled back significantly, with funding identified for future operation and maintenance. My plan does this, while preserving the natural beauty of this parcel – it keeps the trails, restroom facilities and some of the parking areas from the Master Plan and eliminates the rest.
Regarding the Scott Correctional Facility, at the time of writing, the cost of demolition and cleanup was still undetermined - if the Township can find funding for this expense, it should buy the Scott property from the State of Michigan for $1. It could then zone the parcel consistent with the 5 Mile corridor and sell it to the highest bidder. We simply cannot allow this property to fall into Wayne County’s hands - we will have no jurisdiction over it (as long as it is used entirely for County purposes); also, it will never be on the Township’s tax rolls and will likely remain a jail and eyesore for years to come. This is a prime piece of property – I am confident we can realize a profit even after giving the State 40 percent of the proceeds when we sell it. More important, we have the opportunity to create something special at this location.
Q: Anything else you would like to briefly add?
I am not currently a Trustee or on any Board or commission in Northville Township so, unlike many of my fellow candidates, I will not be influenced by decisions made in the past. Instead, I represent a departure from the status quo. Again, the Seven Mile former psychiatric hospital property is a good example – most, if not all, of my fellow candidates either supported the acquisition of that property and/or served on the Green Ribbon Committee, which came up with the $83 million Master Plan. I opposed the acquisition of that property but, moving forward, now have a plan to reduce the total development cost by more than half. Because of this, I consider myself to be the most fiscally conservative candidate in the race. People can find out more by visiting my campaign website: votenolta.com. Thank you.
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