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Mayor

Mayor

 

Bill Fraser

 

1.  Please provide any personal biography (background) information you wish to share; make sure you include how long you’ve been a resident of the City of Petoskey, information on any business background you may have, and past experience on councils, commissions, or other boards. 

 

I am 62 years old, lived in Petoskey 44 years after moving here from Birmingham/Bloomfield area.  I attended NCMC and served in the U.S. Coast Guard in aviation.  My business background includes working for the 3M Co. as Sales Manager for a Division involved in the Fly Fishing industry. I owned my own Sales Rep. Company covering 4 states and becoming one of the Top Ten Reps. in the country. I retired from that business 6 years ago. During that time I have help operate Jesperson's Restaurant in Petoskey with my wife Bobbe.  My family includes 4 step children and 16 grand children.  I served one term as Councilman for Ward 2 on City Council, one year as Mayor Pro Tem.  I have served as Chairman of the Michigan Council of Trout Unlimited, National Director and member of the Executive Committee.

 

2.  Why are you running for public office in the City of Petoskey?

 

I am running because I enjoyed my time on City Council and believe I made a difference.  As this election year unfolded and learned that Mayor Ted Pall was not seeking re-election I saw there was nobody with any experience stepping forward to run for this important office.  I felt I was the best qualified to fill this job.

 

3.  Do you have a specific platform upon which you are campaigning?  If so, please explain. 

 

My only specific platform would be to continue the momentum of this great City.  I will serve the people and serve the process of the Council/Manager form of government. 

 

4.  What do you see as the top three issues facing the City of Petoskey in the coming 1-3 years?

 

I feel the top 3 issues facing the City are: 1. Budget. As property values have fallen, revenues from taxes have decreased.  We are faced with providing services with less money. The citizens will have to help decide how we balance the budget. 2. Petoskey Pointe.  The project has a new owner and it is important for the City to work with the developer to insure that we get a great Project.  We also need to encourage the Developer to begin sooner than later. We have looked at the "hole" for too long. 3. Insuring that Petoskey remains a vital business center in Northern Michigan where businesses want to invest.

 

5.  What is your vision to foster a healthy business environment in the City of Petoskey that supports existing businesses and promotes future business growth?

 

Petoskey provides an inviting business environment by virtue of our Community.  We need to make sure that we offer the proper incentives to attract good businesses in this economy.  I have experience it this as a City Councilman.  I took a leadership position in the discussions with Kilwin's Candy Kitchen to possibly locate at the old Oleson's site.  I lead the efforts at the Council level to give Tax Incentives and traveled to Lansing to testify on behalf of the City before the Michigan Economic Development Commission to help secure State Tax Incentives for Kilwin's.  This project has created 25 new jobs in Petoskey.

 

6.  What is your assessment of the city’s infrastructure?  If improvements are needed, what areas should be the city’s priority to address?

 

City infrastructure in fairly good shape.  The Water/Sewage treatment plant is being renovated, new wells have been drilled at Meijer's and on Northmen Drive, the Atkins Road extension is on schedule, and the Electrical System has had on going upgrades. Public Safety will soon be moving into the new Public Safety West Station to serve the western part of the City and Bay Harbor.

 

7.  What is your assessment of the city’s services?  If improvements are needed, what areas should be the city’s priority to address?

 

Petoskey has always prided itself on Service.  Our Parks and Rec. Department continues to grow program participation.  Our Departments of Public Works, Planning and Zoning, and Public Safety are models for the Northern Michigan area.

 

8.  What in your qualifications and background separates you from the other candidates and would prompt voters to elect you? 

 

Experience. I have served on the City Council, one year as Mayor pro tem, and served on or chaired State and National Boards. I have 40+ years of successful business experience in Northern Michigan and the Midwest.  Most importantly, I feel I have a sense of history of Petoskey and what has made it the great City it has become.  My only desire is to help make it better in the future.  My opponent, to my knowledge, has no experience having never served on local boards or commissions or even attending City Council meetings until recently.

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Mayor

 

Brian Sommerfield

 

1.  Please provide any personal biography (background) information you wish to share; make sure you include how long you’ve been a resident of the City of Petoskey, information on any business background you may have, and past experience on councils, commissions, or other boards. 

 

I have been a resident of Petoskey for 21 years. I have been in public accounting since 1989.  Helping businesses and working with them side by side is a function of what I do for a living. I have four businesses in the City limits, as well as work as a controller for other entities. I currently serve on four different not for profit boards.  

 

2.  Why are you running for public office in the City of Petoskey?

 

As a public accountant, I have had a front row seat to what has taken place in peoples lives and businesses for the last twenty years. I have listened to peoples concerns and understand what is going on. I want to be their voice, and bring a common sense approach to City Hall.

 

3.  Do you have a specific platform upon which you are campaigning?  If so, please explain. 

  1. The failed Petoskey Pointe project (the big hole) has been a private property issue for some time.  But, I am concerned about the safety and financial exposure to the City. The City needs to be proactive to ensure our safety and protect its infrastructure.
  2. We need to make downtown more business friendly. Some issues like parking and over regulation need to be addressed now. I am willing to take a leadership roll on these issues and not just talk about them.
  3. I want to make sure the improvements on Mitchell Street (phase II) have adequate citizen input. 

4.  What do you see as the top three issues facing the City of Petoskey in the coming 1-3 years?

  1. Petoskey Pointe property
  2. Parking downtown
  3. Budging in our economic climate         

5.  What is your vision to foster a healthy business environment in the City of Petoskey that supports existing businesses and promotes future business growth?

 

A downtown economic development director that can be a one stop shop to help current businesses, provide information for new startup businesses, and recruit outside businesses to our downtown. Remove excess and over regulations. Solve our parking problem in downtown. How many new parking spaces where created and developed for the new river project? We need to be just as creative and have just as much foresight for our downtown.

 

6.  What is your assessment of the city’s infrastructure?  If improvements are needed, what areas should be the city’s priority to address?

 

Our City workers do an incredible job of keeping our infrastructure running smoothly and efficiently. 

 

7.  What is your assessment of the city’s services?  If improvements are needed, what areas should be the city’s priority to address?

 

We enjoy a high level of services.  Of our 4000 acres, 1200 of them are parks and public lands.  We are truly blessed.  Our City is kept clean and is an envy of those that visit and vacation here.  I am proud of those that had the vision and to those that keep it to such a high standard.

 

8.  What in your qualifications and background separates you from the other candidates and would prompt voters to elect you? 

                       

I have had the pleasure of calling Petoskey my home since 1990.  I was able to buy my first business in 1995 and practice my profession, earn a living, and raise a family.  Now, I am seeking public office to try to keep our town as a great place to live. I feel government should be transparent, honest, and accountable.  I will hold myself, and would ask you to keep me, to that same standard. The role of mayor is to be your voice in City Hall.  I have the communication skills to listen, and then articulate your concerns and opinions.  On November 8th, take 15 minutes out of your busy day and go to K of C Hall to vote.  I am asking for your vote to be the next Mayor of Petoskey.

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