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October 29, 1993 - Image 31

Resource type:
Text
Publication:
The Detroit Jewish News, 1993-10-29

Disclaimer: Computer generated plain text may have errors. Read more about this.

SOUTHFIELD

Maintaining Quality

Southfield candidates address
diversity, taxes and crime.

JENNIFER FINER JEWISH NEWS INTERN

S

outhfield's diverse popu-
lation sets it apart from
most other cities in Michi-
gan — except when it
comes to state funding.
Since the governor and the
state legislature voted to cut
property taxes, the major source
of funding for public schools,
Southfield, like other munici-

Myron Frasier

In the open race for four
seats, voters can select four of
the following six: Peter Cris-
tiano, Suzanne Goldstein, Steve
Hurite, Eli Robinson, Vincent
Gregory and Milton Dzodin.
The top three vote-getters
will serve for four years, and the
fourth-place candidate will
serve two years. Council mem-
bers Vicki Goldbaum and
Sidney Lantz are not up for
reelection.
Jean Cristy Osborn is the
only candidate attempting to
unseat Mayor Donald Fra-
cassi.
Candidates fear that once
the dust settles, the city
council could be faced with
difficult budget allocation de-
cisions.
"One of my greatest con-
cerns is the changes taking
place in government and
what it will mean for the
city," said Suzanne Gold-
stein, a 12-year city council
veteran."Right now, funding
is up in the air and we're con-
cerned about whether we will
be able to provide city ser-
vices in the same way."
Steve Hurite, a sales and
engineering manager and 22-
year council member, said there
are a handful of important is-
sues in Southfield but the city
needs to know what type of bud-

palities, is wondering just how
much state aid the city will lose
in the process.
With the elections just a
few days away, candidates
for the city council and may-
or's office have expressed
some concern about what
Southfield stands to lose.
On Tuesday, Southfield
residents will be asked to se-
lect five people to serve on its
seven-seat city council. Six
will battle it out for four open
seats, and two candidates are
in the running to fill a seat
vacated by former City Coun-
cil member Denise Alexan-
der, who resigned in 1992 to
accept a political appoint-
ment with the Bush admin-
istration.
Myron Frasier was ap-
pointed to serve out the bal-
ance of Ms. Alexander's term.
He is running against Joan
Seymour for a special two-
Vincent Gregory
year term.

Milton Dzodin, owner
of the Michigan Silver Ex-
change, said he would like
to implement a program
in which fire fighters are
cross trained as police of-
ficers.
Vincent Gregory, a po-
lice detective with the
Wayne County Sheriff's
Department, said he
would be tough on crime.
He advocates curbing the
crime rate before it gets to
be a problem for the city.
Maintaining the diver-
sity and viability of the
city was also high on the
list of the candidates' po-
litical agendas.
Eli Robinson, a CPA
and eight-year council vet-
eran, said because devel-
opment in the city has
Donald Fracas&
slowed, it is important to Milton Dzodin
start an outreach program to
by visiting different religious in-
get it will be working with in or-
find out what it takes to attract
stitutions and finding out what
der to finance city operations
and keep businesses in South-
their needs are.
and services.
field.
"That's where you get the
Donald Fracassi, Southfield's
"We need to know how to
pulse of the city," Mr. Dzodin
mayor since 1972, agrees.
keep this community from mov-
said.
"When revenues are cut, you
ing and leaving institutional de-
Like Ms. Goldstein, candi-
have to look at services and pri-
bris behind," Mr. Robinson said.
dates believe the best way for
oritize," Mr. Fracassi said. "The
The quality of life for South-
the city to survive-is by main-
city has set some funds aside so
field residents is important for
taining a diverse population
we could withstand some ac-
candidate Joan Seymour. She `and keeping the lines of com-
tion, but we'd have to start cut-
wants to encourage people to
munication open.
ting back on things like parks
move to the city and keep cur-
Ms. Osborn praised the
and recreation programs. Ser-
Southfield/Lathrup Multicul-
vices important to citizens
tural Coalition for its efforts in
like fire, police, sewer and
bringing various groups to-
rubbish would be the last to
gether. The coalition is a grass-
be cut."
roots organization aimed at
facilitating community in-
volvement and promoting the
diversity of the community.
She said she is encouraged
by the fact groups want to talk
but thinks the city has to reach
out to various groups and main-
tain an open-door policy.
"I think if you put all the res-
idents of Southfield in a dark
Suzanne Goldstein
room, you'd probably find we all
love our kids, value our proper-
ty and are concerned about our
Candidate Myron Frasier
jobs and income," Mr. Robinson
is convinced that once the
said.
school funding issue is re-
The race for Southfield city
solved, Southfield will lose
clerk has incumbent Mary Bon-
much-needed state dollars.
ner pitted against Barbara Tal-
If that happens, the city will
ley. Roman Gronkowski is
have to set priorities, he said.
running for reelection as trea-
"Money can't be taken Jean Cristy Osbom
surer unopposed. ❑
away from important ser-
vices like police, fire and EMS.
rent residents from leaving.
Those are the things that make
Candidates offered different
a difference between a good
opinions on what role the coun-
community and an average
cil should play in building rela-
community," Mr. Frasier said.
tionships among Southfield
Like many of the other can-
residents.
didates, Ms. Osborn believes the
Mr. Gregory believes the way
city needs to tackle crime in
to get different groups to com-
Southfield. She would like to see
municate is to have the city ad-
every sector of the community
ministration set an example for
have a liaison to the mayor's of-
the rest of the community.
fice to help solve the problem.
Mr. Dzodin said the best way
She also wants to see the city
for city council members to help
employ more police officers.
strengthen community ties is

"One of my
greatest concerns
is the changes
taking place in
government."

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