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October 03, 2003 - Image 28

Resource type:
Text
Publication:
The Detroit Jewish News, 2003-10-03

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

Insight

Remember
When • •

From the pages of the Jewish News for
this week 10, 20, 30, 40, 50 and 60
years ago.

Mayoral Race

Farmington Hills candidates focus on experience and business.

RONELLE GRIER

Special to the Jewish News

he city of Farmington Hills moved into the spot-
light of the Jewish community when the decision
was made to build the new Holocaust Memorial
Center on Orchard Lake Road, just north of 12
Mile. City Council member Vicki Barnett hopes to increase
the city's Jewish presence even further by being elected its next
mayor.
In the Nov. 4 election, Barnett faces Roger E. Avie, a local
businessman making his first bid for political office.
Barnett has served on the Farmington Hills coun-
cil for the past eight years, including a stint as
mayor pro tern. She serves on numerous local and
national committees, including representing the city
as an alternate delegate to the Southeastern
Michigan Council of Governments (SEMCOG)
and chairing the information, technology and com-
munications steering committee of the National
League of Cities.
She holds a master's degree in business adminis-
tration from the University of Michigan-Dearborn,
Barnett
and is a financial and investment consultant with
LPL Financial Services in Southfield.
Barnett was instrumental in securing the
Farmington Hills site of the Holocaust Memorial
Center, based in West Bloomfield for the last 19
years. She organized a meeting between the devel-
opers of the center and Farmington Hills planners.
"That was two years ago, and the rest is history,"
Barnett said. "It's a wonderful spot, centrally locat-
ed within the Jewish community. I'm very excited
about it. The center makes such an important
statement because it represents not only the Jewish
Avie
people, but any group who has ever experienced a
genocide."
Barnett's husband of 22 years, Mark Steckloff, is an attorney
with the firm of Sachs Waldman, PC., in Detroit. They have
two children; Jordan Steckloff, a U-M student, and Samantha
Steckloff, who attends Purdue University in West Lafayette,
Ind. Samantha, who holds the title of Miss Farmington
Oakland County, will compete in the Miss Michigan contest
next June.
Barnett is passionate about public safety, including the
improvement of the communications systems used by police,
firefighters and other emergency personnel.
"One hundred twenty-two firefighters could have escaped
from the World Trade Center, but they died because the New
York police radios could not communicate with their system to
tell them the second tower was about to collapse," she said.
"We need to give the people who lay their lives on the line
proper equipment."
Barnett is also a life member of the Roosevelt Group of

TI

10/ 3
2003

28

Hadassah, and has served on the board of the Anti-
Defamation League (ADL). She has taught religious school at
Temple Beth El in Bloomfield Township and Temple Kol Aim
in West Bloomfield.
"Vicki is a mover and a shaker," said Barry Brickner, a
Farmington Hills City Council member who is running for
his second four-year term. "She knows how to get things
done."

Focus On Business

The other candidate for mayor, a two-year term, is Roger E.
Avie, founder, CEO and president of Vi-Spec Inc., which pro-
duces video programs as well as post-production
and mass duplication services for a variety of indus-
trial, educational and business clients.
The upcoming mayoral election is Avie's first
foray into the political arena. He refers to himself as
the "people's candidate," and feels that his corporate
background will enable him to improve the business
climate in Farmington Hills.
"We need to understand that Farmington Hills is
a mature community, and that the key to our vitali-
ty will be redevelopment and business retention,"
Avie said. "In addition, the city should actively seek
new companies to relocate here as well as find ways
to help existing companies to expand their facilities."
Some of Avie's ideas for increasing business devel-
opment in Farmington Hills include holding a
monthly "mayor's night" where business people
could informally discuss potential or existing prob-
lems, appointing an ombudsman to help business
owners navigate the building process and establish-
ing a "blue ribbon" committee to review and update
city regulations, such as sign ordinances, to better
meet the needs of both businesses and residents.
He would also like to implement a marketing
campaign targeted to the businesses that Farmington
Hills would like to attract, including a Web site promoting the
city as a business-friendly community.
Avie and his wife, Judith, have resided in Farmington Hills
for the past 24 years. They have two children, Robert Avie, 23,
and Dawn Avie-McAuliffe, 27, and three grandchildren.
Four new city council members also will be elected on Nov.
4. Brickner, Randy Bruce, Kerineth Massey and Christopher
McRae are running for three four-year term positions. In addi-
tion, John Akouri, Rose Christoph, Jess Elson and Paul Molin
are competing for a two-year vacancy caused by the recent
death of council member John Grant.
Farmington Hills has had two Jewish mayors: Ben Marks in
1987 and Lawrence Lichtman in 1994.
Three current council members in Farmington Hills, a city
of more than 83,000 people, are Jewish: Barnett, Brickner and
Jerry Ellis. "That's somewhat unusual for a city that has only a
12-percent Jewish population," said Brickner. ❑

1993
The world's largest matzah ball is
unveiled at the 1993 Michigan
Kosher Food Fair at the Jewish
Community Center in Oak Park.

1983
Archaeologists for Mac nac Islan
State Park Commission spend 10
weeks excavating the basement of
what was once a row house occupied
by Michigan's first Jewish resident,
Ezekiel Solomon.

1973
Soviet police arrest four Jews and
disperse more than 1,000 attending
a memorial for Jews massacred by
the Germans at Babi Yar, near Kiev.

The new Army Reserve training cen-
ter in Inkster will be dedicated to
the memory of 2nd Lt. Raymond
Zussman, recipient of the
Congressional Medal of Honor.
The first Jewish census in Cuba
under Fidel Castro shows 2,586
Jews.

The first meeting of the newly
formed Congregation Shaarey
Zedek's young married group will be
held this week in the social hall.
Detroiter Irving W. Schlussel, was
elected president of the Zionist
Council of Detroit.

The Jewish Welfare Board
announces that 50 Jewish chaplains,
regularly assigned to overseas sta-
tions, will be conducting services on
Rosh Hashanah and Yom Kippur on
every front from New Guinea to
Italy.
The Council of Orthodox Rabbis
makes a special appeal to Detroit
Jews to buy War Bonds, pointing to
"the law of the Torah" that "Thou
shalt not stand idly" as demanding
complete adherence to the current
drive. ❑

— Compiled by Holly Teasdle,
archivist, the Rabbi Leo M Franklin
Archives of Temple Beth El

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