July 18, 2018

Erin Stahl

Candidate for Macomb County Treasurer

Republican

Campaign IssuesRCNMC ReviewParty IssuesState/County/Local Issues

Campaign Issues

Why are you running for this office?
We need people in office who will be a true representative of The People and who will stand firm against the demands of special interest groups, especially when it will negatively affect our community long term or short term.  I am that person and have a proven track record of my dedication to my community of 62,000 residents when I was a St. Clair Shores City Councilwoman (2003-2007) and 2007 Mayor ProTem.  The media and Google have a different spin on what really happened, so I invite you to see the truth on my web page www.ErinStahl.com and judge for yourself what kind of person I am.  I hope you will see that I am a strong and dedicated person that will not sell out my community, neither due to political pressure nor for any type of personal agenda or gain.
What skillsets and real life experience do you have that makes you the best candidate for the role?
I believe I have had the most incredible life experiences and education that makes me uniquely qualified to be the best Treasurer Macomb County has ever seen.   If elected, it is my goal to implement my ideas and actually have other municipalities look to Macomb County as a blue print of what they need to do for their community in these challenging economic times.  You get a very unique, intelligent, and people-focused individual when you roll all of my ��world-wide life experiences/education together (Market Research Analyst, International Sales/Tradeshow Rep., Customer Service Manager, Quality Process Trainer, and I earned my Master’s in Finance at Walsh College at the same time I was on City Council).
What are the top three issues you are concerned with for your district/municipality?
  1. Providing County Commissioners and the public with simple yet detailed reports in which to make decisions and to hold government accountable.  It should not be so easy to scare or intimidate people into voting for a new tax or something that oversteps government’s constitutional boundaries and that only benefits a small group to the detriment of our community.
  2. All government employees past and present being a demand for honor, integrity, and ethics in our financial reporting and bringing full disclosure to all financial issues in the budget process, even the ���off-the-books” unfunded pension liabilities.  No more bullying, scare tactics, or political games when it comes to reporting the truth about the County’s finances.
  3. Working with the communities within Macomb County, not just force them to pay for costly financial decisions. ��For example:
    1. Involve local government in the County bid process and allow them to opt out or “tweak” projects.
    2. Require a “Quality workmanship” clause into all construction projects.
    3. It would save tons of money if communities or entrepreneurs were allowed to purchase foreclosed properties BEFORE the county paid the outstanding taxes and took ownership of them.
What are the solutions you will bring forward if elected?
Many of my solutions are actually listed above.  But there are many proven accounting processes that businesses put into place to ensure that there are checks and balances when employees are handling/spending money or handling equipment or supplies. ��Many of the processes were not implemented within the City of St. Clair Shores and I suspect they are not being implemented in Macomb County either.

These simple accounting processes, if implemented in St. Clair Shores, could have prevented:

  1. $32,000 in being embezzled from St. Clair Shores residents by former Mayor & DPW Director Curt Dumas –to which he plead guilty to and only got probation.
  2. $25,000 from being taken by former Councilman Matt Ahearn from the City account to start a new Activities Committee.  A special meeting was held and no further action after Mr. Ahearn pulled the check out of his pocket and gave it to the City Treasurer to re-deposit.  Note:  Ted Wahby had been the committee’s chairman and later helped Councilmen Ahearn and Ron Frederick lead the group (no relation to current Mayor Kip Walby).
What specific measures will you take to maintain low taxes and less expensive, limited government?
I believe I have answered this question with my answers above.  I can only add that in accounting and in a Treasurer’s position, numbers are truly powerful BUT can also be powerfully manipulative in the wrong hands.  I promise to give full analysis to all reports given to the County Commissioners and to the public.  I will never give them a politically motivated skewed version of anything for them to vote on.
If elected, what will you do to better promote transparency in government?
Again, I believe I have answered this with my responses above but will invite you to look at my www.YouTube.com clips of my budget presentations to St. Clair Shores City Council.  Plus, on  www.MakeYourVoteCount.info I expose Councilman Ron Frederick’s unethical conflicts of interest when he took campaign donations from the owner’s of companies and the UAW and then turned around and voted on their contracts.  I think from these examples it is clear that I am dedicated to promoting transparency and accountability in government.
Have you received any endorsements?  If so, please list.
I have not sought out any endorsements because I want to be free to focus on what is right for the residents and the County, not on any one particular view or belief of any special interest group.

RCNMC Review

Erin Stahl is an active member of the RCNMC.

Party Issues

Why are you a running as a Republican?
In 2010, I was unsuccessful in running for Macomb County Executive as a Libertarian against Mark Hackel.  Afterwards friends and family put their arms around me and said, “Erin you have to become a Republican if you want a chance to make a difference”.  I was invited to attend the GOP convention and beforehand I compared the platforms of the GOP and the Libertarian Party.  I was pleasantly surprised that they were almost mirror images of each other.  And then after attending the district meeting and recognizing almost everyone there, I knew that my transition to becoming a Republican was perfect and complete—There is no “RINO” here! (RINO = Republican In Name Only)
What prior involvement have you had in the Republican Party or Conservative organizations?
After 2010, I have attended as many GOP and Tea Party events and meetings as my schedule permitted.  From 2002-2010 I had been an elected officer of the Libertarian Party of Michigan (Vice Chair, Treasurer, and At-Large Director) and an At-Large Director for the Macomb County Libertarians.  It was during this time that I networked with many politicians and attended many of their functions whether they were Democrats, Republicans, Libertarians, Greens, Natural Lawists, Constitutionalists, and others.
What is your position on Obamacare?
I think the Patriot Act should be appealed along with Obamacare.  The Patriot Act paved the way for Obamacare and the high-cost paper shuffling we now pay for.  It also made it harder for you to get your own medical reports but easy for the government to get them.

Whether it actually gets appealed or not, the ONLY way to cut down on heath care costs is to shift the way in which we think about health care.

  1. When we do not have to pay the bill we become are disconnected with the actual costs
    1. Imagine if we treated auto insurance the way we do health care���
    2. What would the cost of gas, oil changes, and tires be if you used your insurance to pay for them?
    3. Like my auto insurance, I have a health care plan that covers me for hospitalization but I pay out of pocket for everything else. Because of this, I asked questions about a $180 medication ($170 generic) and the pharmacist was able to call the doctor and change it to a $9 medication that made me well.
  2. Look at the relatively low costs for procedures that insurance does not cover and that you pay directly for:
    1. Plastic surgery is relatively low cost compared to other surgeries paid for by your insurance
    2. Alternative therapies like Chiropractors and Acupuncture are not covered and are low cost
    3. Veterinarians do the same surgeries on animals that are done on humans but at a fraction of the cost
What is your position on abortion?
After being confirmed into the Catholic Church in 2006, I have personally adhered to the beliefs of the church.  After being frightened by special interest groups, I gave my life up to God and searched for a religious home that could bring me peace, security, and freedom from anxiety, I have great comfort in choosing the Catholic Church.

Yet, I still believe that life and death decisions for the sick, elderly, or the unborn should ONLY be between you, your family, your doctor, and GOD or in adherence to your particular religious beliefs.  It is not for us to judge others nor does the US Government have any right to force Americans into certain actions based on certain religious views.  Once we allow government to tell us what we cannot do, it is a short trip to having them mandate what we must do—like the forced sterilization of handicapped individuals by the government in the 1950’s.

What is your position on the 2nd Amendment?
This is simple.  If you do not believe in the Right to Bear Arms to protect your family from harm, then you should be required to put a sign in your front yard, “I believe in gun control”.   After the criminals have had a field day with you, I’m sure you will quickly change your mind.  Also, I think about when I visited Texas, everyone was carrying and everyone was really polite and tended to work out their disagreements in a very adult way. ��I don’t know if it would have been that way if everyone wasn’t packing.
What is your position on public sector unions?
I believe all public sector union negotiations should be videotaped and be available for public viewing after the contract has been approved.  I believe this type of scrutiny would result in more equitable results for the taxpayers.

As a former City Councilwoman, I have direct knowledge of what really happens in the negotiations in all communities—a few government employees are selected to go up against highly skilled, motivated, and manipulative union negotiators.  When the contract is agreed upon, it is given to the local ruling body (City Council or Township Trustees) to basically “rubber stamp” the deal.  There are few, if any dollar amounts put to the demands or concessions.  And if any elected official dare question or revise anything from the negotiations, they will be severely ridiculed and verbally attacked in the media and by carefully orchestrated and organized union groups.  In almost all cases the residents LOSE vs. unions WIN.

State/County/Local Issues

What are the two biggest issues you feel Macomb County is facing today?
  1. Using Enron-esque accounting and severe financial waste despite their claims of “Bare bones��� budgets.
  2. Elected officials making expensive long-term financial decisions without having all of the facts.  And overstepping their Constitutional limits so that they can appease special interest groups, look good, or avoid doing the right thing because it might make them a political target or make them look bad.
Do you think Macomb County should have casinos?
I personally find casinos boring and a waste of time and money.  But if any business is a viable business they should still be viable even if they are not given any subsidies, special favors, back door deals, or exemptions (like allowing smoking in casinos but banned everywhere else). ��I also do not like the fact that the media does not pick up on the fact that a casino sold their temporary building to Detroit to house the new police station—this is costing millions and millions more to retrofit the building, but yet the city is broke?

Finally, if they can play by the rules that other businesses are restricted to, then they should be allowed but I do not believe that Macomb County government has the level of moral integrity to enter into any honorable type of deal with this type of “Big Business” without negatively affecting Macomb County long-term.

What is your position on the Ambassador bridge project?
I do not believe a new bridge is necessary no matter who initially pays for it.  We will all be paying for it in the end when we use a Canadian government subsidized bridge to eventually compete against a privately owned bridge.  Plus, I do not know if Gov. Snyder’s advisors have done their due diligence. ��I looked at the online statistics of the Blue Water Bridge, Windsor Tunnel, Ambassador Bridge, and a couple of others.  “Matty” seems to be doing what a business owner should be doing—creating business by taking care of the customer at a low cost.  Where is everyone else getting their negative facts from?

We also need to follow the story of railroad entrepreneur James J. Hill and the Great Northern (1878-1893).  Long story short, he chose to fund the project himself and in turn made it more efficient, durable, and cost effective than the Federally subsidized railroads being built which were built fast and of a lesser quality.  When Mr. Hill’s efficiencies produced lower costs, the less efficient subsidized railroads lobbied for rate regulations and other rules to stop Mr. Hill and to try to put him out of business, instead of use their subsidies to make a better product.

I’m afraid that some part of history will come back to bite us if we move forward with the bridge project.

What is your position on special millages like the DIA or Zoo millages?
For those who say, “Vote YES on the Millage!  If you don’t have ART, you don’t have anything!”, I say to them, “How many times have you personally visited the DIA? A museum? The science center? The Zoo?  Do you remember when you could enter the DIA for free and you could voluntarily donate any amount you wanted into one of 2 huge glass donation boxes as you entered?  Do you remember when they gave themselves huge raises, made a multi-million dollar renovation, and then started charging $7.00 per person?  Now they are crying broke and cannot make ends meet and want not only Wayne County but Macomb and Oakland Counties to pay as well?”

I also say to them, “Are you even aware of or visited the Arts/Cultural jewels in your community or in Macomb?  These programs exist because of patrons and benefactor’s passion not because of government.  If you want ART please spend your own money on it…don’t force the rest of us to pay for it.  If you really knew how our money was being managed, you wouldn’t be so willing to open up your wallet (or ours).”

I also say to them, “The amazing fact is that if the DIA was forced to operate within their budget, they would find a way. And try checking out some books on how the community pulled together in the Great Depression to keep the arts and libraries alive���it is quite fascinating. Maybe we should learn from history�������.I am not willing to create huge financial problems for my nieces and nephews to struggle with. Why would you do it for the children in your life?”

And finally, I would tell them that I am a former Mayor ProTem with a Master’s in Finance who loved living in Detroit (1992-1998) and experiencing as much of its history as I can still today.

Erin Stahl

Residence: St. Clair Shores
Marital Status: Single
Current Occupation: 3 part time jobs. (Previous 25 years at a global manufacturing company: Customer Service Manager of 50 Reps. / accountable for $30 million in sales, International Sales/Tradeshow Rep., Market Research, IT, Quality Process Trainer, and more.)
Contact Email: erin@ErinStahl.com
Contact Phone: 586.774.8181
Contact Address: 20113 Avalon St.
St. Clair Shores, MI 48080
Website: www.ErinStahl.com
Social Media Links: Facebook

 

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