December 14, 2018

Carolyn Gammicchia

Candidate for Shelby Township Trustee

Republican

Campaign IssuesRCNMC ReviewParty IssuesState/County/Local Issues

Campaign Issues

Why are you running for this office?
I am seeking the office of Shelby Township Trustee due to my belief that the electorate should have right to representation by those they elect.  I further believe to maintain quality services and resources, those elected should work collaboratively toward meeting the needs of their community while maintaining fiscal responsibility. Lastly, I want to ensure the community we chose to raise our children in is one that others will choose to live and work in.
What skillsets and real life experience do you have that makes you the best candidate for the role?
I was raised in a very active political family.  My father ran for the MI Senate, endorsed by then Governor Romney, when I was a child and was involved for several years within the Michigan GOP.  Campaigning was a part of growing up for me as a child and I’ve always enjoyed volunteering and being active within legislative issues and taking on leadership roles.My decision to run for Trustee was due to my desire to be more involved within what was transpiring within local government for several reasons.  For many years I served on a national Government Relations Committee for a non-profit organization, assisted in drafting federal level legislation, and also have testified at federal, state, and local policy and legislative hearings.  I’ve also assisted within strategic planning for several non-profits and served on several boards to elected positions from trustee to President. I currently am the Executive Director of a non-profit organization that I co-founded ten years ago and developed into a national organization that has worked on several federally funded projects.

I am a 2002 MI Partners in Policymaking graduate and that training, over an eight month period, rekindled an interest in politics for me.  However at the time I was working full time and raising our two sons, was President of a local non-profit and Vice-President of the Shelby Township Lioness Club. I chose instead to work behind the scenes with committee work and supporting candidates.  Now that our sons are older and in college, I feel I can devote the needed time to such an office and am better prepared to do so due to my life experience.

What are the top three issues you are concerned with for your district/municipality?
I wouldn’t want to limit it to three.  These are the things I feel we need to focus on over the next four years:

  • Fiduciary Responsibility
  • Ensure Quality Public Services
  • Solutions Regarding the 41-A District Court, Deficits.
  • Transparency
  • Community Participation
  • Professional Open Meetings
  • Support of Local Businesses and Promote Commerce
  • Community Enhancement – Neighborhoods and Parks
  • Increase Applications for Financial Initiatives
What are the solutions you will bring forward if elected?
My belief is elected officials should serve collaboratively and professionally in meeting the needs of their community.  All matters, identified as priorities through careful fiscal management, require full participation of the board.  I would work toward ensuring this happens and that all decision making and discussions prior to matters being voted on take place in a public forum.  I feel a four year strategic plan is required to ensure our community’s needs are met appropriately and obtain measurable outcomes.  We currently have no measure of how or when objectives are met or even if our elected officials are performing their roles appropriately or how they are overseeing the daily operations of the Township.  All of these are essential and should be a priority.Additionally we have to do something to enhance our tax base and bring home buyers back as well as business owners. Shelby Township is a wonderful community and strengthening that will strengthen our investment in its future.
What specific measures will you take to maintain low taxes and less expensive, limited government?
The need to raise taxes in Shelby Township would only occur if there were deficits or perhaps for enhancements to the community.  However I feel those could be avoided with proper fiscal management and those on the board ensuring their fiduciary responsibilities.  That begins within each department staying within their allotted budgets and attempting to increase revenue where possible.  We also should be accessing as much in grants and federal level initiatives as possible and looking at how we can work together as a community to increase our tax base and also support local businesses to increase future commerce.  If we need to cut back let us do so in a way that will ensure quality public services are intact and future spending ensures a balanced budget.
If elected, what will you do to better promote transparency in government?
First I feel there should be disclosure of all and any relationships those holding offices have with special interests.Second I feel that the matters before a board for decisions on important and costly issues should be done within open sessions.  That is not currently happening.  We see little discussion, very few questions asked, and it’s apparent that these have taken place prior to public meetings.  That should actually take place in a forum where residents can determine why their elected officials are voting a specific way and if those votes are influenced.  The information provided to our board should also be made available to the public for consideration as well and the public then will be able to determine if they are being appropriately represented.

Additionally there should be more information offered on the website about everything from open bids to actual openings for employment.  Currently the information on the website is limited and one has to call staff to obtain information.  It doesn’t make sense and cost us more in personnel hours in the end.

Lastly I feel that there should be efforts to show that our bidding process is one that is open and there are no special interests involved.  Posting all of this information on our website would take little time and would be beneficial to residents provide opportunity for more community involvement and answer many questions residents may have.

Have you received any endorsements?  If so, please list.
No and I purposely didn’t actively seek any at this point.

RCNMC Review

Carolyn Gammicchia is an active member of the RCNMC.

Party Issues

Why are you a running as a Republican?
I’ve been a republican since registering to vote when I turned 18 due to my father’s influence and my strong belief in the party.
What prior involvement have you had in the Republican Party or Conservative organizations?
Since I was a child we have had a strong connection to the GOP.  My father’s involvement in the party led to relationships for many years with candidates and their families as well as support of the party’s efforts via volunteerism and campaigning and working phone banks.  Additionally I’ve supported many legislators as a resource for legislation on matter from education to disability related issues.
What is your position on Obamacare?
I don’t feel the current legislation is the answer to our national health care concerns.
What is your position on abortion?
My political stance is that choice for any medical intervention should not be driven by legislation.  It should be up to the individual.  My personal choice may differ due to my religious beliefs, but that would be my personal choice as well.
What is your position on the 2nd Amendment?
“A well regulated militia, being necessary to the security of a free state, the right of the people to keep and bear arms, shall not be infringed.”  I believe in it as I do the entire U.S. Constitution.
What is your position on public sector unions?
I believe in them if they serve those they represent appropriately.  I also feel they can actually be beneficial for both workers and employers if there is collaboration.

State/County/Local Issues

What are the two biggest issues you feel Macomb County is facing today?
Unemployment and losing its tax base.
Do you think Macomb County should have casinos?
No.
What is your position on the Ambassador bridge project?
I feel it should have remained a private project due to the litigation it has brought forth and that cost to tax payers.  It would have been of more benefit to have worked this out collaboratively between the state and those with private interests.
What is your position on special millages like the DIA or Zoo millages?
I don’t like the fact that these entities that we as a family have enjoyed for decades have to seek public dollars via taxation.  I would have liked to see more private and corporate funding streams being sought via fundraising and ways to supplement staffing via more volunteerism.  As paid members, we have supported both, but in hard times it is difficult for families to do.   Both are assets to our S/E MI community however and I personally would hate to see them not exist, but I don’t think that those that do not utilize them should be taxed for them.   We could have tried a donation on tax returns or license plate, a variety of other volunteer options prior to putting this up for a tax.

Carolyn Gammicchia

Residence: Shelby Township
Marital Status: Married
Current Occupation: Private Consultant and Executive Director of a non-profit organization
Contact Email: cgammicchia@comcast.net
Contact Phone: 586-703-3866
Contact Address: CTE Carolyn Gammicchia, P.O. Box 1823864, Shelby Township, MI 48318
Website: www.carolyngammicchia.net
Social Media Links: Facebook

 

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