Neil Sroka on the Issues
I'm running for Grosse Pointe Farms City Council because I want to:
I got into this race because I believed that the City Council could be doing more to help strengthen our amazing GP Public Schools as they deal with growing fiscal challenges.
Specifically, I want to maintain Grosse Pointe Farms’ character, walkability, amenities, and top-notch public services while seizing opportunities for smart growth that attracts new families and helps retain longtime residents.
As a fully developed community, we won't have many chances to build new housing. However, when we do, I believe we need do everything we can to encourage developers to maximize the space and build smaller, accessible homes for the many longtime residents who want to downsize without moving away from the community they love. This is a win-win that keeps longtime residents in the Farms, while also helping add the larger homes that growing families are looking for to our local real-estate market and, hopefully, bringing more students into our schools.
Transparency isn't just being able to see how your local government works -- it's being able to see it as easily as possible.
I'd like to webcast all council meetings to make them more accessible to residents. If it's logistically impossible to make video or audio recordings of committee meetings (e.g. Parks & Harbors, Communications, etc.) publicly available, I'd push to ensure detailed and timely meeting minutes are made available online.
While some council business must be conducted in closed session, I believe any major decisions -- especially city property purchases -- should be explained in detail in open forums.
I want to help bring the unique points of view and talents of the Farms’ growing number of young families to the Council -- especially as we consider long-term infrastructure and master plan changes in the years ahead.
If elected, at 35, I'll be the youngest member of the Farm's City Council by 20 years.
That doesn't mean I'll have all the answers and I know I'll learn a lot from my new council colleagues. It does mean I'll be able to add a perspective to council discussions that might otherwise not be heard -- the concerns about neighborhood speeding that might only be voiced on the playground or how serious a problem the lack of local infant care is for many new families.
Our growing diversity is a strength and everyone -- regardless of their age, where they live, how long they've lived there, the color of their skin, the religion they practice (or don't), who they are, or who they love -- deserves to feel welcome in Grosse Pointe Farms.
To help make that a reality, I'd like to work with the council to take proactive steps to demonstrate our commitment to equity and inclusion -- like ensuring all city staff (and council members) have training in implicit bias and joining 44 other Michigan cities in passing an inclusive non-discrimination ordinance based on the Michigan Department of Civil Rights' model ordinance.