Our choices for Macomb County
Macomb County is making good strides as it faces the challenge of maintaining financial health while offering public services to citizens.
It needs leaders who can keep those priorities in balance. Voters on Nov. 4 should look for candidates with strong fiscal skills and management experience.
Incumbent Mark Hackel is the first county executive for Macomb, which changed to that form of government in 2010. Hackel, D-Mount Clemens, has more than earned another four years.
He has shown skill in financial matters by transforming the county's budget process. Using Oakland County as an example, Macomb, in less than four years, has established an $80 million plus fund balance.
Hackel also is leading an effort to make Macomb more attractive to both businesses and new residents.
The former Macomb County sheriff has lived up to his promise that once elected, he will perform his duties in a non-partisan fashion, working with members of both parties.
His opponent is Republican David Novak, Chesterfield Township.
Incumbents are seeking re-election in all but one county commission district.
District 1 (Warren): Democrat Andrey Duzyj, of Warren, is the best candidate in the only district where there is no incumbent running. Duzyj is a former county commissioner who will bring years of experience to the board. His opponent is Republican Joseph Kozar of Chesterfield Township.
District 2 (All of Center Line and parts of Warren): Republican Dean C. Berry, a semi-retired business owner, has the fiscal knowledge and experience to defeat incumbent Marvin E. Sauger, D-Center Line. In addition to owning the Berry Roofing Company, Berry has been an active community leader for more than 40 years.
District 3 (all of Eastpointe, all of Macomb portion of Grosse Pointe Shores, parts of Warren and St. Clair Shores): Incumbent Democrat Veronica Klinefelt, Eastpointe, has a wealth of experience and should be re-elected. Before winning a seat on the commission, she served on the Eastpointe City Council for eight years and on the East Detroit School Board for six. Challenging her is Republican Cathi Humphreys of St. Clair Shores.
District 4 (Sterling Heights): Earning the endorsement is incumbent David Flynn, D-Sterling Heights. Flynn is an experienced commissioner who has a conservative fiscal attitude, something that is always need on a county commission. Running against him is Republican Joel Thomas, also of Sterling Heights.
District 5 (Sterling Heights): Incumbent Robert Mijac, D-Sterling Heights, gets the endorsement. As a small business owner, he knows the importance of financially sound budgets. Running against him is Republican Maria Grot, also of Sterling Heights.
District 6 (all of Utica and parts of Shelby Township): James Louis Carabelli, R-Shelby Township, deserves another term. As vice president of United Landscape Inc., Carabelli brings good experience and sound financial judgment to the board. The incumbent is challenged by Democrat Ken Reid, also of Shelby Township.
District 7 (Macomb portion of Memphis, city of Richmond, all of Armada, Bruce, Ray, Richmond and Washington townships and part of Shelby Township): An incumbent who has served as chairman of both the Finance and Budget committees, Don Brown, R-Washington Township, has earned another term. His challenger is Democrat Jerome G. Quinn Sr., of Rochester.
District 8 (all of New Baltimore, all of Chesterfield and Lenox townships): Incumbent Kathy D. Vosburg, R-Chesterfield Township, should be given another term over Democratic challenger David Robert Lusk, also of Chesterfield Township. Her experience on and off the board is invaluable. Also, she has needed financial expertise after being a tax professional for over 30 years. She currently operates an income tax consulting business.
District 9 (Mount Clemens, parts of Clinton and Macomb townships): Incumbent Fred Miller, D-Mount Clemens, has earned another term.
He is seeking a third term on the commission, where he has served as vice chair of the Finance Committee in addition to working on other committees. His public service resume is lengthy, including a stint in the Michigan House of Representatives, where he served Macomb County from 2005-2010.
His opponent is Republican Douglas M. Trost, of Clinton Township.
District 10 (parts of St. Clair Shores, all of Harrison Township): Republican Steve Marino, Harrison Township, promises to bring fresh, youthful ideas to the commission. He is challenging incumbent Michael Boyle, D-St. Clair Shores. Marino is president of Campaign Finance Strategies LCC, a consulting firm that specializes in campaign finance reporting. The challenger is fiscally conservative and should help keep the board on the right financial track.
District 11 (all of Fraser and Roseville): Republican Mark Henry, of Fraser, holds many views that would make him a good commissioner. He should be elected over incumbent Democrat Kathy Tocco, also of Fraser.
District 12 (Clinton Township): James Perna, a Republican from Clinton Township, has the experience and business expertise to serve as a county commissioner. He should be selected over incumbent Democrat Bob Smith, also of Clinton Township. Perna is a retired credit union CEO who has previously served for eight years on the commission. He is for limited taxation and believes county government should assist private businesses in creating jobs by reducing barriers and providing incentives.
District 13 (Macomb township): Incumbent Joe Sabatini, R-Clinton Township, gets the endorsement for a third term on the board. The CPA is treasurer and director of Operations for the Interactive Financial Corporation. As a commissioner, Sabatini has been a diligent financial watchdog. He is opposed by Democrat Martha O'Kray, of Macomb Township.
On the nonpartisan portion of the November ballot, there are two contested races.
Circuit Court, 16th Circuit, one six-year term: In a heated race to replace retiring Judge Peter Maceroni, we see Steve Fox as the best candidate. Fox, of Macomb Township, has been an assistant prosecutor for nine years and practiced law for four years before joining the prosecutor's office. His opponent is James Maceroni, of Mount Clemens, who is the son of the incumbent judge.
37th District Court (Warren): Dean Ausilio, of Warren, is already serving in this seat and deserves to finish the partial term, which ends Jan. 1, 2017. Ausilio fills the vacancy created when former district judge Dawnn Gruenburg accepted an appointment as an administrative law judge in the U.S. Social Security Administration. Ausilio was an attorney for 26 years before becoming judge. His opponent is Suzanne Faunce, also of Warren.
Read our full slate of endorsements online at detroitnews.com/opinion.