Livonia City Council 2017 Election candidate profiles
By Adam Nowak Staff Writer
The city of Livonia is preparing to elect its 2017 City Council. The City Council is comprised of seven members, one being City Council President and another being the City Council Vice President. The president and vice president seats are available this election as the candidate with the most votes will be designated as City Council president and the runner-up receiving the Vice President spot.
The remaining two seats will be for the third and fourth place. Furthermore, the top three candidates will serve four-year terms and the fourth place finisher will be serve a two-year term.
The Livonia City Council meets two to three times a week and deals with a variety of topics, with its largest responsibilities involving oversight of the city budget, dealing with locational zoning, enacting city ordinances and the approval of construction and physical improvement of the city. According to Livonia City Council rules and regulations, candidates cannot spend more than eight years in a row on City Council. Once a candidate is on Council for eight years, they are obligated to sit an election out.
Who’s on the ballot?
Democratic incumbent candidate Jim Jolly is seeking re-election. Jolly was appointed to the position when Susan Nash resigned from her seat to become City Clerk due to his fifth place finish in the 2015 City Council election.
Earlier in his career, Jolly was a magistrate for Livonia’s 16th District Court. Jolly is heavily in favor of an updated Livonia master plan, which involves economic and physical development of the city. Jolly also seeks to push for more transparency between the city government and its residents, believing that the flow of information regarding what is happening in Livonia is lacking and residents deserve to be more informed. Jolly’s campaign is endorsed by the Livonia Police Officers Association, Livonia Fire Fighters Association and the Livonia Observer.
Brian Meakin is a Republican incumbent with 12 years of public service as a Livonia city councilman under his belt, two of which he spent as Council Vice President. According to Livonia City Council rules and regulations, candidates cannot spend more than eight years in a row on City Council. Once a candidate is on Council for eight years, they are obligated to sit an election out. As president of Meakin and Associates Inc., a family owned insurance company, Brian Meakin believes that Livonia must compete with neighboring cities to obtain small businesses. Meakin also believes in the city’s ability to maintain a family environment in pristine condition as well as building stronger schools and lowering taxes across the board.
Republican runner Laura Toy has been in the local political eye for years, and dreams of Livonia continuing to flourish as a city where families can thrive. Toy has served eight years on Livonia City Council, some of which were spent as Council President. Toy also served four years in the Michigan House of Representatives as well as two in the Michigan State Senate. Toy also co-owns a small local flower shop called Cardwell Florist. Toy wants to continue to have public safety and city services as a high priority for the government. Furthermore, Toy wants to work for the success of Livonia small business so that the city can encourage businesses to thrive. Toy also has a very strong relationship with public safety departments and wants to continue to provide them with the best equipment to do their jobs to the best of their ability.
Cathy White is another democratic incumbent candidate seeking re-election, with a large legal background representing the city of Livonia in civil and tax cases. In all, White has nearly 30 years of experience in municipal government. Like fellow democratic candidate Jolly, White is in favor of updating the master plan for the city of Livonia, believing that the city needs people with experienced backgrounds to be able to implement the plan.
The General Election for Livonia City Council will take place Nov. 7 from 7 a.m. to 8 p.m. To find your voting precinct, please visit the city’s website at ci.livonia.mi.us.