Incumbent Haven facing Meyland in Clarkston mayoral race

Incumbent Haven facing Meyland in Clarkston mayoral race

By Matt Mackinder
Clarkston News Editor

Two candidates are running for mayor of the City of the Village of Clarkston in a race to be decided on Nov. 8.
Incumbent Eric Haven is being challenged by Scott Meyland for the position that comes with a two-year term.
The Clarkston News sent both Haven and Meyland the same questionnaire, and here is how each responded, in alphabetical order.

Age: 74
Family: Wife, Nancy
Work Experience/Profession: Auto industry manufacturers’ representative (1973-94), marketing and sales, ASA Sign Systems (1994-2001), executive pastor, Woodside Bible Church of Troy (2001-21), mayor, City of the Village of Clarkston (2018-present)
Q: How long have you lived in Clarkston?
A: Over 50 years
Q: What do you like about living in Clarkston?
A: My wife, Nancy, and I have lived in Clarkston over 50 years, raising our family here. We know and love this village. Clarkston is a charming iconic town. I think that’s why our residents love it so much. It’s a community where you know your neighbors, people walk their pets, there are many community events throughout the year, dining opportunities and boutique shopping, a place people want to both raise their kids and spend their retirement. This “bedroom” community, is 53 percent residential and 20 percent water.
Q: What is your No. 1 issue facing the city?
A: I am currently the mayor of Clarkston, having served on council for over 30 years, on and off. I was part of the village council in 1992 when we became a city. My experience over the last two terms as mayor has underscored my understanding that Clarkston, because of its increasing desirability, is vulnerable to special interests from without. Our lakes, millpond and Clinton River, along with our quaint commercial and historic districts, on the National Register of Historic Places, make us a target for special interests and personal agendas which threaten our residential zoning.
One such challenge right now is a ballot proposal to amend our city charter requiring two medical marijuana provisioning centers in our half-square-mile village with hours of operation 9 a.m. to 9 p.m. seven days per week. The question facing the city is not whether we want to use marijuana products, but do we want it to have retail presence in our village so close to residential.
A subtle, almost invisible, aspect of that same ballot proposal is a lurking city charter amendment which would increase the size of our city charter by a whopping 25 percent, over 5,000 words, giving an outside special interest group governing power over many of our ordinances and regulations. THIS IS A VERY BIG DEAL!
Q: What is your opinion on the county public transportation millage?
A: I voted with the rest of city council to not pursue legal action against the county board of commissioners ballot proposal to pursue regional public transportation. I did not think spending city money on that endeavor would be successful. Although I am sympathetic to many in our region that lack transportation, nevertheless, in good conscience, I would not feel right in obligating our people to pay for an asset over the next 10 years which would bring minimal if any assistance to people in our city needing such transportation.

Age: 55
Family: Single
Work Experience/Profession: 33 years of experience as an engineer in the auto industry
Q: How long have you lived in Clarkston?
A: I grew up in the Clarkston area, and have been a homeowner in the city for 30 years
Q: What do you like about living in Clarkston?
A: I was born in Pontiac and raised in the Clarkston area. My dad spent his career at GM Truck & Coach, and my mom was an English and French teacher at Clarkston High School. I am a product of Clarkston schools, and always felt very lucky to be able to grow up in such a great community.
When I returned to the area after earning my Bachelor’s Degree from Michigan Technological University, I was able to choose where I would live, and chose to purchase my first home in the City of Clarkston on Buffalo Street.  Subsequently, my next two home purchases were also in the City of Clarkston.
Clarkston has been, and always will be, my home.
Q: What is your No. 1 issue facing the city?
A: The top issues facing our city are: 1) Maintaining a balanced budget, while ensuring sufficient reserves are in place, 2) Continued preservation of the things that make Clarkston special, and 3) Prioritization of our resources
To begin, the city is very fortunate to have a very talented and dedicated staff in place. The city offices, as well as the DPW, do a tremendous job keeping the city running smoothly on a daily basis.
I believe that my approach to working to help address the three priority issues listed above are consistent with many of my previous contributions in various leadership roles within the city.
By taking the time to listen, think critically, and understand how and why things have been done in the past, I would be able to help to foster an environment where a thought process consistent with serving the best interests of the community will be commonplace.
Q: What is your opinion on the county public transportation millage?
A: Personally, I do not regularly use local public transportation. However, I know of several community members that regularly use, and in many cases rely, on local public Transportation. Because of that, I personally support the county public transportation millage. As is the case with other issues on the ballot, it will be up to the voters to decide the outcome.

PHOTO: Eric Haven, Scott Meyland

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