Trio of candidates to join Clarkston City Council

Trio of candidates to join Clarkston City Council

By Matt Mackinder
Clarkston News Editor

Three candidates are running for three spots on the Clarkston City Council in a race to be decided on Nov. 8.
Incumbent Sue Wylie is joined by Mark Lamphier and Amanda Wakefield for the positions that come with two-year terms.
The Clarkston News sent all candidates the same questionnaire, and here is how each responded, in alphabetical order.

Age: 60
Family: Wife Julie of 34 years, son Brenton (38) wife Jenna, grandson Camden (7), Evelyn (4) of Clarkston, son Sean (33), wife Elyse, granddaughter Rory (3), of Fenton with another one any day, daughter Kendra (30), of Green Bay, Wis.
Work Experience/Profession: Real estate broker for 30 years covering the Metro Detroit area, wife Julie is co-owner of Brain Life Center, Auburn Hills
Years lived in Clarkston: 26
Q: Why do you want to serve on city council?
A: To become more involved building an alliance within the community that will aid to preserve and protect the special place that where we live. To share in the future vision while addressing current business at hand. I look forward to input from residents to help form ideas to maintain and improve the health of the city.
Q: What do you like about living in Clarkston?
A: The quaint city of Clarkston aligns with the lifestyle that we desire. Walking downtown with grandchildren to Depot Park, an occasional stop at the bake shop, Concerts in the Park…
Our friends and family, while visiting, all comment on what a lovely place we live. There have been numerous times we have gone out of town on vacation thinking we should have stayed and enjoyed all Clarkston offers right here at home.
Q: What’s your No. 1 issue facing the city?
A: Serving on the council for the first time, I am sure there are a number of challenges that exist, but working with council members so future generations can enjoy the same lifestyles we have today is a good place to start.

Age: 26
Family: Steven Forte, husband, Laura and Paul Wakefield, parents, David and Christine Wakefield, siblings
Work Experience/Profession: Landscape Designer, Zaremba & Company
Years lived in Clarkston: I have lived in the Clarkston area since elementary school. I graduated from Clarkston High School in 2014. After graduating from CHS, I went to Michigan State University for my master’s and undergraduate degrees.
Q: Why do you want to serve on city council?
A: After graduating from CHS, I went to MSU for an undergrad in landscape architecture and a master’s in environmental design.
My education and professional experience have taught me the importance of marking development decisions as predictable, fair, and cost-effective. While encouraging the community and stakeholders to collaborate in maintaining a strong sense of place.
I have already demonstrated my commitment to the community by serving on the Clarkston Tree Committee, the Biophilic Committee, and a ‘bloom’ in the Farm and Garden Club. Long term, I would like to continue to contribute to our Village’s environmental, social and economic success to the highest degree possible.
I am running for public office, not because of personal political aspirations, but because of the genuine gratitude I have for what this community has meant to me and how much I would like to pay back that eternal debt.
Q: What do you like about living in Clarkston?
A: I have always called Clarkston home and knew it was where I wanted us to settle down – because of my love for our little community. After renting in the city for a year, my husband and I purchased our first home, where we just had our wedding reception a few weeks ago. Besides the great people in Clarkston, I love the historic charm, walkable community, and quaint sense of place. All characteristics, I think, are worth preserving, maintaining, and investing in.
Q: What’s your No. 1 issue facing the city?
A: Maintaining the sense of place, while working on the existing planning, infrastructure, and facilities. I think there are opportunities for the city to improve the maintenance of the existing features we all have come to love, meanwhile exploring green infrastructure, walkability, and safety that are all integral parts of the evolution of modern cities.

Age: 67
Family: Two adult children
Work Experience/Profession: I have been on the Clarkston City Council for almost six years, and I am in my fifth year on the Planning Commission. I am a retired chemistry and biology teacher and a former medical equipment and pharmaceutical sales rep.
Years lived in Clarkston: 28 years in the city and seven years in Independence Township
Q: Why do you want to serve on city council?
A: I want to serve because I love Clarkston and I continue to be grateful for the opportunity to serve the city. I think the southern neighborhoods of Clarkston, such as the Middle Lake and S. Main St. neighborhood, need representation on council, which I am honored to provide.
After serving on Clarkston City Council for almost six years, I continue to bring to council a willingness to listen to Clarkston residents and business owners, a commonsense approach to governing our city, and a desire to play fair and by the rules of government.
I am willing to work with other city-elected officials and staff because I understand that government officials must listen to each other and, at times, compromise to get the work done.
Q: What do you like about living in Clarkston?
A: My favorite feature of Clarkston are my great neighbors and neighborhood. I like the variety of homes in my neighborhood, the proximity to a lake, and the opportunity to observe diverse wildlife.
I also appreciate the charm of the historic neighborhoods, and I enjoy seeing the attractive houses and businesses as I travel around the city. I like that I can walk to so many places, including Depot Park, our wonderful restaurants, my favorite shops, and even to the drug store and the post office.
Q: What’s your No. 1 issue facing the city?
A: Our main problem is low revenue but a continued need to upgrade infrastructure, especially roads and sidewalks. For a time, paid-parking revenue benefited Clarkston, but that revenue stream stopped in March 2020, and the recovery of that revenue stream has been slow.
City officials must find new sources of revenue in order to get our streets and sidewalks into better shape. This may include another paid parking lot, and perhaps even paid street parking.
At the same time, the residential neighborhoods close to downtown must be protected. Other sources of revenue should also be seriously evaluated and considered by city council.
Elected officials must continue to be vigilant, watch expenditures and prepare for possible loss of revenue streams. Council must control spending to ensure that the needs of the city are balanced against the wants.
This control needs to involve careful consideration of city expenditures and a well-designed budget.

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