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Candidate Q&A: White Lake Supervisor Greg Baroni

Greg Baroni, R-White Lake, is running Aug. 7 to retain his position as White Lake Township Supervisor.

To kick off election coverage, White Lake-Highland Patch has sent out a survey to candidates running for office in White Lake and Highland. The following is the Q&A response from current White Lake Supervisor Greg Baroni. Baroni, a republican, will be facing off against fellow republican Matt Sprader and democrat Mike Smith in the Aug. 7 primary election.

Patch: How long have you lived in White Lake?

Baroni: I've lived in White Lake for 10 years.

Patch: What community and civic organizations are you currently involved in?

Baroni:

  • White Lake Historical Society – Past President, 5 yrs.
  • White Lake Historical Society – Township Liaison, Present
  • Huron Valley Optimist Club - Board of Directors, Present
  • President Elect - Huron Valley Optimist Club, Present
  • White Lake Friends of the Library, Present
  • Board of Directors - Commerce United Methodist Church, Present
  • Co-Creator White Lake Township Community Garden, Present
  • Automotive Industry Professionals Worldwide, Present
  • Facilities Management Professionals International, Present
  • General Motors Alumni, Present

Patch: What drew you to run for Supervisor?

Baroni: I am currently the Supervisor of White Lake Township. As a long time resident, I have a strong passion to remain serving my community and the residents. I was raised in a home where my father was a public servant. The idea of public service and being an active participant in my community has always been a part of who I am.

Patch: What personal and professional experiences make you qualified to hold that position?

Baroni: I have 34 years management experience with General Motors. I have managed large budgets and supervised hundreds of employees efficiently and effectively. I have the proper skill set and ability to make the right decisions that balance the services that we must provide to our residents. I have experience serving as both Trustee and Supervisor, working together with surrounding townships.

Patch: What is the most important issues facing the township and what do you intend to do about it during your term in office?

Baroni: Having a balanced budget is one of the most important priority issues we are currently facing, due to the unbalanced economy we have here in Michigan.As the Township Supervisor, I am also the Budget Director; White Lake Township has a solid balanced budget for 2012.

Second is providing a safe environment for our residents. We must be able to provide all the services our residents expect from our local government.

Third would be maintaining a strong business sector and a balance of growth between business and residential areas. I am committed to maintaining our White Lake identity while implementing new technology for a more efficient government.

Patch: In recent years there has been discussion about contracting either police service or dispatch services with the county. Do you think the police department should be turned over to the Oakland County Sheriff’s Department? Why or why not?

Baroni: As I said above, having a balanced budget is one of the most important priority issues we are currently facing. It is also one of the Township Boards responsibilities to look at cost savings to maintain a strong budget.

Years ago the residents of White Lake Township voted to maintain our police department and police dispatch. The White Lake Police Department has been serving this township for over 50 years. I agree with the residents, we must maintain our Police and Fire Departments.

If dispatch was contracted out to the county the residents would lose a multitude of valuable services such as: monitoring of the jail area, data entry, surveillance of township buildings, ad-hoc reporting, updating website, monitoring court ordered custody exchanges at station, assists in the property room, confirm warrants and several other responsibilities. 

It is my opinion our Police and Fire Departments are the finest in Oakland County and the State of Michigan.

Patch: What is your vision for White Lake Township, where do you see the township in 10 or even 20 years, and what does the township need to do now to realize that vision?

Baroni: My vision for White Lake Township in the future is holding on to the small town atmosphere with that “UP North” feeling. The north end of the township is known for its farms and equestrians and the south end is known for great subdivisions with quality affordable housing. To keep this fabulous quality of life we must maintain a strong balance of growth between business and residential areas.

Our residents and visitors enjoy several recreational opportunities with 21 lakes, two State Parks a Metro Park, golf courses, two new baseball fields and in the near future a nature preserve park. The townships main artery is M-59 which adorns a fabulous array of shopping and dining. 

We are striving to get all empty store fronts occupied by working with our developers and real estate companies. Our latest accomplishment is the new Bed Bath & Beyond store and Joanne Fabrics which occupies an old Farmer Jack Store that sat empty for years. Flowers of the Lakes is now operational in a new location that was an empty building. The new St. Joes Urgent Care Facility is a state of the art medical facility which occupies another store front that was empty. We also have new building going on in the township, 30 plus new homes being built and the new Trinity Rehabilitation Center that just recently opened its doors to patients.

I am committed to maintaining our White Lake identity while implementing new technology for a more efficient government.

Concerned White Lake Citizen July 10, 2012 at 04:35 PM
Long time resident 10 years and never received one vote to become Trustee and also not one vote to become Supervisor. All appointed by the old boys network
Concerned July 10, 2012 at 06:28 PM
Mr. Baroni- Have you had any previous dealings or interactions with Union negotiations; specifically contracts? Also, what changes have you made at the township since you took over? How do you plan on getting more business in to the township, which would generate more tax revenue?
Gerry S July 10, 2012 at 09:18 PM
Supervisor Baroni has impressed me several times within the last month or so. I'm not sure if it was coincidence or not but I posted questions here at the Patch regarding the K2/Spice crisis and the solicitor ordinance. Within a couple of hours his office issued a statement announcing a special meeting where K2/Spice would be banned in White Lake.The solicitor ordinance was passed at the very next meeting. Four doors down from me an absentee owner has allowed a pontoon boat to rot away for the past 20 years. I had mentioned the problem to Trustee Carol Burkard and she got the zoning dept. involved. They got the owner to clean up the debris on the boat but did not move it . Last week, Carol told Mr Baroni about the problem and he called the owner. Honestly I don't think you can ask for more when it comes to having someone in your local government respond to your concerns in such a hands on manner. Now if the owner would listen to him and move the boat....
Greg Burks July 11, 2012 at 01:29 PM
I'm not bashing Mr. Baroni and being hands on is a great attribute but in regards to your issue with your neighbor isn’t this what we have and pay for a zoning board for? If the township has a blight ordinance it should be acted on and enforced by the zoning board, not the township supervisor. It’s kinda like calling the CEO of Ford if you've got an issue with your F150!
Gerry S July 11, 2012 at 06:18 PM
You make a great point Greg Burks and that is why I have never contacted him regarding the matter. My understanding is that previous administrations have been hesitant to go after and fine people for such matters. When I called the zoning enforcement officer he told me "we've had barges sit for 20 years that make the pontoon look like a guppy" and then he asked me which ordinance he should cite them under. I said ordinance 57, the abandoned vehicle ordinance. He told me "the owner is calling it a swim platform". I am in hopes that things are about to change. As it turns out ordinance 57 was being rewritten at the time and should be approved at the next meeting. I give Mr Baroni a lot of credit for stepping in and trying to mediate the situation while the new ordinance is being approved and hope he requests stricter enforcement when it comes to abandoned vehicles. As I drive around White Lake I see far too many homes that look like junk yards and I think it is time to enforce that ordinance a little more aggressively.
Gerry S July 11, 2012 at 06:27 PM
One thing I have learned while going through this is that the ordinance department does not act on something until it receives a complaint. You can file a complaint here: http://www.whitelaketwp.com/ordinance.asp and even do it anonymously if you like. Let's work together and clean up our township!
Andi July 12, 2012 at 02:54 AM
To Concerned White Lake citizen. Greg was not appointment by the Good Old Boys Network. That would be Jay Brendel. He was hand picked by Mike Kowall to replace Bev Spoor. You Obviously don't recall all of the board meeting they had finding Mike's replacement. It was Baroni, Lilley and Burkhart for Baroni. Powell, Birkle and Brendel for Powell. The later is the Old Boys Network not Greg.
Jerry Grubb July 13, 2012 at 01:16 PM
What are the candidates plans to meet future financial obligations such as pensions, health care costs any bond payments? How will the candidate save the taxpayers money?
Dave July 14, 2012 at 05:16 PM
You may be right about the votes but you cant say Baroni is serving anyone elses agenda or will. Everything he does is to make this township better to live in. He is not going around and asking for money to campaign either. Greg Baroni will owe noone after he is retained as Supervisor! There will be no back scratching for any help during his election. Go talk to Greg Baroni and see for yourself whether he is in this for riches or for all of us, I think you will be happy you did as you find out he is on OUR team of which you, as a citizen, are a part of too.
Greg Burks July 16, 2012 at 06:19 PM
Seriously! LOL! And the Patch reviewed and OK'd this to be posted?
jb July 16, 2012 at 08:19 PM
Why not Burks? Are you taking them?
Dave July 16, 2012 at 08:55 PM
It is an ordinance that you cannot put your signs on anyones property who does not want them there. Greg Baroni has nothing to do with any signs but his own. If Spraders signs are being removed its by the property owners. This ordinance has been in place for a very long time.
Brooke Tajer July 16, 2012 at 08:59 PM
This comment was removed because it violates the Patch terms of service. You can find the terms of service at www.whitelake.patch.com/terms
Greg Burks July 16, 2012 at 09:43 PM
JB, seriously? I found your first comment, which was removed as my reply was just as equally ridicules.
Brooke Tajer July 16, 2012 at 10:01 PM
Sorry Greg, it appears that when an original comment is removed all the following replies are removed as well. JB's original comment was removed because it violated our terms of service which can be found at www.whitelake.patch.com/terms.
Dave July 16, 2012 at 10:20 PM
So anyway Greg Baroni has nothing to do with any other signs but his own. There is an ordinance that says you cannot put your sign on someone elses property without their permission. This is probably what has happened to any missing signs. Property owners can clean up their land no matter the debris. If you would like to put up a Retain Baroni sign just let me know I can get you one. Vote Baroni in August if you like balanced budgets and a growing township.
Greg Burks July 17, 2012 at 12:20 PM
No problem Brooke, slanderous remarks should be removed. Dave, how do I get in touch with you?
Dave July 17, 2012 at 08:28 PM
Greg you can email me at dave570@ymail.com for a sign.
Concerned July 21, 2012 at 05:00 PM
Gerry- That's why we have an ordinance officer for; who hasn't written but maybe one citation in 10 years...
Elmore August 03, 2012 at 03:16 AM
Under "Authorities & Responsibilities" of the Michigan Township Officials, Boards and Commissions..."the supervisor is frequently the first official contacted about any township business, or complaint and is often perceived as the township spokesperson. Hence, if you have a beef, start at the top, and that my friend is the law! Good to know the definition and responsibilities of each elected office. Our forefathers know the wisdom of the "trickle down effect".

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