Answers to Key Issues
Following are Poulton's answers to questions asked by Patch readers.
As our City's demographics continue to change with a smaller and older population (many young families move to outer ring suburbs when the kids show up) what is your 10 year vision for the city? With that vision what are your strategies and tactical ideas to get us there?
I do not necessarily believe that is the case for our city. Royal Oak is a varied blend of singles, first time home buyers, families with school-age children, empty nesters and seniors. In fact, Royal Oak was recently named one of the best cities in Michigan to raise a family.
Over the past few years, we have witnessed more new housing development and remodeling than has taken place in many years. Each of us has our own specific reasons for seeking out the advantages available in Royal Oak. Very few "outer ring suburbs" or other communities in the state offer the variety that we have in our city. Royal Oak has wonderful schools, a vibrant downtown, a growing arts community, over 50 city parks, an ice arena, popular soccer, baseball, football and hockey organizations, golf courses, and a nationally recognized zoo, which plans to enhance our recreational amenities with a splash pad and outdoor ice skating rink.
In the current economic environment, a "ten year plan" is far outside our ability to accurately forecast the city's needs and abilities. Shorter term planning during these economic times is more feasible. Just a few short years ago, we faced challenging deficits that called for us to bring immediate solutions to the table. However, if we can continue to progress what we see today over the next ten years: increasing property values, improving parks and expanding commercial development, then the future for Royal Oak is very bright.
Royal Oak still has a half dozen outdated and dangerous motels that are havens for parole absconders. Do you have a plan on disposing the remaining?
This is one of the most pressing issues we must deal with over the next 4 years. Right now, there is a proposal to tear down and redevelop the Sagamore on Woodward and 2 other motels are for sale. My plan is to have a coordinated effort between the city and Chamber of Commerce to work with commercial realtors/developers to potentially offer tax abatements and other redevelopment opportunities in exchange for cooperation from these existing businesses. The potential is there; however, it can only be realized with hard work and effort by a variety of concerned and active advocates.
How are you going to address the problems with rats throughout the City?
currently share this problem with most cities in Oakland County. We need to assess the situation and take a
multiple layered approach. It would do no good for us to simply focus on
our city if surrounding communities cannot also have a concise plan for
We need to coordinate with Oakland County and share in developing a plan to eradicate or greatly reduce the population as best we can. Deciding the most effective and efficient way will need to be determined by the areas of greatest concern. Identifying areas of concern and notifying and educating businesses and residents to act proactively would be a good place to begin.
Some citizens are concerned that in recent years the City Commission has been majoring in the minors. The dog ordinance, the human rights ordinance, the fence ordinance for examples. What is your opinion on this? Regarding your opinion how does that get implemented in the coming years?
agree there are issues which demand a much greater amount of attention than
others. That being said, my position as City Commissioner is to represent
all individuals and handle both big and small items of concern.
It is the job of the City Commission to address issues that will keep Royal Oak safe and financially secure. Some of these issues are complex, such as city operations, fiscal budget and public safety. Other issues are items like you have mentioned, but to those people affected, it is a priority, so we try to do our best to address all of our residents’ concerns.
However, as a City Commission, we must remain focused on matters that will enhance our property values and allow us to remain a strong, vibrant and safe community.
What is the most important thing you would like to accomplish if elected?
My plan is to ensure that Royal Oak is economically self-sufficient for many years to come. It is a priority of mine to maintain a small and modest budget surplus every year, to build on that surplus annually and make it a healthy reality into the future. I do not want taxpayers held in the balance, so they are the only line of recourse when issues of emergency or health and safety arise.
About David Poulton
- Email: firstname.lastname@example.org
- Phone: 248-435-4479
- Facebook: www.facebook.com/d.poulton.citycommissioner