Answers to Key Issues
Following are Hargan's answers to questions asked by Patch readers.
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?
Although we have families that have moved away, the recent article in the Patch confirms that Royal Oak is still a very desirable city for young families. I believe we have a good mix of citizens and will continue to attract new and younger people. We are already doing a lot of things right.
I envision a city of tolerance, diversity, and community activism. We have great schools, beautiful parks, and a vibrant downtown. Who wouldn't want to live here?
I would like to see fewer bars and more "family friendly" businesses.
I can't really formulate strategies or tactical ideas until I'm in a commission seat and understand the duties and limitations of the position.
Oak still has a half dozen outdated and dangerous motels that are havens for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?
Motels serve a purpose in our city, but we want them to be a place that we would actually recommend sending a relative to. I don't think we can talk about a plan for disposing of "them". The City Commission can and should act against those businesses that fail to pay their taxes, water bills, etc. Code enforcement can issue violations when appropriate. Being old, run down, and somewhat sleazy may be undesirable but is not against the law.
How are you going to address the problems with rats throughout the City?
Our City Commission will not solve the rat problem. The
bottom line is that decreasing the rat population begins and depends on home
and business owners. I don't think you can completely eradicate rats in the
city anymore than you can get rid of all the mosquitoes or cockroaches.
We need to work with our neighbors to insure that we are not providing an environment that makes them feel welcome. That means food, water, and a cozy area to live and breed. If residents focus on those things, the rat population will diminish. Once diminished, exterminators can further decrease the population by targeting specific locations.
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?
Thank you! Here's my buzzword - PRIORITIZE. I prioritize and make lists for everything. My family is constantly making fun of all the lists I make. When my sister comes to visit, she occasionally hides my lists in order to torment me. But that's how I get things done. The city, and every other level of government for that matter, needs to make a list of things to do and then prioritize the list. That doesn't mean that you can't address more than one issue at a time, but it does mean that you're consistently searching for and developing solutions for the things at the top of the list. My priority list would start with unfunded liabilities, then move to fire/police, garbage, roads, and additional infrastructure in that order.
What is the most important thing you would like to accomplish if
I would like to be part of finding a long term solution to our unfunded liabilities. This problem is bankrupting cities across America and until resolved will continue to be a huge financial threat to all of us.
About Diane Hargan
- Email: DianeKH73@gmail.com
- Phone: 248 583-4945
- Facebook: facebook.com/Diane K. Hargan for Royal Oak City Commission
- On the Ballot: Sharlan Douglas, City Commission
- On the Ballot: Jeremy Mahrle, City Commission
- On the Ballot: David Poulton, City Commission