Fenton Mayor Sue Osborn Running for Another Term
Councilman opposes longtime mayor; four are in the running for three council member positions.
The Nov. 8 election will be a big one for Fenton City Council. There are seven seats on the council, four of which are up for election.
One seat will be in the mayor's race where Councilman Tim Faricy will oppose longtime Mayor Sue Osborn for the two-year term.
Incumbent Cheryl King, former Department of Public Works director Les Bland, former Fenton Mayor Patricia Lockwood and newcomer Michael Piacentini will compete for three four-year term council seats.
During the next several days, we will take a detailed look at each candidate. You can read below or watch the attached video from the Meet the Candidates forum held by the Fenton Regional Chamber of Commerce on Tuesday.
Today, we profile the incumbent Fenton Mayor Sue Osborn.
1. What are your work and educational backgrounds? I am an income tax examiner for the city of Flint. I've been preparing tax returns for 22 years, and I am a certified public accountant. I graduated state and local government programs at Harvard University. I got a $10,000 fellowship to a month-long program, in 2005, at the John F. Kennedy School of Government, at Harvard. I have all of the leadership milestones through the National League of Cities.
2. How old are you, how long have you lived in Fenton, and who are your family members? I'm 63. I have two boys, Christopher Suszek, 41, and Curt Suszek, 37, and one granddaughter, Payton, 10. I'm married to David. I moved to Fenton in 1976.
3. What public offices have you held, and how are you involved in the community? Twenty-seven years on the Fenton City Council, with 13 years as mayor. Member of Fenton's Community Center Board of Governors, Downtown Development Authority (DDA), Local Development Finance Authority (LDFA), Board of Review, Fenton Area Fire Board; St. John Catholic Church and Flint Area Narcotic Group (FANG), GAIN Auto Theft Unit; Community Parent, Inc. and Fenton Regional Chamber of Commerce. Member of the Michigan Municipal League, Women in Municipal Government, Michigan Mayors Association, Genesee County Small Cities and National League of Cities. I have served on the National League of Cities Leadership Training Council for six years. New fire hall, Department of Public Works garage and water treatment plant with no increase in taxes. New east/west connector, railroad crossings and gates, Fenton children's library and synchronized signals on Shiawassee and Owen Road. New paving of Silver Lake Road, Silver Parkway, North Road and Adelaide Street. Lobbied Washington, D.C. for funds for the reopening of Acument Technologies, bringing over 200 jobs back to our industrial park, and funding for Creative Foam to expand their business into foam for windmills, retaining jobs in the area.
4. Why did you decide to run for office? Because there were a few things that I wanted to see completed, before I retire. First, I'd like to see the Cornerstone Building downtown get developed. Two, creating a new library. We need a bigger library. Three, making the Fenton Community Center handicap-accessible. Four, promoting sharing of services with other local communities. We have started meeting. Five, getting health insurance adjustments situated for city employees. That will save money. And six, developing a tree planting program to replace trees lost from the tornado (in 2007). On city property, we lost over 4,000 trees. I've been researching other communities and they have some really neat programs, like planting a tree in someone's honor.
5. What issues, in your opinion, are big ones for Fenton? The list I'd like to see worked on. We have to reach out to other communities and try to share in all services we can, to save resources not only for us but for other communities. I believe the community center is not handicap-accessible now. I think it's an architectural jewel in Fenton that needs to be made attainable to all who wish to use it. We've waited so long for the rebirth of downtown, and I think it's just getting started now. The city budget, I think we have under control, pretty much. Obviously, we look at the budget every year and make cuts, but we are really good at keeping the budget in line. Revenues decrease every year, but we make cuts every year. Things have changed.