New Baltimore-Chesterfield Patch is profiling all the candidates for city council running in the Nov. 8 election. We recently learned about candidate . Today, we hear from incumbent Florence Hayman who is seeking an open four-year seat on council. Check back with us over the next several days to learn about the other candidates.
Name: Florence M. Hayman
Years lived in New Baltimore: I moved here 54 years ago.
Occupation: I was a teacher for 36 years; I retired in 2009. My husband and I were the owners of the New Baltimore Florist on Washington Street. When we sold our business in 1999, it was the oldest family-owned business in the city. We were honored as the "Business of the Year" by the City of New Baltimore.
How many terms have you served? I am in my second term.
What are your biggest accomplishments while serving on council?
I believe I serve the community with integrity. I read pertinent information given to me, and I faithfully attend the meetings of the committees assigned to me by three mayors during the eight years I have been on council. I have served on the following committees: Southeastern Michigan Council of Governments (SEMCOG) - delegate 8 years; at SEMCOG I was appointed to Transportation Advisory Committee 6 years ago; since 2008 I have been elected annually by the other SEMCOG delegates to serve on the Regional Clearinghouse Review Committee.
I have been the liaison to the Planning Commission for eight years; I attend site plan review meetings and pre-planning meetings. I have been liaison to Fire Department for six years; I had a role in the creation of "Fire Marshal" as a line item in the budget. I served as a member of the Water Committee, and Wastewater Committee. Our Water Department is state of the art. I am proud to tell you that our Waste Water Treatment Plant meets or exceeds standards set by the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA). The Water Committee and the Wastewater Committee evolved into the Utilities Committee. As a member of the Utilities Committee I voted against raising the water and sewer rates this year. I am on the Road Committee, and the Police Department Oversight Committee. I am proud that we have balanced the budget without laying off any employees.
If reelected, what specifically would you like to see done during your term?
I would like to see the city work with a developer to develop city-owned land on Washington and Front streets. I would like to see retail on the ground floor, a combination of restaurants and office space on the second floor, and lofts or condos on the top floor. The city would again be able to collect taxes on prime real estate, and it would bring people to live, work, and shop in our downtown. I would like the previously approved road repair plan re-activated, and the sale of water to people outside of New Baltimore. I would like to see us purchase a new fire truck to replace the fire truck that was purchased in 1988, paint the History Harbor water tower, and expand recreational opportunities for all ages.
What do you think the city’s biggest challenges are and how can the community overcome them?
Money is always a challenge; revenue sharing is always in question, and as assessments decrease, so does City income. Many streets are in serious need of repair. I participated in an informative workshop sponsored by Southeastern Michigan Council of Governments specifically in regard to preserving our city streets. As a member of the City Road Committee, I struggled with the question which roads do we fix this year - do we fix the worst roads, or do we do preventative maintenance, so roads in fairly good condition stay that way? This year we spent our local road budget on roads with potholes. Next year, my hope is to implement our long range plan - repair and preservation of our roads.
The cost of water is another challenge. The community passed a bond eight years ago to change from traditional water filtration to micro-filtration, and to increase the amount of water produced. The new filtration system and intake line are state of the art, and state of the art security protects our water, but it is expensive to operate. We are required to plan for maintenance and repairs - the money for this is part of the cost of having our own water plant. The challenge is how to sell more water. How do we get people without a second meter to purchase one; how do we sell water to other communities or businesses? Producing more water will not cost more; therefore, if we sold more water we would increase revenues without increasing costs. I do not believe the answer is to charge more for water.
How would you improve the city’s downtown?
In 2009 the Downtown Development Authority (DDA) participated in "The Blueprints for Michigan Downtowns." Next spring, work will begin in our downtown, which will take about twelve weeks to complete. The cost of the project is $685,000.00. New Baltimore received a grant the Michigan Department of Transportation to help pay for it. I believe this project, which includes the marketing and development of city-owned land, renovating the Recreation Center, maintaining our waterfront park, and expanding kayak opportunities will motivate people to come downtown. The Council needs to work closely with the DDA in order for our downtown businesses to thrive. I would also like to see downtown parking improved.
How would you make changes, if any, to the Parks and Recreation Department? Parks and Recreation is more than the building on Washington. It encompasses our water front park, the Walter and Mary Burke Park.
The Parks and Recreation Commission is in the process of reviving and updating the City Recreation Plan. The plan includes all of the city-owned parks as well as the current recreation building. I believe our Recreation Center should stay in the downtown area. Our current building needs repairs, but I believe it is better for us to put our tax dollars into a building we own, rather than pay rent for a building we will never own. I would like to see a new center as part of a joint venture between the city and a developer. In the near future Bay-Rama plans to give fields at Festival Park to the city that will be ready for use in the spring. I would like to have kayak rentals, and swimming lessons for all ages in our waterfront park. I would also like to add a dog park for our residents, flag football and softball teams, and more participation in our summer baseball teams. I believe these things are possible.
I am married to Jack Hayman. I am concerned about public safety, recreation, the development of our downtown, and maintaining the quality of life in New Baltimore. I love our community, and that is why I am running for re-election to City Council. I graduated from St. Mary's High School in New Baltimore. I have a Bachelor’s Degree from the University of Detroit, Master’s and Post-Master’s Degrees from Wayne State University. My husband, Jack, graduated from Anchor Bay High School. We were married at St. Mary Queen of Creation Church; we have five children and eight grandchildren. We raised our children in New Baltimore. One of our granddaughters graduated from Anchor Bay High School and we have a granddaughter in kindergarten at Ashley Elementary. I am involved in our community in several ways. I am a member of St. Mary Queen of Creation Church, the New Baltimore Lions Club, the New Baltimore Historical Society, the New Baltimore Civic Club, the FOP Lodge 112, the New Baltimore Police Officers Association, the New Baltimore Goodfellows, the Bay-Rama Committee, the New Baltimore Relay For Life Committee and the New Baltimore Lions Club Team Captain. I serve as a volunteer at Anchor Bay Schools, I am Chairperson of New Baltimore's Make A Difference Day.
What are your hobbies/causes you are passionate about?
I am passionate my family and the City of New Baltimore. I am passionate about education. I am passionate about recycling. Before New Baltimore had curb side pick-up, I took our recyclables to a collection center. After two visits to Great Lakes Recycling Center, I worked with Waste Management, and now New Baltimore residents are able to put all plastic containers, including plastic bags, into their curbside recycling- no need to check numbers .
What is one fact about you that would surprise people?
I love animals which is why I would like to see the creation of a dog park in New Baltimore.
Additional information about you can be added here:
I am always willing to answer questions. If I do not know the answer, I will find out the answer for you. I believe in serving the community.