New Baltimore-Chesterfield Patch is profiling all the candidates for city council running in the Nov. 8 election. We recently learned about , and . Today, we hear from incumbent Ken Butler who is seeking an open four-year seat on council. Check back with us this week for more about other candidates.
Name: Kenneth C. Butler II
Years lived in New Baltimore: 46
How many terms have you served? Seven
What are your biggest accomplishments while serving on council? While the successful completion of the water plant, sewer plant and police department building were significant accomplishments, I get the biggest smile when I drive by the snow hill at in the .
If reelected, what specifically would you like to see done during your term? I would like to see if we can make the garden cooperative a reality for our residents and work with the Recreation Commission, Downtown Development Corporation and Planning Commission to develop an economically viable plan for the . This can only be accomplished with progressive thinking that is economically viable.
What do you think the city's biggest challenges are and how can the community overcome them? The city's greatest challenges are the continuing diminution of funding from the State of Michigan while maintaining our level of services to the residents. This can be overcome with strict cost control and successful grant application to supplement the income demand of the departments.
How would you improve the city's downtown? The DDA is in the final stages of a designed upgrade to the downtown by an architectural firm, including street scape improvements. The City of New Baltimore has control over three liquor licenses, the former police building and house on Front Street, and now Christie Funeral Home properties. The DDA upgrade should include those parcels of land and should be jointly marketed to upscale retail, restaurant and commercial retail development firms for downtown development.
How would you make changes, if any, to the Parks and Recreation Department? The first change would be to select a new Recreation Director, as Mr. Michael Hoffard is preparing to tender his resignation. Hopefully, the new director will have a strong background in baseball and program development. The second issue is to decide if the current building should be renovated with funds from the sale of city property on Front Street or is there another location near downtown available for development as a new recreation center. Finally, I would seek corporate donations, such as the gift from Waste Management, to finish the two baseball diamonds at Bay-Rama Park.
Describe yourself: I am married to Stacey, an MSU graduate, and have three great kids. Kate is starting her first year at Trinity College of Medicine in Dublin, Ireland. Alec, a junior at , is 17 and runs varsity cross country, and Devon, a sophomore at Anchor Bay, is 15 and plays varsity soccer for Anchor Bay High, in addition to running cross country. I graduated from Anchor Bay High in 1972 and earned a Bachelor of Arts degree in Political Science from Oakland University in 1975, and a Juris Doctorate degree from the University of Detroit in 1977. I am the senior partner in Butler, Butler & Rowse-Oberle, P.L.L.C., a law firm located in St. Clair Shores, with a total of eight lawyers and 12 support staff members. I am a member of the State Bar of Michigan, Macomb Bar Association, and am a case evaluator for Wayne and Macomb Counties.
What are your hobbies/causes you're passionate about? I believe in progressive thinking that is economically viable. I love maintaining my fitness with long runs with my wife Stacey, cycling with Alec, watching Devon play soccer, and snow-skiing with all of them.
What's one fact about you that would surprise people? I was first chair French Horn in high school, and played the solo, The Impossible Dream, from The Man of La Mancha, at my graduation in 1972. That was the last time I played the instrument, but I guess I will always be a band geek!