By Jim Jacek
Each week the Allen Park Guardian will feature a candidate running for city council to give you a chance to get to know them a little better. This weeks featured candidate is Pam Sych. Here is her story:
Hello, I am Pam Sych and I am the next candidate featured in the race for a seat on the Allen Park City Council.
Please, let me start by introducing you to my family. In 2005, we purchased our beautiful home in Allen Park. My husband, Richard, and I celebrated our 25th wedding anniversary a few years ago. Our daughter, Sara, graduated from Allen Park High. Sara has gone on to earn a Bachelor in Fine Arts from Adrian College and is currently a high school art teacher. I graduated from Lawrence Institute of Technology with a Bachelor Degree of Science, with a specialty in Construction Engineering.
I have worked for various governmental agencies for over 30 years. While in college, I worked for the Michigan Department of Transportation. Right after college, I started working as an engineer for the Wayne County Department of Public Services. During my tenure, my team and I designed the Detroit Metro Airport, New Midfield Terminal and 4-22 Runway. For my work, I received the Wayne County Executive– Meritorious Team Award for the Midfield design.
I had the opportunity to retire early from Wayne County. To help with Sara’s college expenses, I went to work at the City of Southgate Building Department, where I was active in the setup of the current permitting system. Currently, I work as a Project Management Analyst for the Charter Township of West Bloomfield. My duties include managing Capital Improvement Projects at town hall and the Special Assessment District, Roadway Improvement Projects. In addition to working with engineers and attorneys, I interact daily with residents answering various questions, including infrastructure questions. I was able to assist the Clerk’s office of West Bloomfield during the 2018 elections by working on a receiving board.
I am a proud union member. I belong to ASFCME retiree subchapter 38 and am a member of the West Bloomfield TPOAM. I have been a union steward and a union trustee.
Currently, I am the vice-chairman of the Allen Park Historical Commission and past chairperson of the AP-Parks and Recreation Foundation. The city has many open commission positions and I encourage residents to find the time to support our community as a commissioner. It can be an interesting and rewarding experience.
Why do I choose to live in Allen Park? So many reasons. Great Location. Close to three major freeways and a short distance to a major city. The Allen Park School system provides a solid education to its students. The brick homes, clean parks and tree-lined streets are quaint and appealing. Our neighborhoods are safe and friendly. All these things make Allen Park an ideal place to live, work and raise a family.
How do I see Allen Park improving? I would like to see thoughtful improvements implemented to our business corridors. I would like to see us improve our city’s appeal to vacationers and thus capturing more of the dollars brought into the city by those visiting our new hotels. Let us apply for grants to update the facades of businesses. I would like the city business areas to reflect the same charm of our neighborhoods.
My dogs would like a dog park to play in. I did notice as I walked our neighborhoods, just how many dogs share our homes. I would like to see a splash pad park installed to fill the void left by the closing of the wading pool.
Maintenance of the Historical house needs improvement. On a visit to the Historic Fort Wayne recently, I noticed a building, just a few years newer than our historical house, caving in on its self. I never want to see that to happen to our house. We are the stewards of our own history. Our history needs to live in the hearts and minds of our residents, young and old. We do not want to make the same mistakes of the past or lose the joy in our collective memories.
Why is Pam Sych running? As you know every council seat is open. The sad truth is that past councils have made some bad decisions and we continue to pay for those bad decisions. Our current council has made many good decisions and positive things are happening in our city. I, as all of you, want to see the next council work to continue that positive momentum. I ask that you elect me to fill one of those city council seats. Let me put my talents and work experience to work for you.
Please visit my Facebook page @pamsych4ap for all the latest information on the campaign to elect Pam Sych for Allen Park City Council.
By Jim Jacek
This week’s featured city council candidate is David M. Miller. Here is his story: “I was delivered at Providence Hospital in Southfield MI. I moved to Allen Park when I was a year old and have been a resident of this great city ever since. Now, 33 years later I come to you as a Marine, an engineer, a brewer, and instructor. My whole family still lives in Allen Park and my parents still live in the house I grew up in. I like being able to take my 2 dogs for a walk and see my parents and all of my brothers and their kids. My whole education was taken care of by Allen Park Public schools so you can blame them, just kidding, I also spent one year at Cabrini High. I played soccer and swam all throughout my career along with dabbling in track, football, hockey, basketball, and of course softball. I still play soccer and wallyball regularly and staying physically active is important to me. One of my jobs now actually is as a fitness instructor. I graduated from APHS in 2004 and went to Wayne State for a year before deciding the Marine Corps was more of the pace I wanted my life to go. I did 5 years in the Corps as a Radar technician and martial arts instructor while earning top achievements in marksmanship, physical fitness, and leadership as evidence from being sped up for promotions and being honorably discharged as a E-5 Sergeant of Marines. After my enlistment was over I took a job with Lockheed Martin and for 3 years I was in Afghanistan performing the same job I did as a Marine. When I got home I enrolled at UofM Dearborn to pursue a degree in engineering. I spent three years there before realizing that I didn't want to work in a cubicle and wanted to open my own brewery. I spent the last year of my GI bill at Schoolcraft College where I graduated from the Brewing and Distillation Technologies program. Since graduation I've bounced around to a few breweries and recently started working at a big contract production brewery in Corktown. My goal is to open up the best brewery downriver has ever seen. From my life experience I have witnessed first-hand some of the worst problems we face as a society and I am not willing to sit on the sidelines and hurl my opinions out into the abyss of social media and the like. If I want to see change in my lifetime that will produce the most good for the most people I have to take action and I am not willing to wait until retirement to do so. My first foray into this action is asking the people of Allen Park to give me the chance to offer my time and experience to the day to day business of our local government. As your city councilman, I will make it my greatest concern that the will of the people is heard and heeded by those that need to hear it. I will do this by giving citizens the chance to talk to me in person and through technologies on a regular basis as I believe open and honest communications is the basis of effective discord. Just as I worked together with my officers and subordinates in the Marine corps, I will work together with my fellow city council members. I will pass regulations only if I believe it will result in an increase in freedom and happiness for those affected by it, now and in future generations. I will keep a keen eye out for governmental fraud, waste, or abuse in our city and in all levels of bureaucracy and expose those who are responsible for it. I will ensure that the services we expect our city to take care of like waste, management, and safety will be handled in an efficient and effective manner. We have a great city here and I look forward to doing my part to keep it that way and also help make any improvements to make it even better.”
By Jim Jacek
In November's election, there will be a 100% turnover for Mayor and city council in Allen Park. There are 12 candidates running for city council, and 6 of them will be elected. Each week Allen Park Guardian will feature a candidate.
The first candidate to be featured is Charles Blevins, a 27 year old life-long resident of Allen Park, who graduated from Allen Park High School in 2010. Charles has been involved with many city events and school functions throughout the years. Charles has worked at a local museum for the last eight and a half years, gaining experience in the Food Service, Guest Service, and Security Departments. You may have also seen him working during city elections over the last 8 years.
Charles has been attending City Council meetings since he was in high school and has been a concerned resident voicing both his and the concerns of his neighbors who are unable to attend the meetings to the past four City Council administrations, asking questions and making sure that their voices are still heard. He previously ran for City Council in 2015, and is running again now with four years of growth, knowledge, and experience under his belt. He has always believed that learning from our history is key when it comes to building towards future success. Charles hopes that his time in office will be spent effectively balancing the city budget while remaining firm in his belief that residents come first in keeping Allen Park an excellent place to live, work, and play. Charles will be a strong team player amongst the rest of the City Council, working together with the city employees to help keep Allen Park safe and beautiful.
Charles believes he is the right candidate because he wants to represent the whole city, not just one person. He believes communication is the key to success, and that listening is an extremely important part of that skill. He encourages residents to always speak to their City Council and to always stay positive. Charles hopes he can earn your vote in this November's election.
For the past four years, it has been my honor and privilege to serve as the Mayor Pro Tem of Allen Park. In the Mayor's absence, I preside as Mayor and facilitate City Council Meetings and represent the Mayor and Allen Park as a voting member at Downtown Development Authority (DDA), Downriver Community Conference (DCC)/Downriver Mutual Aid (DMA), and Downriver Utility and Wastewater Authority (DUWA) meetings. DUWA is comprised of 13 downriver cities which own and operate the Wyandotte wastewater treatment facility, oversees all aspects of operations, rate adjustments, and capital investments. My participation has given me the opportunity to interact with other members of these organizations and create working relationships, both internal and external to the city.
I am a founding member and Secretary of the Board of Directors for the Allen Park Citizens Civic Fund (APCCF), a 501(c)(3) non-profit dedicated to providing support to our community. As part of the APCCF leadership team, I am proud of the support we are providing to our Parks & Recreation Department and Historic Home, particularly the placement of libraries in all of our parks and play equipment in the Pocket Park.
An Allen Park resident for over 40 years, I have three children and two grandchildren. My children, graduates of Allen Park High School, benefited from the education they received from Allen Park public schools. I graduated Magna Cum Laude from the University of Detroit with a Bachelor of Business Administration degree in Personnel. After 30 years, I retired from General Motors where I served as the Human Resources Manager for Corporate Staffs and HR Manager of the GM Legal Staff. During my tenure, I was trained and experienced in supervision, benefits, compensation and performance reviews, and assisted in a major organizational restructuring.
I am Chair of the City Council Human Resources Committee which reviews and discusses staffing and compensation proposals, participates in interviews related to key positions, and developed a performance review process to be implemented for all non-union employees. I am a member of the Council Legal Affairs Committee whose goal is to provide our citizens with a safe and well-run community. Ordinances passed ensure compliance with State law and address departmental and community needs such as the noxious odors issue.
Serving as Mayor Pro Tem has also prepared me for the time commitment required of the Mayor, based on the many boards, organizations and other functions which require attendance and participation. I also understand the importance of developing liaisons with others at all levels of government, including at the county, state, and federal levels. To that end, I have established a working relationship with our County representative, Sam Baydoun, and am a known commodity to our State Representative, Frank Liberati, and our U.S. Representative, Debbie Dingell, with whom I had the privilege of working with at General Motors.
As Mayor, my goal is to serve the citizens of Allen Park and ensure continued progress toward financial stability and economic growth. My background and experience enable me to provide the leadership which encourages problem-solving, teamwork, and collaboration and I will engage our citizens, break down silos, and involve all entities which have an impact on the future of Allen Park.
By Jim Jacek
“My wife Karen and I have been part of the Allen Park community for over 62 years. We can remember walking to Arno and Riley for kindergarten. My parent’s involvement in the school board, city council, supporting the arts and “Keeping Allen Park Beautiful”, helped us understand how important it is to stay involved in our community. You, like us are proud to live here, take care of our neighbors and watch as new families move into the houses next to us. Help me become your next mayor and keep that “home town” feeling alive! Three things I feel are important as mayor is to work with the new council and administration, be transparent with the residents to put their trust in me in the use of the road millage, and public safety millage,” stated Rourke.
Kevin Rourke’s background:
12 years City Council
62 year resident of Allen Park
Married to Karen, has three children, and one grandchild
8 years Parks and Recreation Commissioner
Member of Cabrini Booster Club
Past member / coach/ participant of the Allen Park Hockey Association
Past member / coach / participant APAC
Member Fr. Saylor Knights of Columbus
Allen Park Good Fellows Century Club
Member of St. Frances Cabrini Parish
2005 MLB All Star Game volunteer
Super Bowl XL – Super Captain volunteer
1 year Member Downtown Development Authority
Chair, Friends of Cabrini 501(c)(3) Committee
R – Responds to your calls
O – Open minded to listen to your ideas and be your voice at the council table
U – Understands the plight of our senior citizens
R – Recreation programs for our youth, seniors and families
K – Keeping Allen Park beautiful to maintain home values
E – Enforcement of our ordinances is a must for a progressive city