On May 4, Wyandotte voters will go to the polls and select a new mayor to lead the city. Voters will choose between Robert DeSana, the Mayor Pro Tem, who has been acting in the role of Mayor since Joe Peterson’s death last year, and local resident Frank Tarnowski.
DeSana has lived in Wyandotte for 67 years. He is the son of Rose Ann and Raymond DeSana and the father Abbey DeSana and Ian Hamel. He is married to his wife Denise and they have three grandchildren.
DeSana, a retired insurance agent, is a community volunteer and was first elected to City Council back in 1985.
Tranowski has been a resident of Wyandotte for more than 40 years. He is the father of two daughters and is a plumber by trade. He owns Tarnowski Plumbing.
The Warrior asked the two candidates a series of questions and below are their responses.
Why should the residents of the city vote for you?
DeSana: I am a lifelong resident of the city of Wyandotte and have been involved with the community my entire life. I served on the City Council from 1985-1991. Since May 2020 I have been fulfilling the duties of Mayor of our city. In addition to my position on City Council, I was elected to the Wyandotte Charter Revision Committee and appointed by Mayor Peterson to serve on the Recreation Commission. I have the dedication and the experience to continue to work for the residents of our city and to make our community a desirable place to live and work. I have volunteered with the Wyandotte Community Alliance and the Wyandotte Public Schools to give back to the city and its residents.
Tarnowski: I’m looking to get the little things done in the city. I go around Wyandotte and see projects that are being neglected. My opponent thinks everything is fine and nothing needs to be done. I disagree. There is always something that needs to be done and improved.
What is the major issue facing the city of Wyandotte today?
DeSana: The major issue facing Wyandotte is the management of our financial resources to provide the best level of service and redevelopment for our residents. The Mayor and Council have to be prudent financial managers of the resources of the city, so as to continue to work to improve the city’s infrastructure. We need to appropriately manage our city services so as to provide our residents with the services they should expect.
Tarnowski: It’s the McKinley project. It’s been eight years and two councils and nothing has been done. The residents of this neighborhood need this eyesore gone. Plus the tax revenue would benefit the city. This is priority one. We also need to save the park. The children of this area need a safe place to play
If elected, what will be your first order of business?
DeSana: I would work to maintain focus – for the Mayor and City Council offices – in providing the much-needed services to our residents. We need to manage the resources that are available and continue to improve the neighborhoods and the central business district. Strong neighborhoods preserve a city and focus on the neighborhoods provides a strong foundation for our community. We need to continue to support the development of our central business district, as it is the only downtown that is a vibrant business community within the Downriver area. We need to balance our financial resources to meet the needs of our residents and business owners.
Tarnowski: The McKinley project!
Is the city currently headed in the right direction? If not, what should change?
DeSana: I do believe the city is headed in the right direction. The city has prudently managed its financial resources and maintained a high level of service to its residents. We need to continue strict code enforcement to maintain our neighborhoods and to market areas within the city for redevelopment. I am proud to be a lifelong resident of the city of Wyandotte and look forward to preserving our rich history in the city and paving the groundwork for a rich and prosperous future.
Tarnowski: I would say yes. But we need more teamwork as a whole. We need to treat every business owner the same. From Fort Street to the river, we are all on the same team. After Covid, we need to make sure our small businesses have all the attention that is needed to stay in business.