On May 4 Wyandotte residents will go to the polls to select a new six-member City Council. They will have 11 candidates to choose from. Three of them – Robert Alderman, Don Schultz and Chris Calvin – are incumbents and the other eight are newcomers. A fourth incumbent, Rob DeSana, is running for mayor and is opposed by resident Frank Tarnowski.
Robert Alderman began his policing career in 1991 and held many roles, including Police and Fire Chief. He has also worked as a union electrician and painter. He is married with three sons and has lived in the city for nearly 20 years.
Chris Calvin is a lifelong resident of the city, having lived in Wyandotte for 58 years. He is a retired DPS employee, who currently works as an EMT for Superior Ambulance. He is in a relationship with Julienne Bourassa and has two children and four grandchildren.
Nick Beaven is a teacher and a two-year resident of Wyandotte. He and his partner Jake are homeowners in the city. He said he gets his sense of serving from his father, who was Chief of the Taylor Auxiliary Police, a Methodist minister, chaplain of the Southfield Police Department and a volunteer firefighter, and his grandfather, who immigrated to the US at the age of six and served in World War II.
Kaylyn Crane is a project/property manager and a Wyandotte business owner. She is a lifelong Wyandotte resident and she and her husband Sean have three children.
Eric Dodson is an account support specialist. He is married and has lived off and on the Wyandotte for 15 years. He has owned a home in the city for almost seven years.
Michael Izbicki works in finance and business relations for Link Engineering Company. He is married and a lifelong resident of Wyandotte. He and his wife Phyllis have three children and four grandchildren.
Todd Hanna is an insurance agent and owner of Pizza King in Wyandotte, He is married and has lived in Wyandotte his whole life except for four years when on active duty with the military. He and his wife Holly have a son.
Rosemary Shuryan is a special education teacher for the Wyandotte Public Schools. She has lived in the city four four years, but her two children have attended Wyandotte schools since 2008. She is engaged to be married to her fiance Geoff.
Kelly Stec is the Legislative Director for the Michigan House of Representatives and the daughter of Wyandotte Treasurer Larry Stec. She has lived in Wyandotte her whole life with the exception of the four years she spent at Michigan State University.
Richard Szymczuk is a managing partner and sales manager for Hi-Lo Truck. He and his wife, Basia, have lived in Wyandotte for 47 years and they have two young adult sons.
The Warrior was unable to connect with Councilman Don Schultz for his responses.
Why are you the best candidate for residents to vote for?
Robert Alderman: I feel I am the best candidate for the residents to vote for based on my previous work experience of over 2,000 hours of training; which included leadership, managing a team, communication skills, team building, and budgeting. Additionally, as a former Police Chief I learned to work well in a team with different views and opinions which is mandatory for a Council candidate. My experience with the city of Wyandotte includes almost 10 years on the Zoning Board of Appeals, Municipal Commission and the last four on the City Council. I have always stood up for what I believe to be the best decision for Wyandotte, even though others have different opinions. Over the past four years based on a good Council, we were able to work out any differences and cast individual votes that we all agreed on.
Nick Beaven: I’m running for City Council not to add a line item to my resume but to help carry our community into the future and to continue to improve our quality of life. Growing up I learned quickly that serving others was our duty as fellow people. Our existence, in my opinion, is meant to serve a purpose greater than ourselves. That’s what leads me to the classroom everyday as an elementary school teacher. It is what inspired me to run for city council — truly making a positive impact on the lives of others. If elected I want to ensure everyone has a voice in the decisions that impact us as we continue to make Wyandotte a place for everyone to live, work, and enjoy.
Chris Calvin: I have built a resume of experience that makes me the one to vote for. I was on the executive board for AFSCME Council 25 for a number of years, serving 88,000 members. I served on the Wyandotte Zoning Board for 13 years. I was elected to the school board and I was elected to the city council, where I am currently serving the citizens of Wyandotte.
Kaylyn Crane: I am and always have been community-based. I have a strong background in charity work and community events. I have spent my career in development and have worked with the city of Wyandotte on most of my projects over the years. I was born and raised in this city and chose to build my home here and to raise my children, who are now fourth generation in WPS. I believe we need council members that are involved within the community all the time, not just during campaigning. I can proudly say I am an active member of this community from development, the schools, youth sports, member of the FOP, and serve on the board with The Wyandotte Rotary and Wyandotte Figure Skating Club.
Eric Dodson: I think I am a good listener and I think inside outside the box when it comes to solving problems. In addition I have a desire to serve and try to do what is best for the community.
Michael Izbicki: Being born and raised in this city and having knowledge of many issues we are currently facing within the city, I feel I am the best candidate for council. I am dedicated to this city and I am looking forward to serving the needs of our residents. I am also eager to develop a stronger/better relationship between city government and its people.
Todd Hanna: I have 11 years of experience running multiple businesses. Three of these businesses are in our great city of Wyandotte. I wish more small business owners would invest their knowledge, experience and time with the city. I interact with Wyandotte residents everyday in one of these businesses. A council person needs time to invest in our city and I have more time than most other candidates. I don’t have a boss, manager or supervisor to answer to. I can make time during the day when most candidates need to be at work. It’s not a requirement to have daytime availability but it’s a great advantage. I am the Commander at American Legion Post 389 in Riverview Michigan and a proud United States Army Veteran. Giving back to this community is very important to me, both time and money. Just ask around and you won’t be disappointed. If you have more questions please don’t hesitate to call, email or message me anytime. Email firstname.lastname@example.org or www.facebook.com/Todd-Hanna-for-Wyandotte-City-Council-10443959 4951070
Rosemary Shuryan: I am very involved in the community, I have a lot of experience volunteering as a foster for Shelter to Home, coaching Special Olympics, I am head of the green school committee, I am a board member of the Wyandotte Rotary Club and have experience writing grants and fundraising for the schools. I am highly motivated and bring a fresh perspective. I would like to work on attracting residents, businesses and visitors while keeping a balanced budget. I support small businesses, the environment and veterans. I would like to encourage owners to upkeep their properties while preserving our historical buildings.
Kelly Stec: Wyandotte residents deserve leadership with both empathy and experience. I have been at the state legislature since 2016 and spent much of that time working to ensure that all citizens can understand what’s happening in Lansing, not just those with a law degree. I also served as co-chair of bargaining for AFT Local 6196 during my time in graduate school at MSU, as well as serving on local, state, and federal boards for the American Federation of Teachers. Throughout these experiences, my personal core values of empathy, sincerity and kindness have guided all that I do. I will take the skills that I have learned, the values I believe in, and a willingness to be open to learning and working each day to city council. We may not always agree, but you can trust that I will always be open to having a conversation and ready to listen.
Richard Szymczuk: I am the best candidate to vote for because I will be accessible, approachable and accountable. I will maintain transparency, build teams and work collaboratively. I value and respect the positions of others and will serve for the betterment of the citizens of Wyandotte.
What is the most important issue facing the city today?
Robert Alderman: I believe all issues are very important for the betterment of the city. Each issue, I assess individually considering the pros and cons and how it will impact the Wyandotte citizens and businesses. No matter the issue, it is more important to some than others. The Council must assess each issue equally. It’s not up to me to decide the most important issue but the citizens to share their thoughts and opinions on the issues so I can vote to represent them.
Nick Beaven: The biggest issue facing Wyandotte today is the lack of transparent and accessible communication between our residents, local government and business community. This ranges from our hard-to-navigate website to accurate and consistent enforcement of building codes and ordinances.
Chris Calvin: Trying to increase the amount of revenue coming in so we can increase the budget to the different departments so that they have the resources to be able to serve the needs of the residents of Wyandotte.
Kaylyn Crane: I believe the most important issue facing the city is the communication between the council, mayor and residents/business owners. I would like to see an open communication gate opened along with changes I hope this election will bring to our city. Updates on developments, preserving important history and fair treatment and support for businesses in our city no matter where their location is.
Eric Dodson: There seems to be a general feeling out there that many Wyandotte citizens feel like their voices aren’t being heard. We need to continue to continue to work towards new and better methods to Improve that communication and make sure all people are being heard.
Michael Izbicki: In my opinion, the most important issue is our McKinley Neighborhood project. This is an issue that has been on-going for far too long and it is my hope that a resolution can be agreed upon that fits both the needs and wishes of the citizens and the developer.
Todd Hanna: We have many issues, but the most important is Covid 19 and trying to keep Wyandotte small businesses safe and open for business.
Rosemary Shuryan: I think that communication and transparency are very important issues facing the city. I feel that council should be the voice of the people and that it should be easy to communicate with city council members. I would hope that city council meetings would be more accessible to residents, and that the agendas could be publicized better. If elected, I would make a commitment to respond to emails within 48 hours. I have had biweekly coffee hours to listen to what residents have to say, and would continue those coffee hours if elected. Partnerships are also important in the city, and I would like to team up with the police department, schools, the court, and city to work to solve common problems such as the drugs, mental health, and blight in the city.
Kelly Stec: The most important issue facing our city today is the same one that is facing our state and nation: the COVID-19 Pandemic. We just had two excellent public vaccine clinics, but unfortunately, the variants are beginning to outpace vaccinations. It is my highest priority to ensure that Wyandotte residents are able to live safe, healthy, fulfilling lives. Until our state reaches a herd immunity threshold, please keep masking up, maintaining physical distance, and safely supporting our local businesses, and remember: We are Wyandotte. Our community is at our best when we stand together and protect each other.
Richard Szymczuk: The Covid 19 Pandemic has had a significant effect on the residents of Wyandotte. We need to assist our citizenship and businesses get through this pandemic and come out of it stronger and healthier.
If elected, what do you hope to accomplish first?
Robert Alderman: If I am re-elected, my first accomplishment will be to support the newly elected council members in quickly acclimating to their roles and responsibilities of the council so we can continue to implement new projects to enhance the city into the future.
Nick Beaven: If elected, the first thing I want to accomplish is to establish consistent communication with residents. My plan to accomplish this is to hold coffee hours, be accessible to residents and business owners, and respond to all resident communications.
Chris Calvin: I would like to keep up the process of filling businesses and vacant property, so that we can have the most revenue coming into our city, so we can make sure the people performing the services within Wyandotte are supported. We have good services in Wyandotte and I want to keep supporting the people that are providing that service.
Kaylyn Crane: If elected, I hope to bridge the gap between the chambers and the neighborhoods. I hope to spend my “firsts” listening and learning on what the citizens, municipality employees, first responders and business owners would like to see to make us more successful. More family oriented and community based. I would like to see tightening of ordinances as well as helping those that need assistance on property management. Our alley ways and main roads that are not downtown are a huge concern of mine.
Eric Dodson: Curbside recycling is high on my wife’s list, so I think that might be a good place to start.
Michael Izbicki: A resolution to our McKinley Neighborhood project.
Todd Hanna: I will need to learn many things as a new council person, but first on the list is the Mckinley project. The new Council will have some decisions to make and keeping the park is number one in the hearts of that neighborhood.
Rosemary Shuryan: I would hope to work on the McKinley issue first. I hope that there could be a compromise between the developer and neighborhood residents to keep the park. I know it is a complicated issue and there is no easy solution, but hopefully all sides can work together. I am also very passionate about the environment and would like to see more green spaces in our community.
Kelly Stec: By the time May 4 rolls around, I will have held nine coffee hours where all residents are welcome to come share their thoughts and ask me questions. Two of these involved bringing in experts on topics citizens asked to learn more about: city finances and elections. From there, I was able to develop guides to help members of our community better understand these topics and access resources on them. If elected, my first step will be to meet with our city’s incredible department heads and staff and bring the information I learn back to the public. I hope to have resource guides published for every major department by early fall, and I will continue to hold biweekly coffee hours to ensure I am proactively engaging members of the community on what they would like to see in our city’s future. If you would like to view existing resource guides or join a coffee hour, please visit facebook.com/kstec4wyandotte or email me at email@example.com and I am happy to share the information with you.
Richard Szymczuk: Extending the parameters of the Downtown Development Authority to encompass the city of Wyandotte as a whole, and not just the downtown area. Let’s get businesses coming to Wyandotte, and encourage revenue dollars into the city.