League of Women Voters Flint Candidate Survey (2013)

The League of Women Voters is a nonpartisan political organization encouraging informed and active participation in government.   It influences public policy through education and advocacy.  The Flint Area representatives invited candidates on the November 5th ballot to participate in their Genesee County Electronic Voter Guide.  This publication provides voters with unbiased, nonpartisan information on the candidates.  They do not endorse, support or oppose any party or candidate, but rather provide information about the candidates and issues in an election to give voters a foundation for reaching their own decisions.

Candidate Name: David McDermott
Website: http://www.electmcdermott.com
Campaign Message: Fenton’s Future Starts Today.

Occupation: Director of Sales Enablement for a global, Michigan-based company
City/Town: City of Fenton (Michigan)
Education: B.A. Business with a minor in Innovation & Problem Solving

Experience: My experience includes both the business and community sectors. I have more than 20 years experience in business, with strong relationship building skills, non-profit executive board experience, and a track record of building high performing teams, both paid and volunteer. I was also recently appointed to Fenton’s Planning Commission.

Community Involvement: City of Fenton Planning Commission; St. John Applefest (Fenton, MI) – Festival General Chairman; Fenton Little League – Vice President & Board Member; Cub Scout Pack 270 (Fenton, MI) – Committee Chairman; Upward Basketball – Coach.  Past experience includes March of Dimes, United Way of Cleveland, Junior Achievement, Cleveland Community Shares, Cleveland International Program, and many others.

What are your qualifications for this position?
A balanced City Council represents a cross section of the community they serve.  For the Council to be effective, elected officials should bring varied backgrounds – public service, private industry, and community organizations.

My experience includes extensive operations (budgeting, development, service), long-term growth of multi-million dollar businesses, and multiple examples of successfully rebuilding failing programs/operations.  I’ve been part of highly successful teams, and led the launch of multi-million dollar projects.  My non-profit experience includes successful, hands-on development and leadership roles, as well as executive-level board positions.  I currently sit on the City of Fenton’s Planning Commission.

I believe in the Fenton community, and think we all have the opportunity to play an active part in what makes our Fenton community extraordinary.

What are the top issues currently facing your city/village and, if elected, how would you address them?
Questions we should all ask: Is Fenton a safe place to live? Are our roads are drivable?  Do I know how are my taxes spent?

In general, Fenton City Council and the City Manager encourages us to ask questions.  They want to help us understand city priorities, and will listen to our opinion if we disagree.  They want the best community possible, just like all of us.

The challenge is that the burden of interaction starts with the residents.  The residents have to ask questions, and sometimes they don’t know where to begin.

I would like City Council to create an ongoing conversation focused on services provided in the city.  Talk about the great work our city manager and his teams do to save taxpayer money.  Talk to businesses about what it takes to help them grow, and to residents about what improves their neighborhoods.

Help the residents and businesses know the issues before they’ve even asked the questions.

How will you improve the quality of life in your city with limited resources?
The biggest opportunity we have to improve the quality of life in Fenton is to build a more engaged community.   A strong downtown, residential growth, a healthy business climate, and a well developed master plan all start with community engagement.

City Council should serve as the ultimate champions of Fenton, tirelessly advocating for the city, it’s residents, and it’s businesses. Once they do this, they create relationships that help drive the change the whole community wants to see.