July 27 2016 01:20 PM

Provided by the League of Women Voters

Brett DeGroff

Party: Dem Biographical Info: Campaign Web Site: .brettdegroff.com/ Education: B.A. Western Michigan University, M.A. University of Nevada, Reno, J.D. University of Michigan

Q: 1. Please provide biographical information and experience, and explain why you are running for the office. A: Brett is the son of autoworkers and the first lawyer in his family. He has participated in exonerating two wrongfully convicted men. Working with the Michigan Innocence Clinic, Brett helped exonerate Dwayne Provience, a man wrongly convicted of murder. At the State Appellate Defender Office, Brett cleared the name of Terrence Jose who was sentenced to a 25-year prison term for a crime he did not commit. As an Assistant Defender Brett has saved Michigan citizens more than 36 years of wrongful incarceration amounting to a savings of more than $1.2 million in corrections costs for tax payers. Public secondary schools, unions, public universities, and other ladders of opportunity have been essential for Brett and his wife Marisa in building the middle class life they have for their family here in Meridian Township. Recognizing their way of life would not be possible without the service of others, the DeGroffs have a deep commitment to public service.

Q: 2. What are the priority issues facing the office and what actions would you take to address them if elected? A: Meridian Township needs to manage its growth in a way that will expand the local economy while also building a more green, sustainable and walkable community. This will require the Board to adopt an Urban Services Boundary and update zoning ordinances to modernize mixed use developments and ideally move to a form-based code. The biggest change the Board needs to make is to adopt a more civil and collaborative demeanor. As a public defender Brett advocates zealously every day in cases where the stakes could not be higher. But he does so while also maintaining relationships with judges as well as opposing counsel. Brett hopes to bring a culture of focusing debates on issues rather than personalities to the Board.


Phil Deschaine

Party: Dem Biographical Info: Campaign Web Site: phildeschaine.com Education: I have Bachelor of Arts Degree from the University of Michigan, Ann Arbor

Q: 1. Please provide biographical information and experience, and explain why you are running for the office.

A: I was born and raised in Waterford Township and In 1982 I moved to the Lansing area. I have worked in Information Technology since 1986. I have three children, Marianne, Philip, and Elizabeth who all attended and graduated from Haslett High School. I have a life long commitment to public service. I am a current Member of the Meridian Township Parks Commission. In 2015 I organized the first ever Love A Park Day. In 2010, as President of the Haslett Kiwanis Club, I led the Club to raise $20,000 for the new Haslett Library Move Project. I am a Past member of Meridian Township Zoning Board of Appeals. I have served for three years on the Ingham County Housing Commission for the Carriage Lane Senior Housing in Okemos. In 2012, I helped build the Greater Lansing Food Bank community Gardens for the residents of Grange Acres in Haslett. My record of service is evidence that I am very committed to making Meridian Township an even better place to live, work and raise a family.


Q: 2. What are the priority issues facing the office and what actions would you take to address them if elected?

A: These will be my top priorities as a Meridian Township Trustee: 1. Continued support for our excellent police and fire/EMS services in the township. 2. Support for our superb school districts in Meridian Township These educational assets are essential to the long term success of our township. 3. Professional Leadership: we need a Township Board that reflects the professionalism and and civility of our residents. This professionalism is often lacking with the current Board. 3. Revitalize Commercial Areas, in particular the Haslett four corners


The League of Women Voters is a nonpartisan political organization, with its national office in Washington, DC, and local and state Leagues in all 50 states, the District of Columbia, and the Virgin Islands.

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