July 27 2016 01:20 PM

Provided by the League of Women Voters

Robert O. Pena

Party: Dem Biographical Info: Campaign Web Site: facebook.com/bobforcommissioner Education: MSCE Michigan State University; BSCE University Texas Austin; ABD Michigan State University

Q: 1. Please provide biographical information and experience, and explain why you are running for the Ingham County Board of Commissioners. A: I am a Highway Engineer. I attended the University of Texas at Austin Civil Engineering department and graduated in December of 1985. After that I was accepted in to the Civil Engineering program at Michigan State University where received a Master of Science in Civil Engineering in August of 1992. The focus of my career has been on designing and construction roads. With some bridge experience also. I am running because I believe that it is time for me to give back to my home community. A lot of my neighbors have been asking me to run for years. I ardently believe that people deserve a voice at the table were decisions are made that affect their lives. I believe in the political process of this county and I am giving the people a chance to choose. Life is so much better when we have choices. I believe in accountability. I believe in integrity. I believe in commitment to the community. I have 30 years of experience in design and construction projects.

Q: 2. What are the priority issues facing the Ingham County Board of Commissioners and what actions would you take to address them if elected? A: Transportation, medical care for all, accessibility to quality food for everybody, opportunity to decent work, education, and safe and quality housing that is really affordable. It used to be that housing was rec ommended to be 25 percent of one’s income. Somehow we have gotten away from that. That housing percentage of one’s salary grew. That does not leave a lot financial wiggle room for when unexpected financial costs happen. Leaving many struggling to come up with housing funds. Leaving many forfeiting things that they really need. Communication is one of the biggest frustrations of our district. All should have their concerns aired at the table. Budgeting will be the biggest tools here. When I walk out of a room, the light goes off. Every dollar that I save on utility can be used for food budget or something else of need. I am already choosing between Calories Dollars and Kilowatt Dollars. I think many of the people in the district are making those same kinds of decisions.


Brian McGrain

Party: Dem Biographical Info: Campaign Web Site: brianmcgrain.com Education: BS, Urban/Regional Planning; MPA, Public Administration; both from Michigan State University

Q: 1. Please provide biographical information and experience, and explain why you are running for the Ingham County Board of Commissioners. A: I am serving my 4th term on the Ingham County Board of Commissioners. I also serve on the Lansing Board of Zoning Appeals, the Ingham County Land Bank Board, the Tri-County Regional Planning Commission, the Ingham County Economic Development Corporation and Brownfield Redevelopment Authority, and the Greater Lansing Convention and Visitors Bureau. By day, I serve as the Associate Director/Chief Operating Officer of the Community Economic Development Association of Michigan (CEDAM). CEDAM is a state-wide trade association which provides advocacy and training services for its members, which are predominantly community based nonprofit development organizations. I am running for re-election because I feel I am highly qualified to continue my service to my constituents. I have 8 years of experience on the Commission, and I feel that I have developed a top-notch understanding of the workings of the County in that time. I also believe strongly in the value of serving one's community.

Q: 2. What are the priority issues facing the Ingham County Board of Commissioners and what actions would you take to address them if elected? A: Our top priority is ensuring a balanced budget into the future. Not only must we balance diminished revenue against ever-increasing costs, we are also taking into account legacy costs, which includes pension and other post-employment costs. Speaking of legacy costs, my second priority is taking care of our aging facilities and setting the County up for the next 50 years with enhanced or re-built facilities. While the jail and courts project is our biggest upcoming project, we must also take into account the shape of all of our other aging infrastructure and planning to maximize investments that are made in new buildings and remodels. This leads into a third priority, which is encouraging master space planning for the County overall. We have begun to look at our space needs and think strategically about what our future needs are and how they can be accommodated within our existing footprint, or what might we need to add, given our existing/future staff numbers and future space needs.




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.

Subscribe to Our Newsletter