Chad Cooper is one of five candidates competing for four open seats on the . Follow Brighton Patch this week as we introduce all of candidates.
I will offer that I am happily married with one son.
Bachelor's of Science from Central Michigan University, Masters of Business Administration from the University of Phoenix, ITIL (Information Technology Service Management) Masters Qualification, Security & Exchange Commission licenses (SEC), Licensed Professional Life Coach and ISO (International Organization for Standardization) – 9000 Certified Lead Auditor.
I am currently retired from Microsoft, however, I am an entrepreneur with a small professional coaching practice to clients throughout the nation.
I am a current Brighton City Council member and liason to the Zoning Board of Appeals.
I am Vice-Chairman for SELCRA, a member of the Michigan Municipal League Energy & Technology Committee, Michigan Municipal League Legislative Governance Committee, Livingston County Regional Co-Op Board Representative, Local Development Financing Authority, Young Life Foundation Board, Young Life University of Michigan mentor, First Presbyterian Church of Brighton Deacon and Stephen Minister Leader, United States Marine Corps League and a United Way funding program panelist.
Why are you running?
I am seeking re-election so that I may continue to offer solutions to our community in the form of cost efficacy as well as new revenue opportunities we have yet to make reality. Primarily, I am running for the same reasons as prior - to put my hat in the ring and offer assistance to help shape our community into a future that my son would want to choose for his future family. I am interested in solutions that offer prosperity both today as well as disciplined decisions that positively affect our community for several future generations. In my current term I have changed my vote on a couple of items, and it takes courage and integrity to do so. We need elected officials with the ability to be disciplined and the courage to stand behind difficult decisions that reflect the majority of the community, even if it means admitting error, and having the courage to correct that error in time.
We have some difficult decisions to make as a council which requires clear understanding of where we are and where we are heading. My primary focus is on where we are going, a 90/10 rule; 90 percent where we want to be, 10 percent where we struggle. I am working with neighboring communities, state and federal levels, and business investors to find new ways of sustainability. Some services can be preserved, others enhanced, however, as we have seen our grocery bill cost increase, we also have a reality that our city service cost in some respects have also increased. We need to listen and hear the community’s priorities on where to invest our time and efforts and which services are most important. Part of that listening means taking into advisement the input from the Citizen Advisory Committee, Envisioning Brighton forum, surveys, and other forms of input; which services deserve funding and which will need to deferred. It is also about working with the staff to properly inform and educate our taxpayers as to their options with the possible CIP millage next year.
Finally, my objective is for City Council to work jointly with our staff, to ensure that the discussions are open and supportive of receiving their solutions and input. These folks are in the mix daily and know intimately what opportunities can be seized and utilized as an asset to our community. We need to balance the business side of our city with the residential. We have areas of residential development that need attention and a heavy rental situation that needs attention as well. It is a balance of both to make our city strong.
Are there any changes you wish to make?
I would like to focus more of our attention on solidifying the execution of the Michigan Municipal Leagues’ 21st Century initiatives that we adopted a few years prior. Because our revenues started to seriously decline in 2008, the City Council and staff have had to expend the majority of our time and energy on budget and financial matters (both expenditures and revenues) in order to avoid a cash deficit and still deliver critical public services; the purpose of referring to our previous efforts is that it was not just about reducing the budget - but rather - it was and has been about - changing our budget on both sides of the ledger to stay within our existing/available revenues and deliver services. This was time well spent and now we need to focus our time to define clearly what we want our community to look like from a residential and commercial perspective. Several of the 21st Century initiatives within the past few years have received great attention, but we also have an opportunity to strengthen some of those initiatives that balance our community. Our downtown is strong and healthy, and we need to strengthen our supporting segments as well. One method of doing more with less is through the use of volunteers. Use of volunteer programs where appropriate can bring a sense of ownership, community, and pride to those who are generous with their time and labor. I would like to see the execution of this concept.
In reality, we have made some huge changes in short time and some will take time to realize. In contrast to other communities we have a healthy business community and an abundant selection of restaurant choices with diverse cultural options. At the same time, we also have a high rental percentage within our homes and I believe we need to ensure that our residential community is balanced, structurally sound, and investments are made wisely. Our potential CIP millage project needs to include a balance of spend to honor commitments we made in prior years and see those commitments fulfilled to our residents. This means that a portion of a future possible CIP bond should balance the needs of our residents and business entrepreneurs.
Our use of technology needs to improve as well. Improving our city government's use of technology to improve our ability to bring city government and services to the people and to bring related information to the people and make it easier for people to conduct online transactions is crucial to our future. I have extensive experience (ITIL Masters) in incorporating information technology as an asset to the City, rather than as an overhead expense.
Finally, the City Council is a team, and that team extends to a larger organization. An analogy I learned years back is the example of an orchestra. It is only when we are all playing off the same music sheet and in sync that we execute beautiful music. It is the ability to work as a team in City Council, with our staff, our unions, our residents and business owners that we can create a community our children would choose to raise their families within.