(Crystal A. Proxmire, Jan. 12, 2013)
On January 9, 2013 the Oakland County Board of Commissioners held their swearing in ceremony for members who were elected in November. Among them was Huntington Woods resident Helaine Zack, who formerly represented the 22nd District. Thanks to a new state law and redistricting to reducing the number of Commissioners, Ferndale changed Districts. And after successfully running against former 25th District Commissioner Craig Covey, Zack is now representing Huntington Woods, part of Oak Park, Royal Oak Township, Hazel Park and Ferndale.
Zack said she is looking forward to working within the new communities, including Ferndale. “First, I plan to attend Council or Commission meetings monthly to present what is going on in the County and how certain County programs can help local residents. I will try to attend as many local community events as possible to meet, greet and listen to concerns of residents,” she said. “I would like to hear from communities about ‘pet projects’. I have a couple of preliminary ideas, but welcome thoughts of others too.”
One topic she is passionate about is reducing home vacancies and foreclosures. “I want everyone to know about an amazing and exciting opportunity! There is money available to help homeowners get extra help with delinquent property taxes. Homeowners could get up to $30,000 by applying at www.stepforward-michigan.org. Oakland County Treasurer Meisner will have housing counselors at the County to help people complete the online application. This opportunity is amazing and can prevent tax foreclosure.”
All Commissioners meet for the County Commission meetings, usually twice a month. They also serve on Committees. “I strategically put myself onto committees and boards which will I think will help my new District,” Zack said. “I will serve on Finance and Public Services again. Finance is the most important and active committee because our major role is to oversee all the operations and approve the budget. Most important County decisions come through Finance. Public Services covers courts, sheriff and the dicey animal control operations. I will also serve on SEMCOG [South East Michigan Council of Governments] and the Community and Home Improvement Citizens Advisory Council. SEMCOG does great work on all regional initiatives such as transportation. The Citizens Advisory Council oversees Community block grant dollars, housing counseling, home repair loans and more.”
Zack added “I want residents to know that I am here to serve you and help make a difference or solve problems. I like to hear from you. If I am not doing something, let me know so I can improve the situation. I can best be reached via email at email@example.com or text at 248.506.1903. They can also leave messages at home, 248.546.7392. I can be reached via my website, www.friendsofhelainezack.com or Facebook too. Admittedly, I do not have time to look at Facebook daily so the other modalities are more immediate.”
To learn more about the Oakland County Board of Commissioners, visit their website at http://www.oakgov.com/boc/Pages/default.aspx.