The Nov. 8 election is drawing closer every day, but what do you really know about those names on the ballot?
Patch will interview candidates for the , the board and the during the ramp-up to the election, bringing you the stories behind the names and the issues they think are important for Birmingham.
For the Birmingham City Commission, incumbents , , and are running against Doug Weaver, , and for four spots.
The Oakland County League of Women Voters will hold a voters forum and meet-the-candidates night at 7:15 p.m. Oct. 12 at the for those running for City Commission.
Family: Weaver has been married to his wife Judy for nine years. He also has a 31-year-old son, John, who attended Cranbrook and is getting his MBA at the University of Colorado.
Occupation: Weaver is the medical director of heart and vascular services for the Henry Ford Health System.
Previous elected experience: Though he's held no positions in Birmingham, Weaver has served on dozens of state health committees, was on the board of the Metro Detroit American Heart Association and elected president of the American College of Cardiology.
Why are you running?
After following Birmingham city government for the past few years, Weaver thought there wasn't enough concern on the commission for the city's current and future finances.
"This past spring, I felt that I needed to step up," he said.
What would you bring to the City Commission?
Weaver said he's running for commission because, after years spent working on various boards and committees, he has the experience necessary to help lead the city.
"I believe my past diverse experience, along with my finance, leadership and innovative background would help me make meaningful contributions to the government of this city."
"New eyes, ears and ideas are critical to optimal group decision-making," he added. "I study and listen beofre I act. I have boundless energy and proven leadership and I will do my best to move this city from good to great."
What issues are important to you?
According to Weaver, all residents and particularly City Commissioners should be keeping an eye on declining property values and tax revenues.
"Declining property values ... which are likely to continue in this uncertain economy, means we have to be fiscally prudent and not lavish in our city improvements."
While property values go down, healthcare costs are going up, Weaver said, so he would find the means to reduce them, such as by incentivizing healthy lifestyles.
The business climate is also key going forward, Weaver said. The city's approval process can be costly and lengthy for new business applicants and Birmingham needs to find ways to facilitate development by listening to applicants and heed those suggestions that make sense.
"We still have empty storefronts downtown, and a vibrant downtown will improve our property values. I don't believe you can legislate where sustainable development will occur — it has to first make business sense."
Birmingham's aging population also needs to be taken care of in the next few years, Weaver said, while also paying attention to ways to attract young families and professionals.
Check out Patch's profiles for all candidates running for the Birmingham City Commission: