Westland's mayor candidates speak to local issues (2024)

Shelby TankersleyHometownlife.com

WESTLAND — The race to be Westland's mayor is down to state Rep. Kevin Coleman, D-Westland, and interim Mayor Mike Londeau.

Voters will choose the city's first new mayor in nearly 20 years during the Nov. 7 election. Voters narrowed a six-person field to Coleman and Londeau during a primary in August.

Westland's mayor is a nonpartisan official who serves as the city's chief executive. The mayor serves a four-year term and makes $121,574 annually.

Coleman, 40, is in his third term in the Michigan House of Representatives, where he chairs the housing committee. He's previously served on Westland's city council, veteran's association and festival committee. He's also earned a bachelor's degree from Western Michigan University.

If Coleman is elected mayor, voters in the 25th District, which includes most of Westland and part of Wayne, would vote in a special election to determine his replacement.

Londeau, 44, is a former city councilman who was appointed mayor in January. Prior to serving on council, Londeau chaired Westland's Downtown Development Authority and was a member of the city's master plan steering committee. He graduated from Wayne Memorial High School.

Hometown Life sent questionnaires to each candidate asking about their ideas and stances on local issues. Here's what they had to say:

If elected, what will be your top three priorities as mayor?

Coleman: Providing top-notch public safety, which I’ve started on already by securing the largest-ever state investment to Westland of $7 million to build new fire stations and purchase high-tech life-saving equipment. Attracting new business investment and re-develop the Westland Mall property. Keep Westland affordable by maintaining a balanced budget and stop future tax hikes.

Londeau: As your mayor, I will always place the safety of our residents above all other priorities. You have my unwavering commitment to work with both the police and fire departments to make sure they have all the tools neededto keep Westland safe, including adequate manpower and state of the art equipment. Taking a new approach to old problems, I have relentlessly targeted and worked to eradicate commercial blight in our neighborhoods and will continue to do so. Lastly, I will continue to enhance our senior services and recreational amenities to create a better quality of life for all.

A thriving business community is important to any successful city. What will you do to promote new business in Westland?

Londeau: I’ve always believed that strong private investment follows smart public investment. By continuing to invest strategically in Westland’s amenities and assets, while simultaneously encouraging private property owners to engage in the beautification of their properties, Westland becomes a more desirable place to locate a new business. Additionally we are currently in the process of rewriting and streamlining our zoning ordinance so that the city’s regulations align with the type of new business development we all would like to see within the city and information is easy to access and understand for those looking to do business here.

Coleman: I’ve already had discussions with potential developers who are interested in Westland, particularly near our mall. I will ensure we have a streamlined, open-door policy for business owners to set up shop here and let the world know we are open for business. Small businesses must be supported by increased community involvement and low taxes.

Public Safety is one of the largest services a city offers. What will you do to improve public safety services for residents?

Coleman: Westland deserves the best of the best when it comes to fire and police. With a large senior population, EMS services are more critical than ever. I’ve brought the largest-ever funding allocations back to Westland for our first responders. I’m the only candidate with a plan who’s already achieved real, transformative results for Westland on safety. It’s easy to make promises during elections but actions speak louder than words.

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Londeau: I have earned the trust and endorsem*nt of all of Westland’s police, fire, and public service unions in this campaign because they know I share their deep commitment to the residents and business owners in our city. I am fully committed to ensuring all of our departments are adequately manned to meet the needs of our community and will continue to invest in the latest equipment and technology to increase efficiency and improve response times. You also have my commitment that we will hire smart, talented, and respectful police officers and firefighters that are reflective of our community.

Repeated power outages are an issue for many metro Detroit communities. What will you do to ensure better electricity services for Westland?

Londeau: As I knock on doors of Westland resident’s homes, or have phone conversations, I continue to hear the frustration of homeowners across the city on the repeated power outages they continue to experience. I share their frustration and have elevated the administration’s communication with DTE to my office. I will soon send every resident a survey to outline their personal experience and detail their losses and will pursue possible litigation to demand real investment in the power grid that serves our community that goes beyond basic tree trimming and delivers fair compensation for resident’s losses.

Coleman: The level of outages Westland experiences is absolutely unacceptable. I’ve pushed back on DTE’s lack of investment in our grid as our representative in Lansing and was recently featured on Fox 2 calling on the state government to discuss alternatives to a one-sided energy monopoly in metro Detroit. The current system is failing us. As mayor, I will conduct a citywide canvass of neighborhoods to identify weak points and where the grid needs upgrades. Again, I’m the only candidate taking real action on this.

Is there anything else you’d like to say to voters?

Coleman: Since I was first elected a decade ago, my goal has always been to lead with compassion, transparency and honesty. I’ve never been the choice of insiders at city hall, because I’ve always put people before politics. My opponent was appointed by insiders to do their bidding. Unfortunately he gave himself and other top-earners a massive raise before he accomplished anything in office and while we’re facing tax hikes. I find this out of touch and know Westland deserves better. I’mlooking forward to giving everyday residents a voice at city hall.

Londeau: I am humbled and honored to have received the highest number of votes in the primary election. The trust and support I have received from the citizens of Westland inspires me to work even harder to serve our community. Together, we've started a journey towards a brighter future for Westland. This achievement is a testament to our shared vision for progress. Let's continue to build momentum and create positive change. Thank you for believing in me – I'm excited for an opportunity to continue to lead the City of Westland into a new era of growth and prosperity.

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Contact reporterShelby Tankersley at stankersle@hometownlife.com or 248-305-0448.

Westland's mayor candidates speak to local issues (2024)
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