Gary Kopp, 61, has lived in Shelby Township for 34 years. He is seeking the post of trustee. He is retired and held positions at Ford/Visteon, Magna, and was owner of DriveLineMetrix, LLC. He's served as President of the Lake Pointe Woods Homeowner's Association for 10 years.
Kopp is involved with the Knights of Columbus - St. John Vianney, and is member of the church's parish finance committee. He's supports Habitat for Humanity and is interested in volunteering. He's been married for 42 years and has four children, as well as a cat named Katy.
1. What led you to try for the post of trustee initially?
I have attended many board meetings, and watched most both on television and now on the internet. I have seen boards come and boards go. I have now seen enough of the current board’s deeds to become active in Shelby’s future.
I believe that the board’s responsibility is to understand the people’s desires, balance that with the role of government, and enact decisions that are right for both. Of late, I am convinced that this has not been the case. I take being a trustee very serious, and will make it my full time job.
I want to restore the “MAJORITY” voice to Shelby’s residents, while eliminating special interest influences in the board room. It is time to bring the politics of the past to an end.
We can and must do better. A vote for me will ensure a better future for Shelby Township.
2. What do you plan to change if elected?
I plan to change the environment in the board room, by bringing in integrity, honesty, and professionalism. These were talked about by the current board, but never achieved. The board room is currently a place to be feared, not engaging. The police presence, the lack of attention by the board, and general disrespect for the people who elected them is obvious, and must be changed. Sitting at home, the camera does not catch the board's lack of attention to the resident speaker. The meeting should be enjoyed in person to better understand what really goes on in the board room
3. If elected, what township issues would you like to focus on? I want to restore the voice of the “majority”; ie: make the board responsive to the needs of the many, not to the wants of the few. Next, focus the new board on the reasons people move into Shelby, review our current revenue sheets, and work to keep the court house in Shelby. I will also work to establish seven advisory panels that will report directly to the board. These panels will focus on their specific agenda, and help the board guide the Township for the next several years.
4. What personal and professional accomplishments are you most proud of? At the personal level, I am most proud of being a volunteer. I have learned that you get back much more than you give. My saying is, “It is not what you get, it’s what you leave that is most important." My plan is to leave the community a better place than when I first got involved. Professionally, I am most proud of my progression from starting in the automotive business as a technician, going to school, and then being promoted through the ranks to Senior Technical Specialist, finally Engineering Manager. I am now the owner of my own consulting business.
5. Is there one person who has been the most influential in your life? Who? Phillip Tetreault, a former Shelby resident. Now deceased, he was a Brother Knight, who showed me that once you are comfortable with your life, it becomes time to give back to others. The rewards of helping others are much greater than the original effort. This is what drives me to want to help the townships’ residents.
6. What are key ways you would have residents make a difference locally? The residents can and should be the best salespeople for our community. Unfortunately of late, the current board has not given them much to cheer about. The new board should focus on the reasons we all came here in the first place: the schools, the police and fire protection, local recreation, and Shelby’s businesses. Once the new board has aligned itself to these basic resident wants, the good news about Shelby will once again be communicated.
7. What do you like most about the Shelby Township community? The feeling of small town suburban living, that is still in close proximity to open farm land. Do you have a favorite spot in Shelby? Heritage Gardens.