Lisa Manzella, 49, has lived in Shelby Township for 25 years and has been serving as a Trustee for eight. She’s a Certified Real Estate Appraiser, her career for the past 28 year (25 within Shelby Township). She is also a Michigan Certified Assessing Officer (MCAO), Licensed Michigan Real Estate Broker, and Licensed Michigan Builder. She has been married to her husband, Joe, for 28 years and has two sons and a dog, Bella Manzella.
She’s a member of the Shelby Area Optimist club, the past Distinguished President of the Shelby-Macomb Day breakers Kiwanis Club, Kiwanis Hixson Fellow, and past Lt. Governor of Division #3. She’s on the board of Lake Pointe Woods Homeowners Association, formerly on the Lake Arrowhead HOA Board.
In her spare time she’s an avid reader, and enjoys golfing, martial arts, biking, boating, snowmobiling, cross country skiing and traveling aboard and up north to her cabin. “My main interest is to make the world a better place than I found it, even if it is just my little world of Shelby Township. If everyone does that, to quote Louie Armstrong what a wonderful world it would be,” she said.
1. What lead you to run for the post of treasurer? I decided to run for treasurer for many reasons. Mainly, elected officials are public servants; I am in the “giving back” part of my life. My sons have graduated from college, I do not have the expenses and bills I formerly had, therefore I can afford to leave my job, which has been very lucrative and continues to serve the people of Shelby on a full time basis. Because of my banking and financial background, the treasurer’s position is a perfect fit. I am fiscally conservative, I have a strong background in finance, prudent investments, money management and ties to this community that I love.
2. Why should taxpayers consider you for treasurer? If the taxpayers of Shelby Township give me the privilege of being their treasurer I would focus on resolving the pension deficit and all legacy costs issues without raising taxes. I would put a stop to “invoice adjustments” and corrupt spending. I am committed to true transparency and accountability, not just saying so. I want to restore integrity and trust to our local government. I would also focus on bringing in new business to the township, as well as, help retain and sustain the current businesses. I believe new business will bring in tax dollars and people, taking the financial burden off the taxpayer. The vacancy rate on Van Dyke has skyrocketed since I was removed from the DDA; we need to get those buildings occupied and make our existing commercial desirable. I want to create an environment that fosters smart growth and development, without damaging current taxpayers’ property values.
I will also focus on blight in neighborhoods, and non-owner occupied dwellings. We have had foreclosed homes purchased by out-of-area buyers, and rented out in poor and unsafe condition and no ordinance to properly handle it. Other similar and neighboring communities do not allow this. I have been a landlord for over 25 years, and all my properties are up to code, Shelby is the easiest community to be a “slum lord.” Tenants deserve safe homes, and their neighbors deserve to retain their property values.
I am, and will remain the “people’s voice” on the board. I listen to residents and will not forget why I am in the position, who put me there, and who I am accountable to – the Shelby residents.
3. What personal and professional accomplishments are you most proud of? My personal accomplishments I am most proud of: my sons, very fine young men; they follow in their father’s footsteps. Though public and charity service comes naturally to me, I’m proud of being honored as a Kiwanis Hixson Fellow, two letters of Congressional Recognition for Community Service and Leadership, as well as being an Athena Award nominee.
My professional accomplishments are running a successful and lucrative business; during many varying economic conditions, my business is a service industry, and is based on integrity, fairness and honesty. If it seems my age and time in business make little sense, I received my Real Estate license on my 18th birthday, while putting myself through Macomb Community College and working midnights in a nursing home. I was the youngest broker in the state at 21. My husband and I are self-made; while he has a very supportive family we have both been on our own since age 18, and all we have accomplished is due to our hard work. We have passed this work ethic on to our children.
4. Is there one person who has been the most influential in your life? There is no one person who has been most influential in my life. I rely on my Christian values and faith, but you asked about people. I have been influenced by great leaders like Mother Theresa and Ronald Reagan. I have several aunts who have influenced me in many positive ways, as well as many friends who have helped me and guided me throughout my life. I look up to my mother-in-law, one of the strongest women I know. She too, is self-made, widowed young, and brought up five great children, 10 if you include spouses, and she does. She gave me the greatest gift ever, her son.
5. What are key ways you would have residents make a difference locally? The key ways to help residents locally, as I said before, is economic development. Letting others know about the wonderful resources Shelby has. Get more people involved in committees and commissions and treat them with the respect that they deserve. I feel our residents have lost respect in local government; they believe it is corrupt, and they can’t make a difference. I’d like to change that attitude and bring respect, honesty, integrity and true transparency to the board. I feel the residents should have a voice, the board needs to listen more to residents and respect all residents. The board meetings have lost the professional atmosphere; we need more people at board meetings, and less police officers.
6. What do you like most about the Shelby Township community? Do you
have a favorite spot in Shelby? I moved to Shelby because of the school district, and I loved the trees, parks and open space. I’m staying in Shelby because of the top-notch Police and Fire Departments. A safe community and advanced life support are very important to me, and everyone as we and our parents get older. I like the paths and parks, and hope to see the paths grow. I have many favorite spots in Shelby; I wish my lifestyle would give me the opportunity to use the parks more. I rarely cook, so I frequent many local restaurants. I make it a point to shop, eat, buy gas and spend my money in Shelby to support our local business.