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Farmington Incumbent Says City Council Faces Tough Decisions

Greg Cowley said he decided to run for re-election because he feels he can make those decisions.

Farmington city council member Greg Cowley is running for re-election. Photo credit: Patch file photo
Farmington city council member Greg Cowley is running for re-election. Photo credit: Patch file photo
Farmington city council member Greg Cowley says while officials have already faced challenging times, tougher decisions lie down the road. 

Elected to his first term in 2011, Cowley is on the Nov. 5 ballot with four other candidates for three council posts. Rather than raising taxes to make up for reduced revenues, he favors a "growth strategy" to increase the city's property tax base.

Cowley said from the time he was elected, he pushed for a 5-year budget forecast. He said the city faces $250,000 to $1 million in potential deficits over the next three years, and he wants to look at more ways to share services with the City of Farmington Hills.

"Making the dispatch decision (to contract with Farmington Hills) was the first of many tough decisions," he said. "It's a solution that's working for the citizens and the public safety department."

Greg and his wife, Maureen, have been Farmington residents for 14 years. 

Why he decided to run
"The biggest reason is that I got two years into it, and I got a full picture of what the city faces," he said. "There's tougher decisions coming ... I think I'm capable of making those decisions."

Community connections
John Cowley & Sons, his family's restaurant, has supported the Catholic Central Dads Club and the Mercy High School Dads Club, raffling off a trip to Ireland annually for both schools. Cowley is also an active member at Our Lady of Sorrows Catholic Church and is a past member and president of the Farmington Downtown Development Authority. 

Employment
In addition to working with his family's downtown Farmington restaurant, Cowley is employed by ComData. 

Campaign information
Cowley says he doesn't have a website or a Facebook page, and he doesn't plan to spend money on signs. He invites anyone with questions to stop by John Cowley & Sons.
Jim Sparks October 02, 2013 at 10:10 AM
"Growth strategy"? Really? After his stint as president of the DDA, and now two years on council, there seems to be precious little "growth" in the downtown Farmington economic sphere. How is this a viable plan to deal with the acknowledged financial difficulties that are projected? Seems like just more politician-speak - long on meaningless rhetoric and woefully short on real solutions. Council needs fresh blood, with new, innovative ideas and a willingness to work with everyone in the community, not more belligerence and blather.
Irving Ginsberg October 03, 2013 at 02:04 PM
Mr. Sparks, I drive through downtown Farmington (Grand River) about twice a week and see lots of construction and development going on. Of what kind of "growth" are you speaking? Also, what groups or organizations is he unwilling to work with -- the FPS Board? It seems you are angry about Mr. Cowley speaking out against the exorbitant bond request -- which you vigorously supported in blogs. In your next blog call Cowley a racist so you can follow the lead of members of the FPS Board by labeling the opposition as racists
Sharon October 03, 2013 at 04:16 PM
Mr. Sparks, it is clear from your previous posts that you abhor anyone that dares contradicts the wants of Farmington Public Schools and now you support the school districts candidate for city council, so I am relatively certain that you will not agree with my opinion. The Farmington taxpayers need candidates that have vast experience in both their city involvement and their careers as well as the educational credentials to handle the fiscal responsibility of the position. I for one am confident that Mr. Cowley has these credentials and has served us well so far. Although his bluntness at times may raise some eyebrows, his history, dedication and commitment to this community are undeniable. This is not a pro or con Farmington School Board position to run for. This is a distinctly separate elected position that will require a strong backbone to run against the grain if the need arises, not a position for someone that wants an open checkbook for the FPS school district paid for by the Farmington taxpayers. I want candidates whose roots run very deep into this community for a long time and will be able to make fiscally sound decisions as a councilperson for the property taxes that they and I actually pay. Your choice would be “fresh blood” that is neither a homeowner nor business owner in the City of Farmington without any usable experience for the job except that she co-chaired the school districts pro bond promotion committee to substantially raise our taxes last month that the community voted down? Although this is a democracy and Ms. Reaves is free to run for Farmington City Council, you are telling us we should vote for someone who has been to Washington D.C as a child, who vaguely was an intern for an anonymous person in Ohio sometime in her youth, who claims as experience being the Advocacy Chair an elementary school? But her most controversial agenda item is she wants to build a “Performing Arts Center” on the vacant Maxfield Training Center property in our downtown that would absolutely require another increase of our taxes! This pipe dream has come directly from the initial FPS school bond dream list presented last spring that was met with such angst it was wisely never included in the August bond presentation. So her platform is - pass the FPS $186.2 MILLION - 32 YEAR bond to raise our taxes and then ask for another millage to fund their dream of a performing arts center? Farmington voters are smarter than that.
Jim Sparks October 04, 2013 at 10:28 AM
Mr. Ginsberg: It's obvious you have trouble reading the actual words written, and thus, as usual, redirect anything and everything said to be about FPS. Your one-note bleating is tiring and misinformed. Ms. "Sharon": You are either Greg Cowley masquerading as someone else, or a paid shill for him and his family. Any and all criticism directed at him is met with gushing rhetoric that lacks even the basic elements of fact. Also, you seem to share (almost verbatim) Mr. Ginsberg's obsession with FPS, to the exclusion of pretty much anything else. It's just extremely hard to take either of you seriously.
Raynond Oakleyr October 04, 2013 at 10:39 AM
I will be voting for Mr.Crowley and voting NO on the bond issue the school board has a spend spend and no accountability on their spending then spend thousanxs of dollars on placing it on the ballet also mailing s which were already sent and now spending to hold meeting in different ares of the area trying to push thete point of it for are children yea it comes to one thing what did you do with our tax dollars so far and why and how come the school board did not bring what they are.going to cut back or out source jobs and put ahold on teachers pay raises do to the fact they are the second highest payed in Oakland County but no lets raise taxes so they can continue to spend spend and if we run short just ask for more the taxpayerswill bail us out again ~~Think again school board
Sharon October 05, 2013 at 02:48 PM
Sorry Mr. Sparks I am neither. First, Mr. Cowley has never had an issue with speaking his own mind, so he need not masquerade as anything nor "pay" me to be his friend, neighbor or supporter. Second, you seem to have no response to the real issues at hand which are the "performing arts center" or the $186.2 million dollar bond for 32 yes 32 years! The recent FPS graduating class will be 50 years old in 2045 when this millage is paid off! I have supported my children's schools for their entire FPS education here and only here; in the classroom and out. But that does not mean that I need to write FPS a blank check for administration's wish list or stay silent when the candidate they put forth is too inexperienced to do the job of city council. Back in the days of Dr. Maxfield and the rejection of the1997 bond, when our students were still at the top of the education heap, he did the right thing and really sought out taxpayer feedback with focus groups and community meetings to gather feedback and revisit the list of needs. Guess what, taxpayers passed the bond the second time around. That is not at all what happened this year. Administration just made their own decision to come back at the taxpayers and try to get the senior citizens to believe all of the improvements and renovations that have been made to our schools so far don’t count and that our students are not currently safe with scare tactics. Do they really think we believe that parents would be dropping off their children to buildings that are currently unsafe? Like I said before, Farmington voters are smarter than that! Finally the only "gushing rhetoric" I will give is a big thank you to ALL of the Farmington City Council for NOT raising my taxes any higher!
Tera Shamey October 05, 2013 at 06:10 PM
When I read the comments on some of these articles one man's wise words come to my mind. "When you wage war on public schools, you are attacking the mortar that holds the community together. You are not a conservative, you're a vandal." - Garrison Keillor
Sharon October 05, 2013 at 08:24 PM
So what is your wise word quote for the PTA waging war on a taxpaying, community supporting, business owner simply because he is exercising his right to free speech? The children at Longacre school were hurt by these actions.
Jim Sparks October 05, 2013 at 09:43 PM
You see, "Sharon", this is the kind of thing that undermines any serious consideration of your tirades. A number of local citizens decided to spend their money wherever they please, for whatever reason they deem fit, and immediately you and your cohorts see a conspiracy. Of course, the PTA is "waging war" on individual citizens! So is FPS!! Because, of course, this makes complete sense. It's "them" against "us", and it's only logical that the big, bad liberal cabal is plotting the undermining of all those unsuspecting moms, dads and children in an evil and dastardly effort to make communists of us all. It's all so clear now!
Jim Sparks October 05, 2013 at 09:49 PM
And "Sharon", if you'll remember, this article and it's comments were directed at the race for city council, NOT the PTA or FPS. See what I mean about obsessive, one-dimensional monologue? I have a feeling if there was an article about the weather, you very well might feel you have to offer up your comments about our EVIL school system. We grow tired...
Sharon October 06, 2013 at 01:27 AM
Seriously.... communists?

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