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FridayMusings Friday, October 17, 2022    Helping define Livonia Quality of Life

Livonia has a lot at stake in the November elections

While some ask for more coverage of the political scene in Livonia what with school elections, three state representative districts and two state senate districts, and with a new Congresswoman to become acquainted with, it is beginning to take me out of my comfort zone while trying to cover all the community activities we have in our hometown. Activities defining quality of life.

There is enough reason for me to combine the elements of politics and community as with the strength of community-minded elected officials we continue to take a step forward in defining Livonia's quality of life.

This issue will again focus on one race, particularly State Representative Matt Koleszar versus Cathryn Neracher. Most of the endorsements, including FridayMusings, are going to Koleszar. It will be to the advantage of Livonia to have a legislator in Lansing that works to develop coalitions across political lines, with a reputation for bi-partisan coalition building, while bringing special interest groups together for the common good of the community.

Neracher seems to be a one-issue candidate, Proposal Three, who endorses Tudor Dixon for governor. She works on this issue and supports this candidate without understanding education's critical role in Livonia. Her support for the diminution of funding for the traditional public schools, meaning siphoning off money for the for-profit charter/public schools, the type run without local control and limited state oversite, will not benefit Livonia.

With Livonia leaders Jim Jolly, Brandon McCullough, and Mayor Maureen Brosnan supporting Koleszar they signal that we need another voice in Lansing to support Livonia's values and needs. 

If you agree with this position please forward this issue of FridayMusings to your friends in Plymouth, Northville, and of course Livonia (see map of district below), post on your Facebook page. We all need to pitch in and help re-elect Matt Koleszar, for the benefit it will bring to Livonia.

Note: The Livonia PTSA Council is a nonprofit, 501(c)(3) that cannot and does not endorse candidates, but can provide information about relevant candidates to applicable stakeholders. 

The Livonia PTSA Council sent seven (7) questions to the candidates running for the Michigan State House of Representatives District #22. Incumbent, Matt Koleszar (Democrat) and Challenger, Cathryn Neracher (Republican) replied as follows.

1) (Resources)  What is the State/Federal Legislature’s role in providing resources to address access to computers, food, Wi-Fi, special education services, and other student support services? 


Matt Koleszar: The state legislature’s role is critically important for all of these services. We have made strides in equitable funding for our schools, but there’s still much more work to do. The state legislature’s role is to make sure public schools have all the resources they need and that students are supported in ways that best help them succeed. 

Cathryn Neracher: No reply. (Will update if a reply is received.)

2) (COVID Impact and Relief)  To mitigate the impact of Covid, there have been federal relief funds disbursed to school districts. Do you think these funds have been valuable in the way they have been allocated and utilized?  


Matt Koleszar: Locally, these funds have been put to great use and have resulted in positive impacts on our students. While there have been some questionable uses of funds in other parts of the state, our local districts have done a fantastic job of putting students first. There still are funds available and it’s crucial that we use all of them, and not leave them sitting in Washington DC. 

Cathryn Neracher: No reply. (Will update if a reply is received)

3) (Funding)  Even with the equalization of the per pupil allowance there are still educational funding inequities due to the existence of hold harmless districts. What are your proposals to address this to ensure that schools are adequately funded? 

Matt Koleszar: We need to use a weighted formula that ensures that funds go to where they are needed the most. Weighted formulas have been proven to give schools the resources they need to help the most vulnerable students. 

Cathryn Neracher: No reply (will update if a reply is received) 

4) (Millages)  Voters have continually passed operation millages, sinking funds and bonds in our district – did you support these ballot measures? What are the pros and cons of addressing district needs this way?

Matt Koleszar: Yes, I have supported all millages, sinking funds, and bonds in the district in which I live (Plymouth-Canton). The pro is that if these are passed it allows for schools to have the funds required to improve their facilities. The con is that these measures are needed in the first place due to inadequate funding from the state. 

Cathryn Neracher: No reply (will update if a reply is received)

5) (Mental Health)  What ways could you, as a legislator, help schools and districts support student mental health and behavior interventions?

Matt Koleszar: Increased funding for school psychologists and social workers is critically needed. Also we need to be making sure that we give adequate funding to reduce class size so students can get the one-on-one attention that they need. Additionally, I have introduced legislation that would increase access to and knowledge of the OK2SAY program. 

Cathryn Neracher: No reply (will update if a reply is received)

6) (Vouchers)  The Michigan PTA has advocated against the Let MI Kids Learn petitions. The bills they support would create so-called student opportunities scholarships and would grant tax credits to donating individuals and companies which could deplete the state budget by up to a billion dollars after five years. If the petition signatures are validated by the Secretary of State, would you support their passage? 

Matt Koleszar: No, I would not support their passage. The fact is, voters have overwhelmingly rejected any type of voucher system in our schools. What vouchers do is redirect funds intended for our public schools to private and for-profit charter schools. That is unacceptable. 

Cathryn Neracher: No reply (will update if a reply is received)


7) (Seizure Safe Schools)  The Michigan PTA has also advocated for Seizure Safe Schools (HB 4970). Do you support this bill that would ensure schools are well-equipped with the tools necessary to provide a safe and enriching environment for students living with epilepsy and seizure disorders?


Matt Koleszar: Yes, I already supported this when it came to a vote in the House. It is my sincere hope that this passes the senate and is signed into law by the Governor. 

Cathryn Neracher: No reply (will update if a reply is received)

State Representative District 22

Matt Koleszar (D) v Carolyn Neracher (R)

District 22 is made up of the Cities of Plymouth and Northville, and portions of Livonia, Plymouth Township, and Northville Township. 

Another candidate, Cathryn Neracher, does not return PTA questionnaire on important education issues 

Matt Koleszar realizes the important role education plays in defining hometown quality of life. Perhaps that is one of the reasons he forthrightly addressed education issues in a questionnaire presented by the Livonia PTSA Council. 

It is a shame that his challenger, Cathryn Neracher, does not place the same importance on education, perhaps not realizing the important role our school district has played in building a strong family-oriented community in Livonia.

Cathryn Neracher did not reply to the PTA questionnaire.

Matt Koleszar has built a strong bi-partisan reputation in his two terms in the Michigan State Legislature as shown with his endorsements from the Chamber of Commerce, first responders-police, fire, nurses, labor, environment, and community leaders among so many others.

Livonia benefits with the return of Matt Koleszar to Lansing.

Endorsed by the First Responder community

Endorsed by the Business Community

Endorsed by the Labor Community

Endorsed by the Environmental Community

Endorsed by the Animal Lovers Community

Endorsed by Hometown Community Leadership

Mail Address
19514 Livonia 48152
E-mail address
Cell address

Connecting with your hometown community.

Neighbors working together. Helping others.

Sit down to a homecooked spaghetti Dinner with members of the Rotary Noon and Rotary AM Clubs to raise funds to eradicate polio.

Livonia is a progressive community, raising money for worthwhile causes.

The typewriter and bodyguard will be on hand so make a point to stop by and say hello while supporting our two Livonia Rotary Clubs.