Brighton school board candidate Jason Tracey’s financial woes become campaign issue

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Brighton Area Schools Board of Education candidate Jason Tracey has had 10 civil default judgments against him over the past 15 years – including one for more than $11,000 – and that became a campaign issue at a candidate forum on Tuesday night.

Bill Trombley, an incumbent running for re-election, took time during the forum to detail Tracey’s financial problems. Included in the 10 civil judgments was an $11,000-plus default to Ford Motor Credit from 2003 that still hasn’t been paid off.

Trombley made the case that because a school board member’s main responsibility is watching over the district’s finances, the voters deserve to know about Tracey’s financial woes.

“One of the candidates has 10 civil judgments against him for not paying his bills,” Trombley said, referring to Tracey. “Each candidate sitting up here tonight has a fiduciary responsibility to our taxpayers. If you can’t manage your own finances, how are you going to manage a $62 million budget of taxpayer money? You just can’t walk away and not pay the debt.”

Tracey did not address the issue during the forum.

There are eight candidates running for four open seats on the Brighton Area Schools Board of Education in the Nov. 8 election. Tracey is running as part of a slate that includes William Rockwell and Alicia Reid, all three of whom have been endorsed by the Brighton Education Association, the local teachers union.

The revelation of Tracey’s financial problems comes in the wake of a Detroit Free Press report that revealed more than half the candidates running for the Detroit School Board have had civil defaults, foreclosures or evictions.

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