Clerk Candidate Cathy Imbronone Talks Quality Service, Ending Nepotism and Business Success
Macomb Patch recently spoke with Cathy Imbronone to learn more about the Macomb Township business owner looking to serve the township as clerk.
Imbronone, 60, has owned and operated Tina’s Country House & Gardens for the past 30 years. Last year, she and her sister opened the The Tavern at Tina's, formerly Mutt & Jeff's. With two businesses up and running, Imbronone says, “the time has come for me to use the knowledge and experience I have gained in the private sector for the benefit of my community."
A member of the National Association of Professional Women, Macomb First Business Alliance, Italian Club and Macomb Wedding Professionals, Imbronone has also been involved with the Macomb Township Republican Caucus and Macomb County Republican Party.
Macomb Patch recently spoke with Imbronone to learn more about the local business owner looking to serve as township clerk.
Patch: Why have you chosen to run for township clerk?
Imbronone: Several reasons lead me to run for township clerk. The most important being the drive to be of service. I have always believed in uncompromising service in my business and I believe that characteristic will be an asset to my community. There is always the “time to give back”, and I feel that the time has come for me to use the knowledge and experience I have gained in the private sector for the benefit of my community. The clerk’s office specifically, because it is the office I am best prepared for. Furthermore, the process the board undertook to select a politically connected insider as the current township treasurer showed how insulated and self rewarding our board has become – lead by our current clerk. We can do better.
Patch: Why do you feel you are qualified for the position of clerk?
Imbronone: As a self employed business woman my proven business experience as the owner of Tina’s Country House for the past 30 years, has given me the the experience and knowledge that is needed to move Macomb Township forward. I have managed documents, contracts, bids and budgets and construction. As a job creator, I currently employ a staff of 60. I am responsible for the training programs, on going education of the staff, procurement of equipment, advertising and marketing.
Patch: What changes or improvements would you make if elected?
Imbronone: There are so many things I will accomplish. First and foremost I want to restore honesty and fairness to government. I know it is a tall order, I know I can make a difference. My first initiative as your township clerk will be to implement a REAL code of ethics. My proposal will bring an end to nepotism, favoritism and insider deals and in turn restore honesty, integrity, bring transparency and accountability to town hall. Mine will be mandatory with stiff penalties for violators. I want to improve the quality of service in the Clerk’s office – by creating a “service desk” where residents and business owners can come for clear and concise information and direction. They will be greeted in a professional manner, and treated with courtesy and respect. I also hope to bring the township into the 21st century by using all of the state-of-the-art technology that is available. In today’s busy world, we should be able to go to the township website and with the click of a mouse find all of the information that we need, print forms, pay bills, even read the current bill run to see how our money is being spent. Rezoning Reform is a priority as well. We must make the best use of the land, keep everything in a harmonious manner. Doing so can only keep property values going in a positive direction. We can only accomplish this if all of those appointed to the boards are knowledgeable and qualified to make these important decisions on behalf of the residents.
Patch: Of what personal and professional accomplishments are you most proud?
Imbronone: The one personal accomplishment that I am most proud of is my ability to listen. It is in observation and listening to others and your surroundings that give you the ability to make informed decisions. On a more personal note, my sister and I cared for our mom, who was bedridden and totally helpless for almost 5 years. Although we were saddened by the circumstances, it was one of the best experiences in my life with many lessons learned.
Professional accomplishments are many – while attending MCC I owned and operated a Dairy Queen, my first business venture. I had a sales goal that spanned over 2 years and when I accomplished that goal I allowed myself to purchase a new car, and paid cash for it. I was 19 years old at the time. In 1988, my dad passed away, I completed a major building project that he was in the middle of, went on to complete several condominium developments and some residential homes. Tina’s Country House is my pride and joy. We opened in 1982, many people tried to discourage me. I was determined to prove them all wrong. Thirty years later, I still get the biggest smile on my face when I turn into the driveway every morning.
Patch: Is there one individual who has been most influential in your life?
Imbronone: My parents, especially my father – he was my mentor and a great friend. He was the youngest of 8 children, his father passed away when he was 6 years old – life was a struggle. He and my mother married in 1951 and with 2 small children in 1952 he realized his dream and opened Tina’s Pizzeria in Detroit. My parents worked side by side forever, they were honest, hard working people who wanted life better for their children. I can never thank them enough for all of the life lessons they taught me,the examples they set, for the encouragement along the way and teaching us right from wrong.
Patch: What are key ways Macomb residents can make a difference locally?
Imbronone: Get involved with your government, your school board, your little league, volunteer – whatever interests you. We are all busy, but I know the few hours you spend will bring great rewards personally and to your community.
Patch: What do you like most about the Macomb Township community? Do you have a favorite place in Macomb?
Imbronone: Hands down, the people who live here. We are from every walk of life, strong ethnic backgrounds and heritage. The people in the township that I have met over the years have been kind, caring people. My favorite spot – and I don’t mean this to be self serving – is Tina’s Country House – I sometimes just walk through our gardens, listen to the birds, watch the rabbits hopping around. I look around at all that my sister and I have accomplished in 30 years and my heart swells with pride.
Patch: What are your hobbies, or interests?
Imbronone: Reading, short story writing, travel and genealogy.
Macomb Patch intends to interview all candidates with ties to, or oversight of Macomb Township. Visit Patch next week as we start our interviews with the candidates for trustee. All our political interviews can be found in the Election 2012 guide.
All candidates are scheduled to participate in a Meet the Candidates forum, open to the public, today, July 19, from 6-8:30 p.m. at the Clinton-Macomb Public Library main branch.