Lawrence Kestenbaum, Democratic Candidate for Washtenaw County Clerk
Customer service and records efficiency will continue if Kestenbaum is re-elected, the incumbent clerk says.
Name : Mr. Lawrence Kestenbaum
Also known as : Larry
Age : 56
Place of residence : Ann Arbor, MI
Family: Married 21 years to Janice Gutfreund (clinical psychologist in private practice); daughter Sarah (student at Pioneer High School). We are active members of Temple Beth Emeth, Ann Arbor.
Attended college : Yes
College : Michigan State University
Degree : B.A., Economics
Year of graduation : 1979
University : Cornell University
Year of graduation : attended 1988-90
University : Wayne State University Law School
Area of research : J.D., law
Year of graduation : 1982
Job titles held : Attorney; academic specialist; county commissioner
Employers : Washtenaw County, Ingham County, Michigan State University
Party affiliation : Democrat
Running for a: Local office
Running for position: County Clerk / Register of Deeds
Chamber/district: Washtenaw County
First elected: 02 November 2004
Previous elective offices : Ingham County Commissioner, 1983-88 (elected 1982, 84, 86); Washtenaw County Commissioner, 2000-02 (appointed 2000, elected 2000).
Unsuccessful bids for elective offices : State Representative 52nd District, Democratic primary, 1998; Ann Arbor City Council, 4th Ward, 1999.
Address P.O. 2563, Ann Arbor, MI.
Name : none
Current public or community service: Leadership Giver, United Way of Washtenaw County, 2005-present. Creator and webmaster, PoliticalGraveyard.com (free online archive of U.S. political history), 1996-present.
What are three key issues that you're seeking to deal with if elected?
I will actively sustain the high quality of customer service that citizens have come to expect from this office. Every single customer should be treated with courtesy and respect. This standard is fundamental to everything we do.
I will continue to advocate at the state level for legislation and policy which will make the election system fairer, more efficient, more transparent, more secure, and open to maximum participation, and to oppose legislation which does not serve those objectives. I served for several years as co-chairman of the Legislative Committee for the Michigan county clerks association. I frequently testify before legislative committees, and work closely with the Michigan Association of Municipal Clerks.
People come to this office seeking information, and I welcome the opportunity to provide it. We have taken advantage of technology to make information more available. For example, candidate filings, election results and campaign finance reports appear promptly on our web site; birth and death certificates and land records can be ordered online; deeds and other land documents are imaged and available for title work within one business day (the complete indexing, proofing and recording process takes a few days longer).
In February 2010, Washtenaw became the first county in Michigan to register deaths electronically.