August 5, 2014 at 11:27 pm

Oak Park, Hazel Park decriminalize marijuana; Novi judge survives

Voters in Hazel Park and Oak Park approved legalizing possession of marijuana for personal use Tuesday, while a controversial Novi district judge advanced to November’s general election.

The marijuana proposal won with 62 percent voting yes in Hazel Park and 53 percent approving in Oak Park. Hazel Park voters also approved an operating millage for the school district.

Oak Park and Hazel Park join eight Michigan communities that have decriminalized small-time marijuana use: Lansing, Jackson and Ferndale in 2013; Detroit, Grand Rapids, Ypsilanti and Flint in 2012; and Kalamazoo in 2011.

Longtime Judge Brian MacKenzie of Novi’s 52-1 District Court finished a close second to Walled Lake attorney Travis Reeds. MacKenzie, accused of dismissing dozens of domestic violence cases without a prosecutor present, got 36.3 percent, with Reeds getting 37.6 percent. The two will face off in November’s general election.

Trailing both was Scott Powers, with 26.1 percent.

Reeds, 41, a Walled Lake attorney, is a former law clerk for MacKenzie; Powers, 40, a Highland Township attorney, is the son of another District 52-1 judge, Dennis Powers, who has come under fire himself over questionable mileage reimbursements.

Among other county issues:

■North Oakland Transportation Authority: Voters defeated a 0.25-mill tax in Addison Township but approved in Orion and Oxford townships.

■Bloomfield Hills: Voters passed a 0.39-mill renewal to contract for library services with Birmingham’s Baldwin Public Library.

■Clawson: A proposal to borrow $3.81 million over 20 years to update City and Grant parks won 56.8 percent approval.

■Novi: Voters approved a charter amendment to pay the mayor $6,500 per year and council members $4,500 per year, instead of paying per meeting.

■Rochester Hills: A five-year, 0.2972-mill tax to raise about $1 million per year for road repairs was approved..

■Walled Lake: Voters said yes to a 0.98-mill renewal between 2015-24 for the city library and an additional 3.95-mill tax for public safety.

■Addison Township: Voters approved a pair of millage renewals for police and fire/ambulance service, but rejected a millage increase for the library, with 53 percent voting no.

■Bloomfield Township: Voters approved renewals of two public safety millages totaling 1.8277 mills and two other renewals: a 0.24-mill levy for operating the Bloomfield Township Senior Center and a 0.48-mill renewal for the safety path program over five years.

■Brandon Township: Approved replacement of an expired tax to fund police operations with a 4.25-mill levy between 2014-18.

■Commerce Township: Voters approved the renewal of a 0.39-mill tax to improve parks and buy land for public green spaces, effective 2014-23.

■Independence Township: Voters approved a renewal of a 2.95-mill levy for police services between 2014-17.

■Lyon Township: Voters passed two police and fire millages, a 0.8-mill tax and a 1.58-mill tax.

■Novi Township: Voters approved an operating increase from 2.2555 mills to 2.5257 mills from 2014-33.

■Oxford Township: Voters rejected a $20 million bond and a 0.05-millage proposal for constructing and operating the township community center, and turned down a .4518-mill tax from 2014-23 for the township library.

■Springfield Township: A 0.75-mill renewal from 2014-23 to raise about $420,000 a year to develop and maintain recreational sites was approved.

mmartindale@detroitnews.com