Macomb: Fouts, Colegio advance in Warren mayor's race

Alex Nester
The Detroit News

Warren Mayor Jim Fouts will face off in November against city council member Kelly Colegio in his bid for a fourth term at the helm of Michigan’s third-largest city.

According to final, unofficial results Tuesday night, Fouts had 58% of the vote, with Colegio garnering 23.6%. The next highest vote-getter, Kristina Lodovisi, who ran for state Senate last year, had 6.4%.

Jim Fouts

Fouts has been mayor since 2007, and before that, spent 26 years as a city council member.

Since December 2016, Fouts has been dogged by accusations that his voice was captured on multiple audio recordings containing racist remarks and degrading statements about women and people with disabilities.

Fouts has denied the allegations and repeated that stance in a recent interview with The Detroit News saying the tapes were “phony, manipulated and manufactured.” 

Fouts said his record “speaks for itself.” He said he's cut departments and staff, saving taxpayers millions. 

Resident Destiny Ropelewski said she voted for Fouts.

"Warren has its good and bad just like everywhere else," Ropelewski said. "You get to see a lot of the bad that goes on, but there's so much good." 

Kelly Colegio

Colegio, an eight-year city council member and four-year mayor pro tem, said she entered the race to try to do away with “the smoke and mirrors” and “shenanigans” in city government.

“Warren maybe does not have the best image that it could right now,” Colegio said.

She said the city is allowing licensed landlords to operate without paying taxes; outsourcing park maintenance to save money, then spending $3.5 million to fix the dilapidated parks; and holding closed-door meetings between a city council subcommittee and local marijuana dispensaries.

She also said she would address the city’s sewage problems, including the practice of “flow blending.”

The city’s practice of mixing partly- and fully-treated sewage and dumping it into city waterways does not comply with state regulations, she said.

Bryan Clor, appointed by Fouts in January as head of Warren’s Waste Water Treatment facility, said the city dumped 1.1 million gallons of partially-treated sewage into the water drain earlier this month.

Clor said the practice will end when the city builds a new sewage retention basin in the south end. He also said the sewage is disinfected and meets current permit requirements.

The field of challengers to Fouts also included Lawrence Behr, Douglas Michael Chastney, Brett Felton, Matt Kuehnel, Kristina Lodovisi, K.C. Ohiggins, Chris Pasternak, and term-limited council member Scott Stevens, who ran as a write-in.

Also in Macomb County, New Baltimore Mayor John W. Dupray will face off against former Councilman Kenneth Butler in November after they garnered the top two spots in Tuesday's primary election.

According to final, unofficial results, Dupray received 44.7% of the vote and Butler finished in second with 25.7%. Trailing were Councilman Carl Weinrich with 23.2% of the vote and former city building inspector Gregory Nikkel with 6.4%.

St. Clair Shores voters overwhelmingly approved two charter amendments.

A 1.75-mill, five-year replacement levy for street repairs passed with 70.7% voting yes; it will raise $2.6 million its first year. A 4.8486-mill, three-year renewal levy for police and fire operations received a 69.9% yes vote; it will raise $7.3 million its first year.