Wyandotte chooses new mayor; West Bloomfield, Oak Park school issues pass

Hayley Harding
The Detroit News

Wyandotte voters chose Robert DeSana as the city's new mayor Tuesday, giving him more than 60% of the vote over opponent Frank Tarnowski, while numerous Metro Detroit school districts won approval for money issues. 

With nine of 10 precincts reporting, Tarnowski congratulated DeSana on Facebook for winning a four-year term as leader of the Downriver suburb.

School districts that received yes votes for their fiscal proposals on the special election ballot included Allen Park, Oak Park, South Redford and West Bloomfield.

Voters in the West Bloomfield School District passed a 2-mill non-homestead operating millage.

With all precincts reporting, 74.8% of voters approved the four-year operating millage. It is expected to raise $691,139 for operating expenses in 2021.

Oak Park school district voters approved a $54.4 million, 30-year bond issue, with 79.6% voting yes.

The bond issue will fund construction and remodeling of school facilities, technology equipment and infrastructure, furniture and site improvements. Four district elementary schools — Einstein, Key, Lessenger and Pepper — will receive mechanical, electrical and plumbing upgrades, for instance.

The measure will not result in an increase of the 5.98 mills the district collects.

Saul Grunfeld votes during a special election for an Oak Park Schools bond proposal at the Oak Park Community Center, May 4, 2021.

Also in Oakland County, Franklin voters approved a charter amendment that would bar the Village Council from constructing new sidewalks in residential areas, except along Franklin and 13 Mile roads. In final unofficial results, the measure received 56.2% of the vote.

ELECTION RESULTS: Follow along live here

Among Wayne County districts, the Livonia Public Schools had the biggest money request on the ballot  a $186 million bond issue. The issue calls for 1.37 mills to be levied for 20 years to equip and furnish educational facilities.

With 36 of 36 precincts reporting, the bond issue passed with 71% of the vote.

District officials said the funding, which would not result in a tax increase, was needed to address numerous needs in the school system's 28 buildings, which are an average of 60 years old. 

Projects would include updating and replacing instructional technology; buying furniture and instructional equipment for classrooms; making security enhancements; replacing school buses and playground equipment, and improving athletic areas such as the high school field houses, pools, annex buildings and middle school gymnasiums. 

In other Wayne County districts with money requests on Tuesday's ballot: 

Woodhaven-Brownstown: A $144 million, 30-year bond issue to erect, furnish and equip buildings was ahead with 65.8% of the vote with eight of 16 precincts reporting.

Romulus Community Schools: A 0.5-mill increase for operations for 10 years, expected to raise $10.2 million a year, appeared to pass, 55.5% to 44.5%, with all of 11 precincts reporting in unofficial results.  

South Redford: A $79.9 million, 30-year bond issue to construct, develop, equip and furnish buildings passed with 74.5% of the vote with all precincts reporting.

Allen Park: A $74.2 million bonding program over the next 30 years to be funded by 1.01 mills. Voters approved the program with 77.2% of the vote with all precincts reporting.

Redford Union: A $59.2 million building and site proposal, to be funded by 2.15 mills over 30 years, won approval in unofficial results with a 64.7% yes vote after all eight precincts reported. 

Dearborn Heights: A $6.4 million building and site proposal to be funded by .89 mills for 20 years. It passed with a 62.2% yes vote with all five precincts reporting unofficial results.

Also in Wayne County, Wyandotte residents were to choose between 11 candidates for six City Council seats: Robert K. Alderman, Nick Beaven, Chris Calvin, Kaylan Crayne, Eric A. Dodson, Todd Hand,; Michael Izbicki, Don Schultz, Rosemary Shuryan, Kelly Stec and Richard J. Symczevk. 

With 10 of 10 precincts reporting, the top candidates were: Stec (14.04%); Hanna (11.92%); Shuryan (10.53%); Calvin (10.52%); Alderman (9.93%); and Crayne (9.04%). 

In Wayne, Oakland and Washtenaw counties, Northville Public Schools was seeking an operating millage renewal, not to exceed 19.2383 mills for five years, 2022 through 2026. Estimated revenue would be about $10 million in the first year, if approved. 

In Wayne County, voters approved the measure by 78%. Washtenaw County voters also passed the mileage, by 78%.In Oakland County, voters approved the measure by 81%.

In Macomb County, Memphis Community Schools was seeking an operating millage of up to 18 mills for 10 years, 2022-31, with expected revenue of $1.4 million in 2022, and a sinking fund of 1 mill for five years for the purpose of purchasing real estate and construction or repair of buildings, buying school security equipment and upgrading technology. Approval of the sinking fund issue is expected to raise $247,000 in 2022.

Staff Writer Mark Hicks contributed