Packed Oakland ballot Tuesday: ‘Voters need to be careful to flip it over’
Finalists for contested countywide and local offices and more than $440 million in millages — ranging from public safety to the Detroit Zoo — will be decided by Oakland County voters Tuesday.
Two Democrats are vying for the right to run against L. Brooks Patterson, who has no Republican opposition to what he hopes will be his seventh term as county executive.
“It’s looking better every day — I’m hoping to win,” ex-state representative and former Farmington Hills mayor Vicki Barnett said of Tuesday’s primary.
“I feel good about my chances and if I make it to the November election, I think I can take him,” said Mark Danowski, 58, about Patterson. He has has worked in federal, state and local jobs and is employed by the state health department. “It’s time. I have some ideas, some big plans I would like to put in place.”
Sheriff Michael Bouchard, Prosecutor Jessica Cooper and Treasurer Andy Meisner are unopposed in Tuesday’s primary and will advance to the November general election.
Two Republicans and a Democrat are all running for County Clerk Lisa Brown’s job. They are led by Bill Bullard, Jr. a Republican who lost the clerk job to Brown, a Democrat, in 2012. Tina Barton, a Republican and Democrat Michael D. Smith are also running.
There are 925,000 registered voters among Oakland County’s 1.2 million residents and the absentee ballots received indicate a good turnout, said Joseph Rozell, director of the county elections division.
“We are expecting a voter turnout Tuesday of between 25 and 30 percent,” Rozell said. “The ballot is pretty long and is two-sided, so voters need to be careful to flip it over.”
There are 21 races for seats on the County Board of Commissioners.
Chuck Moss, an ex-commissioner, wants to return to the board after completing term limits as a state representative in Lansing. He is challenging fellow Republican Shelley Goodman Taub for her job.
Seven hopefuls — five Republicans and two Democrats — will fight for the commissioner’s seat being vacated by John Scott, who is running for Waterford Township supervisor.
In West Bloomfield Township, two Democrats, trustee Steven Kaplan and Sam Logan Khaleghi, will compete for the job of supervisor. No Republicans are running. Democrats alone will face off against each other for clerk and treasurer jobs held by incumbents. Nine candidates, including three Republicans, are up for four trustee posts.
The Detroit Zoo millage renewal is the only countywide issue on the ballot.
Voters in Oakland, Wayne and Macomb counties are being asked to renew their support for a 10-year, 0.1 mill funding option, costing the average homeowner about $10 a year.
Auburn Hills voters are being asked to approve a Headlee override millage proposal to return to the original 2.5 mills, which will provide an additional roughly $1.1 million and a total $3.6 million for services, including the fire department. A property with taxable value of $59,300 — the average in the city —will pay about $43.86 more.
Public safety related questions are up in 10 communities.
■Addison Township voters are considering a 0.75 mills request for eight years for fire department capital improvements.
■Bloomfield Township seeks a 1.9935 mill renewal for 10 years to finance fire and police.
■Highland Township seeks renewal of 1.4295 mills for six years for medical and fire services.
■Independence Township wants to renew 3.5653 mills for four years to fund fire and emergency services.
■Lyon Township seeks a 2.753 millage renewal for dedicated police services for eight years.
■Milford Township is asking for 3.8250 millage replacement for police services over 15 years.
■Orion Township voters will consider a 1.984 mill levy for four years for fire protectionand a 2.9885 mills levy over four years for police services. A property with a taxable value of $50,000 would be assessed $99.20 for the fire millage and $149.43 for the police services millage.
■Rose Township is seeking the renewal of 0.7480 mills for six years to provide fire department services.
■Springfield Township voters will be asked to authorize a 1.4789 mill renewal for 10 years for police services. A 1-mill fire renewal and an increase of an additional 1 mill for fire services, each for 10 years, is also being sought.
■Waterford Township is seeking a renewal of 1.5 mills for 10 years for the police department. Waterford is also seeking two separate 1 mill renewals for 10 years for fire department operating expenses.
Voters will also decide millages on services, sewers, parks and also charter amendments in many communities.
Oakland Township wants to renew 0.7307 mill for 10 years to support its Parks and Recreation Department acquiring and maintaining parks and recreation services. Township voters will also decide whether to renew 0.0876 mills over 10 years for the Older Persons Commission to maintain and increase handicapped and senior transportation services.
Royal Oak voters are being asked to approve a five-year 1-mill renewal to defray the cost of curbside collection disposal and recycling. Voters will also be asked to amend the charter which prevents anyone under 25-years-old who has not been a resident of the city for two years or a property owner from seeking public office. Registered voters, regardless of owning property, who have lived in the city or at least one year would be eligible for public office.
Five communities have questions regarding library renewals or funding on the ballot: Commerce Township, a 0.7 mill renewal; Pontiac, a 1.0 mill renewal; Wixom, a 1.08 mill renewal; Lyon Township is asking voters for approval to borrow $8.5 million for building and furnishing a library and a 1.585 library replacement mill for operations and maintenance; and White Lake Township voters are being asked to approve a $8.6 million bond issue to build and equip a facility.
Schools bond questions
School bond millages will be voted in 11 communities.
■The Avondale School District is seeking a 20-mill replacement and restoration of non-homestead operating millage for 10 years. Voters within the school district are also being asked to authorize 1 mill for 10 years for a sinking fund for school repairs and improvements.
■The Brandon School District seeks a two-year 2 mill levy for a sinking fund for construction and repair of school building.
■Clarkston Community Schools have a $75.9 million bond proposal for the next 30 years for the building, furnishing, remodeling and repair work for school buildings and developing and equipping playgrounds and athletic fields.
■Ferndale Public Schools seek a 1.3 mill for a sinking fund, for repair and improvement of buildings over the next 15 years.
■Lake Orion Community Schools are asking for a building and site sinking fund of 2 mills for 10 years.
■Oak Park Schools want a 3 mill sinking fund question approved for 20 years.
■Madison District Public Schools want the renewal of a 18.9791 mills for five years for operating purposes.
■Oxford Community Schools seek a 18.442 mills approval for operating costs for 10 years.