2 in race to be South Lyon’s mayor

The Detroit News, The Detroit News

At first it seemed nobody wanted to be mayor of South Lyon, but two interested parties have stepped forward to lead the Oakland County community of 11,713 people.

As of the 4 p.m. Tuesday deadline, zero petitions had been received for the two-year position, City Clerk/Treasurer Lisa Deaton told The Detroit News. But on Thursday she said she learned two people had filed as write in-candidates for the Nov. 7 election.

Bill Powell and Dan Pelchat, both 34, who are South Lyon High School graduates and political novices, confirmed they filed to run. They have created Facebook pages for their campaigns.

“I knew I needed to get involved,” said Pelchat, an IT technician who helped form the local cable commission.

Powell, who works for an office furniture design and installation company, wants to stop in-fighting among city leaders. “Healthy conversation is better than just stagnating and arguing about things,” he said.

Meanwhile, four candidates had previously filed for three city council spots with four-year terms, according to the Oakland County clerk’s records.

The current mayor, John Galeas Jr., hasn’t pursued re-election after getting elected in November 2015 following six years on the council. Galeas did not respond to phone or email requests for comment.

The mayor is the titular head of South Lyon’s government, serving on the council along with six elected council members. The city manager runs the city’s day-to-day operations.

Mayor is not a high-paying position. While Detroit Mayor Mike Duggan makes $159,000 a year, South Lyon’s mayor receives $5 an hour for the regular monthly council meetings he attends, plus any special meetings that are scheduled. Council members make $4 an hour.

Even if no one had emerged for the mayoral race, there were still options to find someone to lead the city about 45 miles west of Detroit.

“If no one wins as a write-in,” Deaton wrote in an email, “council will appoint someone as mayor.”