Oakland: Pontiac mayor Waterman easily re-elected

Mike Martindale
The Detroit News

Pontiac – Pontiac Mayor Deirdre Waterman easily won a second term Tuesday night, becoming the first mayor in the city’s history to be elected to two consecutive terms.

Pontiac Mayor Deirdre Waterman cruised to re-election Tuesday, defeating Councilman Mark Holland by nearly 20 percentage points.

With all of the city's precincts reporting, Waterman captured 57 percent of the vote to 37.2 percent for Councilman Mark Holland, with the remaining 5.8 percent going to two write-in candidates.

Waterman first made history four years ago when she was elected Pontiac's first woman mayor.

“We are happy – not just because of this historic victory but because I feel this is a mandate for what I have tried to do – bring people together under one tent in Pontiac and that tent is just going to get bigger – Pontiac is a city on the move,” she said Tuesday night.

Before Waterman took office in 2014, a series of state-appointed emergency managers implemented a series of cost-cutting measures, including the layoff of dozens of city workers and the elimination of the city’s police and fire departments.

The city contracts with the Oakland County Sheriff’s Office, which businesses and residents agree has made streets safer. Fire services are contracted with Waterford Township.

The city shed many of its money-draining properties, including the Pontiac Silverdome, which cost more than $1 million a year to keep secured. It was sold at auction to a Canadian company at a fraction of its original construction costs and became a punchline for comedians and a painful memory for taxpayers.

Waterman said legal battles over the city-owned Phoenix Center parking garage and amphitheater appear on the way to being resolved.

An anti-blight program, including knocking down dangerous houses and buildings, is about 86 percent completed and has resulted in safer neighborhoods and increased property values, Waterman said.

In other mayoral races:

Walled Lake Mayor Linda Ackley defeated challenger Patrick Bryant.

Novi Mayor Bob Gatt was re-elected over two challengers, Jason Dorsch, who ran for a state House seat last year, and Bin Qamruzzaman, an automotive engineer.

Royal Oak Mayor Michael Fournier won re-election over businessman Mike Skinner.

Oakland County voters also faced a variety of ballot issues:

Clawson voters passed a $2.1 million bond issue for sidewalk improvements.

Keego Harbor voters approved charter amendments to levy 4 mills for police protection and require a criminal conviction for city property seizures.

Lathrup Village passed a charter amendment to require a criminal conviction for city property seizures.

Pleasant Ridge voters approved a millage proposal to raise money for the city’s underfunded police pensions.

The Avondale School District won approval of a $30.7 million bond issue for building and outdoor facility improvements and bus purchases.

Voters in the Farmington Public School District passed a 1.15-mill, nine-year operating levy.

Madison District Public Schools voters rejected a $29.2 million bond issue for building and outdoor facility improvements.

Voters in the Oxford Community Schools approved a $28.2 million bond issue for building and outdoor facility improvements and bus purchases, plus a 0.75 mill sinking fund levy for five years.

Royal Oak Schools voters passed a $59.9 million bond issue for building and outdoor facility improvements.

Voters in the Troy School District agreed to a 1-mill, 10-year sinking fund for building and site repairs and improvements.

More election results: