Highland Park to vote on recreational marijuana licensing
Voters in Highland Park will head to the polls Tuesday to decide whetherto allow marijuana establishments in the city and require them to get licensed.
The vote on recreational marijuana in Highland Park is just one of several proposals voters in Wayne County will consider on the Aug. 6 ballot, in addition to city council and mayoral races.
If passed, the amendment to Highland Park's city ordinance would establish a city license that allows establishments to grow,process, sell, securely transport or operate a marijuana safety compliance facility within two districts in the city. Highland Park has not opted-in with the state to allow medical marijuana facilities, according to an unofficial document prepared by the state Marijuana Regulatory Agency.
The provision to legalize recreational marijuana, approved by Michiganians last November, allows municipalities to designate specific locations where marijuana establishments may be located. The law also allows municipal governments to require marijuana establishments to obtain a license costing no more than $5,000 a year.
The proposed ordinance was placed on the ballot after signatures were gathered within the community, said city council member Christopher Woodard.
Chester Logan, Highland Park chief of police, declined a request for comment on the proposed recreational marijuana licensing amendment.
Voters in Inkster, Grosse Ile Township and Livonia's public school district will be voting on millage renewals. Voters in the Crestwood School District in Dearborn Heights, will decide whether to support a millage increase.Voters in the Washtenaw Intermediate School District, which includes a portion of Wayne County, will vote on a $53.3 million bond proposal.
Mayoral primary in Highland Park
The top two vote-getters among Highland Park Council President Pro Tem Glenda McDonald, Elene Robinson and Mayor Hubert Yopp, who is seeking a third, non-consecutive term, will appear on the Nov. 5 mayoral ballot.
Robinson, who said she has run in every election since 2003, said her plan is to try to attract a factory that builds solar panels to Highland Park to create another source of income for the community. She said she isn't opposed to the recreational marijuana proposal.
"We need a leader who is going to demand things for our favor and not just ask for things in our favor," Robinson said.
McDonald and Yopp did not respond to emails requesting comment.
Mayoral primary in Allen Park
The top two vote-getters among Allen Park city council members Angelo Americo DeGiulio, Tina Gaworecki, Gail McLeod and Kevin Rourke will face off in the Nov. 5 election to replace outgoing Mayor William Matakas.
DeGiulio, who describes himself as an average working guysaid his main issue is not raising taxes.
"The city should live within their means, just like the citizens have to live within their means," he said.
DeGiulio said residents should consider his vote as a member of the downtown development authority against giving a $2 million unsecured loan to Unity Studios for a proposed film studio. The project failed and Allen Park's emergency financial manager sold the property that was to house the studio for a loss in 2014.
McLeod said in a statement that she is looking to guarantee continued financial stability and economic growth in Allen Park as well as protect the Downriver suburb from periodic flooding, which she said causes water damage to homes.
She said she is qualified to be mayor because of her experience presiding over city council meetings as well as other leadership positions within the community.
"My participation has given me the opportunity to interact with other members of these organizations and create working relationships, both within and outside of the city," McLeod said.
Rourke said in a statement that he is part of a program to help the city get the most out of its road fund dollars. He pledged to listen to residents if elected.
"I invite our citizens to come to a council meeting or contact me to bring your message to the table," Rourke said. "I have nearly 40 years of public office, community service and volunteering. Served 12 years on the City Council, listening and responding to resident concerns."
Gaworecki did not respond to an email or phone call requesting comment.
Mayoral primary in Inkster
The top two vote-getters among Inkster Mayor Byron Nolen, Patrick Wimberly and council member Timothy Williams will appear on the Nov. 5 mayoral ballot.
Nolen, who is seeking a second term, said he believes he is the most qualified candidate for mayor because he has more educational background and personal experience than his opponents. He said that if he is re-elected, he will continue working to rebuild Inkster.
"I want Inkster to be harmonious with Dearborn, Dearborn Heights, Westland and Wayne. Michigan Avenue runs through all of our cities," Nolan said. "I want the feeling and look of Michigan Avenue to be harmonious, like you don't know you're passing from one city to another."
Wimberly and Williams did not respond to emails and phone calls requesting comment.
Mayoral primary in Livonia
The top two vote-getters among former council member Maureen Miller Brosnan, retired Westland deputy fire chief Bruce Tenniswood and council president Laura Toy will appear on the Nov. 5 mayoral ballot.
Tenniswood said he believes that the skills required to be mayor are in his wheelhouse.
He said that one of his main issues would be improving what he described as staff-retention issues with Livonia's fire and police departments. He also said improving government transparency is important to him.
"My career in the fire service was years of working in city government from an administrative standpoint and not a legislative standpoint," Tenniswood said. "I worked on a plan to provide services within a budget."
Toy listed a number of priorities she would seek to address as mayor, including keeping the city affordable, making public safety and roads a funding priority and providing services to seniors and the disabled.
Toy said she is ready to "hit the ground running" on her first day as mayor.
"I am proud to have the endorsement of our current mayor, Dennis Wright, as well as former mayors Jack Kirksey and Jack Engebretson," Toy said in a statement. "I have further experience as an elected leader at both the local and state level having served as Livonia city treasurer and as a state representative and as the first female state senator from Livonia."
Brosnan did not respond to a phone call requesting comment.
Mayoral primary in Melvindale
The top two vote-getters among Melvindale city council president Nicole Barnes, mayor pro-tem Wheeler Marsee and Wayne State University law student Ian Striz will appear on the November 5 mayoral ballot.
Striz said that two of his main focuses as mayor would be keeping water bills down for residents and updating the city's master plan so that the community will be able to qualify for more grant money to put toward fixing roads.
Striz also said that he believes his educational background as well as his time working in both state and federal government gives him the experience to be an effective mayor.
"I have a degree in political science, I can use my legal experience — I'm going to law school now — and my experience working in the state government," Striz said. "I can use my experience in working with the state and even the federal government to get things done."
Marsee, who has spent the past 11 1/2 years in Melvindale city government said that his main goal would be to "keep the city solvent, while still providing services."
Barnes did not respond to phone calls requesting comment.