Warren Mayor James Fouts wins third term

The Detroit News

Macomb County voters on Tuesday passed school bonds in Armada and Romeo, and by a wide margin re-elected Warren Mayor Jim Fouts to his third and final term in unofficial elections results.

Armada voters narrowly supported a $4.1 million, eight-year technology bond, 53 percent to 47 percent, according to unofficial results from the Macomb County Clerk’s Office. In May, voters rejected a similar bond.

Voters in Romeo easily passed the renewal of a $2.1 million, four-year construction bond with 63 percent of voters passing the measure and 37 percent rejecting it.

And voters elected Fouts with 85 percent of the vote compared to challenger Karen Spranger’s 15 percent, according to unofficial results.

Fouts has held the post for two, four-year terms in the state’s third-largest city. Spranger had filed an unsuccessful recall petition against Fouts in 2014.

Sterling Heights Mayor Michael Taylor also resoundingly won re-election with 81 percent of the vote against former councilman Paul Smith, who collected 19 percent of the vote.

Taylor was appointed late last year after longtime Mayor Richard Notte, 76, died of pancreatic cancer. Taylor was the mayor pro tem at the time. He was being challenged by Smith, who has faced criticism for inflammatory signs depicting violence against President Barack Obama.

Ken Nowak, 59, said Taylor’s experience won him over.

“For consistency more than anything else,” said Nowak, a Sterling Heights resident for nearly 30 years. “Mike already served in council and was second in command when Notte was there.”

Five other Macomb cities held mayoral races, including Fraser, where the race for an open mayoral seat was close with political newcomer Joe Nichols winning the post with 53 percent of the vote compared to Councilman Paul A. Cilluffo’s 47 percent. Nichols is a manager for a property restoration company.

This would be Fouts’ third and final four-year term under Warren’s term limits. City voters also selected six council members, a clerk and treasurer.

Carey Gordon made the trip Tuesday to the Fitzgerald Recreation Center specifically to support Fouts. Gordon said he appreciates Fouts’ efforts to support General Motors’ Warren Technical Center.

“For as long as he’s been there, he’s done a good job,” Gordon said of Fouts.

Armada said it planned to spend the money on technology, including new servers, an updated phone system, security cameras, about 1,200 new computers districtwide, as well as 750 laptops that can also be used as tablets. The existing computers are about nine years old, officials said.

Residents wouldn’t see their tax bills increase but will pay more over time because the district is extending the repayment period of its existing debt by two years to 2030. The average tax would be 0.73 mills, which would cost $73 a year to owners of homes assessed at $100,000.

In Romeo, the bond would pay for projects including new security systems, roof and boiler replacements and parking lot paving. Voters have renewed the construction bond three times since 2004, according to the school district’s website.

The tax would be 1.25 mills, which would cost $125 a year to owners of homes assessed at $100,000.