The Spinal Column Newsweekly News Department staff will be working all night and into the morning to provide online coverage of the 2012 primary election. Return to the website throughout the night or refresh this page frequently for periodic updates on vote totals in contested races and on ballot issues appearing on the Aug. 7 ballots in west Oakland County. Comments from election officials and candidates will also be posted on the website throughout the evening. Staff writers Leslie Shepard, Angela Niemi, and Michael Shelton will be providing election night coverage. In addition, staff photographer Amy Lockard and photography intern Damon Tang will be 0in the field to take photographs and record video interviews with some of the candidates competing in contested primary races. Editor Tim Dmoch and Assistant Editor Kirk Pinho will be overseeing the coverage.
Walled Lake voters overwhelmingly backed the renewal of a two-year, 0.59-mill collection for Suburban Mobility Authority for Regional Transportation (SMART) bus service.
Of the 847 votes cast in Walled Lake on the millage renewal, 642 were cast in favor of the renewal compared to 205 against it.
The tax will be levied for 2013 and 2014. The owner of a city property with a taxable value of $100,000 ($200,000 market value) will pay $59 in the first year of the renewed SMART millage collection.
With all 25 precincts reporting, West Bloomfield Township residents have awarded Democratic primary victories to the three incumbents in the township’s full-time elected positions.
Township Supervisor Michelle Economou Ureste defeated challengers Robert Warshay and Robert Egren by garnering 45.40 percent (3,614 votes) of 7,961 total votes counted.
Warshay finished with 42.70 percent (3,399) of the total votes cast, while Egren garnered 11.67 percent, or 929 votes.
“I’m disappointed, but the incumbent only got 46 percent of the vote, which means that the ideas I presented about her shortcomings bothered the voters,” Warshay said following his defeat.
Ureste will next face former Township Supervisor David Flaisher, who will be running as an independent, in the November general election contest for a four-year supervisor term. No Republican will participate in the contest.
In the Democratic primary race for township clerk, incumbent Cathy Shaughnessy handled challenger Neha Patel with a winning percentage of 63.71 percent, or 5,099 votes, of 8,004 total votes cast, while Patel garnered 36.14 percent, or 2,893 votes, of the total vote. Shaughnessy won’t face opposition from a Republican in November.
Incumbent township treasurer Teri Weingarden made it a perfect 3-for-3 for the full-time incumbents as she held off township Trustee Gene Farber, gathering 56.64 percent (4,592 votes) of 8,107 total votes cast in her favor while Farber managed 43.21 percent (3,503 votes) of the total vote in the Democratic primary race. Weingarden won’t have a Republican opponent in the general election contest for a four-year treasurer term.
The race for four trustee positions on the township board saw incumbent trustees Steve Kaplan, Larry Brown and Howard Rosenberg each earn Democratic primary wins, while newcomer Diane Rosenfeld Swimmer earned the fourth Democratic nomination.
Kaplan led the way with 17.75 percent (4,650 votes) of 26,195 votes cast, while Rosenberg earned 15.67 percent (4,105 votes), followed by Brown with 14.76 percent (3,866 votes) and Swimmer with 14.21 percent (3,722 votes).
“I feel that the public has vindicated me and that I’ve done nothing wrong,” Brown said. “I’m pleased to see I can work with a new board member and put these bad feelings behind us and hopefully work as a cohesive unit.”
Kaplan said that he was elated that Ureste and Weingarden each won their primary races and that he was gratified that he will have an opportunity to serve as a trustee once again.
Jeremy Kaplan, who has no relation to Steve Kaplan, just fell short of a Democratic trustee nomination with 13.32 percent (3,490 votes) of the total vote, while Hartley Harris finished with 8.90 percent (2,332 votes) of the total vote, followed by Gerald J. Sukenic with 8.05 percent (2,109 votes) and Al Zara with 7.23 percent (1,893 votes).
Republican trustee candidate Tom Pustelak faced no competition in his West primary race, winning with 95.33 percent (3,001 votes) of 3,148 votes cast, while the other 4.67 percent went to write-in candidates. He’ll compete against the four Democratic nominees in November with the four highest voter-getters earning four-year trustee terms.
West Bloomfield voters approved both a millage renewal and a millage increase for the township’s Parks and Recreation Department during the primary election.
Voters overwhelmingly approved a 10-year millage renewal of 0.2435 mills, to be collected from 2014 through 2023, with 74.34 percent (11,603 votes) of 15,002 total votes cast in favor of the renewal, while 22.66 percent (3,399 votes) were cast against it.
In addition, a 12-year millage increase of 0.35 mills to be collected from 2012 through 2023 was also authorized by voters, with 56.26 percent (8,060 votes) of 14,885 total votes in favor of the increase and 45.74 percent (6,795 votes) against it.
The Park and Recreation Department is estimating the renewed millage to generate $758,789 in its first year of collection, and estimating the increase to bring in up to $1,090,661 in its first year.
The ballot language stated that the renewal and increase will be used for the support of the Parks and Recreation Commission in its acquisition, maintenance, management and control of township parks and places of recreation.
The owner of a property with a taxable value of $100,000 ($200,000 market value) will pay $24.35 in the first year of the renewed millage collection and $35 in the first year of the new millage collection.
Both the renewal and the increase will be collected on the winter tax bill in December.
Township voters also supported a Suburban Mobility Authority for Regional Transportation (SMART) millage renewal.
The two-year, 0.59-mill levy is for bus services. The tax will be levied for 2013 and 2014. The owner of a township property with a taxable value of $100,000 ($200,000 market value) will pay $59 in the first year of the renewed SMART millage collection.
Unofficial results indicate 11,697 of the total 15,226 township voters casting ballots on the proposed endorsed the transportation millage, compared to 3,529 who did not.
With all 15 precincts reporting in Commerce Township, incumbent Republican Township Supervisor Tom Zoner and three incumbent Republican township trustees have emerged triumphant in their re-election bids.
Zoner held off challenger Debra Kirkwood, a current, multi-term township trustee, as he collected 2,437 of 4,247 votes cast (57.38 percent), compared to 42.38 percent (1,800 votes) for Kirkwood.
No Democrat will appear on the general election ballot to challenge Zoner for a four-year term as township trustee.
Meanwhile, incumbent GOP Trustees David Law, Rick Sovel and Robert Long also each earned re-election, while newcomer Bob Berkheiser also earned a spot on the township board.
Out of 12,656 votes cast, Long led the way with 3,058 votes (24.16 percent), followed by Law with 2,958 votes (23.37 percent), Sovel with 2,441 votes (19.29 percent) and Berkheiser with 1,834 votes (14.49 percent).
Challengers Peter Pace (1,291 votes, 10.20 percent) and Ryan Golem (1,063 votes, 8.40 percent) rounded out the GOP field.
With no Democrats appearing on the general election ballot, Long, Law, Sovel and Berkheiser will serve four-year terms as trustees.
Greg Baroni has won the Republican nomination for White Lake Township supervisor. With 12 of 12 precincts reporting, Baroni defeated challenger Matt Sprader, 2,058 votes to 1,776, with Baroni amassing 53.55 percent of the total votes.
According to Baroni, the race came down to the absentee ballots.
“It was neck and neck all the way through until the absentee votes, and then I pulled ahead,” he said. “I feel elated. I’m excited, very excited. It was a long night — and a personal thank you to all the residents who voted for me.”
He will face off against Democrat Michael Smith in the general election for a four-year term as supervisor. Smith was unopposed in the Democratic primary.
Incumbent Terry Lilley won the contest for White Lake clerk, with 58.28 percent of the vote (2,224 votes). Laura Vogel finished next in the Republican primary with 1,071 votes for 28.07 percent of the vote. Kelley J. Knight received 512 votes. LIlley won’t face a Democratic opponent in the general election contest for a four-year term as township clerk.
Republican Challenger Mike Roman beat out incumbent Jay Brendel for the township treasurer position with 57.42 percent of the vote, 2,222 votes to Brendel’s 1,642. Roman will not have a Democratic opponent in November. The township treasurer serves a four-year term.
Carol Burkard will be the only incumbent in a trustee seat after the November election. She earned the most votes in the Republican primary with 1,797, capturing 14.01 percent of the total. Joining her as trustees will be Scott Ruggles with 13.16 percent (1,687 votes), Rik Kowall with 11.49 percent (1,473 votes), and Andrea Voorheis with 11.04 percent (1,416 votes). Voorheis had previously served a term as a township trustee.
There are no Democratic trustee candidates on the ballot in November. Township trustees serve four-year terms.
“I’m excited. It was a stressful evening,” said Voorhies, who gained the final trustee spot after the absentee votes were counted. “I would love to thank the voters who came to the polls and especially absentee voters because they were the ones who put me over the edge. I’m extremely excited to be serving White Lake Township again.”
Two of the public safety millages appearing on the primary ballot were approved by White Lake voters. The 10-year police-fire operating millage renewal and restoration at 1 mill was approved 67.97 percent with 3,921 voters approving the measure. Meanwhile, a 10-year 0.674-mill fire millage renewal gained the approval of 3,999 residents for a total of 68.3 percent of the vote.
However, a 10-year 0.5-mill fire millage increase was defeated with 51.56 percent of 5,743 voters opposing the new levy.
“We are very fortunate that the voters of White Lake supported the renewals,” said Fire Chief Anthony Maltese. “We are pleased about that. It’s disheartening we lost the increase to keep our current services by a couple hundred votes. But there was a lot of surprises in this past election.”
“The only thing I can say is that I personally thought it would pass,” said Baroni of the fire increase millage.
As for whether they would try again for a new fire millage in November, Maltese said he was unsure.
“I have no idea. At this point it will be up to the board,” he said.
White Lake residents also voted down the parks and recreation millage with 2,949 voters, or 51.30 percent, opposing the five-year 0.3-mill collection.
“I’m disappointed, but I knew it would be a rough race,” said Voorheis, who serves on the Parks and Recreation board.
Waterford Township voters threw their support behind each millage proposal on their primary election ballot.
The renewal of an advanced life support millage was overwhelmingly passed with 9,651 yes votes and only a fraction, 1,969, votes against the millage renewal.
The advanced life support millage will be levied at 0.63000 mills upon taxable real and tangible personal property in Waterford from 2013 through 2022. The revenue will be used by the fire department to serve only Waterford needs. The millage will continue to provide advanced life support paramedic and transportation services, as well as to maintain current staffing levels. The township will raise an estimated $1.2 million in the first year of the renewed collection to support one of the four township paramedic units.
The second ballot proposal passed was renewal of the library millage at 0.9118 mills on real and tangible personal property within the township from 2013 through 2022.
Out of 11,618 total votes, over 78 percent supported the renewal, or 9,144 voters compared to 2,474 votes against it.
The millage revenue will be used for the cost of operation and maintenance of the township’s public library. It’s estimated the township will raise $1.76 million in the first year of the renewed millage.
A pair of incumbents and two challengers have emerged from Waterford Township’s Republican primary contest for trustee positions.
Incumbent Anthony Bartolotta earned the most votes, 3,114 of the 17,655 total tally.
“I’m feeling really good about it,” he said. “It’s been hectic and a busy campaign but it paid off. I try to be an honest person and do the right thing — and people believe what I say and do, but I still have to prove myself on that board.”
Bartolotta, general manager of the Imperial Auto Wash for the past 20 years, has served on the Waterford Township Board of Trustees for the past two years. He is a member of the Waterford Cable Commission, Waterford Youth Assistance Executive Committee, and Watkins Lake Board. Bartolotta is a former member of the Waterford Police Advisory Board and Oakland County Criminal Justice Coordinating Council.
Incumbent David “Doc” Maloney slid into second with 2,825 votes in the GOP primary race.
“I’m glad that the people who came out recognized the service I’ve provided during the last 12 years,” he said.
Maloney has served on the Waterford Township Board of Trustees since 2000. He is a current member of the township’s Zoning Board of Appeals (ZBA), Parks and Recreation Board, Election Commission, and the Economic Development Corporation. Maloney is a retired vice president/corporate secretary for a commercial construction firm, and was formerly employed as a construction project manger. He is a decorated combat veteran of Vietnam, where he served as a corpsman with the 3rd Marine Division.
Challenger Julie Brown finished third among Republican trustee candidates with 2,744 votes.
“I’m pretty excited,” she said. I think most people I know in the community came out and supported me.”
Brown worked at the 51st District Court for over 30 years, including as deputy court administrator. She is currently the regional office manager for Special Olympics Michigan. Brown is also the former treasurer of the Michigan Brittany Club and the current treasurer of the LaDuc French Bulldog Club.
The fourth Republican trustee nomination was snagged by Karen Joliat, who held a slim lead over Mike Oliver. Joliat raked in 2,605 votes compared to Oliver’s 2,428.
“I’m very excited and very optimistic going into the November election to take care of the deficit and bring businesses back to Waterford,” she said.
Joliat has worked as president of the Oakland County Children’s Village Foundation for the past four years. She previously worked as an advertising executive with the Detroit Newspapers Agency for four years, and as a pharmaceutical representative with Bristol-Myers Squibb for seven years.
The four Republican candidates now advance to compete against Democratic contenders in the Nov. 6 general election to fill four trustee positions. Township trustees serve four-year terms and are currently paid $10,976 annually.
In a bitter battle for the Democratic Party’s nomination for Waterford Township clerk, Teresa Fortino was able to secure a solid victory over Rita Holloway-Irwin.
With all 29 precincts reporting, sans the absentee ballots, Fortino surged ahead, but Irwin held out with optimism until each absentee ballot was counted. After those votes were tallied Fortino took 2,353 of the total 3,851. Holloway-Irwin earned 1,488.
Fortino’s name has been iconic in the community. Her mother, Betty Fortino, was the township’s clerk for 25 years, and the Fortino family has run multiple businesses in the area. Teresa herself has been the owner and operator of Fortino’s Flowers and Gifts for over 20 years.
“I thank my supporters very much and don’t intend to let them down,” she said. “In addition, my family has been extremely supportive — I couldn’t have done this without them. It’s absolutely wonderful and I feel proud and thrilled to carry on my mom’s tradition.”
Holloway-Irwin is the former village clerk for Wolverine Lake and a graduate of the International Institute of Municipal Clerks through Michigan State University. She is also a past member of the Michigan Association of Municipal Clerks and the Oakland County Clerk’s Association.
“I would like to congratulate Teresa Buynak on her win,” said Holloway-Irwin. “I had a difficult time competing with her mother’s leftover signs from her mother’s campaign.
“On a positive note, I feel fortunate that after visiting over 2,000 homes, I met a lot of wonderful township residents who fully supported me,” she said.
Fortino will square off against Republican candidate Sue Camilleri in the November general election. Camilleri is currently a clerk in the township’s Building Department, where she has worked for 16 years. She previously owned Laura Lynn Bridal in Waterford and has resided in the township for 22 years.
The township clerk serves four-year terms and is compensated between $72,696 and $94,507 annually, depending on experience.
In the Republican primary race for Waterford Township Supervisor, Gary Wall easily notched the victory away from his competitor, Linda Vanicelli Hardacre.
Wall received 4,210 of the total votes compared to Hardacre’s 1,566, a real confidence booster for Wall’s bid in November against incumbent Democrat Carl Solden.
“I feel good — I hoped to win by a convincing margin and I did,” Wall said. “I wanted to get the point across to the township that they’re ready for a change.”
Wall has been the owner of Wall to Wall Construction for 22 years. He is a volunteer for the Waterford Historical Society and Christmas in Action, as well as a member of the Waterford Chamber of Commerce and the Oakland County Sportsmen’s Club.
The township supervisor serves a four-year term and is currently paid $90,987 per year.
With all 29 precincts reporting in Waterford Township, incumbent Democrats Bette O’Shea and David Kramer along with two challengers have secured spots on the Nov. 6 general election ballot as trustee candidates.
O’Shea was the highest vote-getter in the Democratic primary race for four trustee positions, netting 2,534 of the total 10,679 votes tallied.
“I feel pretty good , but I may have to get out there,” O’Shea said. “I’m hoping I will draw from both the Republicans and Democratic sides because I really want to work for Waterford. You have to evaluate each issue and vote your conscience.”
O’Shea has served on the Waterford Township Board of Trustees since 1996, and as a planning commissioner since 1994. She has served on the Hess-Hathaway Park Advisory Board and the Waterford Township Election Board, and is a founding member of the Watkins Lake Weed Control Board.
Donna Kelley snagged 2,490 of the votes and Kramer came in a close third with 2,100. Garry Nielsen took the last spot in the Democratic primary contest for trustee by hedging his competitor Richard Moody. Nielsen claimed 1,853 of the votes; Moody 1,668.
The four Democratic candidates now advance to compete against the top four Republicans in the Nov. 6 general election to fill four trustee positions. Township trustees serve four-year terms and are currently paid $10,976 annually.
It’s still a squeaker in Republican primary election to represent the new 40th state House District that covers the eastern portion of West Bloomfield Township.
Bloomfield Hills City Commissioner Michael McCready (33 percent) holds a small lead over Oakland County Commissioner David Potts (30 percent) and former advisor to Gov. Rick Snyder’s gubernatorial campaign David Wolkinson (29 percent).
Thirty-four of 54 precincts in the 40th state House District, which mostly includes Birmingham, Bloomfield Township and Bloomfield Hills, have reported unofficial results to the Oakland County Clerk/Register of Deeds Elections Division as of this update.
Annmarie Erickson, the chief financial officer for the Detroit Institute of Arts (DIA), said the 127-year-old museum expects its 10-year, 0.2-mill levy on the primary election ballot to win the day in Oakland County handily, as well as Wayne and Macomb counties.
“We had a slam dunk in Oakland County and a slam dunk in Wayne County and squeaked by in Macomb,” she said. “The most important thing is that admission is free tomorrow. We are going to unveil a fabulous painting for everyone to see, and we really want to thank the voters. They really came through for us and told us how important the DIA is to them.”
Unofficial results from the Oakland County Clerk/Register of Deeds Office Elections Division as of 12:15 a.m. showed that over 121,000 voters (64 percent) in Oakland County cast their ballots in favor of the levy, while just shy of 68,000 (36 percent) opposed it.
Those results still need to be certified by the Oakland County Board of Canvassers.
The levy is expected to generate $23 million annually for the museum.
As part of voter approval of the tax that’s expected to cost the average homeowner $20 per year, residents of counties that approve the millage receive free admission for the length of the levy.
It’s expected to first be levied on the 2013 winter tax bills.
With all eight precincts reporting, Highland Township voters have determined six of seven new members of the township Board of Trustees. The only exception is the race for supervisor, which will be concluded in the upcoming November election.
Rick Hamill won the Republican primary race for supervisor with 1,436 votes for 47.99 percent of the vote.
“I’m as pleased as anybody can be pleased. I had a great team to help me pull through the campaign,” Hamill said.
Lynn O’Brien finished the GOP supervisor race a distant second, with 652 votes for 21.79 percent of the total vote. Catherine Kristian collected 415 votes for 13.87 percent; Donna Gundle-Krieg pulled in 369 votes for 12.33 percent; and Arthur Van Brook earned 118 votes for 3.94 percent.
Hamill will next face off against Doug Bourgeois, the winner of the Democratic primary contest for supervisor, in November for a four-term as township supervisor. He received 61.13 percent of the total votes with 346, over Steven Velasco’s 216 votes.
Taking over for Judy Kiley as treasurer for the next four years will be current deputy treasurer Judith Cooper, who won the Republican primary contest with 1,981 votes, good for 69.22 percent of the vote total.
“I’m a very happy camper right now,” said Cooper, who has no Democratic opposition in November. “I think we had a great campaign. The people that helped us were amazing. We just had so much help and support. That was wonderful. I’m feeling very thankful and blessed. I’m looking forward to having the privilege of serving the citizens of Highland Township. I’m extremely honored.”
Tami Flowers, who ran against Cooper, tallied 873 votes for 30.5 percent of the votes.
Returning as clerk for another four-year term will be Republican Mary McDonell with 2,195 people giving her their votes for 74.83 percent of the vote. Her GOP primary opponent, Linda Vance, received 751 votes. McDonell will have no Democratic opposition in November.
Republican Incumbents Mary Pat Chynoweth and Russ Tierney will be serving another four years as trustees on the Highland Township Board of Trustees. Chynoweth received 16.18 percent of the vote with 1,468 people voting for her, while Tierney received 15.37 percent with 1,394 votes.
“I want to thank the people in Highland for their confidence in me. I think we are going to have a great board,” Tierney said.
Newcomers to the board are Charles Dittmar with 1,070 votes for 11.79 percent of the Republican primary votes for trustee candidates, and Brian Howe, who led all GOP trustee candidates in receiving 1,507 votes for 16.61 percent of the total.
“I’m very excited,” Howe said. “I did not get endorsements from any newspapers, which was fine as I was an outsider. But I worked really hard and went door to door. There’s still no substitute for going door to door. And the voters seemed to like my message. They seemed to like my common-sense approach to government. To be honest, it was nice to be No. 1 in the voting and to finish above two incumbents. I want to say congratulations to all those who won, especially to Rick Hamill and Chuck Dittmar. We did a lot of campaigning together, and people seemed to like our team approach.”
Ray Polidori, one of the current trustees, received 801 votes for 8.83 percent of the GOP primary vote.
Township trustees serve four-year terms.
Highland voters also approved an additional millage for police services, 66.51 percent to 33.51 percent, with 2,572 people voting in favor of the proposal. Property owners will now pay an additional 0.75-mills for two years, starting with the December 2012 tax collection, to support police services. The owner of a township property with a taxable value of $100,000 ($200,000 market value) will pay $75 in the first year of the new millage collection.
The township contracts for police services through the Oakland County Sheriff’s Department.
With results still coming in, West Bloomfield Township Supervisor Michele Economou Ureste holds a 48-40 lead over Democratic primary challenger Johnathan Warshay with just over 4,300 votes reported to the Oakland County Clerk/Register of Deeds Office.
In the township clerk’s race, incumbent Cathy Shaughnessy is up 57-43 over challenger Neha Patel with just over 4,300 votes tabulated so far.
In the township treasurer’s race, incumbent Teri Weingarden is up 58-42 over Democratic challenger Gene Farber, a current township trustee.
We’ll keep you posted with revised vote totals as the evening progresses.
According to unofficial election results from the Oakland County Clerk/Register of Deeds Office, with all four Milford Village precincts reporting, village residents have approved a hike in the village’s charter tax rate over a 20-year period for the purpose of defraying the cost of major and local road maintenance.
With the approval, 3.5 mills will be collected during the first 10 years before dipping down to 1 mill to be collected during the last 10 years.
A 3.5-mill levy will cost the owner of a village property with a taxable value of $100,000 ($200,000 market value) $350 a year. A 1-mill collection will cost the same property owner $100 in each of the last 10 years of the 20-year levy.
The village estimates that the 3.5-mill increase would generate $765,000 in its first year, while the 1-mill increase would generate $220,000 in its first year based on today’s taxable value.
The first collection would take place in the July 2013 village tax bill.
The village previously put a five-year, 0.5-mill levy for the maintenance of major and local roads in the village before voters in the September 2009 election, which resulted in a tie of 427 “yes” and 427 “no” votes, and ultimately the defeat of the ballot question.
The last time village residents approved a road millage was in 1999 at 3.445 mills, which was rolled back to 3.21 mills by the Headlee Amendment before the millage expired in 2003.
With all eight precincts reporting in Milford Township, incumbent township Supervisor Don Green and four incumbent township trustees have emerged triumphant in their Republican primaries, according to unofficial results reported by the Oakland County Clerk/Register of Deeds Office.
Those results have to be certified by the Oakland County Board of Canvassers before they become official.
Green held off challengers Mike Glagola, Ric Mueller and Jeff Lewis as he collected 1,467 of 2,490 votes cast (58.92 percent). Glagola finished with 505 votes (20.28 percent). Mueller saw 424 votes cast in his favor (17.03 percent) and Lewis garnered only 84 votes (3.37 percent).
Meanwhile, Brian Worrell, Dale Wiltse, William Mazzara and Randal Busick also each earned re-election. Out of 6,338 votes cast, Worrell led the way with 1,371 votes (21.63 percent), followed by Wiltse with 1,295 votes (20.43 percent), Mazzara with 1,190 votes (18.78 percent) and Busick with 1,087 votes (17.15 percent).
Challengers Kevin Lawrence (811 votes, or 12.80 percent) and Anthony Raimondo (561 votes, or 8.85 percent) fell short.
Busick said he was thankful for his victory and is happy that his fellow incumbents will be staying with him on the township board.
“We’re a working team already,” Busick said. “We’ve got some tough sledding facing us with our township budget. But I feel like a sports coach that’s had a winning team and gets the same team back after the draft.”
He added that he was grateful that residents still remembered him despite him not utilizing campaign signage to get his name out.
The Detroit Institute of Arts proposal to levy 0.2 mills over 10 years to support its operations was strongly favored by voters in the city of Orchard Lake. Of the 544 votes cast, 350 (64.34 percent) in Orchard Lake gave it the nod whereas 194 (35.66 percent) voted against it.
Wixom voters have rejected the charter amendment to raise the millage cap.
Voters were clearly divided on the issue. Of the 2,361 total votes, 1,300 opposed the initiative while 1,061 were in favor, according to final unofficial results reported from all four of the city’s precincts.
“I think people were misinformed by those opposed,” said Mayor Kevin Hinkley. “A lot of people were confused. The next step is to meet tomorrow at 7 p.m. to implement immediate cuts and decide what we can do to put a different version on the ballot come November.”
The initiative sought to increase the city’s charter millage cap no more than 4.98 mills to support public safety and other city services.
Currently the operating millage rate is 7.5 mills, but capped by charter provisions at 8 mills.
An increase in the millage cap would have mitigated declines in property tax revenues collected in the city.
Since 2008 Wixom has experienced a 38 percent decrease in tax revenue. In addition, with legislation expected to phase out the state’s personal property tax, the city stands to lose another 19 percent in revenues for a total loss potential of 57 percent.
City Manager Mike Dornan has stated the city has worked diligently to address falling revenues such as allowing staffing levels to decrease 20 percent since 2008, with four more positions vacated recently that won’t be filled.
Moreover, the city’s budget stabilization fund created in 2005 is nearly depleted.
If early voting figures hold up for Oakland County, supporters of the Detroit Institute of Arts will go to be happy as, with just 33 of 522 precincts in the county reporting, the museum’s proposal to levy 0.2 mills over 10 years to support its operations is drawing a 64-percent voter approval so far, with 36 percent opposing the measure.
Voters in Wayne and Macomb counties also voted on the proposal that would raise $23 million annually for the 127-year-old museum along Woodward Avenue.
A total of roughly 61,000 votes have been counted for that ballot question so far.
Some surprising returns early in the 11th U.S. Congressional District primary election for the Democratic Party — at least in Oakland County — show Dr. Syed Taj, a Canton Township trustee, with 55-44 lead over William Roberts, a LaRouche Democrat from Redford Township who received very little financial backing throughout the primary election process.
Preliminary figures for Wayne County were not available as of this election blog update.
Taj has the support of the Democratic Party establishment in Oakland and Wayne counties, while Roberts has called for the impeachment of President Barack Obama.
A source inside the Wixom Clerk’s Office reports there was a problem with a “tabulator machine” earlier in the evening, slowing down the ballot counting process. The source indicated final unofficial voting results for the city could be finalized around 10 p.m.
Besides contested Republican and Democratic primary races, Wixom voters have been asked to authorize a 4.98-mill hike in the city’s charter millage cap. With two of four city precincts reporting vote totals, 50.45 percent of ballots have been against the proposal, while 49.55 percent have been cast in support of the proposal.
Very early returns from the Highland Township supervisor Republican primary show Rick Hamill in the lead with 55 percent of the vote compared to the nearest supervisor hopeful, Lynn O’Brien (22 percent). The remainder of the GOP candidates — Donna Gundle-Krieg, Catherine Kristian, and Arthur Van Brook — are all in single-digits early in the reporting process.
Early unofficial returns from the polls in the new 40th state House of Representatives District show a tight race, with Bloomfield Hills City Commissioner Michael McCready with a 37-33 lead over Oakland County Commissioner David Potts (R-Birmingham). Former policy director to Gov. Rick Snyder during his 2010 gubernatorial campaign David Wolkinson has 23 percent.
Birmingham school board member Robert Lawrence has 7 percent, according to unofficial results.
The new 40th state House District represents the eastern portion of West Bloomfield Township.
Early results from the primary election for the Republican nomination for the new 39th state House of Representatives District show that Wixom’s Nicholas Kennedy with 38 percent of the vote, while Brad Hantler (26 percent) and Klint Kesto (15 percent) are rounding out the field of six candidates for the lead.
Those figures are with just two of 33 precincts in the 39th state House District — which represents a portion of West Bloomfield Township, as well as Commerce Township, Wolverine Lake and Wixom — reporting.
State Rep. Gail Haines (R-Waterford, West Bloomfield) is making a strong early showing at the polls with 74 percent of the vote to Republican challenger Paul J. Greenawalt’s 26 percent.
Unofficial tallies just coming in to the Oakland County Clerk/Register of Deeds Elections Division show Milford Republican Kerry Bentivolio taking 61 percent of the vote to write-in candidate Nancy Cassis’ 39 percent. Keep in mind that those results are just from Oakland County, and those figures are with just three of 182 Oakland County precincts in the new 11th Congressional District reporting.
The new 11th Congressional District formed last year following the redistricting processed required after the release of U.S. Census data includes Waterford, West Bloomfield, White Lake, Commerce, Wolverine Lake, Walled Lake, Wixom, Milford, White Lake, and Highland in the lakes area.
The polls across west Oakland County and the state of Michigan have officially closed.