(MOSTLY) THE SAME CHARACTERS: With the 2012 primary election in the books, West Bloomfield residents might be treated to an additional four seasons of the hit reality show, “I’m a West Bloomfield Township Board of Trustees Member, Get Me Out of Here!” One question remaining is whether Supervisor Michele Economou Ureste or former supervisor David Flaisher will be at the helm after the November general election. However, it wouldn’t be election night without a snag or two, which is exactly what happened on Aug. 7, when 44 absentee ballots were misplaced and Clerk Cathy Shaughnessy had to call the Oakland County election officials, who then called the Oakland County Sheriff’s Department. The ballots were, thankfully found, with Deputy Clerk Joseph Munem saying that the ballots were placed in the wrong box. He likened the snafu to “misplacing the car keys.” Meanwhile, the West Bloomfield Police Department is continuing its investigation into the apparent theft of vote-tabulating cards from the West Bloomfield Clerk’s Office, which led to Shaughnessy earlier this month conducting an accuracy test of randomly selected voting machines in a setting open to the public. And by “public,” we mean only the couple of people who bothered to show up. Police Chief Michael Patton said his investigators have interviewed township employees and may administer polygraph tests. Wouldn’t it be neat if West Bloomfield Civic Center TV streams these tests live? We’re not holding our breath … neither should you.
LOBBYIST DUST-UP: It’s been a political hot potato for years, but there may finally be enough support among the Oakland County Board of Commissioners to do away with a contract with a lobbying firm, after the BoComm’s General Government Committee voted nearly unanimously to rescind an administratively extended contract earlier this week. One commissioner speaking on condition of anonymity called the vote — which had all but one dissenter, county Commissioner Kathy Crawford (R-Novi) — “shocking.” But don’t expect the administration of county Executive L. Brooks Patterson and some on the county board who support having the glad-handers (sorry, lobbyists) to go quietly into that good night, to vanish without a fight, so there may be some arm twisting in the back rooms before the board’s Thursday, Aug. 23 expected vote on the matter. Are the votes there to nix the contract? We’ll see.
SPEAKING OF BATTLES: Just in case your hopes for abortion to become a topic of debate during the local elections in west Oakland went kaput, look no farther than the races for Oakland County Circuit Court, sources are telling Oakland Confidential. Seven are vying for one of five incumbent seats on the esteemed bench, while two — after nabbing the two highest vote totals on Tuesday, Aug. 7 — will square off for the right to succeed Circuit Court Judge Edward Sosnick, who can’t seek re-election because an archaic state law prohibits anyone over 70 from getting another term on the bench. It sounds like we can expect campaign literature from some in the race trumpeting their stances on the right to life issue. You may ask, “Pray tell, Oakland Confidential, what exactly does abortion have to do with the Circuit Court?” Answer: From a practical standpoint, very little, which makes it all the more curious. But, as we’ve seen with some from the Circuit Court bench looking to make the leap to, for example, the state Supreme Court, the Circuit Court provides a good stepping stone. We’ll see what shakes from the trees in the coming weeks and months.