Wednesday, November 4, 2015 articles on city council and millage elections

I wrote "Stay tuned for election coverage from" at the conclusion of A farewell drink for Larry Lessig.  I delivered.

First, Lumm defeats Petersen and Smith overwhelms Leeser for Ann Arbor City Council.
Independent Jane Lumm defended her seat against her former colleague Democrat Sally Jane Petersen in the only Ann Arbor City Council contest with both candidates on the ballot.  Lumm, who represents Ward 2, is currently the only sitting member of City Council who is not a Democrat. Petersen represented Ward 2 alongside Lumm from 2012-2014.

Chip Smith, the Democratic nominee for the Ward 5 City Council seat, handily defeated write-in candidate Kevin Leeser.  Smith unseated incumbent council member Mike Anglin to earn his party's nomination.  Leeser had failed to get on the ballot as an independent, then successfully filed the paperwork to become a write-in candidate.
Next, Chelsea, Dexter, Milan, and Saline elect city council members.
Four Washtenaw County cities in addition to Ann Arbor elected city council members Tuesday.  Chelsea, Dexter, Milan, and Saline held non-partisan general elections that generally returned incumbents to office.  Milan also elected its Mayor and a member of the library board.
Finally, some good news and bad news as Millages for transit, roads, and local schools pass in Washtenaw County.
Millage and bond proposals for public transportation, road construction, and education were on the ballot in Washtenaw County Tuesday.  All but one, a millage increase for Schoolcraft College, passed.

The voters of Scio Township approved a ten-year millage of 0.3627 mill by a vote of 1131 (66.88%) to 560 (33.12%) with a turnout of 13.17 percent, according to the Washtenaw County Clerk's website.  The proposal would raise an estimated $403,000 in the first year to expand Ann Arbor Transportation Authority bus service to Scio Township.  The Ann Arbor News reported this would include routes along Jackson Road, Liberty Road, and Scio Church Road.
That's the good news.  I'm always on the side of expanding public transportation and I'm glad the voters of Scio Township agreed with me.

Now the bad news.
Schoolcraft College asked for a millage increase of 0.6 percent over ten years to be used for operating expenses.  The voters in its district turned them down by a narrow margin.  The Wayne County Clerk's website reported that 21,051 (51.28 percent) voted no while 19,998 (48.72 percent) voted yes.  The margin was even more lopsided in the Washtenaw County portion of the district, as 92 (75.41 percent) voted against the measure but only 30 (24.59 percent) voted in favor.
I taught for Schoolcraft for four years from 2003 to 2007, so this hits home for me.  About the only good news is that the voters turned down an increase, not a renewal.  It still hurts, both personally and as a blow to public higher education.

I'm not done with 2015 elections.  I have a little dancing on political graves to do before I return to coverage of the 2016 presidential contest.  Stay tuned.

Crossposted to Michigan Liberal as City council members elected and millages passed in Washtenaw County.

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