It’s Election Day, and although this is a year without state or federal contests, many people across the state are going to the polls to decide local matters.
This Fall saw local campaigns take on the bitter tone of politics at the national level — perhaps more so than in recent years. And there are heated contests over millages and taxes that support local government here in southeast Michigan.
Whether you’ve already voted or are planning to later today, Detroit Today’s Stephen Henderson takes a look at some of the most contested elections happening throughout the region.
WDET’s Morning Edition host Pat Batcheller has been watching the races closely. He says “there are millages on the ballot and some school bonds in a number of districts,” including one in Dearborn, and a billion-dollar bond for Ann Arbor schools. Looking at mayoral races around the area, Batcheller points out the race in Warren between incumbent Jim Fouts and challenger Kelly Colegio. On whether or not Jim Fouts will be re-elected, Batcheller says “there aren’t usually a lot of polls for local races. People know Jim Fouts, he’s been around city government for a long time. He is what he is.”
Batcheller says he’s also keeping an eye on four marijuana proposals in Walled Lake, Keego Harbor, Allen Park and Lincoln Park.
Stephen is also joined by Jake Neher, Detroit Today’s Senior Producer and resident Royal Oaker. Neher says that ”by every measurable standard, [the community] is doing really well. But it doesn’t mean that everyone is happy.” He adds that “most other communities would be envious of the growth and development happening in Royal Oak. And yet the elections in Royal Oak are incredibly heated, [with] a lot of extreme rhetoric being used on both sides.”
“A lot of people don’t like going downtown seeing offices, high rises and condos, also a lot of people criticize the way that development is happening,” says Neher, who is quick to note that ”there is no evidence of any corruption. These projects downtown are coming in under budget and on time.”