Supervisor race features familiar names

By: Nick Powers | C&G Newspapers | Published May 3, 2024 | Updated May 6, 2024 3:26pm


CLINTON TOWNSHIP — Bob Cannon will not be running for supervisor after 24 years in the position. Four candidates are set to vie for the spot in August, including one with a familiar name.

Cannon, a Republican, said a successful supervisor will have the community in mind with any decision they make, not what will get them reelected. He said he initially wasn’t going to run again after his first term.

“All those years I thought, ‘I’m going to do what’s best for the community,’” Cannon said. “If folks don’t like it, I’ll be happy to retire.”

Now, he’s leaving on his own terms. It’ll be up to four candidates to see who can fill his shoes.


A tale of two Cannons
Noah J. Cannon will be running as a Republican in the race. He said he considered running before, but said it might be confusing for voters to have two Cannons on the ballot.

“I could see the conflict there,” Noah Cannon said. “As far as my goals and what I want if I was to get in, it doesn’t really represent how he’s been running.”

Noah Cannon wants to do more to support small businesses and bring family-friendly events to the township. He wants to make the township more inclusive and to get young people involved in government.

“I think it’s important that everyone in our township feel like they can have a voice and that it’s heard,” he said.

Noah Cannon, who grew up in Clinton Township, owns Taste of Tea at the Mall at Partridge Creek. The business started as a subscription model, but has since moved away from it. Customers can now pick what they want, when they want.

Bob Cannon called the move to run someone who has a similar name “deceitful.”

“It’s clear why he’s doing it,” Cannon said. “I’ve been here so long people associate my name with being the supervisor.”

Bob Cannon said running on name recognition is nothing new. He said oftentimes it’s a common name like Smith or Miller. Though, it’s been a while since he’s seen it.

“It’s a common ploy from years gone by,” Cannon said. “You find someone with a similar name, run them for the job, get some confusion and hopefully get some votes for whatever candidate you’re supporting.”

Noah Cannon, who had heard Cannon’s comments about the race in a Macomb Daily article, was taken aback.

“I was kind of shocked with what Supervisor Cannon had to say,” Noah said. “He’s a resident in our township also. I think everybody has a right to say what they feel, what they think.”

Bob Cannon will be supporting Vicki Wolber in the race.

“I think she has so much to offer our community,” he said. “She has a lot of the same traits I had when I started at that age.”


Macomb County mainstays
Paul Gieleghem and Vicki Wolber are veterans in Macomb County government. Gieleghem is a Democrat, Wolber is a Republican.

Gieleghem is currently in his second term as Clinton Township’s treasurer. He grew up in Clinton Township, graduating from Clintondale High School. He joined the Macomb County Board of Commissioners in 2004 and served as the board’s chairman until the county executive position was established. He also served as an administrator for the Macomb County treasurer.

“I’ve looked at this over the years,” Gieleghem said about running. “We need to figure out how we help people develop a sense of pride, a sense of place. And to create the amenities and the experiences that make them want to stay in Clinton Township.”

As treasurer, using his experience at various levels of government, he said he’s tried to bring a wide-angle lens to issues. This is to make sure all residents in the township feel represented in decisions.

“As Supervisor, I’ll continue advancing these issues that serve all of our residents,” Gieleghem is quoted as saying in a press release.  “As we age as a community, we need to reinvigorate our economic development and redevelopment efforts, transition the Township to address environmental change, and build a prosperous community that everyone can be a part of.”

Wolber was previously a deputy to Macomb County Executive Mark Hackel. She said she’s been in government for 35 years. She started working at the county level in 2000 as the assistant director for emergency management and communications in 2007, she was promoted to director. She started her career in 1988 in Fraser as part-time secretary for the Department of Public Works, moving to emergency management coordinator and then serving as deputy city clerk.

“I’ve been the worker bee, I’ve been a manager, a director; I’ve worked with and across many different disciplines in municipal government,” Wolber said. “I have a good idea of how local municipalities operate as well as county government.”

She’s interacted with the township frequently through her work at the county level, especially with public safety.

“It’s very good I would say,” Wolber said of her relationship with the township.

However, this will be Wolber’s first attempt at elected office.

“I feel good,” Wolber said about running. “I’m nervous, of course, something new moving into an elected position. But I’m also excited and eager for the opportunity to serve.”


A newcomer
Ken Reiff, who’s running as a Democrat, is looking to break up alleged corruption in the township and bring an end to partisanship on the Clinton Township Board of Trustees.

“I want to see positive change in the township,” Reiff said. “I want to see public servants in the township treat people with the respect they deserve. Residents are the ones paying the township officials and township employees salaries and people deserve to be respected.”

Reiff wants more inspections for businesses following the March 4 Goo Smoke Shop fire, and he also wants improvements to parks and roads.

“There’s a lot of anger in the township, people want change,” Reiff said. “If I get the chance, I intend to give people that change.”

Reiff has been living in the township for 28 years and has been in Michigan his whole life. He’s worked in plastic injection moldings for most of his life and, in 2002, started his own business called Clinton River Vending.

Reiff has a difficult hurdle to clear: A Google search of his name returns a 2010 Associated Press story, via CBS News, about one of his dogs dying in a hot van in Washington D.C. Another dog in the car was taken to an animal hospital, and his daughter was reportedly taken by child protective services following the incident.

He pleaded guilty to one of two charges of animal cruelty as part of a plea deal in the Superior Court of the District of Columbia and was put on probation for a year and ordered to do 40 hours of community service.

Reiff said he had rigged up a fan to keep the dogs cool in the van before leaving on vacation to D.C. It had worked on other stops on the trip, but failed in D.C. He said we all make mistakes, but that it is important to take ownership of them.

“It’s the biggest mistake I’ve ever made in my life,” Reiff said. “I still apologize to God about it to this day.”