Eastpointe elects new council member and two incumbents

By: Bria Brown | Roseville - Eastpointe Eastsider | Published November 15, 2017

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EASTPOINTE — On Nov. 7, Eastpointe residents elected Monique Owens and incumbent Cardi DeMonaco Jr. to two four-year terms on the City Council, and incumbent Michael Klinefelt to one partial term ending Nov. 11, 2019. 

The results showed Owens with 23 percent of the votes. 

Owens ran two years ago against DeMonaco, but she said she knew after spending time in prayer that the next time she ran, it would be successful.  

“Last time I ran, it wasn’t time. I prayed about it and I saw it through faith; now I see it in the evidence. That’s what I believe; things weren’t in God’s order the last time I ran. I’m thankful to the residents, and hard work pays off,” Owens said. 

Owens is a firm believer in spending time with youths, and she plans to collaborate with a mentoring youth program. 

“The first thing I want to attack is dealing with the youth in the community, along with public safety. I talk about that all the time. We need to establish more public safety. My attack is more community involvement,” she said. 

The night of the election, Owens said, she didn’t want to look at the results, but she had a feeling she had won. Her sister urged her to view the results. 

“I went to the results on my phone, and I saw I won. I set the phone down and my sister and I started crying,” said Owens. 

DeMonaco stated in an email to the Eastsider Nov. 9 that he can “only work to make Eastpointe better each day.” 

“I would like to thank the residents of Eastpointe for trusting me to continue pushing the city forward. We have made great strides over the past three years, and of course the work is never done,” stated DeMonaco.  

DeMonaco received 30 percent of the votes and credited it to having a “good campaign.” He stated that Election Day is a “roller coaster.” 

“I felt that I had run a good campaign by knocking on doors and having discussions with residents, but as Election Day nears its close, you really have no barometer of the results. And then the results start trickling in while one moment you are ahead and the next moment behind. Then, all of a sudden, all precincts are reporting and you take it in,” stated DeMonaco. 

With his new term, DeMonaco stated, there are always lessons to be learned, but he will hit the ground running. 

“For this new term, I have been thinking about it as Chapter Two. Chapter One was an introduction to City Council. I learned a little bit about a lot and pushed a few ordinance changes, among other things. For Chapter Two, there are always new things to learn, but I can hit the ground running. I would not necessarily say I am going to do anything different, but instead say I am pushing full steam ahead and making minor adjustments along the way,” he stated. 

Klinefelt received 65 percent of residents’ votes in a two-candidate race. 

“I really appreciate the support I’ve gotten from them. It’s always an honor to have the residents put their faith in you to do a good job on their behalf. I’m excited to continue working and doing things for the city,” said Klinefelt. 

Klinefelt said that after the polls closed, he was “hitting refresh every five minutes” on the Macomb County Clerk’s website to know his status. 

Klinefelt said he was pleased with the “good response from voters” he spoke with prior to Election Day, and he said elections get the “creative juices flowing for council.”

“I never take any position for granted. We don’t own the seats. Every couple of years, it’s up to the voters to decide who they want to represent them. I’m hoping that we can pursue some creative or innovative ideas that have come up during the election” he said. 

One of Klinefelt’s focuses as he looks to his new term is to get a city manager in place as soon as possible. 

“I’m hoping we put a really good city manager in Eastpointe. So, in the next few years, my No. 1 priority is going to be picking the right city manager for the long term,” said Klinefelt. 

According to the Macomb County Clerk’s Office, DeMonaco received 1,828 votes and Owens followed with 1,410 votes. Edward Williams received 1,164 votes, R.J. Johnson received 1,092 votes and Clarence Duren had 603 votes from residents.

In the two-candidate race, Klinefelt received 2,168 votes to Tonia Gladney’s 1,167 votes.