Candidates sought to run for Grosse Pointe Farms council vacancy

By: K. Michelle Moran | Grosse Pointe Times | Published July 16, 2019

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GROSSE POINTE FARMS — Voters will need to choose not only a mayor and City Council candidates in Grosse Pointe Farms this year, but they’ll also need to select someone to fill the seat formerly occupied by longtime City Councilman Peter Waldmeir.

Waldmeir, who died June 28 following a battle with cancer, wasn’t up for reelection this year. During a July 8 City Council meeting — the first meeting after Waldmeir’s passing — Mayor Louis Theros said Waldmeir died 10 days before the council could have appointed someone to serve out the remaining two years of his term.

During the general election Nov. 5, voters will be electing three council members to serve standard four-year terms, but for the council vacancy, candidates will be running for a term that will go from November 2019 to November 2021.

“The timing of Michigan election law is really dictating (this),” Theros said.

City Attorney William Burgess — who lamented Waldmeir’s passing as Waldmeir, a fellow attorney, would have been able to offer keen insight into election law — said that the candidates already on the ballot for a four-year council term cannot also run for the special two-year term.

“It is not possible for an individual to have his or her name on the ballot in both places,” Burgess said. “If that were to happen, state election (officials) would take the name off of both ballots.”

Candidates wishing to run for the two-year term need to submit nominating petitions to City Clerk Derrick Kozicki no later than the end of the business day July 23. Kozicki said nominating petitions are available at City Hall. Candidates need to collect about 50 to 75 signatures from registered Farms voters in order to be placed on the ballot.

After candidates have submitted their petitions, they only have until the close of the business day at City Hall July 26 to withdraw. Anyone who files petitions to run for the seat who decides to withdraw his or her name from consideration after that time would still appear on the ballot.

For more information, potential candidates can contact Kozicki at (313) 885-6600 ext. 1236, or dkozicki@grossepointefarms.org.

It wasn’t known at press time whether the council would be appointing someone to fill the vacancy until the November election. The earliest the council might appoint someone would be at its next regular meeting, which was scheduled, at press time, for 7 p.m. Aug. 12.

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