A sign directs residents where to vote at Blossom Heath Inn Nov. 2.

A sign directs residents where to vote at Blossom Heath Inn Nov. 2.

Photo by Kristyne E. Demske


Incumbents win reelection in St. Clair Shores

Wozniak wins state Senate seat

By: Kristyne E. Demske | St. Clair Shores Sentinel | Published November 3, 2021

 Despite cloud cover, a dry day greets voters in the 2021 November general election, during which voters chose City Council and state Senate representatives.

Despite cloud cover, a dry day greets voters in the 2021 November general election, during which voters chose City Council and state Senate representatives.

Photo by Kristyne E. Demske

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“We have a very open boards and commissions process. Anyone who’s willing to come forward and volunteer and be a part of what we’re doing in the city is more than welcome. They’ve just got to be more willing to be involved.”

John Caron, St. Clair Shores City Council member

ST. CLAIR SHORES — With vote totals at least twice as high as those of the challengers, City Council members Dave Rubello, Candice Rusie and John Caron won reelection to their seats on St. Clair Shores City Council for the next four years.

According to unofficial results from the Macomb County Clerk’s Office, Rubello was the top vote getter with 8,796 votes, or 27.1%. Rusie received 8,767 votes, or 27%. Caron earned 6,526 votes, or 20.1%. That compares with challengers Justin Maniaci’s 3,148 votes (9.7%), Jennifer Oresti’s 2,865 votes (8.8%), and Lawanda Turner’s 2,409 votes (7.4%). St. Clair Shores voter turnout was 24.25%, with more than two-thirds of the vote cast via absentee ballots.

“I think this indicates that the residents are satisfied with the direction we’ve been taking the city in and are looking forward to that continuing,” Rusie said Nov. 3.

She said she’s looking forward to continuing to work with her fellow council members on plans for infrastructure improvements and improvements to city services for the good of the residents.

Caron said he believed the election showed that the “community has faith in the direction we’re taking the city and where we believe the priorities are,” and he’s looking forward to all the projects St. Clair Shores has planned with the American Recovery Plan Act money.

“The public just showed they have a lot of trust in how we’re going to wisely spend that money,” he said.

This isn’t a time for the City Council to hit cruise control and rest on its laurels, Rusie said.

“There’s always room for improvement, and we always try to make things better in St. Clair Shores,” she said. “We never just accept the status quo. I think we’re always looking for ways to make things better and improve the things we do. We have to be vigilant.”

Rubello said each member of council has their own positive points, and they all work cohesively together.

“I think the residents recognize that we’re solving problems as they come, doing our best,” he said. “It feels good to have the residents behind you. It’s a great feeling.”

He said people just want to be heard, and he tries to listen to them.

“You’ve got to be able to connect to people, to be accessible to people when they have problems,” he said. “I recognize I couldn’t accomplish anything without the support of the residents and business community.”

While some voters were happy with how the current council was managing the budget and putting residents’ needs first, others said they were looking for a change.

Michael Zainea said he was looking for change at all levels of government, from local on up, because he doesn’t feel residents are being heard and that they don’t have a say in the decisions made at the city level.

“We need someone to represent us. I don’t feel like we’re being represented,” said Zainea, who has lived in the city for 52 years.

Some were simply looking for city leaders to focus on other priorities.

“I would like to see them more active (regarding) the discharges into the lake,” said Joe Martin. “They’re good with the recreation. In 2021, we shouldn’t be using the lake as a sewer.”

Kenny Parker said he was looking for a change in state government.

“That’s the reason I’m here,” he said, referring to the election to fill the seat vacated when former state Sen. Peter Lucido won election as Macomb County Prosecutor in 2020. Parker said he was not happy with Lucido’s work in the state Senate.

Republican Douglas Wozniak won election to that seat, with 30,555 votes compared with Democrat Martin Genter’s 18,838 votes.

“With the way things are going and gerrymandering, it’s all in the wrong direction,” Parker said, adding that he hoped by voting Nov. 2, he could help make a change.

Caron said he hoped those looking to see a change in the city would help make that change by getting involved.

“We have a very open boards and commissions process. Anyone who’s willing to come forward and volunteer and be a part of what we’re doing in the city is more than welcome,” he said. “They’ve just got to be more willing to be involved.”

Call Staff Writer Kristyne E. Demske at (586) 498-1041.

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