Local proposals win big

By: Victoria Mitchell | Royal Oak Review | Published November 15, 2016

 Oakland County Treasurer Andy Meisner talks with resident Hy Safran at the Royal Oak Farmers Market Nov. 8.

Oakland County Treasurer Andy Meisner talks with resident Hy Safran at the Royal Oak Farmers Market Nov. 8.

Photo by Victoria Mitchell

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ROYAL OAK — Voters said “yes” at the polls last week for two local proposals.

The public safety-minded Proposal A passed overwhelmingly with 79 percent of the vote, according to unofficial Oakland County election results. The proposal received 25,326 “yes” votes and 6,680 “no” votes.

The approval amends the city charter to allow for a police, fire and emergency medical service millage renewal of up to 3.975 mills for a period not to exceed five years beginning Dec. 1, 2017.

City officials said a person living in a home with a taxable value of about $78,000 would pay about $304 annually, and the money would be used to pay general expenses and liabilities of the city for police, fire and emergency medical services, allowing Royal Oak to maintain core services and staffing levels.

Voters also overwhelmingly approved a millage restoration proposal benefiting Royal Oak Schools, according to unofficial Oakland County election results.

Nearly 72 percent of the vote went for the restoration of an 18-mill operating levy on nonhomestead properties previously authorized and levied. The vote was 22,711 in favor of the operating millage restoration proposal and 9,044 against.

The nonhomestead millage is collected only on properties other than owner-occupied residential homes. Nonhomestead taxable property is composed primarily of business, commercial and rental properties.

Voting was steady throughout the day, beginning early in the morning.

Voter turnout in Royal Oak ranged from 66 percent to 78 percent in the city’s 24 precincts.

Resident Mackenzie MacDormott lined up well before the polls opened at the Boys & Girls Clubs of Oakland and Macomb Counties on Campbell Road.

“I want to make sure I am doing my civic duty,” she said. “I want to take part and make sure that my voice is heard.”

Precinct 5 at the Royal Oak Farmers Market showed close to 600 voters before 1 p.m., which election volunteers said was a very strong showing.

“Voting is the ultimate equalizer,” said resident and voter Hy Safran. “Every American — no matter your background — has the opportunity, the responsibility to vote.

“And when we vote as an individual, we are all equal, we all count, we all have equal value in the voting booth.”

Oakland County Treasurer Andy Meisner made use of every moment on Election Day, introducing himself and thanking residents for voting at various polling places in the city.

“Closing arguments, as they say, for the campaign and the last opportunity to greet voters and thank them for participating in this wonderful democratic process,” Meisner said on Election Day. “It’s an important part of the tradition. It’s a time when we come together in a civic state of mind, and that is a special place in our community, and I like being here to support that.”

Meisner took the victory on election night, along with incumbent Republican Martin Howrylak for 41st District state representative, incumbent Republican L. Brooks Patterson for Oakland County executive, incumbent Democrat Jessica Cooper for Oakland County prosecutor, incumbent Democrat Dave Woodward for 19th District Oakland County commissioner, and incumbent Republican Wade Fleming for 16th District Oakland County commissioner.

Hillary Clinton took the majority of the vote in Oakland County, receiving 51 percent. President-elect Donald Trump received approximately 43 percent. Libertarian Gary Johnson received more than 3 percent of the vote, and Green Party candidate Jill Stein received almost 1 percent of the countywide vote.

After running unopposed, Gary W. Briggs and Maryanne VanHaitsma were elected to the Royal Oak Schools Board of Education. Also running unopposed, Jessica Back, Kimberley M. Carlesimo, Michael Frink and Thomas J. Reed Jr. were elected to the Clawson Public Schools Board of Education.

Sixty percent of Royal Oak voters supported the failed Regional Transit Authority proposal.

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