Oakland Township voters pass two operating millage renewals

By: Mary Beth Almond | Rochester Post | Published November 10, 2020

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OAKLAND TOWNSHIP — Dominic Abbate will serve as the new Oakland Township supervisor, according to unofficial results from the Oakland County Elections Division. Abbate, a Republican who secured 7,998 votes, outpaced Democrat Ralph Jessee Jr., who received 4,159 votes, in the Nov. 3 election.

Abbate, 78, is a retired architect who has lived in the township for 52 years. He previously served as an Oakland Township trustee from 1984 to 2000 and was a charter member of the library board. Abbate replaces outgoing Supervisor Mike Bailey.

Voters in Oakland Township passed both a historic district operating millage, and Fire Department and emergency medical services operating millage renewals.

“We’re grateful to the voters for passing these overwhelmingly,” said Oakland Township Manager Adam Kline.

The historic district operating millage passed with 8,127 votes in favor and 4,014 votes against. The historic district operating millage has been supported by residents in 1996, 2002, 2012 and now in 2020. Township officials said voters renewed a levy of up to 0.1096 mill for 10 years, starting in December 2022, for the purpose of continuing to fund historic preservation, education, restoration, acquisition and maintenance within Oakland Township. The millage, township officials said, includes funding for the development and maintenance of the Cranberry Lake Farm Historic District, a site listed as a Community Historic Center on the National Register of Historic Places.

The operating millage is “there for preservation of the historic properties in the township,” said Kline.

Residents also gave Oakland Township’s Fire Department and emergency medical services operating millage the green light, with 9,978 votes in favor and 2,246 against. Voters elected to renew the previously authorized levy of 0.9975 mill for a period of eight years beginning December 2021 and expiring December 2028 for the purposes of providing fire protection services, including the operation and maintenance of the Oakland Township Fire Department and the purchase of equipment and buildings to serve Oakland Township.

“It will keep their strength as existing, and service the residents here of Oakland Township,” said Kline.

Republican Robin Buxar, who ran unopposed in her race, was named township clerk with 8,943 votes. Eighty-seven votes were cast for write-ins. Buxar replaces current Clerk Karen Reilly.

The new township treasurer is Republican John Giannangeli, who ran unopposed in his race and secured 8,832 votes. Seventy-eight votes were cast for write-ins. Giannangeli replaces outgoing Treasurer Jeanne Langlois.

Lana Mangiapane was re-elected to the Oakland Township Board of Trustees, along with newcomers Jack Elder, Dave Mabry and Andy Zale, all Republicans. Elder was the top vote-getter, with 8,182 votes, followed by Mangiapane, with 8,107; Mabry, with 7,952; and Zale, with 7,917 votes. They ran unopposed for the four open seats. One hundred and thirty one ballots were cast for write-ins.

In the Township parks and recreation commissioner race, Emily Barkham, Cathy Rooney, Brian Blust, Craig Blust, Jim Quesenberry, Maryann Whitman and Daniel Simon took the seven open seats, leaving lone Democrat Lisa Fitzpatrick Sokol. Barkham secured the most votes at 7,813; followed by Rooney, with 7,450; Brian Blust, with 7,288; Craig Blust, with 7,271; Quesenberry, with 7,252; Whitman, with 7,240; and Simon, with 7,206. Sokol earned 4,914 votes. Seventy-three votes were cast for write-ins.

In the library board member race, five candidates ran for six seats. Marisa Kallie received the most votes with 4,507, followed by Andrew Parker, with 4,101; Mercedes Wirsing, with 4,010; Henry Carels, with 3,987; and Michael Tyler, with 3,962. Three hundred and sixty five votes were cast for unassigned write-ins.

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