Royal Oak voters support road improvements, new park

Poulton loses last-ditch, write-in judge campaign

By: Victoria Mitchell | Royal Oak Review | Published November 5, 2014

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The City of Royal Oak won at the polls on Election Day as voters said yes to both local ballot proposals for road improvements and a new park.

The Oakland County Elections Division’s unofficial results show that, by 54 percent of the vote, Royal Oak’s residents approved amending the city charter to allow the city to levy a tax of up to 2.5 mills for a period not to exceed 10 years for capital repairs to the city’s street system, including repairing local streets.

The unofficial results also show that by 76 percent of the vote, residents overwhelmingly approved amending the current Normandy Oaks Golf Course Ordinance to allow city officials to sell up to 10 acres of the 50-acre property and convert the remaining 40 acres to parkland with amenities including full-sized soccer fields and a splash pad.

“I’m excited because we are going to be able to put a nice facility up there,” said Royal Oak Mayor Jim Ellison on Election Night.

Ellison said it feels good that residents agreed with what the city proposed.

“It makes me feel good that the vast majority are on board with what we’re doing,” he said.

Royal Oak Mayor Pro Tem David Poulton lost in a vote of 11,620 to 1,287 after an eleventh hour, write-in campaign to unseat 44th District Court Judge Terrance Brennan, who is on administrative, personal leave until further notice.

Other election night winners include 13th District state Sen. Marty Knollenberg, R-Troy; 41st District state Rep. Martin Howrylak, R-Troy; 26th District state Rep. Jim Townsend, D-Royal Oak; 16th District County Commissioner Wade Fleming, R-Troy; 19th District County Commissioner Dave Woodward, D-Royal Oak; and 20th District County Commissioner Gary McGillivray, D-Madison Heights.

Royal Oak Schools had an uncontested race for Board of Education. Elected for six-year terms were current trustees Carrie Beerer and Jeff Brinker. Elected for four-year terms were board Vice President Deborah Anderson and newcomer Allison Sykes. Current board trustee Michael Hartman did not run for re-election.

The Clawson Public Schools Board of Education had a late contested race as two residents filed as write-in candidates.

Elected for a four-year term on Clawson’s Board of Education were current President Kevin Turner, trustee Linda Grossmann, trustee Ethan McClure, and either write-in candidate Thomas J. Reed Jr. or Andrea Hodges.

“We can’t really say who the winner is yet,” said Clawson City Clerk Machele Kukuk Tuesday night.

Kukuk said the write-in votes will be tabulated and verified by the Oakland County Board of Canvassers before the winner is announced.

Kimberley Carlesimo was elected for the sole partial-term seat on the Clawson Public Schools Board of Education.

Overall, about 50 percent of Royal Oak and Clawson voters exercised their rights to vote.

Voter turnout at Royal Oak’s Precincts Five and Nine was steady before lunchtime.

“I think it’s been a good turnout for our precinct,” said Precinct Five Chair John Vandermark.

At 11 a.m., Precinct Five had about 191 voters and Precinct Nine had about 327 voters at the Royal Oak Farmers Market.

Precinct Nine Inspector Helene Schall said they had a long line at about 7 a.m. She expected the lines to form again at about 6 p.m.

Royal Oak resident Carl Whetstone cast his ballot during the morning.

“We need a governing body that is going to work for the people and not special interests,” Whetstone said.

Royal Oak resident Joann Kreiger voted with her daughter, Alexis Kreiger.

“My daughter is visually impaired and she is exercising her right to vote,” Joann said. “She is 18.”

Krieger feels voting awareness should begin in high school to make sure the youth population begins exercising its constitutional right.

“I think it’s important because we need to vote for what we believe in to have people in office that we agree with and that support our views,” Alexis said.

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