Sterling voters renew public safety and streets millage

All City Council incumbents reelected

By: Eric Czarnik | Sterling Heights Sentry | Published November 5, 2019

Advertisement

Sterling Heights voters decided to stick with the familiar on Election Day Nov. 5, overwhelmingly approving a Safe Streets millage renewal and reelecting the current mayor and City Council.

According to the Macomb County Clerk’s Office’s elections website unofficial results, with all 32 precincts reporting, the millage renewal won 13,053-4,502 votes, or 74.4%-25.6%.

The Safe Streets millage renewal will last 10 years and will levy 2.45 mills. The breakdown will devote 1.65 mills for public safety and 0.8 mill for the streets. 

City officials say the new millage term should generate an estimated $7.4 million annually toward police and fire operations, and $3.6 million annually toward repairing and reconstructing neighborhood streets. Officials added that the city needed to continue the millage to avoid public safety layoffs.

Prior to this month, the last time voters passed the Safe Streets millage was in 2013, when it was a 2.5-mill levy. According to Sterling Heights Finance and Budget Director Jennifer Varney, a typical taxpayer has paid about $15 per month for the existing millage, and the renewal won’t cause a tax increase.

On election night, Mayor Michael Taylor told the Sentry that it was “extremely gratifying” to see the public supporting police officers and firefighters. He said it will continue the “incredible, positive momentum” that the city has seen with parks and recreation improvements, as well as economic development.

“For this millage to have failed would have been disastrous,” Taylor said. ”We have very low taxes, we have incredible services, and right now the (vote) numbers are proving that the residents really love our Police Department and our Fire Department.” 

Meanwhile, the city’s elected officials will stay the same. At press time, the county reported that Taylor’s unopposed mayoral candidacy earned him 13,013 votes, sealing his position for another two-year term. 

In the competitive City Council race, the incumbents held onto their six seats. The county’s elections website showed Liz Sierawski having the highest number of votes with 10,425, or 13.4%. Next was Michael Radtke with 10,325, or 13.2%. Following were Deanna Koski with 10,168, or 13%; Maria Schmidt with 10,006, or 12.8%; Barbara Ziarko with 9,806, or 12.6%; and Henry Yanez with 9,557, or 12.3%.

The three remaining candidates who didn’t make the cut were all challengers. Jazmine Early had 6,978 votes, or 9%; Nicholas Cavalli had 6,357, or 8.2%; and Brian Alsobrooks had 4,317, or 5.5%.

The county showed Sterling Heights having an estimated voter turnout of 20.4%. Taylor said he had been bounding around several voting precincts to get a sense of what was going on.

“Turnout today was slow but steady,” he said. “The people that were coming out were giving very positive feedback. I had a hunch early on that this was going to be a really strong showing.”

Find out more about Sterling Heights by visiting www.sterling-heights.net or by calling (586) 446-2471. Find out more about Macomb County elections by visiting clerk.macombgov.org.

Call Staff Writer Eric Czarnik at (586) 498-1058.

Advertisement