Trustee to challenge incumbent supervisor

By: Nick Mordowanec | Fraser - Clinton Township Chronicle | Published April 20, 2016


CLINTON TOWNSHIP — Bob Cannon’s streak of running unopposed as Clinton Township supervisor looks like it may end.

The supervisor since 2000, Cannon — a Republican — is expected to have a challenger who sits only a few feet away from him during Clinton Township Board of Trustees meetings.

Democrat Dean Reynolds, who is in his third term as trustee and has served since 2004, said he planned to file as a candidate for the township supervisor role on April 15.

The filing deadline was April 19, after press time. 

Reynolds is running on a platform reliant on public service — notably the fact that the township has fewer police officers now than a decade ago. He mentioned how 112 officers were employed in 2006, though the number now ranges between 91 and 93 officers.

A police millage, along with a fire millage, was approved by the voters in 2013.

“I think I can do a better job running the township,” Reynolds said. “I think we need to go in a new direction. … We have over 100,000 people in the township and now that the economy is starting to increase, unfortunately, the leadership says there’s no funds for that, but increased his own office’s funds by $100,000.

“Residents are paying taxes and deserve certain services they have come to expect. I hear a lot that things are not as good as it used to be.”

Reynold’s comment about Cannon increasing his own office’s funds by $100,000 is a reference to the elimination of a deputy supervisor in accordance with the crippling recession. As the economy has revived itself, personnel have been added to aid the supervisor.

Cannon, who served four terms as a trustee prior to becoming supervisor, has never faced a challenger in his current role. He defeated incumbent James Sinnamon in 2000.

“I didn’t think anyone would want to challenge me,” said Cannon, who originally wasn’t sure if Reynolds would file by the deadline.

The current supervisor said his impact on the township speaks for itself.

He highlighted the construction of the Clinton-Macomb Public Library, the development of The Mall at Partridge Creek, millages for police and fire departments, helping to bring the township out of the worst recession since 1929, and helping to negotiate 14 contracts for community unions.

He also mentioned that corridors, such as Gratiot Avenue and Groesbeck Highway, are seeing revitalization.

“I’m going full steam ahead and going for my fifth four-year term,” Cannon said. “This is America. Anyone is allowed to run for any public office if they want. Nobody has run against me and it means the people have confidence in me. If anyone runs against me, it means the people don’t have confidence in me.

“I have a very positive story to tell.”

Reynolds has a story he wants to tell too.

Along with his father, he opened a private school for education and job training in Madison Heights in 1999. The business worked with carmakers like Chrysler and General Motors, though numbers eventually trended down.

They were doing everything just to hang on, Reynolds said. After the auto industry was bailed out, it was too late for his own business. It went bankrupt.

“I haven’t just heard about the people’s pain,” he said. “I lived it”

His most recent business venture is a universal training center that he said opened in 2011. The center’s mission is to help adults learn how to speak English, and to help those without diplomas reach personal successes.

Reynolds, who forfeits his trustee seat to run for supervisor, said he weighed his decision for the last year or so. He also weighed that Cannon has never faced a challenger, but that won’t stop him.

According to Macomb County campaign finance reports, Reynolds held a fundraiser for 200 people on Aug. 18, 2015 at C.J. Barrymore’s. The event raised $3,300 in contributions. 

“My opponent is telling what he’s going to do already for the next four years,” said Reynolds, who heads the township’s annual fireworks program. “I want to stay positive and let residents know (my message).

“I just don’t think the residents are being represented. The township needs a fresh person with new ideas to move the township forward. I want to make sure Clinton Township is a place where people want to live and work and raise a family.”