Voters choose four to vie for two Rochester Hills City Council at-large seats in November

By: Mary Beth Almond | Rochester Post | Published August 14, 2019


ROCHESTER HILLS — Six candidates for the Rochester Hills City Council were narrowed down to four in the Aug. 6 primary election.

Dale Hetrick, Jeff Duperon, Theresa Mungioli and Sharon Pizzuti garnered enough votes to compete for the two four-year, at-large City Council seats in November, according to unofficials results from the Oakland County Elections Division.

Rochester Hills City Clerk Tina Barton said the city has a total of 54,076 voters, yet only 6,227 votes were cast in the primary election, for a voter turnout of 11.52%.

“We were disappointed that there was such a low turnout at the precincts,” she said. “We had several precincts that were under 50 voters all day. That’s a lot of effort and a lot of money spent to put on (an) election to have such a low turnout, but the vast majority of people chose to vote absentee, with over 5,000 of the votes cast being absentee.”

The city, according to Barton, hadn’t held a primary election since 2011.

“That was part of the challenge in preparation for this election. We haven’t had a city primary in so long that we didn’t have good numbers to trace it back to. The one thing that we did know is that the number of voters choosing to vote absentee is growing and is going to continue to grow tremendously, so we were prepared for that,” she said.

Rochester Hills City Councilman Dale Hetrick is the only current council member running again as an at-large candidate. Council President Mark Tisdel is term-limited and therefore cannot run for re-election for his seat.

Hetrick, Duperon, Mungioli and Pizzuti — who beat out Ryan Smith and Angela Joyce, who said she was no longer pursuing office before the election — will be placed on the November ballot.

Hetrick, who works in the health and life insurance industry and has lived in the city for 25 years, has served on the council for the last four years. He was the leading vote getter with 24.71% of the vote.

Duperon, who has lived in the city for nearly 20 years, owns two local businesses focused on international trade and real estate investment. He earned 16.34% of the vote Aug. 6.

Mungioli, who has lived in the city for 32 years, is a past Rochester Community Schools Board of Education member, serving from 1993 to 2001. She is currently a certified project manager working at a large automotive company. She garnered 23.23% of the vote.

Pizzuti, who has lived in the city for over 27 years, is a consultant for local, state, regional and federal government, providing evaluation, research and recommendations for how to improve government processes to serve the public. She earned 16.51% of the vote.

The four candidates will advance to the Nov. 5 general election, when the final two candidates will be elected.

“I’m anticipating that our turnout in November will be much higher, given that all of the races that are up for election in the city will be on that ballot, including the mayoral race,” Barton said.

The position of City Council is a four-year term with an annual salary of $6,577. City Council positions are limited to two four-year terms.