2018 general election preview of races and proposals

Though most communities used the August primary to present voters with ballot proposals, there are several more for the Tuesday, Nov. 6, general election.

Also listed below are races, uncontested and not, for school boards, libraries and cities not covered by their own stories.

 

Cheshire Township

Voters in Cheshire will be asked about two millage renewals—both at lower rates.

For its tax for fire protection services, the new level would be set at 0.6 mill for six years starting in 2020. In 2014, voters passed a similar proposal at 0.8 mill, which is set to expire in 2019.

The millage funds operations for fire protection services and/or purchasing fire vehicles/equipment. It will raise an estimated $37,736 in 2020.

The tax for fire protection and ambulance services will also be reduced to 0.6 mill for six years.

Similar to the other tax, voters passed the tax at a rate of 1 mill in 2014, and it, too, is set to expire in 2019.

This millage funds ambulance services as well as operations for fire protection services and/or purchasing fire vehicles/equipment. It will raise an estimated $37,736 in 2020.

 

Fennville

Voters in the City of Fennville will be asked to decide a proposal that overrides reductions to the city’s operating millage.

The tax was established at 15 mills. Over many years, the Headlee Amendment has gradually reduced it to 11.97 mills.

If passed, this proposal would restore the tax back to 15 mills for four years starting in 2019, when it will raise an estimated $67,066.37.

 

Martin Township

Voters in Martin Township will decide whether or not to pass a new millage to fund fire and emergency services equipment.

If passed, the 0.75-mill, four year tax would take effect in 2019, when it would raise an estimated $68,655.

Some or all of that funding would be given to the Martin Township Fire Department for the acquisition and maintenance of fire and emergency services equipment.

 

Otsego Township

Voters in Otsego Township will decide whether or not to renew a road maintenance and road improvement millage.

If renewed, the 1.5-mill, five-year tax will take effect in 2019, when it will raise an estimated $259,809 for road maintenance and improvement projects.

 

Candidates

Several countywide positions are uncontested.

Probate Judge Michael Buck is seeking re-election for his six-year term.

Circuit Judge Roberts Kengis is seeking election to the remainder of that seat’s term which expires Dec. 31, 2020. Kengis won election as prosecutor in 2017 but was appointed as judge after Judge Kevin Cronin stepped down mid-term earlier this year.

District Judge William Baillargeon is seeking re-election for his six-year term.

Allegan County Prosecuting Attorney Myrene Kay Koch is seeking election to the remainder of her term, which expires Dec. 31, 2020. A Republican, she was appointed this year after Kengis was named judge.

 

Municipalities

Four are running unopposed for four, two-year city City of the Village of Douglas Council seats: Linda S. Anderson, Patricia S. Lion, Aaron M. Miller and Neal Seabert.

Several individuals are running unopposed for partial terms: Republican Lowell Winne for Manlius Township Supervisor which expires Nov. 20, 2020; independent John Schipper for Martin Township Trustee which expires Dec. 31, 2020; Republican Ashley Brower for Salem Township Treasurer which expires Nov. 11, 2020; Republican Timothy Batchelor for Valley Township Trustee which expires Nov. 3, 2020; Republican Matthew Miner for Wayland Township Trustee which expires Nov. 20, 2020.

For Martin village council, three are running for the two, four-year non-partisan trustee terms: Jason Dykstra and William Mohr with incumbent Donald Flower. The incumbent officers are running unopposed for their two-year terms: Gary Brinkhuis as president, Alice Kelsey as treasurer and Darcy Doezema as clerk.

For Hopkins village council, seven are running for six open four-year trustee terms: Dawn Buist, Jonathon Vanderwall, Benjamin Williams join incumbents Brian Ballard, Gregory Buist, Craig Osborn and Terry Weick. Incumbent council officers are each running unopposed for their two-year seats: Mary Howard as president, Mary Swainston as treasurer and Mike Alberda as clerk.

 

Allegan District Library

Despite the fact that five incumbents’ non-partisan terms are expiring at the end of this year, there are four terms that are up for election on the Allegan District Library Board of Directors.

That means only four of the follow five incumbents will win re-election: Christopher Antkoviak, Keith Behm, Susan Buese, Kevin Huff and MartyRose McLeod.

A discrepancy in paperwork filing led to the current situation. After the election, the board will need to make an appointment for a partial term expiring in two years to get the terms aligned with the board’s bylaws.

Unrelated to the election, the board appointed in September Peter Savage to serve the remaining two years of the seat Betty McDaniel vacated for personal reasons.

Savage grew up in the Detroit area. After serving in the U.S. Army as a medic and operating room technician, including time spent in Korea, he obtained his MD in family medicine from Michigan State University in 1977. Dr. Savage practiced with the Allegan Medical Clinic and Allegan General Hospital from 1980 through his retirement in 2016.

McDaniel, the former Allegan Mayor, served on the library’s Building Committee, Budget and Finance Committee as well as the Personnel Committee.

 

School boards

(non-partisan)

Incumbents Nathon Kelley and Katherine Lake are running unopposed for their six-year terms on the Allegan school board.

Julio Almanza and Ross Thiele are running for the two four-year terms on the Fennville school board; no candidates filed for the two six-year terms up for election.

Incumbents Scott Bruursema and Rebecca Gunderson filed for re-election, though a total of three four-year terms are up for election on the Glenn school board.

Four are running for two six-year terms on the Hamilton school board.

Incumbent Loren Joostberns was the only current board member to seek re-election. Current board president Melissa VanDerHulst did not file for re-election. When she steps down later this year, she will have served one six-year term.

Others seeking the seats are Heath Meyer, Carl Marshall and Craig Van Beek,

There is also a partial term on the ballot. Board member DeWayne O’Brien resigned when he moved out of the district. Ben Randle was appointed July 17 and has filed, unopposed, to run for the remaining four years of that term; it expires Dec. 31, 2022.

Six are running for five four-year terms on the Martin school board. Incumbents Vincent Tuinstra and John VandenBerg are joined on the ballot by Angie Cameruci, Melanie Conley, Julie Pallett and Rodney Pillars.

Two are running for the two six-year terms on the Otsego school board. They include newcomer Amy Stender and incumbent Rodger Gibson, appointed last year after board member Bryon Campbell stepped down.

Rebecca Gross, who was appointed last year to replace Stephen Podewell, is running for the remainder of her term, which expires Dec. 31, 2022.

Newcomers Nicole S. Lewis and Eric Birkholz join incumbent Gordon Jay Stannis unopposed on the ballot for the three four-year terms up for election on the Saugatuck school board.

Incumbents Janel Hott, Toni Ordway and Pete Zondervan are running unopposed for their three four-year terms on the Wayland school board.

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