2017-11-09 / Front Page

Voters say ‘yes’ to seniors, new council

Townships claim victory, SCCD millage defeated


After failing to pass a millage to fund renovations and operation costs last year, the Manistique Senior Center gained the support of the public in Tuesday’s election by opting to ask for a millage increase for the sole purpose of operational funding. 
Pioneer Tribune photo After failing to pass a millage to fund renovations and operation costs last year, the Manistique Senior Center gained the support of the public in Tuesday’s election by opting to ask for a millage increase for the sole purpose of operational funding. Pioneer Tribune photo MANISTIQUE – Three millage requests presented to Schoolcraft County voters were approved during Tuesday’s election, while one other failed. Voters also selected four new members to serve on Manistique City Council.

In an election that presented a higher than average voter turnout, a millage request by the Schoolcraft County Conservation District was narrowly defeated by 42 votes. A total of 989 Schoolcraft County voters cast ballots against the proposal, while 947 residents voted in favor of the request. The SCCD had been seeking a millage increase to .22 mills for 10 years to provide funding for conservation, forestry and education purposes.

Prior to the election Tom White of the SCCD Board, had indicated that state government had ceased funding for Districts and that an increase in funding from taxpayers would allow the District to expand its offerings. He also noted that the District would receive funding at the original millage rate from the 2017-18 winter taxes, but that this would only fund SCCD through the end of 2018.

Following the election, White said the District was saddened by the failure of the millage.

“I’m disappointed that the millage request failed, of course, but happy to see that it was a very close vote. We’ll have to understand what motivated those ‘no’ votes and address those concerns in the future,” he explained. “In the meantime, the conservation district remains open for business, doing what we’ve been doing. We’re looking at a couple of grant opportunities right now, including the possibility of holding another scrap tire drive in the summer.

Our financial condition is fine for the moment. We will receive millage funding this winter, but that will be the end of millage based support for us until we pass a new millage proposal,” he continued. “We can continue to maintain part-time office hours through 2018, although we may adjust those hours such that we are open less in the fall/winter/spring and open more in the summer months.

Looking into the future, White said the lack of millage funding would force a change in the way the SCCD operates.

“It would be a big challenge to operate strictly on the administrative allocation of grant funding, our tree sale revenue, and the revenue we derive from Soil Erosion permits. We would maintain some level of existence, but our contributions to the citizens of Schoolcraft county would be at a smaller scale,” he said. “But if we pass a millage proposal before 2019, we will be able to participate in significant projects.”

The Manistique Senior Center’s millage request, on the other hand, won the overwhelming support of county voters. A total of 1,364 residents voted in favor of the request, while only 617 voters cast ballots against the measure.

The center’s success comes just one year after a heartbreaking defeat of a substantial millage increase request to fund a renovation and addition, as well as operational costs, at the center. Compared to the .90 mills each year for 20 years requested in 2016, the 2017 millage request totaled just .62 mills per year for five years. The increase in funding was sought to provide only operational costs to improve the “social, legal, health, housing, education, emotional, nutritional, recreational, or mobility status of senior citizens.”

The millage is expected to raise approximately $219,508 when first levied in 2018.

“Schoolcraft County residents are known to be very caring and generous. Today showed that,” Connie Frenette, senior center director said Wednesday. “We listened to what they wanted and they supported us. By passing the millage we will be able to continue to give our best in services and activities. As we all know, the residents of Schoolcraft County deserve that and much more.

I feel very privileged to be working for them,” she added.

Another successful millage request was the Doyle Township proposal to receive a tax rate limitation increase to fund road maintenance. A total of 95 township residents voted in favor of the measure, while 66 residents voted “no”.

The request allows the township to assess an up to 1.0000 mill on residents for five years to fund the general maintenance of the roadways in Doyle Township.

Thompson Township voters approved a millage proposal to fund the purchase of a fire apparatus, as well as equipment to support fire control and maintenance on the apparatuses. The up to 1.0000 mills each year from 2017-2024 was approved with 147 votes in favor of the measure. Just 65 voters cast “no” votes against the request.

In the Manistique City Council race, Mike Perilloux and Cathy Rohde claimed the two open fouryear terms. Rohde landed 348 votes, while Perilloux took home 275.

Isaac Swisher, also listed on the ballot, garnered only 100 votes. Write-in Richard Hollister managed to receive 88 votes. According to the election results, a total of 115 “unresolved write-in” votes were cast in the four-year term council race.

In the partial term, two-year, council race, incumbent Kimberly Shiner came out on top with 387 votes cast in her favor. She was the only candidate listed on the ballot.

The second partial-term seat went to write-in Jackie Jenerou, who claimed 58 votes. Write-in Aimee Lunsford was able to garner just 21 votes.

Beginning Jan. 1, the new Manistique City Council will consist of Rohde, Perilloux, Shiner, Jenerou, and Paul Walker.

Voters in Germfask Township approved Beverly A. Burton as township treasurer. Her partial term, ending Nov. 20, 2020, was approved with 61 votes. She was the only candidate listed on the ballot.

Though 109th District State Representative Democratic Candidate Sara Cambensy failed locally, garnering just 893 votes compared to Republican candidate Rich Rossway’s 1,049 votes, she was victorious district-wide, claiming the seat in the Michigan Legislature.

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It is great to see NEw Blood

It is great to see NEw Blood on the Council.

Good to see new blood on the

Good to see new blood on the council.

Thank you!

Thank you!