August 3rd Primary Election Wrap-up

Posted In: Politics, State, Local, Candidates,   From Issue 708   By: Mike Thompson

29th July, 2010     0

This isn’t old-time Chicago, but residents of the state House 95th District will need to remember to vote twice in the August 3rd primary.

Just look at your ballot closely.

If you are voting in the Democratic primary, you may wonder why you are asked to choose twice between the names of Greg Dietrich, Stacy Erwin Oakes, J.J. Horgan, Joyce J. Seals and Pamela Pugh Smith.

 The reason is that Andy Coulouris didn’t finish his 2009-10 term. Your second vote is to identify the Democratic candidate to serve through the remainder of this year. Your first vote is to identify the Democratic for the 2011-12 term.

In theory, you could choose two different people, but that wouldn’t make much sense – not that much about politics does these days.

On the Republican side, Joel Wilson didn’t file petitions for the Republican nomination to replace Coulouris for those final few weeks in 2010. Wilson filed only to run against Sarge Harvey for the full span in 2011-12.  So it seems that Harvey will get the GOP nod as the November 2 candidate for the remainder of 2010.

Confusing? That’s what happens when elected officials fail to fulfill their commitments, as Coulouris did when he stepped down to accept a private sector job offer in Washington, D.C.

To view participating candidates’ viewpoints on the issues, go to your stack of Review magazines that you keep for reference, as an informed citizen, and pull out the most recent July 15 edition. You don’t save copies of the Review for reference? Okay, then visit this site:

Saginaw city residents also will need to vote twice on the Public Safety Millage question. Proposal 1, on the bottom right hand corner of the ballot’s front page, is to renew the 6 mills originally passed in 2006. Proposal 2, on top of the ballot’s back page, is a 1.5-mill increase that city officials say is needed to offset declining property values and rising costs.

City Council members are giving unanimous support to both proposals. Mayor Greg Branch stated the council’s reasons in the July 15 edition. Find his Review guest column here:

Before you rush for vote on your public safety and your local taxes, don’t forget to pick a nominee to replace the term-limited Jennifer Granholm as governor.

An election summary appeared in Review’s May 27 edition. Find it at:

The Hon. William Crane is retiring from the Saginaw Circuit Court bench, and candidates to replace him are James Borchard, Jim Howell and Paul Purcell. Even the most diligent citizens sometimes enter the voting booth with a lack of knowledge regarding judicial candidates, but Review magazine is here to help. In the May 13 edition, the candidates were provided a full forum. Check it out:


You also will see on your ballot two Saginaw County tax proposals. Both are renewals that you’re already paying: 0.1997 mill for he Castle Museum of Saginaw County history, and 0.1615 mill for the Saginaw County Parks and Recreation System.

Saginaw city residents, at the bottom of the ballot’s back page, are asked to renew 3 mills for STARS, the Saginaw Transit Authority Regional Services. This tax first was established in 1995, when federal aid dried up. STARS in the past had asked for three-year renewals, but this renewal is for five years.

Lastly, in the middle of the back page, are four City Charter amendments, Proposals 3 through 6.

Because voters rejected a major overhaul of Saginaw’s 64-year-old form of government, the City Council has been relying on an advisory panel to tinker and propose piecemeal changes.

Prop 3 would reduce the number of votes required to enact an ordinance when some members are absent. For example, if two members were absent, four of the seven members at the table could take action instead of five votes being required.

Prop 3 also changes “councilmen” to “councilpersons,” so as to avoid any sexism. Prop 4 has a similar purpose, changing “his” to “his or her.”

Prop 5 removes a City Charter section in regards to taxation 30 years ago that no longer has any purpose, and Prop 6 allows appointed officers, such as members of the plumbing standards board, to reside outside of the city limits.


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