Voters to narrow down the field with Aug. primary


ARENAC COUNTY — Across the state the political pools will narrow as voters cast their ballots in the primary election Aug. 7, including the residents of Arenac County as they decide the fate of several countywide and local millages and those running for county commissioner.

Because this is a primary election, voters will only be able to cast votes for members of a single party. Due to this, just because a candidate is uncontested on the August ballot does not mean they are uncontested in November.

On the statewide side of the ballot voters will begin with their selection for their party’s gubernatorial candidate. Running for the office are Republicans Brian Calley, Patrick Colbeck, Jim Hines and Bill Schuette; Democrats Abdul El-Sayed, Shri Thanedar and Gretchen Whitmer; and Libertarians Bill Gelineau and John J. Tatar.

U.S. Senate candidates for the Republican Party are John James and Sandy Pensler and incumbent Debbie Stabenow for the Democratic Party.

Incumbent Democrat Dan Kildee is challenged by Republican Travis Wines for U.S. Congress in District 5.

Running for state Senate is incumbent Republican Jim Stamas and Democrat Joe Weir.

Incumbent State Rep. Jason Wentworth, Republican, is challenged by Democrats Bob Townsend and Celia Young-Wenkel.

At the county level many voters will experience a contested race for the county commissioner positions and road commissioner at the primary election polls.

Republicans Larry Davis and Ronald Schwab are running for the single road commissioner vacancy. In November, one of the two will face current Au Gres Township Supervisor Chester Pawlaczyk-Npa, who filed as an independent.

All of the county commissioner seats across the state are up for election.

In District 1, Republican Sally Mrozinski and Democrat Robert Luce are the only candidates running in their respective parties and will face each other in November.

Meanwhile, in District 4 the Republican side of the commissioner ballot will be narrowed between Harold Woolhiser and Marc Henninger. Thomas Page is the only Democratic candidate on the ballot and will face one of the two Republicans in November.

In Districts 2, 3 and 5 the incumbents Lisa Salgat, Bobbe Burke and Adam Kroczaleski will face no competition.

On the municipal level Arenac Township Clerk Jessica Lynn Schlanderer will face no competition. Neither will Mason Township Trustee Paul Phelan and Standish Township Trustee Wayne Reetz.

Due to a late decision by 23rd Circuit Court Judge Kathryn Root, Arenac Township voters may cast a meaningless vote for township treasurer. On the ballot Democratic candidate Heather Bauman has no competition. However, Root previously decided that Treasurer Debra Rice’s removal from office was not valid and reinstated her to the position.

One local office that will be decided is the Turner Township treasurer race with Republican incumbent Patricia Koons being challenged by fellow Republican Colleen Rittenberg.

Two countywide millages will appear on the ballot — a road repair millage renewal and a fixed millage.

The road repair renewal is asking residents to support a renewal of 1 mill for a period of five years to be used for the purpose of providing funds exclusively for the maintenance, repair and construction of roads under the jurisdiction of the road commission and incorporated cities and villages in the county.

The millage is estimated to produce approximately $457,000 for the county and $79,000 for the local municipalities in the first year if the renewal is approved.

The fixed millage is asking voters to allow the county to increase from the 4.9 mills that it is collecting to 5.2 mills. It also includes municipalities increasing rates ranging from 0.7382 to 0.8852 mill to 1 mill. The ballot proposal will also read a 0.20 mill for the intermediate school district. However, that amount is overridden by Bay-Arenac ISD’s own millage.

At the township level Arenac Township voters will be asked to support a local road millage of 1 mill for four years. If approved the millage is anticipated to generate $26,040 the first year. Voters will also be asked to support a fire millage renewal of 1 mill for four years, which would also generate $26,040.

Au Gres Township voters will be asked to support a mosquito control and suppression millage at a rate of 1.5 mill for two years. If approved, the millage is expected to raise approximately $61,000. Au Gres Township voters will also be asked to support a road ditching and weed suppression millage of 1 mill for two years, which is estimated to generate $40,000 in the first year.

Clayton Township residents will be asked to support a local road millage of 1 mill for five years, which is estimated to generate $28,628 in the first year.

Also asking for four-year local road millages are the townships of Mason, Standish and Deep River, each at a rate of 1 mill.

Whitney Township is seeking a renewal on its mosquito control millage at a rate of two mills for five years. If approved, the millage is estimated to generate $144,834.

Voters in the Au Gres-Sims School District are being asked to approve a bond in the amount of $8.1 million for the purpose of updating the school, including secured entrances, remodeling and repairs. The millage that will be levied for the bond is estimated at 2.65 mill for 2019. The maximum number of years the bond may be outstanding is 30 years.


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