Remember to VOTE on Election Day, Tuesday, November 3, 2015! The ballot this year is small, but the issues are as important as ever. Voting takes only a few minutes, and on an off-year election like this, turnout is usually dismal…all the more reason to get out and vote, because your choices will carry more weight!
We’ve gathered candidate statements and information on the city proposal and Ferndale schools millage proposal. This guide is non-partisan and for informational purposes only.
So, what’s on the ballot?
• Mayor: Dave Coulter is running for re-election unopposed, though voters may choose to write in another candidate.
• City Council: Three candidates are vying for two City Council seats. Incumbent Dan Martin, Raylon Leaks-May, and William S. White are in the race.
• City Proposal- Charter Amendment 15-01: Here’s where things get a bit cryptic. The text of the proposal reads as follows:
“This Charter amendment would modify the nominating petition deadline and process for counting nominating petitions where a voter signs more petitions than the number of candidates to be elected.
Shall the City of Ferndale, Charter, Chapter IV, Section 3, be amended to so provide?”
Council Member Greg Pawlica explains: “Voters are being asked to support a change to the charter regarding how a voter’s signature is counted when a candidate’s petition is submitted to the city. State law dictates that a registered voter can only sign the number of candidate petitions equal to the number of seats available. For example, if there are two council seats open and there are five candidates interested in running for those two seats, a registered voter can only sign two of the five candidate petitions. State of Michigan law dictates that if a registered voter (in this instance) signs three or more candidate petitions, then the first two signatures (based on date signed) are valid signatures and any signatures after the first two are invalid. However, according to Ferndale’s City Charter, using the same scenario, all three signatures of the registered voter are invalid. A YES vote in November will align the City’s charter with the State and allow that registered voter’s first two signatures to remain valid.” A NO vote will leave the City Charter’s language the way it is.
Ferndale Public Schools Millage Proposal: The text of the proposal reads as follows:
“This proposal would (a) reauthorize and restore the authority of the Ferndale Public Schools to levy mills previously authorized and levied for general operating purposes on non-homestead property (such as industrial and commercial property and rental properties) which have been reduced by application of the Headlee Amendment and expired with the 2015 levy and (b) increase the limitation to 20 mills, to allow the District to continue to receive revenues at the full foundation allowance permitted by the State in the event of future Headlee rollbacks of up to two mills. Under existing law, the District may levy no more than 18 mills on non- homestead property. Owner-occupied homes, certain personal property and qualified agricultural property are exempt from this levy.
Shall the limitation on the amount of taxes which may be imposed on taxable non-homestead property in the Ferndale Public Schools, Oakland County, Michigan be increased by 20.00 mills ($20.00 per $1,000 of taxable value) for twenty (20) years, the years 2016 to 2035, inclusive, to provide funds for operating expenses of the District? If approved, this millage would raise an estimated $4,073,000 for the District in 2016.”
An explanation from ferndalevotinginfo.org:
“If you are a homeowner, the passage of this millage will NOT impact your property taxes. This tax ONLY applies to Non-homestead property owners (such as industrial and commercial property and rental properties).This millage would continue to charge these owners at the rate which they are currently paying. This millage does allow the District to raise the amount we levy but only in the event of a Headlee rollback. The maximum rate Ferndale Schools would ever be able to levy is 18 Mills. This millage brings in approx. $4 million each year. If it is voted down, it will result in a 14 per cent reduction in the total budget for Ferndale Schools.”
• For information on registering to vote or receiving an absentee ballot, visit www.ferndalemi.gov/Services/Elections
• For information on polling locations, visit www.ferndalemi.gov/Services/Elections/Polling_Locations
• If you are interested in working as a precinct inspector on election day, visit:
For general questions or information, contact the City Clerk’s office at: 300 E. 9 Mile Road, Ferndale, MI 48220
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