U.S. Rep. John Dingell (right) won his 29th term in Congress last Tuesday, defeating Superior Township cardiologist Rob Steele. The 15th District congressman finished with 118,117 votes (57 percent) to Steele’s 83,305. Dingell had never come away with less than 59 percent in his almost 56 years in office. This was his toughest challenge since redistricting pitted him against incumbent U.S. Rep. Lynn Rivers of Ann Arbor in 2002. On Oct. 28, Dingell and Dearborn Mayor John O’Reilly Jr. attended a press conference at the Dearborn Amtrak station announcing the confirmation of $161 million in grants from the U.S. Department of Transportation. The funds will provide for the development of high speed rail transportation projects which are expected to create nearly 1,200 jobs in Michigan. The grants will fund acquisition and improvements to the track between Kalamazoo and Dearborn. The project will complement Dearborn’s intermodal passenger train station, which is funded with a federal grant and is in the planning stages.
By CHRIS JACKETT
Nearly 41,000 total Dearborn and Dearborn Heights residents made their preferences known at the polls Nov. 2, shaping the future of things in both cities.
There are a combined 97,235 registered voters between the two cities, and 42.12 percent cast ballots not for only state and county issues, but local issues ranging from city and school boards to millages and city charter amendments.
An item on ballots in portions of both cities was to fill a school board seat with Dearborn Public Schools. James Schoolmaster took 50.12 percent of the vote compared to Roxanne McDonald’s 49.34 percent within Dearborn, which was a 137-vote difference.
McDonald supporters made things interesting in Dearborn Heights, however, as she took 116 more votes than Schoolmaster did across the western boundary.
A total of 18,941 votes were cast between the two candidates. Schoolmaster captured 50.06 percent of the vote, a 21-vote margin of victory.
The school board issue was the only city-specific one in Dearborn, but Heights residents had many more decisions to make.
Part of the Taylor Public Schools district includes southern Dearborn Heights, where residents voted 33-22 for Nancy Myers to fill a school board position over Monica Dietz-Hopkins. About 62.32 percent of Taylor residents agreed, giving Myers the victory.
Finally taking a seat with the Heights City Council is longtime office-seeker Ned Apigian, who captured 54.26 percent of the vote in his victory over opponent Kathy Abdel-Hak.
Heights residents also voted in favor of amending the city charter by 55.42 percent, which create a Department of Library, separating it from the existing Department of Parks, Recreation and Library.
A sanitation millage in Dearborn Heights also was approved with 60.94 percent of the vote, continuing the 1-mill levy originally approved in 1985. The maximum renewal millage levy is 0.7436 of one mill, keeping things as they have been for more than a decade.
The millage assists with the funding of the city’s participation with Central Wayne County Sanitation Authority, which handles garbage pickup.
(Contact Chris Jackett at [email protected])