By ZEINAB NAJM
HEIGHTS — The City Council will continue voting to fill a vacant seat during its next meeting Jan. 26, after again failing to appoint a candidate following another tied vote.
Three of the four candidates who initially were interviewed for the position were up for consideration when a vote took place at the council’s Jan. 19 special meeting.
Zouher Abdel-Hak, Mo Baydoun, Nancy Bryer and William Zurenko were the candidates before Bryer withdrew her name from consideration.
The vote remained the same on Jan. 19 as it did on Jan. 12, Dec. 22 and Dec. 8 with Interim Mayor Denise Malinowski-Maxwell, Robert Constan and Dave Abdallah voting for Baydoun and Council Chair Pro-Tem Bill Bazzi, and Councilmen Ray Muscat and Tom Wencel voting for Abdel-Hak. Zurenko did not receive any votes.
Following the failed vote, Constan made a motion to nominate Baydoun for the vacant seat which was voted on the same way as the first.
The council will next vote on the nominees for appointment again during its regular virtual meeting on Tuesday. A position on the council became available after former Councilwoman Lisa Hicks-Clayton won the election for city treasurer.
Wencel brought up he is in favor of a special election that would allow the residents to select the next council member. He said the cost for a special election would be approximately $50,000. He also said a charter revision would need to be done to have a special election and that changing the charter requires the people’s vote.
Abdel-Hak was appointed interim treasurer when former Treasurer John Riley II resigned in June. He owns a jewelry business in Dearborn, but plans to retire in the next few months.
Abdel-Hak also served on the city’s zoning board and housing commission in addition to regularly attending city council meetings since 2003.
Baydoun ran for an open seat on the city council in 2017. He is owner of two small businesses in the city. He has 12 years of experience volunteering and working on different campaigns or being involved with the Amity Foundation and Wayne County Sheriff’s Police Reserves.
Zurenko moved to Dearborn Heights in 2018 after living in Indiana. He said he has over eight years in public service experience with most of his work in libraries where he identified problems and finding solutions as well as adding value to the community.
(Zeinab Najm can be reached at [email protected].)