Pittsfield Votes For Change While Saline Votes For Status Quo


Saline’s city council came out of Tuesday's election exactly the way it went in. All three of the incumbent candidates – Jim Dell’Orco, Jack Ceo, and Kevin Camero-Sulak – won reelection comfortably according to the Washtenaw County Electoral Commission.

The 1,565 electors who cast a ballot represent about a fifth of Saline’s eligible total voters. Three seats were available to four candidates in this election.

Kevin Camero-Sulak won a second term with 932 votes and 23.20 percent of the vote.

“It feels great. I can continue the great work that we’ve started and continue down the path of making improvements to the city, having voices heard and more community input and transparency of what the priorities are in doing our civic duty,” Camero-Sulak said. When asked what he thinks the biggest concerns of his constituents are, Camero-Sulak said that the biggest issue was the wastewater treatment plant and water quality. “It is a really bad optic to have a wastewater treatment plant that has been plagued with problems over the last decade or so. We’ve done all of the hydrant flushing and there are still water issues. Even today, having several water mains break – even though it does coincide with a real drop in the temperatures … there [are] real issues in the infrastructure that needs to be addressed.”

Jack Ceo came in second with 29.35 percent of the vote and 1,168 votes. When asked what the two biggest issues for his constituents are, Ceo said. “Probably the whole drinking water and wastewater treatment. Those two issues are at the top of the list of what needs to be taken care of.”

Jim Dell’Orco entered his second term in the council with the most votes. According to the Washtenaw County Electoral Commission, he won 30.31 percent of the vote and 1,206 seats.

“It feels very rewarding and I’m very blessed. I have this renewed sense of vigor and I very much appreciate the support of the Saline community. It is very clear that they have confidence in my first term and I would very much like to continue the work that I have started and I have very much just started,” Dell’Orco said. When asked what the most important thing for constituents would be going forward, Dell’Orco said that it was the city’s water and sewage infrastructure. He added that if the city doesn’t meet its EGLE agreement “then we are not performing our duties as local government.”

The challenger to the incumbents, Brian Cassise, won 674 votes and 16.94 percent of the vote. 

"Everything happens for a reason. I will give it a go again in a year and hopefully have a better result," Cassie said in a voicemail. "The candidates that won are all very strong and suited as well. Everything happens for a reason. I'm a little disappointed, but life will go on."

Elsewhere, Pittsfield Townships public safety millage passed muster of the 20.33 percent segment of voters that the Washtenaw County Electoral Commission recorded turned out. Passage of the proposal means there will be an increase to their tax bills to fund police and fire services as the township continues to grow in population.

How Pittsfield voted. Blue regions indicate a majority NO vote and orange indicates YES. Image credit. Washtenaw County Electoral Commission

"I can say that we are happy that it did, of course, and that by doing so, it allows us to maintain our commitment to providing the gold standard of public services to our community," Director of Public Safety Matthew Harshberger said.

This means that Pittsfield Township residents will replace their current 1.95 mills public safety taxes with a 2.95 mills package. Pittsfield residents will pay $2.95 for every $1,000 of taxable value for their properties for the five year stretch from 2021 to 2025. It is expected that the tax increase will generate $6,528,207 in 2021 alone. The funds will be used to hire new officers, replace aging equipment and contribute to the repair of facilities.

Image Credit: Washtenaw County Electoral Commission.

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