UNDATED (WKZO) -- Election Day in November is usually huge. Every two years there is either a Governor or a President to elect but this is an off year election and that means the focus is on local government. In eight of Michigan’s 83 counties, there aren’t even local candidates or issues on the ballot.
Kalamazoo voters are filling seven seats, with the top two vote getters offered the positions of Mayor and Vice Mayor.
In Portage, there are 6 candidates running for 3 seats. Mayor Pete Strazdas is running unopposed.Two of the more interesting local races are taking place on the Lakeshore.
The entire state will be watching what happens in Saugatuck and Douglas where the first proposed merger of two communities in decades will appear on the ballot.
The two communities already share many services and merging would cut local municipal costs by half a million dollars.
And yet there are many who don’t want to loose their community identities.
Given the Governor’s efforts to encourage intergovernmental cooperation and service mergers, the vote has taken on some symbolic weight.
In South Haven, voters will decide whether or not to change the city charter to eliminate term limits for boards and commissions, but not for the City Council. It seems they are running out of people who are interested in serving who haven’t already termed out.
South Haven voters will also be picking between incumbent Mayor Robert Burr and challenger Frank Consolino on Tuesday, but it may not be much of a contest. Consolino is scheduled to be sentenced on Monday on multiple felony counts for distributing marijuana. If he gets jail time, he won’t be allowed to serve, even if he wins.