Spongy moth millage proposal fails during August 2 primary election
Tue, 08/09/2022 - 2:11pm caleb
Voters approve Grayling Charter Township fire department millage, South Branch road renewal, and CASD operating renewal
Caleb Casey | Managing Editor
Local voters approved a Grayling Charter Township millage proposal for the Grayling Fire Department, approved a Crawford AuSable School District operating renewal, approved a road millage renewal for South Branch Township, and denied a county-wide spongy moth suppression proposal during the August 2 primary election last week.
The spongy moth (Lymantria dispar, formerly known as gypsy moth) proposal – “up to 0.5 mill ($0.50 per $1,000 of taxable value) for the period of nine (9) years, 2022 through 2030 inclusive,” according to the ballot language – was “for the purpose of funding a program to provide for identification, suppression, public education and monitoring of Lymantria dispar (formerly known as Gypsy Moths) on private land within Crawford County.”
According to election results posted by the Crawford County clerk’s office, the spongy moth initiative failed with 1,564 yes votes and 1,862 no votes.
The Grayling Charter Township millage proposal – “up to 1.0 mill ($1.00 per $1,000 of taxable value) for the period of 13 years 2022 through 2034 inclusive,” according to the ballot language – is “for general operating and capital expenses of providing fire protection and prevention services for the township, raising an estimated $241,870.40 in the first year of the levy.”
Grayling Charter Township voters approved the proposal with 825 yes votes and 672 no votes, according to election numbers posted by the county clerk’s office.
The Crawford AuSable School District asked voters to approve a millage renewal (“for a period of 6 years, 2023 to 2028, inclusive, to provide funds for operating purposes,” according to ballot language) during the August 2 primary election.
“This proposal will allow the school district to continue to levy the statutory rate of not to exceed 18 mills on all property, except principal residence and other property exempted by law, required for the school district to receive its revenue per pupil foundation allowance and renews millage that will expire with the 2022 tax levy. The estimate of the revenue the school district will collect if the millage is approved and 18 mills are levied in 2023 is approximately $6,674,305,” according to the ballot language.
The school district’s proposal passed with 1,647 yes votes and 1,211 no votes.
South Branch Township asked its voters to approve a four-year millage renewal “for the purpose of providing funds for road construction and maintenance.”
“This proposal renews the 1 mill road millage previously approved by the electors that expired after the December, 2021 levy,” according to ballot language. “If approved and levied in its entirely, this millage would raise an estimated $100,665.00 for the Township in 2022.”
South Branch Township voters approved the millage renewal with 324 yes votes and 176 no votes.
The August 2 primary election ballot for Crawford County voters included very few contested races for local governmental positions.
In District #1 (City of Grayling), Republican Laurie Jamison (incumbent) was the only Crawford County Commissioner candidate on the August 2 ballot. She received 132 votes.
For voters in District #2 (Beaver Creek Township and part of Grayling Charter Township), three Republican Crawford County Board of Commissioners candidates were looking to advance to the November general election: Dorothy A. Frederick, Duncan Gray (incumbent), and Dennis Palmer. Frederick received the most votes with 252. Palmer had 88 votes and Gray had 43 votes.
In District #3 (Frederic Township and Maple Forest Township), Republican Shelly Pinkelman was the only candidate listed for Crawford County Commissioner. She received 306 votes.
There were two Republican Crawford County Board of Commissioners candidates for District #4 looking to advance to the November general election: Dale M. Bonamie and Jamie McClain (incumbent). McClain received 307 votes and Bonamie received 97 votes, according to posted election results.
The local August 2 ballots did not have a Republican or Democrat candidate listed for District #5 (a portion of Grayling Charter Township). According to Crawford County election officials, incumbent Carey Jansen is “running as No Party Affiliation in November” for the position.
Sherry Powers (incumbent), Republican, was the only candidate listed on the ballot for the District #6 Crawford County Commissioner position. District #6 includes Lovells Township and part of Grayling Charter Township. She received 315 votes. Clay Horton, running in District #6 as a write-in candidate, received 5 votes (not enough to advance to the November general election, according to county election officials).
In District #7 (South Branch Township and a portion of Grayling Charter Township), incumbent Republican Phil Lewis was the only Crawford County Board of Commissioners candidate on the ballot. He received 298 votes.
The Crawford County Board of Commissioners seats are two-year terms, according to Crawford County election officials.
Two incumbent Republican candidates for Crawford County Road Commission Board – Scott Hanson and Gary Summers – were running unopposed during the August 2 primary. Hanson received 1,659 votes and Summers received 1,372 votes. The Road Commission Board seats are six-year terms, according to election officials.
Grayling Charter Township voters had one unopposed candidate – Kim Halstead – for constable on the August 2 ballot. Halstead received 792 votes. (On June 15, 2022, the Grayling Charter Township Board of Trustees appointed Halstead to finish an unexpired term for the constable position through 2022 following the resignation of the previous constable.)
The August 2 ballot for Maple Forest Township ballot voters featured one unopposed incumbent candidate for clerk, Tanya J. Babbitt. It is a partial term that expires in 2026, according to the Michigan Voter Information Center. Babbitt received 110 votes.
According to the Crawford County clerk’s office, 3,639 ballots were cast out of 13,032 total registered voters for a turnout number of 28 percent.
Clerks from local municipalities said a lot of the people who did vote in the August 2 primary did so via absentee ballot.
“The day went smoothly. We had about half our registered electors vote. Approximately half of them were absentee ballots. I was very pleased with the turnout and how smoothly the day ran,” said Cynthia Infante-Inman, Lovells Township Clerk.
(Precinct 401, Lovells Township, had 41 percent voter turnout for the August 2 voting, highest of any of the county’s precincts during Tuesday’s election, according to Crawford County election results.)
Grayling Charter Township also reported a close split with 820 absentee ballots and 735 in-person voters.
Local clerks said their election crews did well during the August 2 primary process.
“I have a great team,” Infante-Inman said. “It helps to have a veteran well trained staff. With so many clerks leaving after the last presidential election, I feel for those new clerks trying to navigate the intricacies of the election. However, (Crawford County Clerk/Register of Deeds) Sandy Moore is always there to lend a hand.”
“Frederic Township’s election went very smooth. We had 142 (absentee voter) ballots and 227 in-person voters making a total of 369 voters. I would like to thank all of the Frederic residents that came out to vote. I am very lucky to be part of such a respectful community. I would also like to thank my election inspectors who put in long hours with no complaints. I couldn’t have done it without them,” said Amanda Siwecki, Frederic Township Clerk.
“We had a great day,” Grayling Charter Township election officials said. “Nice turnout for a primary election. Everything ran very smoothly. We had a well-trained staff that worked very hard. It’s always a long day and they are dedicated to running an accurate election. We cannot thank them enough for all that they do.”