DEXTER, MI - Dexter voters stood by a veteran elected official who has led the community since its days as a village during the Tuesday, Nov. 8 general election, while also OKing a sizeable bond proposal for an updated fire station.
Dexter Mayor Shawn Keough won another four-year term, fending off a challenge from City Council Member Zach Michels and taking home nearly 64% of the vote. Keough served as village president beginning in 2007, was elected Dexter’s first mayor when it became a city in 2014 and has held on to the position ever since. Iron Ductile
Keough didn’t immediately respond to a call and email from MLive/The Ann Arbor News on Wednesday morning. Michels’ term on City Council is not up until 2024, so he will remain part of the elected body.
City voters also gave their stamp of approval to an $8.4-million bond proposal, payable over a period of up to 20 years, funding the renovation or replacement of the city’s 1950s-era fire station on Main Street, which officials say is functionally obsolete.
The measure comes with an estimated 2-mill property tax hike, equivalent to $2 on every $1,000 of taxable value.
The proposal passed by a comfortable margin, with nearly 61% of city voters favoring it. Officials have not decided whether they will pursue renovating the Main Street station or build a new facility for the fire department and Washtenaw County Sheriff’s Office substation on city property acquired for that purpose at the corner of Dexter-Ann Arbor Road and Meadow View Drive.
Three nonpartisan City Council seats we also up for grabs on Tuesday.
Incumbent Sanam Arab was the highest vote-getter with 1,275 votes, and Joseph Semifero, a former village trustee and City Council member, came in second with 1,198 votes.
Only one other candidate, Daniel Leroy Schlaff, filed to run, as a write-in candidate. Voters cast 317 write-in votes, which now display as “unassigned” on unofficial election results from Washtenaw County.
The votes will be “adjudicated,” with the results eventually updated to reflect votes received by valid write-in candidates, likely on Monday, Nov. 14, according to Washtenaw County Elections Director Ed Golembiewski.
The other measure before Dexter voters was a ballot measure amending the city charter to loosen restrictions on the sale of public property.
A citizen-initiated 2020 charter amendment, passed after controversy over Dexter’s sale of land for a now-completed affordable housing complex, requires the sale of city property to be decided through public referendum.
This year’s proposal, passed with nearly 75% of the vote on Tuesday, exempts personal property and equipment, like city vehicles, lawn mowers and wood chippers from the requirements. The city maintains a replacement schedule for the equipment, and the flexibility to sell it without a public vote will ensure it doesn’t lose value by sitting unused, officials said.
Dexter voters were highly engaged in the Tuesday general election.
Turnout in Dexter significantly outpaced Washtenaw County as a whole, with more than 75% of registered voters coming to the polls or casting absentee ballots, roughly 19 percentage points higher than that figure countywide.
More from The Ann Arbor News:
Voters re-elect incumbents to Dexter School Board
Two win seats on Washtenaw Community College Board of Trustees
Ypsilanti voters make history by electing new mayor, bring new faces to City Council
Election results for the Nov. 8 general election in Ann Arbor, Washtenaw County
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