Grosse Pointe Elections 2012: Millage Proposal Defeated

Woods Millage Proposal and Road Construction Bond defeated. Gafa, Pangborn win Grosse Pointe School Board race. Sheehy wins four of the five Pointes.

1:56 AM:  The Grosse Pointe Woods Millage Proposal and Road Construction Bond have been voted down according to the Woods' General Election results.

Voters denied the millage increase proposed by the Woods City Council by 2,200 votes and the Road Bond was defeated by nearly 900 votes.  

Cindy Pangborn and Judy Gafa have won seats on the Grosse Pointe Public School Board. Gafa garnered 15,467 district votes while Pangborn earned 13,398 and Broman 9,386 votes respectively.  

Republican Dan Schulte bested Democrat Brian Banks in both Grosse Pointe Woods and Grosse Pointe Shores for the 1st Distict State Representative race. The district also includes Harper Woods and part of Detroit. Patch will update the race total vote count when it become available.

Robert Sheehy, Republican candidate for Wayne County Commissioner defeated incumbent Democrat Tim Killeen in every city in the Pointes except Grosse Pointe Park.  But with 75 of 83 of the precincts reporting in Wayne County, Killeen led the race with 67.40 percent of the votes.


City of Grosse Pointe Woods Millage Results Yes  3,788 No  5,948     City of Grosse Pointe Woods Road Improvement Bond Proposal Results Yes  4,389 No  5,217 Grosse Pointe Public Schools Board
Results William K. Broman
 3,073 Judy Gafa
 5,312 Cindy Pangborn


Wayne County Commissioner, 1st District
Results Tim Killeen, Democrat
 4,099 Robert Sheehy, Republican


State Representative, 1st District Results

Brian Banks, Democrat

 2,884 Dan Schulte, Republican  6,926


1:51 AM:  Grosse Pointe Farms General Election results are in and posted. Dan Grano wins race in the Farms more than 2:1 against Tilabi for 2nd District State Representative.  Pangborn and Gafa lead Grosse Pointe School Board Race.


Grosse Pointe Public Schools Board
Results William K. Broman
 1,825 Judy Gafa
 2,976 Cindy Pangborn


Wayne County Commissioner, 1st District
Results Tim Killeen, Democrat
  2,248 Robert Sheehy, Republican   3,736


State Representative, 2nd District
Results Alberta Tinsley Talabi, Democrat
 1,658 Daniel Corrigan Grano, Republican
Hans Christopher Barbe, Green


1:06 AM:  Grosse Pointe Shores has posted their 2012 General Election results. Shores Mayor Pro tem Dan Schulte (R) sweeps Brian Banks (D) in Schulte's hometown. Pangborn and Gafa lead Grosse Pointe School Board race and Robert Sheehy wins the Shores' by almost a thousand votes.


Grosse Pointe Public Schools Board
Results William K. Broman
  508 Judy Gafa
  798 Cindy Pangborn


Wayne County Commissioner, 1st District
Results Tim Killeen, Democrat
   385 Robert Sheehy, Republican  1341


State Representative, 1st District Results

Brian Banks, Democrat

Dan Schulte, Republican  1308


12:40 AM:  Grosse Pointe Park and the City of Grosse Point have posted their election results.  Broman trails Gafa and Pangborn in both cities in the Grosse Pointe School Board race.  Dan Grano wins in both the Park and City for 2nd District, State Representative.


Grosse Pointe Public Schools Board
Results William K. Broman
 2,068 Judy Gafa
 3,470 Cindy Pangborn


Wayne County Commissioner, 1st District
Results Tim Killeen, Democrat
Robert Sheehy, Republican  2,937


State Representative, 2nd District
Results Alberta Tinsley Talabi, Democrat
Daniel Corrigan Grano, Republican
Hans Christopher Barbe, Green



Grosse Pointe Public Schools Board
Results William K. Broman
 1058 Judy Gafa
 1717 Cindy Pangborn


Wayne County Commissioner, 1st District
Results Tim Killeen, Democrat
1484 Robert Sheehy, Republican 1729


State Representative, 2nd District
Results Alberta Tinsley Talabi, Democrat
  1136 Daniel Corrigan Grano, Republican
  2034 Hans Christopher Barbe, Green

11:08 PM:  Grosse Pointe Patch is still awaiting local results from Grosse Pointe cities.  Check back soon.

9:00 PM:  Republicans supporting candidate John Hauler for U.S. Congress gathered at Andiamo's in Grosse Pointe Woods for a campaign celebration and to watch the results roll in.

It was a family affair for Hauler, whose brother Steve Hauler, sister Deanna Zwisele and wife Barb mugged with Hauler for the camera and praised his tenacity to run for office.  Well-wishers streamed through the door and praised Hauler for his campaign efforts.

Hauler paused a moment and predicted that Mitt Romney would take Michigan's electoral votes.

"I was on the Romney bus all day yesterday and at every stop, the crowds were bigger and bigger," Hauler said.

Talking about his own campaign race for the U.S. House of Representatives, Hauler acknowledges that his district is a difficult one for Republicans as it leans heavily Democratic.

"Win or lose, I've already won," Hauler grinned.  

8:30 PM:  Grosse Pointe Democrats hosted a club get-together for local politicians and campaign workers at Marge's Bar on Mack Ave.

The mood of the packed room was festive as the crowd discussed the day's election and watched the media predictions on the big screen television.  As state and national races were called for Democrats, the crowd cheered and applauded.

Wayne County Commissioner Tim Killeen, on the ballot as the incumbent, was all smiles as he greeted constituents and campaign volunteers.

"I think that President Obama will win--and probably easier than predicted," Killeen prophised.  About his own race, Killeen was less direct.

"I'm anxious to see the State Supreme Court results--we really need a Democratic majority there to provide some balance," Killeen said.

Killeen was enthusiastic about what he called a "historic" voter turn out.

"It's our democracy at its best when large numbers of voters exercise their right to vote," Killeen said.

8:00 PM:  POLLS ARE NOW CLOSED! Check back here on Grosse Pointe Patch throughout the night for the latest news and results.

6:35 PM: The City of Grosse Pointe's two precincts had a total of 1,794 voters turn out for both precincts.  Precinct 1 had 794 voters and Precinct 2 had 1000 as of 6 P.M. this evening.

Poll worker Peter Randazzo at Maire Elementary School said, "We definitely saw a lull around 3 P.M. but it's definitely picked up again.

6:15 PM:  Judy Florian, Precinct Chair at Grosse Pointe Park's City Hall, said, "We're definitely seeing the "coming home from work" traffic now."

"We had a very busy morning with 25-30 people standing in line, waiting for us to open the doors this morning," Florian continued.

Florian said her precinct was one of the smallest in the Park with 940 voters.  As of this evening, 384 had visited the polls and 120 had submitted absentee ballots--giving the precinct a voter turnout of about 53 percent so far.

5:53 PM:  Grosse Pointe Farms Precinct 4 at Kerby Elementary had voters lined up out the door when they opened their doors this morning, Chair Roland Carloni said.

Carloni said that as over 5:45 p.m., the tabulator showed that 561 voters had come through Kerby's voting booths.

The evening traffic was steady but Carloni said there was a tapering of voters at noon and that it had picked up at the end of the day again.

5:40 PM:  Grosse Pointe Woods Precinct 4 is busy with after work voters stopping to cast their ballots on their way home.

Precinct Chair Bob McGovern said of the precinct's 1,683 registered voters, 765 had come in to vote.  Precinct 4 is the smallest of the Woods districts and Ferry is the largest.

"We could easily be at 800-900 tonight in all reality," McGovern said.

He estimated that about 30 percent of the precinct's voters would vote absentee as they would city wide.  Grosse Pointe Woods has 13, 283 registered voters.

Joining McGovern as a poll volunteer was resident George L. Bush--not "W."  

"They put us at the same precinct to balance the ticket," McGovern joked.

10:00 AM:  Grosse Pointe Shores Municipal Building's parking lot has a long line of cars waiting to park and long lines inside as voters wait their turn to catch their ballot.

Shores Election Clerk Tom Krolcyck said that nearly half of the Shores' 2,400 registered voters had voted by 10 a.m. today.  Nearly 850 had voted earlier by absentee ballot and about 400 had visited the polls this morning.

Krolcyck said that the Shores' voter turnout in the 2008 election was about 87 percent.

9:15 AM: Chris Kaczanowski says elections are in her “blood.”

Kaczanowski, who braved the chilly weather Tuesday morning to campaign for state representative candidate Dan Schulte, said she’s been out on election days since she was 8.

And she said Tuesday’s weather wasn’t bad. Kaczanowski said she stood outside for 14 hours in 25-degree weather in February 2008.

9:03 AM: A line of people snaked through Mason Elementary School by the time the precinct opened at 7 a.m. Tuesday morning.

Grosse Pointers will be faced with a long ballot of local, county and state races and issues today.

Locally, Grosse Pointe voters will be choosing state representatives for two new Michigan House Districts, 1 and 2, Wayne County Commissioner for 1st District, as well as two new school board members for the Grosse Pointe Public School Board.

Grosse Pointe Woods voters will decide whether or not to approve a millage increase of 1.85 mills to support the city's General Fund Budget.  The millage increase is in excess of the limitation imposed by the Headlee Amendment to the Michigan Constitution and thus requires residents' approval.

Grosse Pointe Woods voters will also decide if they want to approve an additional 2.14 mills tax increase for the city to borrow up $10 million dollars over ten years for road improvements.

Please click here for your Grosse Pointes Voter Guide and Polling Locations.

If you haven't voted yet, click on the PDF attached to the article to study a sample ballot before you go to the polls.

Connect with Grosse Patch on Facebook and Twitter.

Plus! Keep up to date with statewide and county elections on Grosse Pointe Patch by visiting Michigan Election 2012 and Wayne County Elections 2012.

Toni Stinson November 07, 2012 at 08:51 PM
Thanks we're aware of the error and have updated the story to reflect the correct totals and Harper Woods' voter contribution. It was a very long night. Thanks for being a Grosse Pointe Patch community member! Toni
GP For Life November 07, 2012 at 10:01 PM
Dan, it's hard to beat a seasoned vote-getter like Banks. He had a lot of practice getting guilty votes from juries and this experienced really played out in the race. The unfortunate part being that he was a defendant getting those guilty votes and not a prosecutor.
Ted November 07, 2012 at 11:21 PM
It's probably wishful thinking, but I'd hope that these temporary lean years would force our community leaders to fully embrace consolidation & shared services. Why we have 5 separate police, fire, public works, recreation departments to service only approximately 60,000 Pointe residents is beyond me. It doesn't make sense. We have one school system & one library systems. Why can't we continue down that sensible path in other areas. Consolidation & shared services would enable us all to do much more with less, by reducing redundant over-head in providing critical services.
George R. McMullen Jr. November 08, 2012 at 11:30 AM
Thank you for not mentioning my name in your comments above.....there is hope
Chris November 08, 2012 at 02:10 PM
Why did the Council propose these millages? Council members don't gain a single penny if the millages win. Their minimal stipend, which Pete Waldmeir rightfully earned and accepted, is less than that paid to Board of Education members in other communities Many intelligent individuals (more than 4,000 voters) studied the facts and voted for the millage, perhaps because they didn't want to see the city drain its rainy day fund or lose its AA rating. Maybe Waldmeir is lucky enough to reside on a street in good repair, but it took ten months to repair our street when a water main broke in January. The city does NOT have the money for road repair or maintenance. Grosse Pointe's proximity to Detroit is an asset and a liability. If we don't invest in our own community, how can we expect young married couples with children to select this community -instead of fleeing to cities miles from the Detroit border? Pete, you were a great Detroit News columnist and a responsible GPW Council member. What happened? Why can't you disagree without using the ad-hominem fallacy or suggestive phrasings such as the "anonymous odd couple Chris and Steve"? Most comment sections do not require last names, and your venom makes it prudent to stick to first names only. Now if the community is willing to support a millage only for five years (not ten), that is something to negotiate. But please without name-calling. Patch would actually have more readers if this were less of a war zone.
Erwin M. Fletcher November 08, 2012 at 02:23 PM
Pete, I want to thank you for helping to make GPW a weaker city and one that less desirable to live in. This makes it a lot easier for us to buy our way in and further begin the process of dismantleing a once proud community. Sincerely, The citizens of Detroit
Gloria November 08, 2012 at 04:10 PM
Great points Ted! I worked at a major automotive for 30 years and uncovered/eliminated duplications and redundancies to save over $7 million in one year! Consolidation can be a productive step to cost reductions.
Gloria November 08, 2012 at 04:58 PM
Maybe the GPW council can try a Blue Ribbon residents board to offer recommendations to reduce budget expenditures. I believe GPShores has one. GPW residents offered this as a potential solution when the council was approving the budget. Fell on deaf ears then... maybe now it will be different!
Erwin M. Fletcher November 08, 2012 at 05:00 PM
Christine, thank you for a well reasoned and thoughtful response. Please try not to be too hard on Pete W. He is in the very twilight of his years with obviously declining faculties. Sadly he is choosing to spend these final moments engaged in a bitter feud with people he not too long ago voted with. I would disagree with your assessment of Pete being a “great” Detroit News columnist and GPW council member. He was neither and was forced out of both positions because the people he worked with could no longer stand him. Not hard to fathom when you read his posts. The citizens of GPW can come together and solve these issues, it will be all the more easily accomplished when Pete is no longer part of the community. If you have seen him recently, I would expect that to be in the not too distant future.
christopher November 08, 2012 at 05:07 PM
Pete is so cynical i'm sure he will get great pleasure as the city services decline and the city goes to hell. I just hope every member who is upset when their leaves are not picked up next year or their sidewalks are not plowed and the park is closed early they look to him as the mastermind. I'm sure he will then blame the Mayor......
The Village Malcontent November 08, 2012 at 06:16 PM
@Christine: I am not sure I know how to interpret your comment about many intelligent individuals (over 4000) who studied the facts and voted for the millage. Are you suggesting those who voted against the millage are not intelligent, didn't study the facts (if you could call what the city provided facts) but come to a different conclusion? I get the sense many voters were entirely turned off when they heard about (or attended) the town hall meeting about the millage and then were not allowed to ask questions in an open forum but were carefully corralled to council members or city employees. What reasonable person would think that each of these individuals would have all of the answers to any question posed? That seems like an utter lack of transparency and is pretty much the way Novitke has run things. If one could get past Waldmeir's venom and blame the messenger reactions to some of his comments, it was apparent that not everything the city was doing or saying was truthful. And residents, other than Waldmeir and company came to that budget hearing and were disregarded. Apparently if you weren't with em (council) you were against em and they didn't want to work with you. This defeat should set a strong message to the council that they need to listen to the community and encourage its input in the process. I wouldn't be surprised if they did nothing except make scare tactic cuts to the( public safety) budget and come back for another millage in May.
christopher November 08, 2012 at 08:51 PM
Village Malcontent, not sure if you were at the meeting but every single department head was there, the council etc... I think it's extrememly reasonable to think they are the exact people who could answer the questions best. These are the people who submit their budgets to the council for approval and thus would be very transparent. The problem with the open forum was that Waldmeir had his group of people there to cause a scene and disrupt the entire meeting and therefore nothing would get explained and no information could be passed on in a civil manner. This was proven right at the beginning when the two crazy people stood up and caused a scene rambling about things they clearly had no idea about.You stated that it was apparent that not everything the city was doing or saying was truthful? could you please explain what ? can you provide some examples? I find it hard to believe that most residents saw a substantial decrease in their taxes and cant equate that as a loss on the city side. Simple math says that you cant keep doing the same things with less money. I dont think there will be scare tactics, i think there will be true deep cuts we will all feel.
Mark November 08, 2012 at 10:12 PM
Chris I know have taken some jabs at you and Erwin but the more I think about it I do feel bad for the Woods. I truly hope they find a way to improve but I'm concerned GPW is the next domino to fall as Harper Woods did. A Pointe has never turned down a millage. We must fight the creep of blight at all costs.
Bob Frapples November 08, 2012 at 10:31 PM
We can expect young families with children to move here not because of the fantastic services that we have but because now the property values and taxes are dropping enough so that almost anyone can live here and earn that "I live in Grosse Pointe" badge of honor they always dreamed of and can finally afford. I saw a real estate listing last week for a house in the Woods for $49,000. I was happy to pay the higher tax if it meant keeping the services I valued but I fear we now may lose some of them thanks to this vote. With the money I'll be saving I guess I can buy a shovel to clear my own sidewalk, bags to get rid of the leaves, new shocks when they can fill the potholes on my street and maybe a kiddie pool to soak in when they close the park. Positive side though, Pete W and his cronies really stuck it to "Mayor for life" Novitke!
Diane Smith November 09, 2012 at 03:06 AM
christopher November 09, 2012 at 03:12 AM
Bob, I just pray they all move to that cozy dead end of Hollywood and meet Mr. waldmeir. All kidding aside, I really don't think people realize the huge damage the "no vote" will cause. I hope they enjoy a Grosse Pointe with limited services, we will be no different then our surrounding cities and thus have nothing to offer. It's a shame they couldn't see the positive in re-investing in their community.
Paul Trombley November 09, 2012 at 03:12 AM
christopher, who cares if every department head was there? When people are denied their basic right to free speech and prohibited from addressing everyone in the room, it stinks of foul play. Look at the video: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Ty5BgDNleLo Throwing money at every problem that comes down the line is the old fuddy-duddy way of solving things, and it's why the Pointes are stumbling today. We need forward thinking visionaries who can offer innovative solutions, not people who solve every problem with someone else's money. If you think higher property taxes will make our community more attractive to outsiders, you need to do your homework on how tax hikes actually impact housing values; they definitely DON'T make your home more valuable, or more marketable. Detroit's property taxes are much higher than ours. Look how that's working out.
christopher November 09, 2012 at 03:27 AM
Paul, don't compare this to the city of Detroit, there was no corruption or scandal going on. The city clearly lost 2.5 million in property taxes and wants to maintain services. It's a shame people like you will let your city go to hell and let the trash move in easily for a measly $350 a year. Hope it's all worth it to you.......
Paul Trombley November 09, 2012 at 03:40 AM
any resident who thinks it's OK to deny citizens their right to free speech makes it pretty obvious that the "trash" is already here.
Gloria November 09, 2012 at 12:18 PM
Not so fast Christopher... I went to both so called Town Hall meetings... At the second meeting a neighbor of mine went to two different tables to get her questions answered about the road millage... no surprise... she got two separate answers on the SAME QUESTION! That is not transparency but a bate and switch... No one would have complained if they had allowed residents to speak at the podium. Yes, some residents might have been more vocal than others. However, residents pay their taxes and deserved an open forum!
The Village Malcontent November 09, 2012 at 01:11 PM
Christopher the election is over and it is time to move forward with the hope that the city will involve its residents in solving problems caused by a budgetary shortfall that should begin to ease as property values stabilize (and they are). The Mayor and council should get resident input, not just from the Novitke loyals, to look at the problem and find out what cuts we can live with. As for the truthfulness of the message: there was NOT a $2.5 million shortfall to the general fund budget. That number was the shortfall from ALL revenue streams that flow to the entire budget and would not have been filled by the Headlee override They are separate millage rates such as the drain project. Yet the YES people kept using that number which was technically true was an exaggeration to make the general fund budget shortfall look worse. Also, the city increased its millage rate each year to cover general fund shortfalls when property values were falling until it got close to Headlee cap.There are many charts that showed that with the numbers coming from the audits GPW filed with the state, not numbers made up by Pete Waldmier and his gang. There was even a blog by the school board trustee Brendan Walsh . You might want to check that out as I don't think he lives in the Woods.
Robert Lee November 09, 2012 at 01:42 PM
Great slogan for a recall campaign!
christopher November 09, 2012 at 03:07 PM
Gloria, I dont wish to embarass, but you keep refering to Brendan Walsh as "her" in several of your comment sections. Mr.Walsh is indeed a MALE and has been his whole life.... : )
christopher November 09, 2012 at 03:09 PM
Yes, Diane.... that is pure brilliance ! you are just so creative.........zzzzzzzzzzzzz
Gloria November 09, 2012 at 05:57 PM
Noted... The message is still the same however...
Gloria November 09, 2012 at 06:06 PM
Christopher, More historical information has come to light by a recent communication sent out by Brendan Walsh, Grosse Pointe School Board. See new chart posted above. He states: The Woods has consistently had a higher millage rate than the other Pointes and the percentage increase of the Woods rate increased over this time at a rate surpassed only by the Shores. Woods: The imbalance between their significant increase in expenditures against declining revenue is a concern... This was the same concern raised by residents who went to city hall and tried to submit ideas to the council for cost cutting... Paul Trombley is correct - new buyers will not come to the Woods with higher taxes! If you want to see his chart go to my Patch post: http://grossepointe.patch.com//blog_posts/grosse-pointe-woods-already-has-the-highest-millage-rates-where-would-you-buy-a-home
Gloria November 10, 2012 at 12:43 PM
So Mark, Can you tell me how many times GPW tired to raise taxes for 10 years and $20 million? If not, your comment "A Pointe has never turned down a millage" does make sense... The people said enough... had the cuts been made and the tax within reason I am sure the community would rally to support... However, in this case reality hit the Mayor and Council in the face like a brick wall.... as it should have!
Mark November 11, 2012 at 05:20 AM
Gloria don't get me wrong I understand your position. But what you also need to think about is the Pointes are basically the last stand of civilization. And the first line of defense is the Woods. There are a lot of very cheap homes there and they span across Mack. We have to ensure it does not become another Harper Woods.
Ted November 11, 2012 at 11:08 PM
Does anyone know how GPW employee compensation compares to it's neighbors in the Pointes? In Metro Detroit? In the state? Also, what is the employee to population ratio, and how does it compare? Understand we've made cuts, but how do we know that's enough, or are there still inefficiencies there to eliminate before we raise taxes?
Travis November 12, 2012 at 02:27 AM
Gloria, You are lost my friend...You don't get it. You and Paul Trombley remind me of health insurance companies and their philosophy which is worry about what it costs now instead of preventing obscene amounts and consequences in the future. Our future is destined for what Harper Woods has become. If you can't afford to pay higher taxes to invest in your own city to keep rift raft out and keep good families from moving out then you shouldn't live here. I also realize we already have a one of the highest millage rates and the way I see it they are misusing the funds, so maybe we need new leadership. Voting down a tax rate that can conserve our city just to stick it to the current leadership is not the answer.


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