Several local races finish after going down to the wire

Sheila Murphy and Patty Strong were elected to the Mount Pleasant Public Schools board Tuesday night after a close race finally pulled in their favor.

Murphy, a veteran Mount Pleasant businesswoman, and Strong, a former federal public defender and reporter at the Morning Sun, won the two seats up for grabs with 33.66 percent and 26.85 percent of the vote, respectively.

Jeffrey Wigand, a New York native, fell just short of Strong for the second seat with 23.27 percent of the vote. Former Isabella County Treasurer Wynne Winslow received 16.23 percent of the vote.

Murphy ran on her business experience and promised to make transparency and accountability a priority.

“We need to hear what (the public) has to say,” Murphy said.

Strong emphasized reforming schooling to cultivate ability rather than test scores.

“The whole point of high school is to learn how to learn,” Strong said at an open forum in late October.

Mount Pleasant charter amendments

While proposed amendments to the state constitution were all shot down on election night, two of the three proposed amendments to the Mount Pleasant charter were approved by voters.

The first amendment, which allows city commissioners flexibility when determining the first organizational meeting of the year, passed with ease, earning 77 percent of the vote. The amendment was pushed for by City Manager Kathie Grinzinger and Mayor Bruce Kilmer because the meeting often conflicted with the schedules of city commissioners.

Approved with 82 percent of the vote, the second amendment requires the city clerk to post a notice of each special commission meeting 18 hours in advanced, compared to the current 12-hour notice.

The final proposal, rejected by voters by a 65.3 percent to 34. 6 percent margin, would have amended the charter to allow for appointed members of any city agency, board or committee to serve with no term limits.

Union Township supervisor

Union Township Supervisor John Barker was re-elected by the narrowest of margins, defeating his Republican challenger Russ Alwood by only three votes.

Barker, the incumbent Democrat, received 1,631 votes compared to the 1,628 votes Alwood received.

Barker has been serving as supervisor since he was elected in 2008.


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