Berkley-Huntington Woods Election Guide 2012

A look at the candidates and issues that will impact Huntington Woods and Berkley, as well as Oakland County.

As we look ahead to November’s elections, Berkley Patch is devoted to bringing you the information you need. Here's a start, with the candidates from our towns and issues that will be on voters' ballots Tuesday.

State House – 27th District

Incumbent Rep. Ellen Cogen Lipton of Huntington Woods faces fellow Democrat Andrew Robert Cissell of Ferndale in the primary. Republican Ezra Drissman of Oak Park is unopposed.

Oakland County Commission – 18th District

and Craig Covey of Ferndale will run for one two-year term on the commission. Also running is Republican Steven Zimberg of Huntington Woods.

Oakland County Executive

Oakland County Executive L. Brooks Patterson is seeking . The 73-year-old Republican will face .

Oakland County Treasurer

Democrat Andy Meisner of Huntington Woods and Republican Marty Knollenberg are vying for the county treasurer position. Neither are opposed in the primary.

Oakland County proposals

  • What: If approved, this proposal would levy .59 mills on Oakland County taxpayers in 23 "opt in" communities to provide regular bus service. Here's a schedule of routes. 
  • Cost: At .59 mills, a taxpayer owning a home with a taxable value of $100,000 would pay $59 per year. Across the SMART service area, the millage is expected to generate $16 million. 
  • Ballot language: "If approved, this proposal will renew the .59 mills levied by the Oakland County Public Transportation Authority in 2010, for the years 2010 and 2011, and will allow continued support to the Suburban Mobility Authority for Regional Transportation (SMART) for a public transportation system serving the elderly, disabled and general population of Oakland County. As a renewal of the mills, which expired with the 2011 tax levy, shall the limitation on the amount of taxes imposed on taxable property in the Oakland County Public Transportation Authority area be renewed at .59 mills (59 cents per $1,000 of taxable value) for two (2) years, 2012 and 2013 inclusive, for the purpose of providing funds for the support of a public transportation system serving the elderly, disabled and general population of Oakland County? It is estimated that .59 mills would raise approximately $16 million when levied in 2012."

  • What: Although you won’t see any reference to the “Detroit Institute of Arts” or even the word “museum” in the language of this proposal, this millage is intended to benefit the DIA. The Oakland County board of commissioners voted to create an Art Institute Authority in April that would be responsible for submitting the millage question for the August ballot and monitoring the use of funds if it passes. If approved, this proposal would levy .2 mills on Oakland County taxpayers for a period of 10 years. The revenue from this millage would in turn provide financial support for the DIA.
  • Cost: At 0.2 mills, a taxpayer owning a home with a taxable value of $100,000 would be expected to pay approximately $20 a year. This tax would begin with December 2012 property tax bills and end in 2021. This millage is expected to raise approximately $4.9 million in its first year (2012). In exchange for supporting the millage, residents and school groups from Oakland County would be allowed to visit the DIA anytime without a general admission fee. Members of the art authority, who are appointed by Oakland's commissioners and county executive, are tasked with ensuring the DIA uses the millage revenue only for museum operations. The DIA is required to submit an annual audit for this body’s review.
  • Ballot language: "The Oakland County Art Institute Authority was established pursuant to Public Act 296 of 2010 and formed to allow for continuing support of art institute services for the students, residents and visitors of Oakland County. The law allows the Authority to seek authorization from the electors to levy a tax of not more than 0.2 mill (20 cents per $1,000 of taxable value) on real and personal property to provide revenue to an art institute services provider for this purpose. Accordingly, to continue providing art institute services to benefit the residents of the County, shall a 0.2 mill on all of the taxable property located within the County be imposed for a period of ten (10) years, being years 2012 through 2021? It is estimated that if approved and levied, this new millage would generate approximately $ 4,877,863.36 in 2012."

Local issues

  • What: The Municipal Operating, Police and Fire Millage Proposal would levy a 3-mill Headlee Override to cover operating costs for the , , , parks, sanitation and other services.
  • Why: A Citizens Advisory Committee cited declines in property tax values and state revenue-sharing funds, as well as rising costs, when it  recommended the millage request.
  • Cost: The proposal equals $3 per thousand dollars of taxable value, which the city estimates will cost the average Berkley homeowner an extra $175 each year. The millage would raise $1,362,000.
  • What else: If approved, residents would see the millage in their 2013 summer property tax bills. If the millage is defeated, the city will have to make cuts that could include leaf pickup, tree replacement, some street repairs, code enforcement, library hours and programs, programs and Public Safety officers.
  • More information: Visit the city of Berkley's website or call City Manager Jane Bais-DiSessa at 248-658-3350.
  • Ballot language: "Shall the limitation on the amount of taxes which may be imposed on taxable property in the City of Berkley be increased by 3 mills ($3.00 per thousand dollars of taxable value), beginning in 2013 as new additional millage in excess of the limitation imposed by Michigan Compiled Laws section 211.34d, to partially restore City Charter millage authorization previously approved by the electors as reduced by operation of the Headlee amendment, to provide funds for municipal operating purposes, including police and fire, library, parks, public works and sanitation services? It is estimated that 3 mills would raise approximately $1,362,000 when first levied in 2013."

Dates to remember

  • Aug. 7: primary races and ballot issues
  • Oct. 9: last day to register to vote on Nov. 6 ballot
  • Nov. 6: general election

New precincts map

Beginning with the Tuesday primary, there will be seven precincts (map) in Berkley.

Voter registration information

Visit the city of Berkley and city of Huntington Woods websites or Michigan Secretary of State website for more information.


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