2005-05-13 / Top News

Porter, Linn Elected New Island City Officials; Voters OK Hospital Millage

Mayor Doud Earns 30th Consecutive Term in Office

Armin Porter and Rick Linn are the city’s newest politicians, following the May 3 city and school election. Island voters also helped to approve a county-wide hospital millage renewal.

A total of 353 voters turned out, exactly the same number that voted in last year’s city elections. Included this year were 104 absentee voters.

Mr. Porter fills the vacant council seat left by Ellen Putnam, who decided not to run for a fourth three-year term. Jason St. Onge was re-elected to a second term on the city council.

Mr. Porter received 223 votes, Mr. St. Onge received 192, and candidate Joseph “Mikie” Gallagher received 170 votes. There were five write-in votes, however, no write-in candidates for council were registered, thus the votes did not count.

The three-person race for city treasurer was won by Mr. Linn, who received 246 votes. The other two candidates, Carrie Kaminen and Ryan Fox, received 52 and 27 votes, respectively.

Mr. Linn replaces Dorothy Dehring, who has been the city’s treasurer since 1992.

Mayor Margaret Doud’s streak as mayor for Mackinac Island has now reached 30 years. She ran unopposed and was re-elected for another one-year term with 281 votes.

There were 10 write-in votes for mayor, however, no one registered as a write-in candidate for the position.

Other officials who were re-elected and ran unopposed were City Clerk Karen Lennard (295 votes), Supervisor C. Ronald Dufina (208 votes), and Bob Benser Sr., who was a write-in candidate for assessor. He is the incumbent and failed to register for the ballot, but received 48 votes in his write-in bid.

The supervisor and assessor sit with the mayor on the Board of Review, which approves the city tax rolls and deliberates property assessment disputes. The city pays Joe Stakoe of Petoskey to assess Island property.

In the school election, both incumbents, Leanne Brodeur and Jason St. Onge, who ran unopposed, were re-elected to new four-year terms on the Mackinac Island Public Schools Board of Education. Ms. Brodeur received 275 votes and Mr. St. Onge received 203 votes.

Island voters approved the 1.2-mill operations tax to support Mackinac Straits Hospital and Health Center for the next five years by a count of 243 to 58. Overall, the millage passed in Mackinac County by a vote of 2,022 to 516 and will raise just more than $900,000 for hospital operations.

Mackinac Straits Hospital in St. Ignace also operates the Mackinac Island Medical Center and has been instrumental in obtaining emergency room status, which is hoped to boost revenues some $100,000 a year. The hospital also has streamlined billing procedures at the Island facility, cutting some operations costs by combining purchasing power with the operation in St. Ignace, has raised money to build the new facility, and will absorb the remaining construction debt into the costs of its own new facility being planned in St. Ignace.

May 3 was the first time both school and city elections have been consolidated to one election day. A series of reform bills consolidating school and county elections in Michigan went into effect January 1, with the intent by state legislators to improve voter turnout by making election dates and polling places consistent.

Consolidating school elections may also reduce costs. Schools and municipalities had to select from among four months for elections.

All school districts in the county, plus Mackinaw City schools, have selected May. Most had been holding school elections in June, which was not an option under the consolidation law. City elections were formerly held in April.

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