Douglas

On today's show, we took a look at key election results from around the state, from marijuana to gay rights. How did you vote?  And what's the take away from Election 2013?

Then, we spoke with Michigan singer-songwriter Stewart Franke as he takes us inside his battle with leukemia.

And, we talked Michigan beer. A new film looks at the craft beer scene in our state.

First on the show, it has been quite a journey for a candidate who got booted off the primary ballot, was going to fold his tent and walk away, then was urged to mount a write-in campaign, swept the primary and today, is the new Mayor-Elect of Detroit.

Mike Duggan has become Detroit's first white mayor in 40 years, beating Wayne County Sheriff Benny Napoleon.

Michigan Radio's Sarah Cwiek has covered the Duggan campaign and was at the victory party last night. She joined us today.

Lindsey Smith / Michigan Radio

We turn now to the West Side of the state.

That's where Michigan Radio's Lindsey Smith has been following a ballot proposal calling for the merger of Saugatuck and Douglas, two smaller cities just south of Holland.

Lindsey Smith joined us today to talk about what the voters said.

Listen to the full interview above.

User: Brother O'Mara / flickr

Detroit could have its first white mayor in 40 years

"A former write-in candidate once thought to have little chance of surviving Detroit's primary election is favored to become the city's first white mayor in 40 years. Former health care executive Mike Duggan is leading the polls over Wayne County sheriff Benny Napoleon," the Associated Press reports

Three cities vote on easing marijuana laws

"Voters in three Michigan cities have a chance to give some legal protection to users of small amounts of marijuana. Ferndale, Jackson and Lansing would ignore possession of an ounce or less of marijuana on private property. People must be at least 21 years old," the Associated Press reports.

Cities of Saugatuck and Douglas could merge

Voters in the two west Michgian cities could vote to turn Saugatuck and Douglas into one town.

Lindsey Smith / Michigan Radio

Voters in the neighboring Michigan cities of Saugatuck and Douglas have a big decision to make in tomorrow’s election. The tourist towns on the shores of Lake Michigan could become a single city.

If you live in Saugatuck or Douglas, there’s no way you can avoid the touchy conversation about consolidation. Campaign signs tell voters to “Save our towns” or “We’re better together.”

Even the kids on the playground have opinions.

Steve Carmody / Michigan Radio

A new study from an independent research group shows taxpayers in the cities of Douglas and Saugatuck could save more than half a million dollars a year if the local governments merged.

Eric Lupher is Director of Local Affairs for the independent Citizens Research Council of Michigan. He authored the study on a potential merger of city governments in Saugatuck and Douglas. You can read the full report on the CRC’s website.

Lindsey Smith / Michigan Radio

Soon people living in the lakeshore cities of Saugatuck and Douglas will vote on a proposed merger of their local governments. The State Boundary Commission ruled today the question should be on the ballot in August or November.

A citizens group began the process to merge in 2011. The Consolidated Government Committee is pushing for the merger to save taxpayer money.

Matt Balmer / Citizens for Independent and Cooperative Communities

A group that’s against a proposed merger of two cities in West Michigan turned in more than enough signatures today to put the question before voters.

About 2,000 people live in the neighboring cities of Saugatuck and Douglas.

Matt Balmer is a spokesperson the Citizens for Independent and Cooperative Communities. The group collected 342 signatures in the past few weeks.

Steve Carmody/Michigan Radio

SAUGATUCK, Mich. (AP) - The proposed merger of Saugatuck and Douglas in Allegan County seems likely to be headed to a ballot.

88 signatures are needed. The Grand Rapids Press says the petition already has been signed by more than 300 residents in the two small cities. The deadline to get the names to Lansing is Feb. 19.

Groups on both sides of the issue already have formed. Citizens for Independent and Cooperative Communities questions whether there would be significant savings in a merger. Supporters say the savings could be $500,000 a year.

Lindsey Smith / Michigan Radio

Hundreds of people showed up for a public hearing in Saugatuck Wednesday night. Most spoke against the proposed plan to merge the cities of Saugatuck and Douglas.

Travis Randolph is with the group that’s behind the idea. He hopes a state commission will decide the proposal is reasonable enough to put before voters.

"The ultimate poll is an election and that’s all we’re trying to get to. So that everybody can have a say. And in the process of getting to the election, you have to go through dealing with those people who have emotional connection to the present, not to the future,” Randolph said.

Tom Dailey / Creative Commons

The state has rescheduled a public hearing on the proposed consolidation of the cities of Douglas and Saugatuck. The hearing was set for later this month. But the state pushed it back to next month because notice of the hearing wasn’t mailed out at least 30 days prior.

Local leaders were upset the original public meeting was scheduled at a smaller venue in the middle of a workday anyway. It's now been rescheduled for 4p.m. June 20thinside the Saugatuck High School gymnasium.

Steve Carmody / Michigan Radio

The picturesque west Michigan towns of Saugatuck and Douglas have taken another step toward becoming the picturesque city of Saugatuck-Douglas.

A state commission decided a proposal to merge the two into one city met enough legal requirements to move to the next step.    

Merger supporters say it will save money.

“Our studies have shown that we could save a million dollars annually through just the simple unification of the governments into one unity," says Bobbie Gaunt, with the Consolidated Government Committee, which is pushing the merger proposal.

Lindsey Smith / Michigan Radio

This week there will be an important hearing for those hoping to merge three West Michigan communities. A group of citizens is asking the state to allow the cities of Saugatuck, Douglas and Saugatuck Township to merge into one city. 

Lindsey Smith / Michigan Radio

A group of citizens will hand over hundreds of signatures Wednesday to petition the State of Michigan to allow three West Michigan communities to merge.

Travis Randolph lives in Saugatuck Township. He chairs the Consolidated Government Committee that’s asking the state to consider merging the township with the Cities of Saugatuck and Douglas. Together, the three local units of government serve a little more 5,000 people.