This week in Michigan politics: Detroit election results, Pontiac Schools financial emergency

Aug 7, 2013

This week in Michigan politics, Jack Lessenberry and Emily Fox discuss Mike Duggan's write-in campaign, the Detroit City Council, and the Pontiac school district.

Mike Duggan wins write-in campaign

Despite Detroit being under the rule of an Emergency Manager, sixteen people ran in the primary election for Detroit Mayor.  There was even the write-in campaign of former Detroit Medical Center CEO Mike Duggan.  He was kicked off the ballot six weeks ago because he didn’t live in the city long enough before filing to run. Then another candidate started his own write in campaign with a nearly identical sounding name to Duggan -- even though it was spelled differently.  With spelling contests aside, it looks like Mike Duggan has led Detroit’s mayoral primary. Lessenberry says "it is truly astonishing, not so much that he made the run-off, but that he finished first by a wide margin" and that so many people spelled his name correctly.

New council district system in Detroit

Detroit residents also voted to elect 9 members to Detroit City Council.  The question is whether a new mayor and changes in city council in November will be the next hope for Detroit.  Lessenberry says there's no doubt we'll have vast changes in City Council "in part because for the first time since  World War I, we're going to a council by district system. There will be two at-large council members and seven by districts."

Pontiac Schools financial emergency

Governor Rick Snyder yesterday declared there is a financial emergency in the Pontiac school district. Lessenberry says there will most likely be an Emergency Manager named for the school system. Pontiac is facing a lot of the problems other districts have faced. Lessenberry says, "The question for everybody is at what point do we want to think about whether we want to fund districts adequately so that we don't have to have all these emergency managers? They were meant originally to be a once in great long while sort of thing when a school district goes out of whack, but it is clear these schools just don't have enough money to operate properly."