2017-11-09 / Front Page

Burton votes

Former councilman returns; three continue to serve
BY TANYA TERRY
810-452- 2645 • tterry@mihomepaper.com

BURTON — Burton residents showed their support one former city council member and three incumbents during the Nov. 7 general election.

Danny Wells was the top vote getter for a four-year term seat. Wells had previously served on the Burton City Council from 2001-2014.

“Thank you to all the voters for your support,” he said. “I heard your concerns and some solutions (received while knocking) on the doors, and I will follow up on those. I’m proud to be serving the wonderful residents of the city of Burton once again.”

The second highest vote total was for Vaughn Smith, who had served on the council eight years before being reelected.

“The Burton residents have voted,” Smith said. “Whether they voted for me or not, they’re going to the polls. We will continue to try to keep the city financially healthy.”


Though the turnout could have been higher for the Nov. 7 general election for Burton city council members, some residents said it’s a civic duty, civil right, and patriotic duty to vote. 
Photo by Tanya Terry Though the turnout could have been higher for the Nov. 7 general election for Burton city council members, some residents said it’s a civic duty, civil right, and patriotic duty to vote. Photo by Tanya Terry Dennis O’Keefe was also reelected, after serving six years.

“For my re-election to the city of Burton council I would like to thank the citizens I serve,” he said.

Tina Conley was reelected and will serve the Burton City Council for a partial term. Conley previously served as councilwoman from 2005 to 2009. She was appointed back onto the council in January of this year, and served about 10 months recently.

“I want to thank all the residents who came out and voted, and those who voted for me,” she said. “When I was walking on election night, people came to me with ideas they had for the city.

I will share those with my colleagues, and follow through with moving the city forward.”

Vicki Parkin said she was voter number 264 for two precincts combined.

“That was just before the polls closed,” she said. “We should have had a lot more voters. I thought there should have been at least a thousand.”

Janet Tilley, coordinator for precincts 5, 10, 3 and 11, who has worked 18 years for elections, said the turnout for this election was better than the primary, but still slow. Joy Roe, coordinator for precincts 2, 4 and 6, who has worked elections about 14 years said this type of turnout is normal for this type of election, however.

There are 23,483 registered voters in Burton. 5,719 residents voted for in election for the four-year term, and 2,117 voted in the election for the partial term.

Annetta Howser voted for O’Keefe, Trevor Rodgers and Raymond Freiberger.

“The city needs to be restructured,” she said. “There’s too many leaders in the council we currently have.”

One resident, Bruce Laurin, said he voted because he feels it’s a civic duty.

“If you don’t vote, your voice isn’t heard, and you have no reason to complain” he said.

Roe said there are a lot of differences between the new and old tabulators.

“The directions for the voter pop right up on the screen,” she said. “It tells the voter if they’ve over voted or under voted. If they have under voted, the voter can make adjustments or cast the ballot as is. If it’s over voted, it’s spoiled. They have to pull it out and redo the whole ballot.”

Over voting is choosing more candidates than seats available and under voting is the opposite.

Roe said she was anxious to see what the tabulators would be like in a bigger election because people who under vote will have to scroll through all the categories on the screen. She said it could be time consuming.

“It’s definitely going to be a matter of educating the public on some of the finer points of the new equipment,” said Cindy Shields, Davison Township clerk, who assisted the city of Burton in the conduct of the election. She said the machines are voter friendly.

“We’ve had a lot of positive feedback from the election inspectors,” she said.

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