AP image of a ballot box.
13 is On Your Side with a look ahead to the upcoming election on November 5th. There are dozens of races in counties across West Michigan. Many of them are not contested, but there are several getting a lot of attention. Here is a look at some of the significant issues on the ballot.
In Grand Rapids, 2nd Ward Commissioner Rosalynn Bliss is seeking her third four year term. She is facing challenger Tom Kent who is retiring from his job as Deputy Director of Public Works in Wyoming. The position will pay $22,500 starting in 2014 and considered a part time position. That is a 3.3% raise from 2013.
The Grand Rapids Second Ward is large. Starting from the north it extends from 4 Mile and Plainfield, and south to Wealthy Street. From east to west, it extends from the Beltline to Monroe downtown.
Also in Grand Rapids, residents are being asked to approve a new tax millage to help improve parks, pools and playgrounds in the city. The millage would be a .98 mil increase and would be limited to seven years. The city has had to close several pools over the last several years, and scale back hours during the summer.
In Ottawa County, there are many smaller elections we will be tracking. The most notable involve the Holland City Commission. Brian Burch in the 3rd Ward, Todd Whiteman in the 5th Ward, and Nancy DeBoer who is council member at large, all face challengers. Mayor Kurt Dykstra is also up for re-election but is unopposed.
In Allegan County, the communities of Saugatuck and Douglas are deciding whether to consolidate their governments. Right now the two communities share many services, but Tuesday's vote would combine both city governments into one. Supporters say it will save tax payers money, opponents say each community needs to maintain their own identities.
Voters in the city of Muskegon will choose a new mayor, as will the people living in North Muskegon, and Montague. Polls open at 7am and close at 8pm on Tuesday November 5th.
Click the individual county links to learn more about elections in your community.