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Sand Lake votes NO

By Judy Reed

The Village of Sand Lake made their voices heard in Tuesday’s primary vote, when 62 percent of the village voters turned out to answer whether Sand Lake should disincorporate and come under the umbrella of Nelson Township. It was soundly defeated, with 57 residents voting yes, and 148 voting no.

“The fact that so many turned out to vote shows that democracy works,” said Kirk Thielke, Sand Lake Village Manager.

The Sand Lake saga started last December, when two of the Village planning commissioners, Brenda Ridgeway and Diana Comstock, circulated a petition asking if the Village should disincorporate and transfer services to Nelson Township to save money. They received enough signatures to get it on the ballot, which set off a lawsuit between the two municipalities, and a lot of gossip and speculation as to what would happen if the vote passed. No other Village in Michigan has ever disincorporated, so there was no precedent. The Village of Emmett, in St. Clair County, also voted down the question of disincorporation.

“We’re very thankful to the “Citizens to Save Sand Lake” who took the time to do all the research and the leg work to talk people,” commented Thielke. “That was a huge job.”

While Thielke is thankful it didn’t pass, he said they are not gloating over the vote. Instead he hopes that the 57 people that voted for the disincorporation will make a positive contribution to the government of the community.

“The majority want to keep it a village, so let’s get together and get some things done. We’ll keep working to make it a safer, better community, and we will continue to be transparent and forthright in the way that we govern,” said Thielke.

Other voting results:

In Nelson Township, Katy Austin held on to the treasurer seat with 375 votes, to 248 for Lisa Heydenburg, and 65 for Katherine Gross.

For 3rd District County Commissioner, Roger Morgan had 2,980 votes, Deck Andrejczak had 1,251, and James Black had 624.

In the race for the Republican candidate for 73rd District state representative, Peter MacGregor brought in 4,544 votes, and Bruce Hawley was his closest competition, with 2,393 votes. MacGregor will face Democrat Jerrod Roberts (2,101 votes) in the election in November.

In the race for Governor, the race was called for businessman Rick Snyder at about 10 p.m. He garnered 381,327 votes, Peter Hoekstra took in 280,796 votes, and Mike Cox had 240,000. Hoekstra led in Kent County with 35,484 votes. Snyder will face Democrat Virg Bernero (309,235) votes for Governor in November.

Also in Sparta Township, they voted to raise the library millage by .25 mills, to help fund library services.

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