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Local issues and elections on the ballot Tuesday

steve carmody
Michigan Radio

This week, voters across Michigan go to the polls to cast ballots in a variety of local elections.

Incumbent mayors in Warren, Jackson and Flint are facing primary challenges on Tuesday.

In Flint, Mayor Karen Weaver is running for re-election after a term that has seen her city plunged into the national spotlight because of the city’s water crisis and the city’s slow recovery.

Weaver is letting her record speak for itself, as she has declined to debate her trio of challengers.

State Representative Sheldon Neeley, businessman Don Pfeiffer and former city administrator Gregory Eason have been putting up campaign signs and talking to voters.

November’s general election will be between the top two vote-getters in Tuesday’s primary.

Elsewhere, marijuanaquestions will be on the ballot in three Michigan communities Tuesday.

Proposal One, which legalized recreational marijuana, was approved by voters last November.    

Since then, hundreds of communities across the state have opted out of a state law allowing an expansion of the marijuana industry.

The law also allows residents to try to overrule their local government at the ballot box.

In the tiny northern Michigan village of Vanderbilt, voters are being asked to allow up to 22 marijuana licenses. Vanderbilt is a city of just under 600 people. 

Vanderbilt village leaders voted to opt out of the recreational marijuana a few months after Michigan voters approved Prop 1.  

Pro-marijuana campaign organizer Ryan Cottrell is hoping Vanderbilt voters will open the door to recreational marijuana businesses.

“In areas where Proposal One passed overwhelmingly, and local boards opt out I feel it’s up to the citizens to be able to pick up that cause through Proposal One and get the signatures and take it to a vote,” says Cottrell.

Similar votes are taking place in Highland Park, an enclave in Detroit, and Crystal Lake Township near Frankfort. 

Steve Carmody has been a reporter for Michigan Public since 2005. Steve previously worked at public radio and television stations in Florida, Oklahoma and Kentucky, and also has extensive experience in commercial broadcasting.
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