Voting in Birmingham: What's On the Local Ballot this November
Before you head to the polls on Nov. 6, Patch is reminding you what's on the ballot in Michigan, Oakland County and Birmingham.
The Nov. 6 general election is a little more than a week away, and Patch is looking to help Birmingham residents prepare with a quick reminder of what's on the ballot and what they need to know before they vote.
The November ballot promises to be a long one. Besides picking either Mitt Romney or Barack Obama for the Commander in Chief job, voters will decide on a slate of state proposals as well consider candidates for various levels of representation in Washington, Lansing and Pontiac.
In addition, Birmingham voters will be deciding on a city charter amendment and voting for two members of the Birmingham Board of Education.
Birmingham Patch has been covering this election all year, however sometimes you just need a quick refresher before you head to the polls. Today, we're taking a look at the local issues on the ballot, from a school board election to a charter amendment.
Birmingham Board of Education
Voters in Birmingham will be filling two spots on the Birmingham Board of Education. The Board of Education oversees and sets school board policy, hires and works in partnership with the district superintendent, and oversees the district's budget. Board members are elected to four-year terms
Three candidates are running this November: incumbents Geri Rinschler and Michael Fenberg, as well as challenger Mary Blake. Follow the links for more detailed profiles on each candidate.
- Previous elected experience/experience with the schools: Fenberg was first elected to the school board in 2004. Before that, he served as a committee member for the district's strategic planning update in 1999 and was the co-chair on the ways and means committee at the Quarton Elementary PTSA.
- Why are you running?: "When Dr. (Daniel) Nerad spoke to the teachers on the first day of school, he said we do this for the passion for public education," Fenberg said, noting it is his passion that keeps him going.
- What would you bring to the school board?: Fenberg said his financial background already helps him as a school board member now, and will continue to do so in the future.
- What issues are important to you?: "Lansing needs to assure us of a stable and predictable funding source," Fenberg said. "Students deserve it. Teachers deserve it."
- Previous elected experience/experience with the schools: Rinschler was first elected to the Birmingham Board of Education in 1996. She has also served on the PTSA at Derby Middle School and Seaholm High School, served as CECAC president and was on the Community Education board at Pembroke Elementary.
- Why are you running?: "I'm still passionate about student learning and student success," Rinschler said.
- What would you bring to the school board?: "I'm in a good position to help the board," she said. "We need to find ways to reach out not just to parents but the community before public education changes for Birmingham students."
- What issues are important to you?: Besides the state of education in Michigan, Rinschler said the implementation of the common core curriculum is one issue everyone should be attuned to, particularly in making sure school districts are ready.
- Previous elected experience/experience with the schools: Blake, 21, attended Beverly Elementary, the Birmingham Covington School and the International Academy during her time in Birmingham. A University of Michigan student, she now has brothers at Groves High School.
- Why are you running for school board?: "I want to bring a student's voice to the board," Blake said.
- What would you bring to the school board?: "My most recent experience with education," she said.
- What issues are important to you going into this election?: According to Blake, the most important issue for her is "keeping a balanced curriculum."
Note: Mary Blake did not respond to Birmingham Patch's request for an interview in time for a full 'Meet the Candidates' profile. Blake also did not respond to a survey from the Oakland County League of Women Voters.
- School Board Candidates Talk Finances, Role of Public Education at Forum
- UPDATE: Jack Connelly Drops Out of School Board Race, District Says
Birmingham City Charter Amendment
Birmingham voters will also be voting on an amendment to the city charter that updates outdated restrictions for selling city-owned land and buildings, making it easier for Birmingham to buy and sell property.
On the ballot, the charter amendment will read like this:
This Charter amendment would modify the City's power to sell property or any interest therin so as to eliminate the limitation that no property of a value in excess of two dollars per capital according to the last preceding United States census be sold unless approved by the majority of electors, for any property acquired on or after January 1, 2013.
- New Website Seeks to Answer Questions on City Charter Amendment
- Birmingham Charter Amendment to Go on November Ballot
For all of Birmingham Patch's coverage of the 2012 November general election, visit Birmingham's 2012 General Election Guide.