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Village council ramps up for elections



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June 08, 2011 - Four members of the Lake Orion Village Council are up for reelection, and with apparently little interest from outside parties, there may be no new faces.

To enter the running for Council Member chairs, candidates must collect a nominating petition. The petitions, which require a minimum of 25 signatures -- no more than 50 -- from registered voters residing in the village, are due June 21. The form allows the user to enter a ballot for the council which will then be voted on by village residents. The election is Sept. 13.

With the deadline approaching, only Council Member Michael Toth and Village Council President Ken Van Portfleit have collected the form.

As of press time councilmen Douglas Dendel and David Churchill have not collected their petitions.

Village Clerk Arlene Nichols said she has seen no outside interest so far. She added of the four positions, the one with the least votes will have to run again in 2013 while the three with the most votes will have four-year terms.

Toth has already begun to collect signatures simply by walking around the downtown area. He said he wishes to remain on the council because of the recent excitement the board has experienced.

"This has been the most exciting time on the council because, right now, we're making really important decisions," he said "I joke a lot that 90 percent of the time, the council could be run by one person and six monkeys, because you're always going to vote for a parade or to play bills, but right now there have been very controversial decisions to make.

"Balancing the budget, talking about how we want to spend money, the lifeguard issue (at Green's Park), and the Streetscape have all had strong opinions on both sides. No matter how you decide you will make some people angry, but these are decisions that need to be made."

Van Portfliet agreed, and said council has seen a "lot of momentum lately."

"There's a lot on the plate I'd like to see accomplished and we also, right now, have a lot of opportunities for growth," said Van Portfliet.

Concerning potential changes to the council, Van Portfliet said he sees no need for any serious change, but added he would like to see council get more involved with their community, and that there is always room for improvement.

Dendel and Churchill did not respond to attempts to contact them for this story.

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