Sylvan Township voters express interest in recount on millage proposal
After initial election tallies showed a millage proposal in Sylvan Township passed by a seven-vote margin Tuesday, residents have expressed interest in a recount to the Washtenaw County clerk's office.
The 4.4 mill tax put on the primary ballot in Sylvan Township will raise funds over a 20-year period to pay back the $13 million debt the township owes the county for a water and sewer development project and in back taxes. The county picked up the township’s loan payments in May after the township defaulted.
Registered voters in Sylvan Township will have six days to ask for a recount after the final canvass report is collated by the Washtenaw County Board of Canvassers.
The canvass report -- which began Thursday -- likely will be finalized next week, said Ed Golembiewski, director of elections for Washtenaw County.
“I can imagine that (the vote is) close enough to pique some interest in a recount,” Golembiewski said.
Golembiewski said he has explained the recount process to several interested Sylvan Township residents that have called his office.
When filing for a recount, a $10 deposit must be contributed for each precinct for which a recount is requested.
If the vote total changes as a result of the recount, the deposit will be returned.
The 4.4 mill tax passed in a 480-473 vote with about 37 percent voter turnout in Tuesday’s primary. The tax would cost an individual with a house with a taxable value of $100,000 an additional $440 per year in taxes.
The Washtenaw County Board of Commissioners approved a contract for Sylvan Township to pay back the money owed about a week before the August primary, said Commissioner Rob Turner, R-Chelsea.
Had the township not approved the millage, the county would have had to pursue legal action against the township to pay back the money owed.
A similar millage proposal to pay back the debt was before the voters of the county once before, in November 2011. Voters rejected a 20-year, 4.75 mill tax levy, 475 votes to 328 votes.
Turner attributes to the fact that voters that supported the millage stayed at home believing it would pass without their votes.
Turner said he believed the millage passed this time - albeit narrowly - because more informed and more motivated residents were hitting the polls.
- Read a copy of the recount guidelines: Recount Process - County Board of Canvassers.pdf
- View a copy of the petition: Recount petition.doc