State board ruling sets up mayoral race between two longtime pols

Sunday Times Newspapers

TRENTON — A ruling Wednesday by the Municipal Employees’ Retirement System of Michigan will allow the city clerk to run in the November mayoral election while retaining her pension benefits.

City Clerk Kyle Stack will oppose current Mayor Gerald Brown for the city’s top job.

“I have received great support during this time period waiting for this decision,” Stack said, “and I want to thank everyone for being so patient. I feel grateful that now that I have the ruling in writing and in hand, that I can now move forward to run for mayor for the city of Trenton.”

Stack announced her intent to run for mayor earlier this month after considering a run for the last couple of years. She has been city clerk for the last 26 years and employed by the city for the last 34.

Stack’s petitions for the mayoral election have been on file in the city and county since January, and that she was waiting on the MERS ruling before deciding whether to withdraw them. Her decision was complicated by an issue with the pension she was due to receive after leaving the clerk’s job.

A ruling last year by the MERS board had held that Stack would have been ineligible to receive her clerk’s pension if she left to run for mayor unless she had been retired as clerk for at least two years.

Wednesday’s ruling granted her a waiver of that ruling and clears the way for her to retire as clerk Sept. 30.

The pending decision on Stack’s situation led Brown to recently decide to run again after announcing earlier this year that he would not. Brown, who has led the city for the past 10 years, said he was concerned that a ruling against Stack could leave the city without a candidate if no one else decided to run by the May 10 filing deadline.

Stack said she had been considering a run for the last couple of years and decided to move forward with the idea at the urging of supporters.