Council, board seats up for grabs Tuesday

Times-Herald Newspapers

Dearborn and Dearborn Heights voters will have several opportunities to let their voices be heard during the Nov. 6 general election.

On the local ballot, Dearborn voters will vote for two out of three candidates vying for a spot on the Dearborn Public Schools Board of Education, a six-year term that expires Dec. 31, 2018.

The candidates include former trustee Mary Petlichkoff and incumbents Aimee Blackburn and Mary Lane, the terms of whom expire Dec. 31.

Blackburn is serving her third term as a school board trustee, after being elected in 2000. Blackburn is a graduate of Henry Ford Community College with an associate’s degree in business and a bachelor’s degree in business finance and business administration from Wayne State University.

She works in financial risk management at TRW Automotive in Livonia.

Lane also is serving her third term on the school board. She received her bachelor’s and master’s degrees from the University of Michigan and received post-graduate training in immigration law and English as a Second Language.

Petlichkoff, who served as a trustee for one term, which ended in 2011, graduated from the University of Michigan-Dearborn after majoring in psychology and worked in the banking industry for nine years. The retiree ran for the board several times and last ran in 2006.

In Dearborn Heights, voters have four school board candidates vying for spots in the Crestwood Public School District and the Westwood Public School District.

The Westwood School Board candidates include incumbents Board President Roderick Means and Board Secretary Cheryl Bell-Everett who are running unopposed for the two six-year terms that expire on Dec. 31, 2018.

Means graduated from Eastern Michigan University with a bachelor’s degree; Bell-Everett graduated with a bachelor’s degree from Everest University.

State law now requires school boards to have elections on even-numbered years in November.

Crestwood Public School Board candidates Diane Ward and Zaineb Hussein are vying for a two-year term that expires on Dec. 31, 2014.

Hussein is a human services specialist with the state and earned a master’s degree in counseling with a concentration in education from Spring Arbor University.

Ward has lived in the Crestwood School District for the past two decades. She has helped with fundraising events at Riverside Middle School and volunteered as a parent chaperone at school-related events. She started the Patrons of the Crestwood Drama Club, a booster organization for the district’s Drama Club, and belongs to other clubs and organizations.

School Board candidates Hamid Soueidan and James Taylor are running for a four-year term that expires Dec. 31, 2016. Soueidan graduated from Thomas M. Cooley Law and Taylor, a 1975 Annapolis High graduate, served four years in the U.S. Army.

Dearborn Heights City Council candidates Lisa Farrens and Joseph Kosinski are vying for a partial term that expires on Dec. 31, 2013.

Kosinski, a longtime Dearborn Heights resident, filled a vacant city council seat during an Aug. 28 council meeting.

Kosinski won the seat with a 4-2 vote, beating out opponent Lisa Farrens; his term is scheduled to end this year.

During the general election Farrens and Kosinski are running for the remainder of the council term from Jan. 1 to Dec. 31, 2013.

The seat became available when the previous four-term Councilwoman Margaret Van Houten stepped down March 27 to fill the governor-appointed position of Third Circuit Court judge.

Farrens is a product planning manager and received a master’s degree in labor relations from Central Michigan University and a bachelor’s degree in business administration from Walsh University.

Kosinski received a bachelor’s degree in marketing from the University of Detroit. He began his public service career as vice chairman on the Zoning Board of Appeals in 1973 and from 1996 to 1999 was the city council chairman.

Polls will be open from 7 a.m. to 8 p.m. Nov. 6.

(Sherri Kolade can be reached at