School board seats on ballots in 4 districts

Voters to decide 2 seats; panel to appoint a third
TRENTON — As of Friday the Trenton Public Schools Board of Education had three vacancies to fill due to two expiring terms and one resignation.

The two terms up for election will be sought during Tuesday’s general election by three candidates, ensuring at least one new panelist. Veteran Trustee Wayne G. Sieloff will try to retain his position against challengers David M. French and Sean Robert Gearhart.

Sieloff’s term expires along with that of longtime Trustee Carol Oakley, who opted not to seek re-election after nearly 30 years of service to the district.

Another position became vacant last month when Marie Conflitti submitted her resignation from the board, effective Nov. 1. Conflitti and her husband recently moved outside of the school district, rendering her ineligible to serve.

School Board President Mike Hawkins said he hopes to fill Conflitti’s seat at the Nov. 12 meeting. The position has been advertised and applications will be accepted until Friday.

Hawkins said the board decided to wait until after the election to avoid confusion. The candidate who does not win one of the seats Tuesday is welcome to apply, Hawkins said.

“Anyone that applies will be considered,” Hawkins said. “The candidates have that option. We want the best person that will fit on the board.”

The board is required to replace Conflitti by the end of November.

Board terms are for six-years, and the three candidates on Tuesday’s ballot bring a range of experience. Along with Sieloff’s board experience, French recently resigned as president of the Trenton Educational Foundation and has children who graduated from the district. Gearhart — son of City Clerk Trish Gearhart — has one child in the district and another who are eligible to enroll next year.

Voters in one Trenton precinct will cast ballots for the Riverview Board of Education. Two four-year terms are sought by four candidates: Incumbent James Wellman Kiturkes is seeking re-election; challengers are Amy Colleen Wright, James Joseph Makowski and Michael David Pelkey. Board President John Price is not running.

(James Mitchell can be reached at

4 vie for 2 seats in Riverview
Sunday Times Newspapers

RIVERVIEW — Four candidates will vie for two four-year terms on the Riverview Community School District Board of Education Tuesday.

Incumbent James Wellman Kiturkes, whose term expires at the end of the year is seeking re-election. He is serving his second term, after first being elected in 2004. He is employed with AT&T.

Jim Makowski, an attorney, is running for a fourth time after three previous unsuccessful campaigns for a school board seat.

Michael Pelkey, who works at Ford Motor Credit, is running for the first time.

First-time candidate Amy Wright is director of Ice Connect Synchronized Skating Teams.

Also on the ballot for the city will be a charter amendment proposing to prohibit residents who are not current on water or tax bills from holding elected city offices.

At a city council meeting in August, Finance Director Doug Drysdale said more than 200 water customers and up to 400 taxpayers have been notified of nonpayment. The problem has not yet extended to those running for city offices, officials said.

At the meeting, Mayor Tim Durand said city officials should not make decisions on water rates and taxes if they are not paying them themselves.

Three seats uncontested in Mel/NAP
Sunday Times Newspapers

Three will run uncontested for three terms on the Melvindale-North Allen Park Public Schools Board of Education.

Incumbent President Harriet Bowerman, of Allen Park, is running for a four-year term.

Newcomer Robert Turner of Allen Park is launching a school board campaign after a failed campaign for city council last November.

Allen Park’s Alex Atanasovski, a 2012 Melvindale High School graduate, is running uncontested for a partial term ending Dec. 31, 2014. The seat was vacated by Jim Beri who left to become Melvindale city administrator.

On the Allen Park Public Schools Board of Education, first-time candidate Brian Kirby and incumbent Treasurer Gordon Miller will seek two four-year terms.

Incumbent School Board President Frank Liberati is not seeking re-election.