City declares one school board candidate the winner, county another

By TEREASA NIMS
Sunday Times Newspapers

TAYLOR – According to the city clerk’s numbers, Ron Miller won the Taylor School District School Board seat. According to Wayne County, he did not. And the numbers weren’t anywhere close to matching.

Incumbent Miller served the past four years. He didn’t toss his name in for re-election by the filing date, but then decided he wanted to run again. So, he did as a write in.

There were six candidates seeking the position. The top two vote-getters were Miller and David Myers. The clerk’s office reported Miller received 357 write-in votes and Myers had 321 votes. Wayne County said Myers received 346 votes compared to Miller’s 247 votes. When he saw the spreadsheet of the 31 city precincts, he noticed that nine of them reported zero votes for him – including his own precinct, where he voted for himself.

“I don’t know how they even came up with their numbers,” Miller said of the county.

The situation is also upsetting to City Clerk Cindy Bower.

“I’m frustrated by this whole situation,” said Bower, who said she does not know what happened. “He did nothing wrong.”

Bower said per the city’s tally, Miller won the election. But her hands are tied. It’s unknown how the vote tallies between the city and county differ.

To add insult to injury, when Miller tried to fight the county’s decision on Nov. 29, he was told he missed the 4 p.m. Nov. 28 deadline to challenge the total and file for a recount. He had six calendar days beginning Nov. 23, to object to the county’s numbers, and the county offices were closed four of those days, two being for Thanksgiving.

Miller said once he realized the discrepancy, he went to a satellite Wayne County Clerk’s office in Westland on Nov. 28 and was told he needed to go to the Taylor City Clerk’s office.

When he did, he was told by a staff member that they already knew of the discrepancy. However, in learning more about why it happened, Miller was missing the deadline that he didn’t know about.

“The city of Taylor should have done something first and foremost,” Miller said. “That’s the bottom line.”

He said the voters cast their ballots for him and he is the one who should be seated.

A county official said they are reaching out to the state for assistance on the matter.

“His only option is to sue the county,” Bower said.

Miller hopes this ordeal can be worked out minus legal action, but is prepared if need be.

He will be at the Jan. 9 board of education meeting where Myers will be sworn in.

(Tereasa Nims can be reached at dstreporter@gmail.com.)

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