By Jim Newell
ORION TWP. — When Orion residents headed to the polls yesterday they did not vote in two important, local non-partisan contested races — the Lake Orion Village Council and the Lake Orion Community Schools Board of Education.
In the Nov. 8 General Election, however, residents will have that opportunity to help shape the future of both boards, and the school board will have at least one new member.
Current school board President Jim Weidman did not seek re-election, according to the unofficial candidate list from the Oakland County Clerk’s Election Division.
The deadline to file to run for both the school board and the village council was July 26.
Lake Orion Community Schools Board of Education
There are three seats up for election, each for a four-year term on the school board. School board President Jim Weidman, Treasurer Jake Singer and Secretary Steve Drakos are up for election.
Drakos and Singer have turned in their petitions seeking re-election and will be on the ballot running against Thomas F. Daniels, Amie Gamache and Heather Sinawi.
“We need all sorts of people on the school board,” Drakos said, adding that those who have invested in the community – parents, grandparents, those who don’t have children – are taxpayers who want good schools and for children to be educated and happy.
“The more people that run, the better for everybody,” Drakos said. “Our schools are more important than some of those paid political jobs. Our schools are our children, the future of our nation, our state and Lake Orion.”
Village of Lake Orion Village Council
There are four seats up for election this year in a hotly contested village council race.
The top three vote-getters win four-year terms on the council and the fourth-place candidate earns a two-year term.
The seats up for election are currently held by council President Ken Van Portfliet and council members Teresa Rutt, Doug Hobbs and Brad Mathisen.
All incumbents are seeking re-election and long-time residents Nancy Moshier and Carl Cyrowski are challenging for two seats.
“I tell people all the time that local politics is one of the best places to get involved because you can make an actual difference. Sometimes we think with national politics or even state politics that my voice isn’t important, my voice isn’t heard. But in local politics, it absolutely is,” said Rutt.
By Jim Newell