Local residents overwhelmingly voted in favor of both public transportation and public safety in Tuesday’s primary election based on unofficial results posted by the Oakland County Elections Division.
Millage renewals to support the North Oakland Transportation Authority (NOTA) were approved 10,887 to 4,559 by voters in Oxford, Addison and Orion townships.
Lynn Gustafson, director of NOTA, was “overwhelmed” and “humbled” by the outcome.
“I’m actually in tears about it,” she said. “I’m very, very happy that everyone was so supportive.”
Oxford residents voted 3,369 to 1,172 to pass a five-year, 0.2409-mill tax for NOTA operations.
Over in Addison, the five-year, 0.2419-mill NOTA tax was approved 1,132 to 502.
Orion voters passed a five-year, 0.2405-mill tax for NOTA with 6,386 ballots for it and 2,885 against it.
“I want to give my heartfelt thanks to all who showed up and supported us today,” Gustafson said. “We’re happy to continue our service and we hope that more residents will begin to use NOTA because we’re here for (them).”
Established in 2001, NOTA provides low-cost, publicly-subsidized transportation for senior citizens, individuals with physical and/or developmental disabilities, and low-income folks living in the three townships and their respective villages.
Last year, NOTA provided a total of 38,859 rides. Most of those rides were given to residents of Orion (18,672) and Oxford (18,094). The remaining 2,093 rides went to those living in Addison Township.
Gustafson hopes this election “shed some light on the fact that NOTA is here” for folks in all three townships and as a result, people will be encouraged to “sign up if (they) need it.”
Millages to support the fire department and police services provided by the Oakland County Sheriff’s Office were approved in Addison Township.
Voters cast 1,349 ballots in favor of the fire department’s six-year, 2.25-mill request to support its operations. The ‘no’ votes totalled 360.
“My thanks to the residents and voters of Addison Township,” said Fire Chief Jerry Morawski. “They recognized our great service and now, we get to continue (it).”
To Morawski, the fact the millage passed by such a wide margin “shows that we’re doing a good job and the residents appreciate what we do.”
“We’re doing it right, I guess,” he said.
Addison voters cast 1,252 votes in favor of the four-year, 3.4874-mill tax to continue funding police services. The ‘no’ votes totalled 451.
“I’m ecstatic,” said Sheriff’s Sgt. Keith Weir, commander of the Addison substation. “It just shows that all the hard work that the deputies are putting in out there is paying off in the community.”
“It’s more than just writing tickets and taking bad guys to jail. It’s about community policing and doing a great job at it,” he added.
Weir encouraged Addison residents to “stop by (the substation) any time for a cup of coffee.”
“We’d be more than happy to sit and talk and hear their comments and concerns (or ideas about) anything that they would like to see change,” the sergeant.
In both Oxford and Addison, approximately a third of the registered voters participated in the primary election.
Of the 15,706 registered voters in Oxford, 5,076 (or 32.32 percent) cast ballots.
A total of 1,825 (or 37.34 percent) of Addison’s 4,887 registered voters took part in the election.