Thursday, October 8, 2020

Familiar names to appear as write-in candidates

Robert Nix, who was defeated in his bid for reelection as Northville Township Supervisor by only 39 votes in August, will be a write-in candidate for the job on the Nov. 3 ballot.

Nix will be joined as write-in candidates by defeated Township Clerk Marjorie Banner and Township Treasurer Fred Shadko. All have registered their write-in candidacy with the office of the Wayne County Clerk.

Nix was defeated in the Republican primary election by former Twnship Supervisor Mark Abbo who served in the job for more than a decade, from 2000 until 2012. Banner lost her bid to Roger Lundberg and Shadko was outvoted by Jason Rhines in the primary election.   

Nix said the small number of votes separating him from Abbo was a factor in his decision to register as a write-in candidate.

John Werth, a former director of public safety in the township who is currently serving as the transition manager for Abbo, recently requested an analysis of all township departments from current Township Manager Todd Mutchler. In a two-page, hand-delivered letter, Werth requested an anaylsis of the strengths, weaknesses, opportunities and threats, or SWOT, of all departments. He indicated that following the receipt of the information, interviews with township personnel would be scheduled with himself and transition team members Julie Garavaglia (economic development), Mike Cox (legal), Phil McGuire (public services),  Werth (public safety), Steve McGuirk (parks and recreation), Kevin Kelley (senior services), Dale Yagalia (youth services), Alan Helmkamp (landfill) and Rhines and Lundberg.

Werth also requested copies of outstanding contracts with vendors and personnel information including wages, union contracts and any pending or ongoing litigation.

Those documents were not delivered or supplied and Abbo and his team subsequently made Freedom of Information Act requests for the documents, some of which were provided under the provisions of the law.

Abbo said the request for information was an effort toward a dignified and respectful transition in township leadership and an effort to save time.

Nix, however, said that Abbo's request for detailed and, in some cases, sensitive township information, was “simply inappropriate before the Nov. 3 general election.” He said he would not release confidential contracts or employee information prior to the general election. 

The winners in the Nov. 3 balloting will begin their new terms Nov. 20.