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Thread: 18 year old Mayor for City of Hillsdale, MI

  1. #1

    18 year old Mayor for City of Hillsdale, MI

    Below is today's article from the Hillsdale Daily. It is of interest to me because it is near my old stompin grounds. For those not familiar, Hillsdale is home to Michigan's oldest county fair and to Hillsdale College, a private liberal arts college located in the south-central part of Michigan. Enjoy:


    Canvassers confirm win for Sessions
    Student holds on with slim two–vote margin
    Tom Kondilas, Staff Writer
    517.437.6014
    The “18–year–old high school student” as one voter wrote in, will be certified as the winner of the Hillsdale mayoral race. But it’s close.

    The official count for the mayoral race had write–in candidate Michael Sessions eking out a 670–668 win over incumbent Doug Ingles. Sessions’ lead dwindled from the 64–vote margin that was unofficially announced Tuesday night.

    The drastic change in the count is largely due to the nature of Sessions’ write–in candidacy and the electronic voting machines used to tabulate the votes.

    The voting machines counted any ballots that had the write–in bubble filled for Michael Sessions because he was the only official write–in candidate. That means that even stray marks could have counted for Ses–sions the first time through.

    The County Board of Canvas–sers had the job of officially interpreting which votes to count for Sessions and which to eliminate. By law, any vote that the board believed was in–tended for Sessions must count for him. The question be–comes an interpretation of intent.

    Among the variations of spellings, the board decided that one person who wrote in “18–year–old high school student,” did intend to vote for Sessions, but that a voter who wrote in “anybody else,” did not.

    “Everybody’s trying to do their very best job,” said County Clerk Tom Mohr. “The only way the ballots are going to be looked at is if there’s a recount.” That seems imminent because of how close the vote is.
    Who's gonna re-invent the wheel today?

  2. #2
    Cyburbian mgk920's avatar
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    The City of Columbus, WI (pop about 4.5K) elected an 18YO Mayor in about 1990. From what I know, he did a pretty good job, concentrating on economic development.

    Mike

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    small world...

    the article writer and i were in the same graduating class at case western reserve university in cleveland. i saw him last week.

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    Cyburbian el Guapo's avatar
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    Small World 2...
    I have a pair of undewear that are 18 years old. I wore them today.


    Any town that elects an 18 year old to an executive position deserves what it gets.

    Signed - the Old Grumpy Dude.

  5. #5
    Cyburbian SW MI Planner's avatar
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    From what I heard from the locals, they basically voted him in to get the other guy out. Not sure about you guys, but when I was 18 I was worried about college, turning 21 so I could legally drink, and boys.

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    Cyburbian PlannerByDay's avatar
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    Quote Originally posted by SW MI Planner
    Not sure about you guys, but when I was 18 I was worried about college, turning 21 so I could legally drink, and boys.
    I agree with two of the above worries. (college and drinking ). Not sure how long his term is but I predict he resigns in 1-2 years. I think he did it to raise the issues, get some press and never thought he would win. I think he will resign once he finds out what the stresses of politics are. But I could be wrong.

  7. #7
    Cyburbian Bubba's avatar
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    From David Letterman's "Top Ten Good Things About Being An 18-Year-Old Mayor"

    8. "It's every teen's dream: The power to regulate zoning laws"
    The representative to the State House from my district a couple of years ago was a 20 year old kid - beat out a couple of other serious candidates, one of whom was a transplant from Arizona who had served in their state House of Representatives. He won largely because he campaigned on the issues only, while the other two spent all their time and money slinging mud at each other. The kid was re-elected last year, and I fully expect to see him running for State Senate in a few years.

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    Cyburbian DetroitPlanner's avatar
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    Quote Originally posted by SW MI Planner
    From what I heard from the locals, they basically voted him in to get the other guy out. Not sure about you guys, but when I was 18 I was worried about college, turning 21 so I could legally drink, and boys.

    Well they don't so such things down in Hillsdale County, they ain't exactly as sophisicated as you big-city Coldwatertarians with your freeways and McDonald's.


  9. #9
    moderator in moderation Suburb Repairman's avatar
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    Slightly related:

    A buddy of mine in San Marcos, TX got 43% of the vote and will take part in the run-off for a city council spot. It marks the first time since the early 70s that a Texas State student could take a position on City Council. We're starting to see the beginnings of a student movement in the City to "take back the town", so to speak as recent leadership has targetted students with several policies over the past 5-6 years. He is 23 years old and a political science student. I am almost positive that this guy will end up a US Congressman or something... now where's that beer bong picture...

    "Oh, that is all well and good, but, voice or no voice, the people can always be brought to the bidding of the leaders. That is easy. All you have to do is tell them they are being attacked and denounce the pacifists for lack of patriotism and exposing the country to danger. It works the same way in any country."

    - Herman Göring at the Nuremburg trials (thoughts on democracy)

  10. #10
    Cyburbian michaelskis's avatar
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    From what I hear, the kid has the potential to do a great job. He wants to improve emergency response times, hire another fireman, use Hillsdale College as a catalyst to promote startup businesses within the community, diversify the economic base, and attract and retain young people to the community. Heck, he might be better than allot of other mayors.

    I say good for him!
    Invest in the things today, that provide the returns tomorrow.

  11. #11
    Cyburbian donk's avatar
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    CYNIC WARNING AHEAD


    If he plays his cards right, he might even have a full pension set up for him before the time he is 25.

    How much does the job pay?
    Too lazy to beat myself up for being to lazy to beat myself up for being too lazy to... well you get the point....

  12. #12
    Cyburbian SW MI Planner's avatar
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    Quote Originally posted by DetroitPlanner
    Well they don't so such things down in Hillsdale County, they ain't exactly as sophisicated as you big-city Coldwatertarians with your freeways and McDonald's.

    Hey, they have a McDonalds

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    I Grew Up In Hillsdale!

    Well, fun news from my old hometown...

    Anotehr article I read mentioned that he wanted to be mayor in his spare time while attending Hillsdale College. And that he hoped that his office could be in his dorm room... I know its a small town, but last time I checked, being Mayor was a full-time job.

    The fact that he's rip-roarin' to attend Hillsdale College (bastion of neoconservative ideology) does not give me much hope that he'll be accomplishing good things for the city, which is in dire need of a lot of help. But I'll admit that I'm a cynic, and I must admit that I don't know this guy, either - I'm ten years older than he is and my folks moved out of town when the flour mill (and most of the other major employers) closed a few years back.

    That's my $.02. And just for the record, the guy he was running against is a total turd.

  14. #14
    Cyburbian DetroitPlanner's avatar
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    Quote Originally posted by SW MI Planner
    Hey, they have a McDonalds

    Hmm they have one in Hillsdale AND Jonesville??

  15. #15

    Yep

    Quote Originally posted by DetroitPlanner
    Hmm they have one in Hillsdale AND Jonesville??
    Hillsdale did lose the "flour company", which was DCA (Donut Company of America), which sold to Dunkin Donuts. They do have their own McDonalds, a burger King, Wal Mart and used to have (don't know if they still do) a Little Cesars, Big Boy, Big Lots and a Krogers - that takes Indiana cans for $0.10. How do I know? We used to make a living off the beercans from the college parties at TSU and bring them up....$75/week avg.
    They had Hillsdale Tool (parts manufacturer), and a Bose plant. The economy is weak there (the whole county) and housing is cheap. Disappointing really for a college town. But I guess that only so many places employ teachers, which is what they (Hillsdale College) were known for, that and their blue astro-turf. Do they still have that does anyone know?
    Who's gonna re-invent the wheel today?

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    Hillsdale

    Quote Originally posted by ssnyderjr
    But I guess that only so many places employ teachers, which is what they (Hillsdale College) were known for, that and their blue astro-turf. Do they still have that does anyone know?

    My pop used to work for DCA, up until they closed down. They had gone through a number of owners for the past few years - smaller guys kept getting bought out by bigger competitors. It finally ended with General Mills, who basically bought the mill in order to close it, to shut out a competitors only supplier in the region (or so the rumor goes). About six months after it was purchased by General Mills, it was announced that they were closing it.

    Hillsdale also had a pretty good variety of auto parts manufacturers (notably Hillsdale Tool, Alson's paints, and Teleflex, all of which are gone. The mill employed some 600 people, and those three factories employeed nearly the same number, plus all the management & execs at Hillsdale Tool. All left town within a year or so. Thats a lot of jobs to lose in a year.

    I think the reason the college doesn't impact the town much is three-fold - it is pretty far from downtown, and much closer to the highway commercial districts, Students at Hillsdale are not particularly encouraged to leave campus (the mentality is that town is full of blue-collar hicks and that the students would finsd nothnig of interest in town anyway, which is probably true to some degree), and since relations between the college and the townies is so bad that nobody makes a real effort to cater to student tastes. Also, very few students stay in Hillsdale after they graduate...

    As of last year, the blue astroturf remains. Big Boy's been closed for ages and Wal-mart is in Jonesville (right on the town line, of course).

    Despite the high unemployment, the downtown is still pretty nice, though, particularly for small michigan cities.... And there is a large local grocer that is beating the pants off the brand new Kroger next door. A hopeful sign...

  17. #17
    Cyburbian SW MI Planner's avatar
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    Quote Originally posted by MaineMan
    ....Wal-mart is in Jonesville (right on the town line, of course).
    Yah, because Hillsdale didn't want them so they went next door. I was just having the conversation the other day about this, but I can't remember with who?

  18. #18
    Cyburbian JNL's avatar
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    Quote Originally posted by el Guapo
    Any town that elects an 18 year old to an executive position deserves what it gets.
    Hey Old Grumpy Dude,

    We have a 19y.o. councillor who was 18 when she was elected. She seems to have staying power and, as far as I am aware, is well-regarded in her role. Her website: http://www.hayleywain.co.nz/?

  19. #19
    Cyburbian SGB's avatar
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    Probably not a full time job

    IIRC, a network evening news report stated that Hillsdale has a FT City Manager.

    The Mayor may get to go to college yet, although I think having his dorm room as the official office would be a really bad idea.

  20. #20
    Cyburbian michaelskis's avatar
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    I like the SNL Weekend Update Skit that made fun of him.
    Invest in the things today, that provide the returns tomorrow.

  21. #21
    Chairman of the bored Maister's avatar
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    I'd like to talk to the lad. Being 18 and running for office could be either a symptom of Alice Cooper-ish rebellion/contrariness, but it could just as well be that he's something of a prodigy. Not the first in Michigan political history. Our very first Governor - Stevens T. Mason (the 'boy governor') was only 19 when he entered office.

    If anyone knows his email lemme know
    People will miss that it once meant something to be Southern or Midwestern. It doesn't mean much now, except for the climate. The question, “Where are you from?” doesn't lead to anything odd or interesting. They live somewhere near a Gap store, and what else do you need to know? - Garrison Keillor

  22. #22

    Really

    Quote Originally posted by michaelskis
    I like the SNL Weekend Update Skit that made fun of him.
    (OFF-TOPIC) Someone still watches SNL? There isn't anyone funny on that anymore, is there? I value my time a little more , I watch the re-runs of the funny stuff.
    Who's gonna re-invent the wheel today?

  23. #23
    Cyburbian donk's avatar
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    Quote Originally posted by michaelskis
    I like the SNL Weekend Update Skit that made fun of him.
    But was it on after his bed time?
    Too lazy to beat myself up for being to lazy to beat myself up for being too lazy to... well you get the point....

  24. #24
    Cyburbian otterpop's avatar
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    Quote Originally posted by ssnyderjr
    (OFF-TOPIC) Someone still watches SNL? There isn't anyone funny on that anymore, is there? I value my time a little more , I watch the re-runs of the funny stuff.
    Partly because it is a habit began in the halcyon days of SNL, I still watch. Even the original cast had quite a few clinkers from time to time. The rule of thumb for SNL, for me, has always been that week's host. The early days of SNL benefited from having hosts who were mostly a little older and more experienced (talented) - Carlin, Steve Martin, etc. When Bill Russell hosted, the show sucked. Good host = better show.

    The batch of hosts nowadays are just not as funny or talented. Paris Hilton? Come on, if she wasn't rich and slutty, she couldn't even get a job as a restaurant hostess.

    Last Saturday's show was good. Jason Lee = good host

    SNL is still good at skewering the powers-that-be, and the only people who take shots at Bush, other than the Daily Show.

    Weekend Update is usually fun.
    "I am very good at reading women, but I get into trouble for using the Braille method."

    ~ Otterpop ~

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