Archived Story

Engel elected Niles Township Treasurer

Published 4:59pm Wednesday, November 7, 2012

Niles Charter Township voters decided a five-way race for four trustee seats Tuesday by removing the Democratic incumbent and renewed the millage for contracted coverage from Berrien County Sheriff’s Department, 3,023 yes to 2,241 no.

The tax renewal asked one mill to pay for police protection for four years and is expected to generate more than $353,000 its first year.

Voters also elected Republican John Engel treasurer, who upset incumbent James Ringler by 35 votes in the Aug. 7 primary.

Engel concluded he “wasn’t the right person for the job” and cited “health reasons caused by stress,” but not in time for his name not to appear on the ballot.

Since there was no Democrat, Ringler mounted a write-in effort, which fell far short, of giving him his fourth term. Engel polled 3,628 — more than Mitt Romney’s 3,250 — with 477 for Ringler.

Ringler’s predecessor as treasurer, Jim Stover, will be supervisor, and former Niles city administrator Terry Eull, will be clerk as Marge Durm-Hiatt’s retires. Both are Republicans and faced no opposition after Stover beat Supervisor Jim Kidwell last summer.

Stover earned 4,041 votes, Eull 4074.

In the race for four trustee slots, GOP incumbents Richard Cooper (3,212) and Richard Noble (3,360) and newcomers Herschel Hoese (3,262) and Christine Vella (3,276) outpolled Gary Conover (2,624).

Conover was seeking a full term after being appointed to return to the board in December 2010.

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