Lyons to begin fifth term as mayor; tax levy defeated
Published 9:43 pm Tuesday, November 5, 2013
In what was likely a closer race than many expected, Dowagiac voters elected incumbent mayor Don Lyons to serve another four-year term.
“I thought it was a good, fair race. I thought (opponent Junior Oliver) did a nice job,” Lyons said Tuesday night after the results were final. “I think competition is always good. It puts you on top of your game.”
According to Cass County’s election website, Lyons received a total of 267 votes, while Oliver received 238.
“I guess that’s the way it’s supposed to go,” Oliver said. He added that he plans to still stay involved in city government, and hopes to hold a seat somewhere down the line. He also thanked his supporters for voting for him and sharing their ideas.
Lyons, owner of Lyons Industries in Dowagiac, has completed four terms as mayor, and served in several other political positions including school board, Cass County Economic Development Commission and the Michigan Association of School Boards, among many others. Lyons has played a crucial role in several initiatives over the last 16 years, including the implementation of the Don Lyons Health Center and the new dental center that is currently being built.
The Cass County Transportation Authority property tax levy was voted down, with 1,781 in opposition and 1,400 votes in support. The millage would have put a 0.28 mill tax ($0.28 per $1,000 of taxable value) for a period of five years (from 2014 to 2018), to provide public transportation facilities in Cass County. Dowagiac’s Dial-a-Ride Transportation (DART) would have merged with the Cass County Public Transportation system.
Four city council members were re-elected. Robin Coffey, treasurer, with 468 votes, Lori Hunt, first ward councilman, with 129 votes, Bob Schurr, second ward councilman, 187 votes and Leon Laylin, third ward councilman, 126. All ran uncontested.
Lewis-Cass Intermediate School District’s millage proposal to raise the tax levy for the special education proposal was also defeated with 1,264 votes opposing the millage and 1,108 votes in support. The millage would have permitted the continued tax levy by the school district to fund special education and raise the tax rate an additional .4709 mill between 2013 and 2032.