Supreme court reverses appeals court decision, decides Warren councilmen not eligible for primary ballot

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Posted at 9:42 PM, Jun 11, 2019
and last updated 2019-06-12 06:58:16-04

WARREN, Mich. (WXYZ) — The Michigan Supreme Court ruled Tuesday that four Warren city council members will not be on the August primary because of term limits.

This comes nearly a week after a Michigan appeals court reversed a decision by a Macomb County Circuit judge in May to remove the veteran council members from the August primary ballot.

The councilmen say the most recent ruling came as a surprise to them. However, not everyone in Warren agrees with the higher court's decision.

"I am all for term limits in general on everybody," long time Warren resident Bruce Gibbs said.


Some people living in Warren say they agree completely with the higher court's decision on term limits

"It’s according to the charter and that's what I think they probably ruled on," Gibbs said.

Others say it’s not fair.

"If they’re doing their job and doing their job well and the people are voting, they should be able to serve for as long as we vote them in," Joanne Brown said.

Council President Cecil St. Pierre, Council Vice President Steven Warner, Council Secretary Robert Boccomino and at-large Councilman Scott Stevens will be removed from the list of names eligible to run in the 2019 election after council candidate Connor Berdy filed a lawsuit against the Warren city elections commission over term limits.

"It wasn’t until after the term registration was so," said at-large Councilman Scott Stevens. "That leads one to believe that he was wanting to make sure he limited his competition because he’s running for city council. No name recognition, he needed to get some name recognition, this was his way."

It was a back and forth ruling. First Macomb county judge James Maceroni said the four councilmen were ineligible to be on the ballot according to the city charter. Then that ruling was overturned by an appeals court, saying the four could be on the ballot, then finally the state Supreme Court made a decision ruling the four are not eligible and won’t be on the August ballot, under the city charter.

"This should have been decided by the voters," said Vice President of Warren City Council Steven Warner. "The voters decided to have the council be in districts and I was elected to run in districts and I was running by rightfully third term."

People in Warren say at least this issue was getting people talking, and it’s a positive move going forward.

The discussion of it is beneficial just getting people to take an interest in what’s going on in their local communities.

Ballots for the August primary will be mailed out within the next few weeks. We will wait and say what names appear on the ballots.