Schafer, McLain, Haig win Birmingham election
By Lisa Brody
Voters in Birmingham came out on Tuesday, November 2, to have their voices heard in a hotly contested election where seven candidates ran to fill three vacant Birmingham City Commission seats, and in Bloomfield Hills where five candidates ran unopposed.
In Birmingham, residents have elected Katie Schafer, Elaine McLain and Andrew Haig to fill three city commission seats made vacant by the retirements of long-time commissioners Rackeline Hoff, Mark Nickita and Stuart Sherman.
Katie Schafer, a Birmingham pediatrician, was the top vote getter in all nine of Birmingham's precincts, receiving a total of 22.35 percent (3,084) of the vote. Elaine McLain, an independent medical producer who has been chair of the city's cable board for 15 years, received the second most votes, with 17.18 percent, or 2,370 votes cast. In third place was automotive engineer Andrew Haig, who narrowly beat his closest competitor, Anthony Long, an attorney, by just six votes, coming in at 2,340 votes, for 16.96 percent of the vote. Long received 2,334 votes, or 16.92 percent of votes cast.
After the results were reported by the Oakland County Clerk/Register of Deeds Office, Long said he planned to ask the Birmingham Clerk's office for a recount.
“It's six votes. Of course I am going to ask for a recount,” Long said. “I will contact the clerk tomorrow.”
Schafer, McLain and Long ran as a slate of independent voices to represent the entire Birmingham community. Haig, along with candidate David Bloom, ran as opponents to development and the city's 2040 Master Plan, and for maintaining residential neighborhoods.
Bloom came in fifth, with 16.65 percent of the vote.
The other two candidates, Lynda Schrenk and Stephen Konja, lagged in their results, with 4.65 percent and 5.12 percent of the vote respectively.
The race for the city commission seats involved what many considered a disinformation campaign by Bloom and Haig.
Birmingham city commissioners serve four-year terms. Commissioners meet twice each month, on the second and fourth Monday nights at 7:30 at City Hall. Commissioners are paid $5 per meeting.
Barring a change due to a recount, Schafer, McLain and Haig will be sworn in at the next city commission meeting on Monday, November 8, at 7:30 p.m.
In the uncontested races for the library board in Birmingham, Melissa Mark took 2,990 votes, followed by Frank Pisano with 2,903 votes and Daniel Rumple with 2,807 votes. For the term ending in November 13 of 2023, lone candidate Karen G. Rock took 3,201 votes.
Five candidates, including incumbents Bradley J. Baxter, Alice Buckley, Susan McCarthy and Sarah McClure, were returned to the city commission for another two-year term, along with new candidate Lauren G. Fisher.
Bloomfield Hills city commissioners serve two-year terms. They meet once each month, on the second Tuesday at 7:30 p.m. at city hall. Commissioners are paid $5 per meeting.
The new commissioners will be sworn in next Tuesday, November 9, at 7:30 p.m.