City of Dexter Election Voter’s Guide, Candidate Review

City of Dexter residents can begin regular voting activity to choose three City Council-members from a field of four candidates at 7 a.m. on Tuesday, November 3.

The polls at the Dexter Senior Center, 7720 Ann Arbor Street are open until 8 p.m. Both of the city’s two precincts are located here.

The city offices, located at 8140 Main Street in downtown Dexter, will be opened this Saturday, October 31 from 9 a.m. to 2 p.m. for those who need issued or accepted absentee ballots, which must be returned to the city offices no later than 8 p.m. on election day.

Those who wish to view a sample ballot can visit City officials can answer questions during their hours of operation in the days leading up and including election day at 734-426-8303 x17.

The four candidates for City Council are as follows:

Disclaimer: These are not endorsements. They are just the authors assessment of each candidate and who would align with each based on years of experience covering Dexter government, as well as conducting the interviews involved in writing each of the below linked candidate profiles.

All candidates expressed similar eagerness to move forward on common issues of the day in Dexter, such as dealing with the question of facilities for Dexter government administration and public safety operations, as well as the Mill Creek Park’s next phase.

All were cautious about the question of proposed residential developments in Scio and Webster Township, which will be more prominent in the news in coming years.

James Smith
James Smith

Assessment: Smith has the longest governmental perspective of Dexter, having served on council in the 70’s and then twice again thus far in the new millennium. He was also heavily involved during Dexter’s transition from a village to a city, being front and center during the crafting of the new city’s charter as a member of the Dexter Charter Commission.

Those who take a conservative view of Dexter’s wielding of its new abilities as a city and/or who simply want to see Dexter be a “city” primarily in name only, as much as possible, would more than likely see eye-to-eye with Smith on most issues pertaining to how Dexter’s governmental business is conducted going forward.

Read the candidate profile with video interview for the details on Smith’s background as a three time figure in Dexter municipal government

Zach Michels
Zach Michels

Assessment: Michels brings a great deal of experience from the administrative side of local government, being a planner and also one of the paid local government employees who typically works with and answers to local elected officials. He seems like a more moderate candidate on the still active divide between those who are concerned about losing the positives of Dexter being a village and those who view city-hood as the start of a natural evolution of local governance in Dexter that shouldn’t be hindered.

Voters who like the idea of having more expertise in government, as well as elected officials with experience functioning inside local government in an administrative capacity, would see much value in Michels serving on council.

Read the candidate profile with video interview for the details on Michels’ background as a planner and lover of small-town living.

Ray Tell
Ray Tell

Assessment: Tell has always been an independent thinker on the village and then city council. His deliberations on the business of the day, though only offered when he feels strongly enough about a topic to wade into the discussion, are always insightful and unique. His votes are often surprising, sometimes indicating compromise and always a great deal of thought invested into each individual decision of import brought before him.

Those who are moderate in their view of the city of Dexter’s future course would more than likely find much to agree with in Tell’s actions, which seem to be motivated by what he believes is best for the community as a whole, regardless of whether it lies down a path marked “village” or a path marked “city.”

Read the candidate profile with video interview for the details on Tell’s background as a village and city council member, as well as his views on upcoming developments and local water issues.

Peter Meloche
Peter Meloche

Assessment: Meloche is a candidate in the vein of Smith, who wishes to retain the “feel” of Dexter as a small community that has its own character. He took a more nuanced approach to discussing the values that he would bring to the table as a presence on the city council, partly due to the fact that he doesn’t have governmental experience — a good or bad thing, depending on what a particular voter is looking for in a candidate.

Those who like folks with private sector business background in local government would probably appreciate Meloche’s citing of his work experience as what he considers an asset that he would draw on as a local elected official. Voters who are looking to bring some new blood into the Dexter government scene in general would more than likely find Meloche’s ballot box an appealing one to check off of the up-to-three out of four total that can be chosen in this election.

Read the candidate profile with video interview for the details on Meloche’s background as a longtime Dexter resident who values the intrinsic “village” qualities of traditional Dexter, while also being eager to move the city’s business forward.

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