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Published: Saturday, 11/5/2005

Incumbent facing 18-year-old touts record in office

BY GEORGE J. TANBER
BLADE STAFF WRITER

An 18-year-old high school senior is challenging Hillsdale's mayor in a race that highlights a quiet Election Day in Hillsdale County.

Michael Sessions, a senior at Hillsdale High School, running as a write-in candidate, will take on Doug Ingles, 51, who is running for a second four-year term as mayor.

Mr. Ingles is a former city councilman who owns a local roller-skating rink. He said jobs and economic development are his key platform items.

The city's industrial park, low tax rate, and relatively moderate cost of living are excellent incentives to draw new businesses to the area, he said.

Mr. Ingles said that under his leadership, the rerouting of M-99 through town has been a major achievement.

Work on the state-funded project will begin in 2007, he said, and will have a positive impact on downtown Hillsdale traffic flow.

As for his young opponent, Mr. Ingles said he welcomes the challenge, but wonders, "How much credibility does an 18-year-old have?"

Mr. Sessions did not return a phone call yesterday.

The only Hillsdale City Council race will pit Charlie Sharp, a retired police detective, against Dave Williams, the city's mayor pro-tem.

In Litchfield, Mayor Ed Smith is facing a challenge from political novice Sharon Logan. Over the years, Mr. Smith has served five terms as mayor.

In Reading, city Councilman Gerald Lange is attempting to unseat incumbent Mayor Jay Krauss.

Residents in two school districts in the county will be asked to pass bond issues.

In the Hillsdale Community Schools, the school board is seeking approval of a 2.36-mill levy for 20 years that will enable it to buy property and build a new elementary school at Spring and Bacon roads.

The levy would raise a total of $17.4 million.

About $2.5 million of the money would be used for renovations at the Davis Middle School, officials said.

The new elementary school would replace three buildings, two of which were built in the 1930s, the other in the early 1950s.

The Davis building was built in 1929, with additions in 1969 and 1977.

Meanwhile, Pittsford Schools officials are seeking a 5.23-mill levy for 25 years that will raise $10.9 million for work at its main school building.

The money would be used to add up to 15 classrooms, renovate the school cafeteria, create a media center, and upgrade the building's heating and air-conditioning system.

Contact George Tanber at:

gtanber@theblade.com

or 734-241-3610.



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