City of Saline voters will cast ballots and elect three members of city council in Tuesday’s vote.
Who’s kidding who? Many have already cast their votes by absentee ballot.
For those citizens still undecided, The Saline Post is offering endorsements.
The candidates are incumbent Jack Ceo and Kevin Camero-Sulak, Jim Dell’Orco and Brian Cassise.
While all candidates would offer the city something of value, The Saline Post is endorsing Ceo, Camero-Sulak, and Dell’Orco. Here’s why:
Jack Ceo: While this council has at times struggled, it is by no means in need of a complete overhaul. This council is already losing Linda TerHaar and Heidi McClelland. With so many ongoing and complex issues, breaking in three new members of council would not be advantageous. Ceo’s experience is an asset to the city. And his experience goes beyond four years on council. He was Deputy Police Chief - giving him great insight into one of the city’s most important services and into the inner workings of the city’s administration. On top of that, Ceo has served on the planning commission and board of education.
Ceo is often aligned with Mayor Brian Marl on issues - which is no surprise. Ceo introduced Marl when Marl first announced his intention to run for mayor.
At the council table, Ceo is often able to punctuate long, drawn-out discussions with concise statements that can quickly clear a muddy issue. Having served in government staff leadership and on the legislative side, Ceo has a clear understanding of the role of a council member - a trait that should not be overlooked.
Jim Dell’Orco: There’s something to be said for putting in the time. Ever since Dell’Orco got involved in fighting the proposal to increase the density of 207 S. Monroe St. (from 30 to 44 units), Dell’Orco has been a regular at the Saline City Council and planning commission meetings. Of the three unelected candidates, he has attended the most meetings, by far. As a result, in conversations with the three unelected candidates, Dell’Orco is the most well-versed on the issues facing the city. Dell’Orco took on a leadership role in his neighborhood and represented his neighbors well at council meetings. It wasn’t easy, but Dell’Orco and his neighbors won the fight to prevent a nearly 50 percent increase in density, convincing just enough council members to vote against it. Frankly, Dell’Orco was right. The proposal was bad for the neighborhood and bad for the city. Dell’Orco’s dedication and well-spoken defense of his positions served his community well, even if it perturbed some city leaders. He’s continued to attend meetings and speak to issues from time to time. Dell’Orco is worthy of your vote for council.
Kevin Camero-Sulak: Unlike Dell’Orco, Camero-Sulak didn’t have a hot-button issue drive his decision to run for council. It’s something he’s considered for a few years, and with several council members deciding not to run, he decided to throw his hat in the ring this year. Camero-Sulak’s experience in assessing could be a valuable asset to the next council. More importantly, Camero-Sulak is a friendly, positive person who seems genuinely interested in helping the city council tackle issues in a productive fashion.
Brian Cassise: Voters can only elect three candidates, so this endorsement candidate is leaving out one candidate. Nothing we’ve seen suggests Cassise would not be a helpful member of council. He just didn’t seem as engaged as the other candidates. Nor does he seem to have the same depth when it comes to the issues facing the city.
It was a little difficult to tell from the answers, but it appears as if Cassise would likely be the most conservative member of council - and this council could use a clarion conservative voice. So if that’s what you’re looking for, Cassise might be your candidate.
On the other hand, Cassise has only lived in Saline for a couple years. In fact, he tried to run before he was even eligible. And, quite frankly, his motivation for running still isn’t completely clear.