Q&A With Saline City Council Candidate Jack Ceo


Jack Ceo is the lone incumbent among five candidates running for Saline City Council in the upcoming election. He is joined on the ballot by Brian Cassise, Christen Mitchell, Jenn Harmount and Chuck Lesch.

John J. Ceo, Jr. (Jack)

Family info you’d like to share:

My wife Pamela and I have lived here in Saline for the past 48 years. We raised our children, John , III, and Christina here, both of whom are successful graduates of the Saline schools.

Educational/career experience:

I have earned both a Bachelors in Public Speaking, and Masters in Business Administration from Eastern Michigan University. I have worked over 50 years in various government jobs in a variety of management roles. I left the United States Army after 3 years as a Captain in the Military Police in 1972. I retired as Deputy Chief of the Ann Arbor Police Department in 1999; as Deputy Chief of the Saline Police Department in 2011; and then as co-manager of the Washtenaw County Radio System in 2016.

Government experience:

I have served on Saline City Council for the last 8 years. We have undertaken a very large/important expansion of our Wastewater Treatment Plant. That project is expected to take place over the next 2 years. We have also begun talks about the future of the Saline Recreation Center. I would like to continue on Council to see these projects through to their completion. Additionally, I have also found it very rewarding to serve on Council representing our citizens, and thus giving back to the community.

Why are you the right choice to serve on council?

Based on my many years of actually working in government positions, my many years as a Saline resident, and my common-sense approach to decision making, I feel that I am well qualified to continue serving on Saline City Council to represent its citizens.

What issue will rank as your top priority if elected?

If I had to rank the top priority as a Council person, it would be the successful completion of the work on the Wastewater Treatment Plant. That it not to diminish in the least the importance of living within our budget; the future of the Saline Recreation Center; the preservation of the character of the City of Saline for its residents; and the overall health and well-being of all who live, work and travel through our great community.

To get an idea about your willingness to use government power to coerce people to do things against their will, and to get an idea of your willingness to stand up against the orders of higher government, we’d like you to answer this question: Before the courts struck down Joe Biden’s vaccine mandate, the city was about to adopt it. How would you have voted? Please explain your answer.

You ask a hypothetical question about how I would have voted on an issue that never came before Council. I always reserve my answer in such a case. My decision making process is such that I form an initial opinion after considering the question, I do some research on the question from the available information, and then I listen carefully and thoughtfully to the points of view of my Council colleagues prior to forming my final decision. Lacking those inputs, I do not know what my final vote would have been.

The council recently formed a Human Rights Commission to investigate alleged violations of the NonDiscrimination Ordinance. Do you support the formation of this body? Can you think of any instances/examples where this will be used? While fighting discrimination is important, what assurances can you give people that this commission won’t be used to punish people for wrongthink?

I do support the formation of the Human Rights Commission - I voted in favor of the matter. I suppose that someone might make a complaint using the auspices of the Non Discrimination Ordinance if they felt someone had violated their rights as delineated in the Ordinance. Just like matters pursued under criminal ordinances, the reviewing body has the authority to dismiss matters it views as not having merit. I have faith that we can appoint persons to the Commission that are capable of making those distinctions.

Council recently voted to outsource local police dispatch service. Does the city need its own police department? Please explain your answer.

I think that most communities need Police Departments that serve under the jurisdiction of that community to properly enforce the ordinances put in place that reflect the will of that community. I feel the Saline Police Department well serves that purpose.

Can a town of 9,000 people continue to fund a Rec Center that serves the wider community? What solutions can you see?

I think that the Saline Recreation Center has become a vital part of the fabric of our community, and fills a needed use as a place for our citizens to exercise and keep fit physically. Prior to Covid, the Rec Center had a healthy fund balance. That fund balance was consumed to maintain the center during the time of diminished usage during Covid isolation. We are currently studying various ideas for the rejuvenation of that fund balance, and have yet to complete that important decision making process.

The city charter has a plainly narrow definition of the mayor’s duties, yet Saline has a long history of mayors working 20-30 hours a week from city hall. Do you see a problem with this? Or is this a good thing for the city? Please explain your answer.

I feel that Saline is very fortunate to have a person of Brian Marl's youth, energy, and ability to serve as our Mayor. He has the time and willingness to serve the citizens he is elected to represent. I only see that as a good thing, and welcome his efforts to be an excellent Mayor of Saline. This has been especially apparent of late in his efforts to bring in funding for our Wastewater Treatment Plant from both the Federal and State governments through successful contacts and inputs with those governing bodies. He also makes himself personally available to citizens who have questions or complaints about the operation of Saline City government. I think all of those are good things to have happen.

Are you satisfied with the direction of the city? Please explain your answer?

I firmly believe in the concept of "continuous improvement". That is, no matter how well we think things are going, they can always be improved. I think Saline is a fine place to live, and operates in good fashion for a government of our size. I also feel that there is always room for improvement, and that we must continually seek ways to make those improvements. If re-elected, I will always look for ways to make those improvements for our community.

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