Traverse City Record-Eagle


October 26, 2013

Estes undecided; commission candidate jumps into fray


Estes’ name will remain on the ballot regardless of whether he decides to resign or withdraw from the race. He told the Record-Eagle on Thursday he planned to take a couple of days to consider his future.

Several other commission candidates considered or were asked to run as write-in candidates, but rejected the idea. Candidate Ross Richardson said it doesn’t make practical sense with 11 days left before the election and a significant number of absentee ballots already cast.

Absentee ballots typically make up about 40 percent of the ballots cast in a city general election, Marentette said. The city already received over 55 percent of the absentee ballots, or about 22 percent of the votes likely to be cast in the Nov. 5 election.

Voters can ask to recast their absentee ballots, but just one person requested a new ballot for an unknown reason since news of Estes’ arrest broke Thursday morning, Marentette said.

City Commissioner Jim Carruthers said he has monitored social media and news websites and said the overwhelming sentiment on those venues is for Estes to resign.

But many such commentators don’t live in the city, and many who do are already mad at Estes because of efforts to disband the current city fire department or because of his oft-brusque manner in running meetings, Carruthers said.

Estes wants to replace the city fire department with Grand Traverse Metro Fire Department as a cost-saving measure.

“If people don’t like him because he’s rude; if people don’t like him because of the fire department thing; or people don’t like him because they think he’s a drunk, they can decide his future (Nov. 5),” Carruthers said.

Carruthers said he’s also amused at the number of people who think Estes is receiving special treatment because he is mayor.

“The only special treatment we get as public officials is we get the front page of the paper when we mess up,” Carruthers said.

Estes is scheduled to be arraigned on the misdemeanor charge Nov. 4, at 9:45 a.m. in 86th District Court before Judge Michael Stepka.

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