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Ypsilanti City Council recall election will go forward, Independent candidate Rod Johnson joins race

Rod Johnson
Rod Johnson

A citizens’ group has successfully gathered enough signatures to recall one of Ypsilanti’s 3rd Ward council members. If Desirae Simmons wants to continue council, she’ll have to win a special election on May 7th.

The citizens' group began the recall effort based on some of the votes Simmons cast as a council member. Desirae Simmons will automatically be placed on the special election ballot as a Democrat. She’ll have to fend off a challenge from Rod Johnson.

He previously served as a member and chairperson on Ypsilanti’s Planning Commission.

Johnson is running as an Independent and says, if elected, the financial health of the city would be among his top priorities.

“The city can only afford so much, so the rock bottom truth is that, at some point, we might go into bankruptcy because we’re spending more than we’re taking in."

The citizens' group behind the recall efforts says Simmons' vote to purchase a multi-million-dollar property to relocate the city’s public services yard was financially irresponsible and the final straw. The property purchase did not go forward after multiple council members changed their votes.

Johnson says, if he wins, he will explore fixing the aging DPS facilities, rather than relocating.

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Taylor Bowie joined WEMU as a reporter in October 2023.
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