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January 10, 2013
GROSSE POINTE FARMS — Two candidates are competing in the Tuesday, Feb. 26, special election for city council.

Both met the Monday, Jan. 7, deadline to file petitions at city hall listing at least 50 signatures of registered Grosse Pointe Farms voters.

“Signatures (are) approved,” said Shane Reeside, city manager.

Winner of the race completes the term of the late Councilman Joseph Leonard ending in November 2015. A three-term office-holder, Leonard died in August at age 76.

Seeking the term are Joe Ricci and Elizabeth Vogel.

“I’m passionate about Grosse Pointe Farms,” Vogel said.

“I’m committed to the community,” Ricci said.

Vogel has lived in the Farms her entire life, 30 years, except while attending college, she said.

“I’ve been very involved in Grosse Pointe Farms since I moved home from college,” she said.

She works as executive assistant at Petitpren beer wholesalers, according to background information she submitted to the city in October.

Ricci is a 35-year Farms resident and semi-retired automotive dealership owner, according to his submission.

“I know how city government works,” he said. “I know how the private sector works.”

Vogel was appointed last year to the Farms communications committee.

This is Ricci’s first election.

“I’m not a politician,” he said. “I’m a successful businessman. The city’s in pretty good shape financially, but we have to prepare for the next 10 to 15 years going forward. That’s where the real challenge lies — keeping things rolling in the right direction.”

Vogel sought office in 2011 as a write-in candidate.

“I’ve worked on the Hill for two real estate brokers,” she said. “I was involved in the Grosse Pointe Chamber of Commerce, the Hill Association, where I was vice president, and the steering committee for Racing For Kids.”

Vogel said being a trustee of the Grosse Pointe Historical Society and other boards prepares her to deal with municipal finances.

“We’re constantly reviewing budgets and finding ways to cut costs and raise money,” Vogel said. “I look forward to working in a collaborative effort to use the experiences I have and build upon them.”

Ricci said his record of entrepreneurship and experience dealing with cities qualify him “to a T” for the council.

“I see the big picture,” Ricci said. “I started in 1972 on Mack with my AMC Jeep store and parlayed that into 34 years of successful automobile sales working with five or six different communities.”

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