Theodore “Ted” Bates


Theodore “Ted” Bates

Death 22 Feb 2011 (aged 84)
Burial Burial Details Unknown
Memorial ID 66064863 View Source

February 22, 2011. son of the late James and Della Bates Beloved husband of Mary Jacqueline. Dear father of Barbara (Rick) Nelson, Ted (Susan) Bates, Laurie (Ron) ' Fair. Cathleen (Raymond) Porter, and the late Jamie Bates (Patrick Callahan), also Kimberly Birr, and Ronald Rocho. Grandfather of David, Marc, Casey. Stephanie, Lauren, Ryan. Timothy, Alyssa, Raymond Jr., and Samantha. Visitation for Mr. Bates will be Friday from 3-9 pm at the D.S. Temrowski A Sons Funeral Home, 30009 Hoover Road at Common (12 12 Mtle Road) in Warren. Funeral Services will be conducted Saturday 12 Noon at the Funeral Home. Memorial donations are appreciated to the donor's choice

Bates, Ted — of Warren, Macomb County, Mich. Graduate of Lincoln High School Class of 1944. Mayor of Warren, Mich., 1967-81.
Former Warren mayor Ted Bates dies at 82

By Norb Franz
Daily Tribune Staff Writer

Ted Bates
b. September 30, 1926 in Detroit, Michigan d. Tuesday, February 22, 2011 at Munson Medical Center in Traverse City Michigan. F

Former Warren Mayor Ted Bates, an icon of city government who held the top office longer than anyone in the city's history, died Tuesday morning in Traverse City. He was 82.

Bates, who served seven consecutive two-year terms starting in 1967, suffered a heart attack last week and died at Munson Hospital, said Emil Cardamone, a former Warren city attorney and longtime friend.

Bates' 14 years in office is the longest tenure of any of the eight mayors since Warren converted from a village to a city form of government in 1957. He was known as a hardworking, sincere administrator who challenged federal officials over low-income housing, and who stood at the entrance of Warren City Hall looking at his wristwatch if a city employee arrived late for work in the morning.

"There was no pretentiousness about him," Cardamone said. "Whatever he said, you could take to the bank. He spoke from the heart."

Cardamone, who served as city attorney under Bates from 1965-69, said his former boss hollered often at his appointees, demanding they do their best as public servants. In meetings with department heads, Bates didn't worry about the political ramifications of his decisions and would ask, "Is this the best thing to do and is it the right thing to do?" Cardamone said.

Bates was the city treasurer when he decided to run for mayor in 1967. With endorsements from the city's employee unions and a product of the "Miller Machine" political force developed under Warren's first mayor, Arthur J. Miller, Bates trounced three-term incumbent William "Bill" Shaw. Shaw suffered at the polls in large part because of a strike by the city's sanitation workers.

Bates breezed to re-election victories in nearly all of the next six mayoral contests.

In the early 1970s, he led the city's fight against the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development, which tried to force the city to develop low-income housing to desegregate the suburbs. Warren officials and residents loudly protested the plan.

When HUD Secretary George Romney, the former Michigan governor, came to Lincoln High School in the early 1970s to explain the federal government's stance, angry protesters began rocking his car, and the State Police was needed to help him get away.

"He fought it tooth and nail," said retired Macomb Daily editorial page editor Mitch Kehetian. "That was, by far, Ted Bates' best fight."

Bates also built his reputation by opposing cross-district busing, again thrusting Warren into the national spotlight.

The longtime mayor convinced Warren officials to build a wastewater treatment plant, saying the city should not be dependent on Detroit for that service. When the multimillion-dollar plant opened, Bates drank a glass of treated water from the facility to prove it was safe.

Current Warren Public Service Director Richard Sabaugh was a first-term councilman when he tried to unseat Bates in 1971. Bates defeated Sabaugh, 52-48 percent.

Two years later, Councilman Howard Austin became Bates' next victim at the polls.

"He was straightforward and always honest" said Sabaugh, who also served on the Macomb County Board of Commissioners. "You could never accuse him of being deceptive. What you saw was what you got."

"He left a legacy of hard work. Bates was the symbol of city government," Sabaugh added. "He was always the first one there in the morning and the last one to leave at night."

During the 1980 Republican National Convention, Bates rented a suite at a local Holiday Inn, and arranged for bands and receptions at three of the city's motels to welcome delegates from three states, hoping to put Warren — a heavily Democratic city — in a good light.

Bates' long hold on the top office ended in November 1981 after a heated campaign against Warren police Officer James Randlett, who also ran for mayor in 1977 and 1999.

Randlett, who worked on the midnight shift, campaigned by day. He claimed he could improve city services. Bates ordered his police commissioner to move Randlett to the day shift.

"The voters turned on him," Kehetian said.
Warren homeowners that year also complained about higher property tax bills caused by rising property assessments. Sabaugh said "Bates fatigue" had set in with voters who were ready for a change.

Shortly after losing to Randlett, Bates and his wife, Eleanor, divorced (she served on the City Council in the 1990s and remains active in the community as a member of the Van Dyke Public Schools Board of Education).

Ted Bates remarried, and he and his wife, Mary Jaquiline, had a new chalet built a few years ago in the Roscommon area in the northern Lower Peninsula, to get away from the city.

Bates graduated from Lincoln High School and was a veteran of World War II. A Warren street and a city park are named in his honor.

Mayor James Fouts, who was elected to the City Council the year Randlett defeated Bates, described the longtime mayor as a "straight shooter" who commanded respect because of his honestly and hard work.

In his final term, Bates spoke to students in Fouts' government class at Warren High School.

"The bell rang for lunch and the students started to get up. He said, ‘Sit down! I'm not done with you!'

"I'm sorry to see him go," Fouts said about Bates' death. "He was a legend as a mayor (serving) during tough times, during challenging times."

Bates' long career as the full-time, elected chief administrator will likely go unmatched. Warren switched to four-year terms for the mayor, clerk, treasurer and City Council in 1987. In 1998, Warren voters overwhelmingly approved a city charter amendment limiting elected officials to three terms. Fouts' predecessor, Mark Steenbergh, served the maximum dozen years as mayor.


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