Royal Oak Mayor Safe for Another Term, Shares Proud State of City

GallowayCollensTOPsunsetREVISEDRoyal Oak Mayor Safe for royal_servicesAnother Term, Shares Proud State of City

(Crystal A. Proxmire, July 24, 2015)

“The heart gets what it wants in Royal Oak,” said Rotarian Patt Trama as she read a poem  as the introduction to Mayor Jim Ellison’s State of the City Address. “Attention. Attraction. A coveted chance to re-discover community. Life re-mains amazing as you re-exist continually.”

The poem “Re” captured a spirit of ever-changing excitement and growth. “Every new moment lives with the moment. To be is to be alive. Re-be. Re-become. Re-define. Re-meme. Re-invent. Surface that better self, the one you want the world to see.”

RoyalDetroit_GT_ad02 Oak is a city that seems to be always changing. With the Downtown density growing upwards, new home construction adding value within the communities, a focus on creating art and public spaces, and crime going down, it is a city that is certainly not stagnant.

The Mayor of Royal Oak, Jim Ellison, officially learned Monday that he would be unopposed for the fourth election in a row. He’s been Mayor since 2003.

For City Commission, Incumbents Kyle DuBac, Michael Fournier and Patricia Paruch are running again. They are joined on the ballot by Kim Gibbs, who is an attorney that lives in Royal Oak.

Ellison strayed from his prepared speech at the end, and told the dozens of residents and business owners who were present “I’ll speak from the heartRed Door Realty Ad _own_your_dream. I have been mayor of this community for 12 years. I can’t think of a more satisfying purpose in my life. Born and raised in this community, called it my home forever. I raised my family here. Between Jodie and I we have eight kids, they’re all products of the Royal Oak Schools. My grandchildren all go to Royal Oak Schools. I can’t imagine being anywhere else but this community. To be Mayor of this community and to lead it for the past 12 years has been my honor.”

Among the positives Ellison mentioned were that 131 new homes were built last year and so far this year 76 new homes are in construction. He applauded voters for continuing to fund Police and Fire services and noted that “we had fewer home invasion, fewer vehicles stolen and fewer assaults than at any other time on record. Police Chief Corrigan O’Donohue reports Part A Crimes, which involve force or threat of force, have dropped more than 25 percent in the last four years.”

The policeseed_nan_kerr-mueller force has been growing and should be at a full staff of 79 sworn officers by 2016. Also new to the department is two-year-old Jesse. “Jesse is a Belgian Malinois which is a short-haired version of a Belgian Shepard. Malinois dogs are known for their great personal protection skills and are often used in police work or as war dogs. The United States Secret Service uses muzzled Malinois dogs to guard the grounds of the White House.

“Officer Stajich chose the name Jessee after receiving more than 100 suggestions on the City’s Facebook page. The name is in memory of Officer Jessie R. Crowe who, in 1931, was the first member of the police department to be shot and killed in the line of duty.”

Mayor Ellison also praised the Fire Department. “Over the past year our first-rate team of firefighters made more than 6,000 runs, including the delivery of an infant on Interstate 696.”

City Manager Don Johnson and the employees who keep the city functioning were also mentioned in the State of the City. “These people – among other things – MBREW draft oneput out fires, keep our streets safe, install playground equipment, clear our streets of record-breaking snowfall, assist the elderly, design our roads, take care of legal matters, rescue dogs and cats and oversee elections. And yes, they collect parking ticket payments too,” Ellison said. “Thank you all for your dedication.

There are areas that Ellison and other city leaders tackling head on. One is the growth of retail in the city, and the other is being more proactive in encouraging the State to fix problems that hurt cities, including legacy costs and cuts to revenue sharing and the need for road funding. Ellison is working with other elected officials to do more to make sure the voices are being heard in Lansing about the needs of all communities.

Check out video of the speech thanks to the City of Royal Oak…


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