Marie Donigan Appointed to Royal Oak City Commission

Marie Donigan Appointed to Royal Oak City Commission

(Crystal A. Proxmire, Dec. 20, 2016)

Royal Oak, MI – Marie Donigan is back.

As the Royal Oak City Commission played a bit of musical chairs to account for Jim Ellison’s resignation as Mayor to serve as State Representative, Michael Fournier has moved up to the Mayoral position, leaving a Commissioner seat vacant.  While Fournier had three years left in his Commission term, City Charter states that a vacancy be filled only until the next election.  The Commission voted Monday night to appoint former Commissioner and State Representative Marie Donigan to that spot.

Commissioners discussed the amount of experience Donigan brings to the position.  Commissioner Jeremy Mahrle called it “a ton of local government experience.”  Donigan served 7 years as a Commissioner (1997-2004)  before serving as State Representative for 6 years (2005-2010).  She has a Master’s Degree in Landscape Architecture, has worked as Transit Advocate for the Harriet Tubman Center,  as a staff planner for the City of Farmington Hills and Director of North Oakland Headwaters Land Conservancy.

“I believe she’ll hit the ground running,” said Commissioner Kyle DuBac.  “I think we’d be hard pressed to do better.”

The Commission has an informal tradition of appointing former Commissioners to serve when there are vacancies.  When Peggy Goodwin resigned, former Commissioner Pat Paruch was appointed to fill in.  In 2013 Carlo Ginotti stepped in to fill the remainder of Pat Capello’s term after she resigned.

“I feel like this policy of someone stepping in without much of a learning curve… will help us continue flowing and doing the business of the city,” Marhle said.

Commissioner Sharlan Douglas disagreed.  While she applauded Donigan’s qualifications, she voted against her appointment stating she wanted a more open process for filling vacancies.

The 2017 election will have two full-term Commission seats, the Mayor position, and a race for the two years that will be left of Fournier’s term. Donigan said she plans to serve only for this term and to mentor whomever is elected in 2017.

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