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Ferndale Mayor and Council Unopposed in Nov. 2 Election

Ferndale Mayor and Council Unopposed in Nov. 2 Election

(Crystal A. Proxmire, Aug. 18, 2021)

Ferndale, MI – Ferndale Mayor Melanie Piana, and Councilpersons Laura Mikulski and Greg Pawlica have no competition on the ballot for the Nov. 2, 2021 election.  There are also no ballot proposals.

Write-in candidates have until 4pm on Oct. 20 to file a Declaration of Intent if they would like to run.  Even if there is no opposition, voters may still come out to vote on Nov. 2 or to vote absentee on or before that date.  Voters can check out the City of Ferndale Elections Page for info on where to vote, how to vote absentee, and more.

Mayor Melanie Piana told Oakland County Times, “I’m grateful for the continued community support of my Mayoral leadership. After the ugly campaign against me in 2019, I was expecting an opponent this year and planned for a competitive race.  Most unexpected though is that both open council positions are also unopposed seats with Councilperson Greg Pawlica and Councilperson Laura Mikulski. It’s a testament to the council’s leadership through the pandemic health crisis and the trust we’ve built with the community.”

When asked what she and council plan on working on in the new term, the Mayor said “Looking ahead, I have set a vision to become a carbon-neutral city which means lowering the community’s carbon footprint. It’s a lofty goal, but a critical one to help solve a changing climate.  I’m really proud that the city council unanimously supports this goal even though together we will have hard conversations and decisions to make in the years ahead. I encourage everyone to voice their ideas and opinions about the city’s future by engaging in the master planning and climate action plan conversations planning for this fall.”

She also encouraged readers to check out the Ferndale State of the City address from earlier this year.

Councilperson Laura Mikulski said “It feels strange to be unopposed, especially after all the interest from new faces back in 2019. But it’s a relief, since this allows me to focus my energy on working toward my goals without the pressure of campaigning.

She added “My biggest goal is to find a way for our city to fulfill the goal of allowing the headlee override to expire, since it was a stop gap measure meant to get us through the time period where our property taxes had taken a dip due to the recession. I’d also like to further our efforts to address public sanitation, particularly around our downtown, now that business is picking back up and we’re seeing more waste in our dumpsters.”

This is the third time Greg Pawlica is running, and he’s never had opposition.

He’s thought about why that may be, and has a few ideas.

“Are people burned out with local politics that they are just not interested in running for local office?  Do the people who might be interested in running for a seat recognize the amount of work and time one must invest in being an effective elected official, and they aren’t able to make that commitment due to a variety of reasons?  Has the pandemic forced people to shift their priorities to other interests besides local government?  Do the citizens of Ferndale trust that I have the best interest for our community when making decisions and that there isn’t a reason to oppose my candidacy?” Pawlica said.

“Ferndale is a diverse community, with different viewpoints and political affiliations, and I don’t think there is one single reason why I have been fortunate to run unopposed for three elections.  All I can say is that I’m grateful and humbled that our community has enough trust to allow me to serve them for another four years.”

Pawlica has infrastructure on his mind, including continued work to improve parks and to update city properties.

“The City of Ferndale is going to celebrating our 100th birthday in 6 years. Our infrastructure shows the age of our city. We have outdated Fire Stations, DPW facilities, and Community Center. We need to bring these facilities into the 21st century and make them a source of pride for our residents and employees instead of continuously spending money on repairs.”  He’s working to establish a 25-year facilities plan so as to “prepare and plan for these large-scale long-term investments today.”  He’s also hoping for a 20 year plan with the DDA “introducing more greenspaces, pedestrian-friendly amenities, and reinvigorate our streetscapes. I also want to focus on planting more trees throughout our city, and pledge to have a minimum of 2,500 hundred trees planted within the next 4 years.”

Another priority is “to develop and implement programs and policies that make our community so unique and desirable, like our affordable housing program, short-term rental policy, anti-racism policy, 21st century policing program, and so many more,” he said.  “These are the things that protect and support our residents, business owners, and visitors in our community and make us pioneers within the region.”

For election interviews and information in other races throughout Oakland County, visit our Candidate Interview Page. New videos are added frequently up until Election Day, so please check back often!

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