(C. Proxmire, 12/2/2011)
“Jump in with both feet and occasionally chase crazy ideas.”
That is Kate Baker’s advice to Councilperson elect Dan Martin, who will be sworn in as Councilperson in January, as Baker wraps up her term as one of four City Council Members. “We’re a city that’s proud of doing things differently, and you never know if an idea is good or bad if you never ask the question.”
Baker chose not to run for re-election, and her last City Council meeting was Dec. 19, 2011. In her four years on City Council, Baker was involved in many aspects of the Ferndale life and politics. She was a member of the Employees Retirement System Board of Trustees, Agenda Committee Planning Commission, City Manager Liaison Committee, Fire Chief Liaison Committee, City Clerk Liaison Committee, and was the Eight Mile Boulevard Association Delegate to Southeast Michigan Council of Governments.
A City Resolution recognizing Baker noted “During her four years as a member of the Planning Commission Kate helped complete a growth, density, transit and preservation-oriented master plan update and a comprehensive overhaul of the city’s zoning ordinance.”
Beyond her service on Council, Baker has been involved in the FernCare Free Clinic, the Ferndale Education Association, Downtown Development Authority Organization Committee, Preservation Wayne, the Ferndale Dems, and the Detroit Area Art Deco Society.
Baker has been Development Director for the Wayne State University Press for the past 3 1/2 years, a job that allows her to promote, support and strengthen Detroit’s arts community while also building partnerships and relationships that help to rebuild the city and region as a whole.
“I look forward to remaining involved in Ferndale, but to also putting my education in urban planning to work in Detroit, working with my amazing group of friends who are at the forefront of the city’s revitalization,” she said.
Baker grew up in Pleasant Ridge and Ferndale, and graduated FHS in 1998. “One of the pleasures and blessings in my life has been watching Kate Baker grow up. She lived across from me from the time she was in elementary school. I watched her grow and she has been one of those people when you look back on it and say, my wasn’t it great to know her when,” said Katie Hershberger, an active Ferndale senior who can often be seen at City Council meetings.
When Baker was elected in 2007, she was the youngest elected official to date in Ferndale, at just 27 years old.
“I love this city and am proud to be a homeowner, though, as is the case for many of my peers, selling my house is probably not in the cards anytime soon, so I guess you’re stuck with me,” she said. “It has been a privilege to serve the people of Ferndale for the past 4 years.”