WA3 Welcomes Mayors Metzger and Waterman to Board
(Adapted from WA3 Press Release, March 12, 2014)
2014 and the recent mayoral elections bring three new leaders to the Board of the Woodward Avenue Action Association (WA3), a collaborative effort to promote the 11 communities along M1.
From the far north is Pontiac’s mayor Deidre Waterman. Mayor Waterman is the first female mayor for Pontiac and was the first African American Female Ophthalmologist in Michigan. Mayor Waterman served as a member of the City Charter Revision Commission and chairwoman of the Pontiac Public Library Board. Mayor Waterman’s late husband was the 50th District Court Judge William Waterman. Similar to the mayor at the other end of the All American Road, Mayor Waterman said one of her priorities is to reach out and work collaboratively with the Pontiac City Council. Dr. Waterman has earned the reputation of being a tough problem solver. She is a small business owner in Pontiac and has spent her career working for the well-being of Pontiac’s residents.
At the other end of Woodward, representing newly elected Detroit Mayor Duggan, is a familiar face and returning board member to the WA3, the Reverend Jim Holley. Reverend Holley is serving as the City of Detroit’s new Community Affairs Director. As the pastor of the historic Little Rock Baptist Church on Woodward, Reverend Holley is one of the most sought after Pastor/Businessman in the city of Detroit for his opinion, advice, and counseling in areas of the community, civic, and religious concerns. Reverend Holley is rated by the Detroit Free Press as one of the top five ministers in Michigan, was named Michiganian of the Year by the Detroit News, and is recognized by Crain’s Business Magazine as one of the foremost voices in Detroit.
Almost halfway in between Pontiac and Detroit and at the critical east/west juncture of I-696 is Pleasant Ridge and new mayor Kurt Metzger. After speaking for 30 years about the need for coordinated data collection and delivery in Southeast Michigan, in 2008 Kurt was selected by the Skillman and Kresge foundations to develop and direct the foundation-funded regional data indicators system, Data Driven Detroit (D3). Metzger has stepped back from the day-to-day management responsibilities at D3 and is lending his expertise as an emeritus director. Mayor Metzger understands that although Pleasant Ridge is very different than Detroit and Pontiac, the cities are connected to each other, and all the others communities in between. As mayor – and as the longtime data guru for metro Detroit and the tri-state region – Metzger supports a regional approach that he believes will make Detroit and Michigan healthier, and put divided local cities on the same team to compete nationally.
“I am honored to join the Board of the WA3,” Metzger said. “I have been a fan of WA3 since its inception. While it celebrates a critical transportation arterial, its value is that of providing a formal means for government and business to come together to discuss issues of common interest.
“The WA3 is obviously committed to supporting regional transit through the RTA and a bus rapid transit regional system. WA3 has been very much engaged with the Woodward Ave. Alternatives Analysis and has sponsored meetings on Complete Streets. The WA3 is able to bring the communities along Woodward together to plan collaboratively.
“Recently, under the leadership of Deb Schutt and the WA3, we convened a meeting in PR with representatives of Ferndale, PR, the Zoo, Royal Oak Planning, MDOT and others to discuss future planning at the Woodward/696/main Street intersection. In light of a BRT stop likely at the Zoo, increased parking needs for the Zoo, development of the southern parcel in a Royal Oak, and potential development of the northeast corner in PR, there are many questions about what is the best answer for providing walk ability, safety and access for PR, RO and HW. WA3 can serve as a convener to handle these multi-jurisdictional areas.”
Metzger, who is also involved in other regional collaborations such as the Michigan Suburbs Alliance, looks forward to working on the preservation of the Historic Ford Building in Highland Park. “This is an important project for the region, the city of Highland Park and the corridor,” Metzger said.
The Woodward Avenue Action Association (WA3) is an economic and community development organization working to enhance and improve the visual, economic, functional and historic character of Woodward Avenue through a local and regional effort. Woodward Avenue’s 27 miles traverse eleven communities and two counties in metro-Detroit, and include some of Michigan’s best assets – from thriving business districts to some of the world’s most historic sites.
The WA3 represents 27 miles from the Detroit River north through the Woodward Loop in Pontiac. The WA3 works closely with the communities of Berkley, Birmingham, Bloomfield Township, Bloomfield Hills, Detroit, Ferndale, Highland Park, Huntington Woods, Pleasant Ridge, Pontiac, Royal Oak, and Oakland and Wayne counties.
For more information on WA3 visit http://www.woodwardavenue.org/About+WA3.html.
For a story about WA3 and bus rapid transit see http://oaklandcounty115.com/2013/09/17/ferndale-businesses-talk-woodward-rapid-transit-video/.
WA3 Welcomes Mayors Metzger and Waterman to Board