Ross Gavin selected as newest Berkley council member

By: Mike Koury | Woodward Talk | Published December 27, 2017

 Ross Gavin is sworn as the newest councilman in Berkley by City Clerk Annette Boucher on Dec. 19.

Ross Gavin is sworn as the newest councilman in Berkley by City Clerk Annette Boucher on Dec. 19.

Photo provided by the city of Berkley

BERKLEY — After the November election and vote that elevated Dan Terbrack from councilman to mayor, the Berkley City Council was tasked with having to select one more member to fill the unoccupied seat.

At the council’s Dec. 18 meeting, the group did so and found its newest member in Ross Gavin, who will serve as the seventh member of council.

He was selected after receiving the necessary four votes from council members in the second round of voting. He was chosen ahead of the runner-up, Natalie Price, and other finalists Bridget Dean and Susan Citraro.

The newest councilman will begin his term on Monday, Jan. 22. His term will expire in November 2019.

Gavin is the deputy treasurer for public policy and outreach in the Oakland County Treasurer’s Office. He also is a member of the city’s Downtown Development Authority as its treasurer, and the Citizens Advisory Committee, all of which council members touted as to why he should be selected.

Councilman Jack Blanchard, who first nominated Gavin, cited Gavin’s experience working with the county as to why he is the best person for the council.

“(He has) great knowledge of the city. Very involved. We had a long discussion and, likewise, he was able to answer the questions I asked him. I feel very confident that he can sit up here and do an excellent job in this position,” Blanchard said.

Councilwoman Eileen Steadman also supported Gavin in the first round of voting, pointing to his “unique qualifications” with the DDA, and his experience working with governments at the county and state levels.
“It’s been so important to be able to interact … all across the state to bring new ideas and so on to Berkley,” she said.

Gavin said he wants to be a part of the council so that he can give back to the community that he feels has given him and his family so much.

“It’s been a real pleasure to be able to sit on the DDA and on the Citizens Advisory Committee. And so those are real opportunities, and I figured this was kind of a next logical step where I would be able to help on a comprehensive basis,” he said. 

Describing himself as “delighted” and “surprised” to hear he was chosen, Gavin said he wants to help the city form a sustainable green policy and work on the city’s infrastructure.

He said that given budget restrictions at the city and state level, as well as federal cuts, he thinks the city has done as well as it can and commended the Department of Public Works for being able to maintain Berkley’s infrastructure.

“That’s really where I see a focus for myself. Those are some of the most foundational of government services, and you need to make sure that we’re providing residents with good roads to drive on,” he said. “This is certainly not unique to Berkley. I think this is a challenge that we face kind of state and countrywide. 

“I see that as a real focus for me: kind of helping make sure residents, when they turn on their tap, they have safe drinking water coming out, and I know we’ve had issues with flooding in the past in Berkley, and I want to try and work to do what we can to make sure that the infrastructure is improved upon and build upon the already great work the Public Works Department does.”