Kolinski appointed to fill vacant Bloomfield Township Board of Trustees seat

By: Mary Beth Almond | Birmingham-Bloomfield Eagle | Published October 3, 2023


BLOOMFIELD TOWNSHIP — The Bloomfield Township Board of Trustees has selected Chris Kolinski as its new trustee.

Kolinski was one of nine candidates to be interviewed Sept. 26 for the appointment, which runs through fall of 2024.

“I was very happy to see that we had nine candidates. … I ran for trustee in 2020, and we had nine candidates for four positions, and that was a good turnout of people that applied at that time, so to have nine candidates for one position … I sincerely appreciate that,” said Trustee Valerie Murray.

Kolinski was appointed by the board in a unanimous vote to fill the trustee position vacated by Trustee Michael Schostak, who was appointed as board treasurer after Brian Kepes resigned Aug. 31.

“I am grateful for the opportunity to serve, as well as continue to serve Bloomfield Township,” Kolinski said during the board meeting.

Kolinski, who has lived in Bloomfield Township since 2013, grew up in Oakland Township in a family that “values public service.”

“My father is a Vietnam veteran, former U.S. Army, and was a firefighter for over 27 years. My mother was an elementary special education teacher for over 30 years, and my brother is a retired lieutenant colonel with the U.S. Army,” Kolinski explained.

He graduated from Oakland University, where he majored in finance, with a minor in applied technology in business. After graduating from college, Kolinski worked for Ernst & Young — where he specialized in data analytics and process improvement — for three years, before deciding to follow in his father’s footsteps by becoming a full-time firefighter.

“Even though I enjoyed the work at Ernst & Young, I always had this need, or this drive, to be a public servant,” he said.

Eleven of Kolinski’s 12 years as a firefighter have been with the Northville Township Fire Department, where he has served on the Union Executive Committee as treasurer for the last three years.

“In that role, I’ve had the opportunity to serve on our negotiating team, as we negotiate and navigate contract negotiations. With that experience, I think it is a tremendous asset that the majority of our township employees are now covered under union contracts, and most of those contracts are set to expire in 2025 and 2026, so having somebody who sits on our board who has sat in a room in negotiations and has actually sat on the other side of the table would be not only a strategic advantage for our township, for our board, and for our unions as well,” he said.

In 2018, Kolinski and his wife started a small property development company, where they build single family homes.

“That type of work has given me not only knowledge of building construction, property development, zoning, the board of appeals, as well as understanding the problems that developers and investors have in this current market when it comes to construction,” he said.

He also serves as a trustee on the Retired Employees Healthcare Benefits Trust Committee. Prior to his appointment, Kolinski served as chairman on the Board of Review and was a member of the Financial Sustainability Committee.

When appointing a new trustee, Trustee Neal Barnett said he looks for “connection and involvement with the township.”

“(I like for them to) have some understanding with how the township works, maybe some understanding of the culture and dealing with the residents — so, people who were involved with dealing with the Zoning Board of Appeals or the Planning Commission or the Board of Review. All those experiences are important to me,” Barnett shared.

For more information, contact Bloomfield Township at (248) 433-7702.