New Grosse Pointe Park city clerk to start shortly before election

By: K. Michelle Moran | Grosse Pointe Times | Published October 3, 2023

 At left, Grosse Pointe Park Mayor Michele Hodges and, at right, River Rouge Mayor William L. Campbell stand with Bridgette Bowdler, the new Park city clerk.

At left, Grosse Pointe Park Mayor Michele Hodges and, at right, River Rouge Mayor William L. Campbell stand with Bridgette Bowdler, the new Park city clerk.

Photo by K. Michelle Moran

GROSSE POINTE PARK — With the Nov. 7 general election fast approaching, Grosse Pointe Park is getting a new city clerk just in time.

During a special meeting Sept. 27, the Grosse Pointe Park City Council voted 4-0 in favor of appointing Bridgette Bowdler, 46, the new clerk. Mayor Michele Hodges and City Council members Thomas Caulfield, Marty McMillan and Max Wiener voted in favor of the appointment. Other council members weren’t able to attend the meeting, which started at 5 p.m.

Bowdler, a River Rouge native, has been the deputy clerk for that city for the last four years. A member of the Michigan Association of Municipal Clerks and the Wayne County Clerks Association, Bowdler is a state-certified election official and is certified by the Michigan Association of Municipal Clerks as a Michigan Professional Municipal Clerk. At press time, Bowdler said she would be starting the MAMC’s program to become certified as a master clerk. She has an associate degree in business management from Henry Ford Community College, now known as Henry Ford College.

“We’re blessed to have someone of Bridgette’s caliber leading such an important component of city government,” Hodges said. “We look forward to working closely together.”

Bowdler acknowledged it was tough to be leaving her hometown — her grandfather is a former River Rouge commissioner, her father-in-law is a former mayor and her husband is a Department of Public Works employee. Still, she’s looking forward to stepping into her new role.

“I’m super excited to be here,” Bowdler told the council. “You guys have a beautiful community.”

Her husband, sons, granddaughters and father-in-law were among the family members present to cheer her on.

Besides her family, River Rouge Mayor William L. Campbell was on hand to show his support for Bowdler’s appointment.

“I don’t want to lose her, but I lost her to a good place,” Campbell said. “She’s an excellent worker. It’s a great opportunity for her.”

Park City Manager Nick Sizeland was impressed by Bowdler’s credentials and enthusiasm.

“One of the things we were looking for was somebody who can not only hit the ground running, but is also passionate about her work,” Sizeland said.

Sizeland said Bowdler brought a number of community events to River Rouge, and Park officials are eager to see what ideas she might have for the Park.

“I think Bridgette is the type of person that is going to challenge us and bring us bright ideas,” he said. “I think we’re going to have quite a good (clerk) here.”

In addition to serving as deputy clerk in River Rouge, Bowdler was the police and fire retirement system administrator and the employee retirement system administrator.

Besides her work for the city, Bowdler has an extensive history of volunteerism that includes serving as president of the River Rouge Parade, collecting pet food for animals in need, work with No Kids Without a Christmas — for which she secured gifts for almost 400 kids — and the Backpacks and Kicks Giveaway Carnival, which supplies children with school supplies.

“I look very forward to being in this community, and I hope I can make a difference like I did in River Rouge,” Bowdler said.

Bowdler is slated to start working in the Park Oct. 9.