Novi resident Nahed DeLibero stops to vote in Novi Nov. 7 while out on a walk with her dog, Sherman.

Novi resident Nahed DeLibero stops to vote in Novi Nov. 7 while out on a walk with her dog, Sherman.

Photo by Charity Meier

Novi voters select Fischer as mayor, 2 incumbents and 1 newcomer for City Council

By: Charity Meier | Novi Note | Published November 8, 2023










NOVI — The people have spoken, and for the first time in 12 years, Novi has a new mayor. Justin Fischer has been selected to lead the city for the next four years.

Fischer, a lifelong Novi resident, is currently a member of the Novi City Council, on which he has served for a total of 11 years. He has held numerous committee positions.

“I think it’s important that the mayor have the experience of having been on council,” Fischer said. “Going through as many budgets that I’ve gone through, understanding the relationship the City Council and the mayor have with the city manager and the entire staff, it’s those kinds of things that the experience on City Council will help me kind of hit the ground running as mayor now.”

Outside of elected office, Fischer works for Adient, a tier 1 auto seating supplier, as a director in its corporate treasury department. Prior to Adient, Fischer worked for Ford Motor Co. in a variety of finance positions. He lives with his wife of 13 years, Melissa, and their two children, Jack, 10, and Lilian, 6.  He is a 2001 graduate of Novi High School and went on to earn his bachelor’s degree in finance from Michigan State University in 2005, as well as his Master of Business Administration in 2009. He said he knew from a young age that business and finance were his calling and that he has always been interested in politics.

“The path has kind of led me here, and I’m excited to be in this position,” he said.

Fischer said he plans to maintain the city’s financial stability.

“I pledge to maintain our strong financial performance, including keeping our AAA bond rating, low tax rates and minimal debt,” Fischer said in his candidate profile with the Novi Note.

“Finance is such an important component of being mayor and kind of running a city,” Fischer said. “We always have to remember that we’re the stewards of the taxpayers’ money and we want to make sure that we’re  utilizing it efficiently, just like a business would. We are in very good financial shape. We have debt at an all-time low in Novi. We have some of the lowest tax rates in Oakland County. We have a triple A bond rating. Again, my background in finance is going to continue those types of policies.

Fisher said his goals as mayor include public safety with investments in police and fire equipment and training, and to increase services available for senior citizens. Fischer said that there were committees recently started to address the needs the city has in the Public Safety Department and older adult services.

“Those are two committees that I strongly support. I think they need to continue their work and I really want to dive into that going forward,” Fischer said.

In particular, Fischer said that the council needs to make some decisions on the level of senior housing available to residents. He said he also wants to make sure that there is adequate transportation for them.

“I think the committees need to have a serious discussion on transportation, finding a way to make sure that we are utilizing the new millage that we pay to Oakland County, but also make sure that we’re providing the services, the transportation services, that our seniors need,” said Fischer. “On the public safety side, once again it’s going to be a big discussion on what is the right footprint for our fire stations and our police station for the future of Novi, and what kind of cost does that come at.”

Fischer said he has toured the current fire stations, and they are “just not adequate.” He said a lot of them were built 20-30 years ago. In particular, he said the changing rooms and the bathrooms need to be renovated to support the number of staff who now use them.

He also said he will support investments in roads, parks and other essential services. He said he plans to “build on recent successes like Pavilion Shore Park, Bosco Fields and the eagerly awaited Jessica Starr Splash Pad.”

“I just hope that my passion for the city of Novi is evident; obviously, growing up here and still living here and loving this place,” said Fischer. “I’m just excited to get to work for all residents really in this new role. When you think about a city that really has everything, that’s what I think of when I think of Novi. We have shopping, we have great restaurants, we have phenomenal schools, we have awesome parks, and it’s a very safe city. It’s just the whole package for raising a family.”

“New Mayor Justin Fischer will continue to provide the outstanding leadership and vision previously provided by Mayors Bob Gatt and David Landry,” Councilman David Staudt said. “As a lifelong Novi resident with a long history of community service, he has a unique perspective on the issues that challenge Novi residents and business and is well equipped to deal with them.”

Fischer defeated his competition, Aaron Martinez, to be named the mayor-elect with a total of 7,225 votes, or 57.27%, to 5,376 votes, or 42.62% for Martinez, according to the unofficial election results.

“I am very pleased with the results from last night’s election,” said Mayor Bob Gatt, who has led the city for the last 12 years. “The voters showed that they overwhelmingly agree with the direction that the city is going by returning the three incumbents and making one of them our new mayor.”

“You can be ‘simply the best,’ but you’ll always strive to be even better, and I think that’s what we’re going to continue to do,” said Fischer. “I think that Mayor Gatt has done a phenomenal job over the last 12 years, but there’s always different things that we can kind of look at with a new set of leadership. We’ll continue the things that he has implemented, and we’re going to look for things to take up to even new heights.”

The results indicated that 27.36% of eligible voters participated in the election.

Novi resident Nahed DeLibero felt strongly about having her vote count, so when it came down to a choice between walking her 11-month-old goldendoodle, Sherman, or voting, she decided to walk Sherman to the polls.

“I didn’t want to miss either. I didn’t want to miss voting and I didn’t want to miss the walk,” DeLibero said. “It’s important to have our voice heard. My parents and I came here as immigrants, and they just taught us to make sure you get out and vote no matter what you’re doing, so I try really hard not to miss it.”

Also on the ballot this year were three spots on the City Council. Voters chose to keep incumbents Laura Casey (6,151 votes) and Staudt (5,904 votes) on the council. Newcomer Matt Heintz (6,102 votes) was selected for the third opening on the council. They defeated Jay F. Dooley (5,236 votes), Joe Peddiboyina (3,696 votes) and Sujata Raman (5,614 votes).

“Looking forward to continuing my efforts in keeping Novi a world class city,” Staudt said. “We have some important issues to tackle, like fully staffing our fire stations, providing affordable housing options for our seniors, improving Beck Road and managing the final buildout of Novi while preserving the woodlands and wetlands. I am excited to get back to the business of Novi.”

“Novi is the greatest city in the state and will continue to shine with our new council,” Gatt said. “I look forward to watching them working together to move Novi to even greater heights.”