Troy Mayor Ethan Baker gives the 2024 State of the City Address May 22 at the Troy Fire and Police Training Center.

Troy Mayor Ethan Baker gives the 2024 State of the City Address May 22 at the Troy Fire and Police Training Center.

Photo provided by the city of Troy

State of the City celebrates community, teases potential improvements in Troy

By: Sarah Wright | Troy Times | Published June 5, 2024


TROY — The 2024 State of the City Address celebrated Troy through acknowledging those who serve the community, and the new amenities and improvements the city has been able to implement, while also previewing some potential new projects that Troy may see in the future.

This event took place at 6 p.m. May 22 at the Troy Fire and Police Training Center, 4850 John R Road. Attendees were encouraged to park at Kensington Church, on Square Lake Road, and were shuttled by Troy RYDE, which stands for Troy Reach Your Destination Easily.

The State of the City Address kicked off with Troy Police Chief Frank Nastasi and Fire Chief Peter Hullinger welcoming attendees and explaining the importance of the Training Center. The Troy Fire and Police Training Center was dedicated in 2001 and serves as classroom, meeting and training space for firefighters, police officers and civilians inside and outside of Troy.

“We are so thankful to our mayor and City Council members for your continued support of both the fire and police departments,” Hullinger said. “Because of your commitment of resources, the city of Troy is one of the safest cities in Michigan, if not the United States.”

Troy Chamber of Commerce President and CEO Tara Tomcsik introduced Mayor Ethan Baker with glowing praise for his work with the city.

“In 2019, I met Ethan Baker on my very first day as chamber president, back when he was still on City Council and running for mayor,” Tomcsik said. “His excitement and genuine love of the city truly shined, and in minutes I already knew he was going to be our next mayor. … If you know mayor Baker, you know he is fully dedicated to service. He is always there when residents need him, and there isn’t a day that goes by where he isn’t working for this great community.”

Baker made his entrance from one of Troy’s fire trucks. He began by thanking the Troy City Council and the city’s other employees, as well as representatives from the county and officials from other parts of Michigan. He expressed admiration for the Troy Fire and Police Training Center and for former City Manager Mark Miller, who has recently retired — the position was then taken over by Robert Bruner.

“After a very dark period for our city, Mark was the right choice for our city then — I will never shy away from saying it,” Baker said. “His ethics and integrity were unquestionable. He provided the stability we needed to move past something we all wanted to forget. … Mark had a tall order and faced challenges unlike any before him, but he rose to the occasion, stabilizing City Hall, cleaning up mess after mess after mess that was discovered in our operational structure, and at the end of this month he is retiring after nearly 25 years with our city.”

He then explained some important focus areas that were noted in the 2024-25 budget, including public health, safety, and welfare; focusing on core facilities and infrastructure; and enhancing recreation.

Baker noted officials’ efforts in combating senior scams, work on major car theft arrests in partnership with Michigan’s Focused Organized Retail Crime Enforcement team, completion of the accreditation process with the Michigan Association of Chiefs of Police, implementation of updated technology for investigation and prosecution, improved hiring efforts, and partnerships with other organizations.

“Their partnership with the Oakland Community Health Network to provide a mental health co-responder has been invaluable in addressing mental health issues right here within our community,” Baker said. “This collaborative program continues to evolve with increasing participation from other police departments, thereby expanding our options for assisting individuals in need.”

Baker also noted the Fire Department’s decision to convert fire trucks back to red, which will likely take a while and won’t cost the city additional tax dollars. They purchased a red fire truck in December 2021 for $1,438,942, and it was delivered in January of this year and began serving the community in March.

He spoke about the planned work on Rochester Road that includes asphalt overlay from Sylvan Glen Lake Park to South Boulevard, down to Wattles, which will begin in the fall. He mentioned the new pavilion and rink at the corner of Town Center and Civic Center Drive, the plans for a performing arts stage at Jeanne M Stine Community Park, as well as the plans to convert a portion of the former Kmart headquarters into a University of Michigan Health facility.

“The city will celebrate its 70-year anniversary or birthday next year,” Baker said. “Thus, I think it’s time to look at the next 30 years, towards our centennial. We need to hone in the state of our infrastructure, our equipment, roads, sewers, drains. We’ve addressed ongoing maintenance needs . . . but we are still faced with questions about our aging civic buildings and amenities and how we can and should address them moving into the future for the next generation of Troy.”

After the State of the City Address, guests could head to an afterglow event at Troy Escape, where drinks, food and games were provided.

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