Veteran Grosse Pointe City Council member honored for his service

By: K. Michelle Moran | Grosse Pointe Times | Published December 19, 2023

 City Mayor Sheila Tomkowiak presents outgoing City Councilman Donald Parthum Jr. with a resolution of appreciation Nov. 20.

City Mayor Sheila Tomkowiak presents outgoing City Councilman Donald Parthum Jr. with a resolution of appreciation Nov. 20.

Photo by K. Michelle Moran


GROSSE POINTE CITY — A Grosse Pointe City Council member recently was recognized for his many years of service to his community.

Donald Parthum Jr. — who served on the council for 16 years, starting in 2007 — was presented with a resolution during the Nov. 20 Grosse Pointe City Council meeting. Parthum wasn’t reelected in November.

“I just want to thank the citizens for the privilege and honor of being able to serve you for the past 16 years,” Parthum said.

Mayor Sheila Tomkowiak read the resolution aloud at the meeting before presenting it to Parthum. The resolution states that Parthum “will always be known for his logical thinking, thoughtful insight, consideration of issues, and commitment to Grosse Pointe,” and notes that he “helped to successfully steer the City through the Great Recession with no reduction in services, and worked diligently with fellow Council Members and civic groups on many projects such as the construction of a new City parking structure, several Master Plan updates, the creation of new Public Safety and Public Service buildings, renovation of the Municipal Court and City Council Chambers, as well as many other routine but important Council decisions.”

Fellow council members also acknowledged Parthum’s contributions.

“I definitely want to thank Don for his guidance and service,” City Councilman Terence Thomas said. “(He’s) always been very straightforward and transparent — (I) definitely want to recognize that because it’s not common.”

City Councilman Seth Krupp thanked Parthum “for his years of service and his mentorship and guidance,” a sentiment echoed by City Councilwoman Maureen Juip, who said Parthum had been “very generous” with his guidance and mentorship.

City Councilman Christopher Walsh, who has been on the council for the last 20 years, served with Parthum for Parthum’s entire tenure.

“Thank you very much,” Walsh told him. “It’s been enjoyable to serve with you. People don’t understand that it is a sacrifice to give up your time and your energy (to be on the council).”

Parthum was also the City’s representative to the Grosse Pointes-Clinton Refuse Disposal Authority, where he was the treasurer.

During Parthum’s last GPCRDA meeting Nov. 14 at Grosse Pointe Shores City Hall, GPCRDA Board Chair Terry Brennan acknowledged Parthum’s 16-year tenure on that board.

“Thank you for your years of service to the authority and to your community,” Brennan said.

The GPCRDA hoped to honor Parthum more formally, possibly at a dinner in December, but a date for that event hadn’t been set at press time.

Longtime GPCRDA Board Attorney John Gillooly, who wasn’t able to attend the Nov. 14 meeting, praised Parthum as well.

“I have had the pleasure of working with Don Parthum for close to two decades,” Gillooly said by email. “His commitment not only to the residents of the City of Grosse Pointe but to all residents in our area was second to none. Don was responsible for some very good ideas as to how changes could be made in city services for residents in all of the Grosse Pointes, Harper Woods and beyond. HIs integrity, willingness to serve and his friendly demeanor will be missed. I know I speak for many in thanking Don for his very unselfish public service.”