Rochester Hills City Clerk Tina Barton swears in re-elected Rochester Hills Mayor Bryan Barnett alongside his wife, Corrin, and sons, Tristan and Kenneth, Nov. 14.

Rochester Hills City Clerk Tina Barton swears in re-elected Rochester Hills Mayor Bryan Barnett alongside his wife, Corrin, and sons, Tristan and Kenneth, Nov. 14.

Photo by Erin Sanchez


Barnett sworn in for fourth term as Rochester Hills mayor

By: Mary Beth Almond | Rochester Post | Published November 20, 2019

ROCHESTER HILLS — This just (written) in: Voters have officially re-elected Bryan Barnett as the mayor of Rochester Hills.

Eight days after Election Day, the Oakland County Board of Canvassers certified the city’s election results, reporting that of the 9,156 total votes cast for mayor, Barnett earned 8,251. Newcomer Kimberly Bailiff, who also ran as a write-in candidate, earned 905 votes, and approximately 720 write-in votes were rejected, according to the Oakland County Board of Canvassers.

Barnett was sworn in Nov. 14 for his fourth four-year term as Rochester Hills mayor, which he called his “passion,” “heartbeat” and “highest honor.”

“This is still the face of someone who is living their dream,” he said. “Every day that I have woken up since I was given this privilege to serve as mayor on April 13 of 2006 has been an absolute adventure.”

Over the past few months, Barnett said, many people asked him why he was campaigning for mayor when he didn’t have an opponent until late in the election.

“To me, the answer was simple. I wanted people to know how much I cared about this job, how important it was that I stay connected to our community and what a privilege it is to serve as mayor,” Barnett said. “What we have done here is nothing short of historic in our state. Winning two write-in contests in a major citywide election is simply unheard of, even nationally. And now, in four citywide mayoral contests, our team has been blessed to win 123 of 128 precincts ... of the city over the last 12 years.”

Although Barnett said he is “incredibly proud” of what has already been accomplished under his leadership, he said he’s driven by what more there is to do.

“Whether it’s the completion of Innovation Hills (Park), Michigan’s coolest new place to play; maintaining our nationally recognized commitment to public safety; our statewide financial leadership status; or simply continuing our efforts to make sure everyone in this city has an equal shot at an exceptional quality of life, our job is not finished. Working together with our new council and our incredible city employees, we have much to do and much to accomplish,” he said following the ceremony.

Barnett, who has been mayor for over 13 years, ran as a write-in candidate for a second consecutive time. Although term limits in the Rochester Hills city charter prohibit a mayor from seeking re-election on the ballot after having served two full consecutive terms, the charter sets no limits for how many times a mayor can run as a write-in candidate.

Bailiff, who filed to run for mayor about three weeks before Election Day, said she decided to throw her hat into the ring to give people a choice and also to protest what she sees as a disregard for term limits.

“Considering I only really ran for less than three weeks and campaigned for two weeks, I think 10% of the votes is pretty amazing — especially since I was completely unknown,” she said.

Bailiff said she isn’t going anywhere.

“I did what I wanted to do, and I’m not going to go away. It’s not OK that this loophole exists. My first priority now is to close the loophole,” she said.

Rochester Hills City Council members David Blair, Susan Bowyer, Dale Hetrick, Theresa Mungioli and David Walker were also sworn in to office Nov. 14.

For more information about Oakland County elections, visit www.oakgov.com/clerkrod/elections.