Bryan Barnett was sworn in for his fifth term as the mayor Rochester Hills Nov. 15.

Bryan Barnett was sworn in for his fifth term as the mayor Rochester Hills Nov. 15.

Photo provided by the city of Rochester Hills

Barnett sworn in to serve fifth term as Rochester Hills mayor

Residents also elect City Council, library board

By: Mary Beth Almond | Rochester Post | Published November 20, 2023


ROCHESTER HILLS — Bryan Barnett was sworn in for his fifth term as the mayor of Rochester Hills Nov. 15.

Barnett said it is “an absolute pleasure and a thrill of a lifetime” to be reelected mayor of the city.

“I’m humbled by the support of the residents and that they have again entrusted me. I feel truly blessed to continue to serve a community that I love,” he said.

According to unofficial results, of the 16,986 total votes cast for mayor Nov. 7, 11,029 were cast for write-in candidates. Barnett ran as a write-in candidate for his third consecutive time. Newcomer Ariane Paviani, who’s name appeared on the ballot, earned 5,957 votes.

Rochester Hills City Clerk Leeann Scott said the Oakland County Board of Canvassers reconciles all write-in races, so the Rochester Hills election totals simply state the total number of write-in votes the machine received — whether valid or invalid. Scott said county officials said the election would not be certified by the Board of Canvassers until no earlier than Nov. 17, which was after press time.

While the city’s charter prohibits the mayor from seeking reelection after two full consecutive terms, this limitation doesn’t hinder running as a write-in candidate.

“The residents of Rochester Hills always have the final say,” Barnett said. “And on Election Day, over 11,000 people took the time to research the candidates and write down my name — truly humbling. I had more votes cast for me in this election than any of the previous five.”

Walt Disney is credited with saying, “It’s fun to do the impossible,” which Barnett said has become a bit of a guiding principle for him.

“The impossible has always intrigued me … whether that challenge was becoming mayor in my late 20s; creating Innovation Hills, the coolest Disney-inspired park in Michigan; becoming America’s mayor, leading our nation’s mayors through COVID; or attempting to win an election as a write-in candidate, challenging the impossible has always been my adrenaline rush.”

Members of the Rochester Hills City Council were also sworn in Nov. 15.

In the City Council race, incumbent Theresa Mungioli retained her seat on the Rochester Hills City Council as council member at-large with 11,823 votes, according to unofficial results from the Oakland County Elections Division. Newcomer Marvie Neubauer was also elected as council member at-large, with 9,785 votes. Mungioli and Neubauer will each serve four-year terms.

Mungioli said she’s “very thankful and grateful” to the residents of Rochester Hills for reelecting her to the Rochester Hills City Council as an at-large member.

“I’m looking forward to continuing to represent the residents and our business community over the next four years and ensuring that their voice, ideas, concerns are heard and listened to at the council level. I will continue to be accountable to the residents and our business community regarding the way we are spending your tax dollars and implementing new ideas within the city. There’s a lot of great opportunities, as well as challenges, that face us over the next couple of years and I’m looking forward to hearing the voice of our community in making those decisions,” said Mungioli.

Although new to council, Neubauer has served on the Planning Commission for many years.

“I take this role very seriously, and I’m very humbled to serve as a new city councilwoman,” said Neubauer.

Newcomer Jason Carlock was elected to represent Rochester Hills’ third district on council. Carlock, who ran unopposed, received 2,869 votes and will serve a four-year term.

“Thank you for putting your trust in me,” said Carlock. “I’m honored to be selected to serve as a member of the Rochester Hills City Council and I eagerly anticipate the journey ahead as we work together to continue to build a better future for our city.

Incumbent David Blair outpaced newcomer Nicholas A. Sahu and was reelected to serve on council representing Rochester Hills’ second district for another four years. Blair earned 2,993 votes, while Sahu earned 1,346, according to unofficial election results.

Blair said he is deeply honored to be reelected to a second term by Rochester Hills voters, adding that he pledges to continue serving “with humility and relentless dedication.

“This resounding victory is a clear endorsement of our shared vision for public safety, effective governance, and the enhancement of our parks and green spaces — all firmly rooted in fiscal responsibility. I am especially thankful to the countless volunteers and dedicated supporters whose efforts made this campaign a success — your belief in me and my commitment to our city was the backbone of this victory,” Blair said in an email.

In the race for the Rochester Hills library board, incumbent Madge Lawson and newcomer Harper West were elected for six-year terms. Lawson earned 6,760 votes, and West received 6,109. They outpaced incumbent Chuck Stouffer, who garnered 4,135 votes; newcomer Terry Hetrick, who earned 4,115 votes; and newcomer Pamela Oleson, who received 5,238 votes.

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