Berkley appoints new council member to replace Edgar

By: Mike Koury | Woodward Talk | Published April 26, 2016


BERKLEY — Colleen Graveline isn’t entirely new to the city of Berkley.

She’s lived in the city for seven years and has spent time helping out city officials and working on a millage committee.

Now she will be tackling an entirely new venture as a member of the Berkley City Council.

Graveline was appointed to the City Council at the April 18 meeting following the resignation of former member Tina Edgar, who left because she is moving from Berkley to Detroit and, therefore, can’t serve on the council.

Graveline was appointed by the other council members unanimously and will serve the rest of Edgar’s term, which ends in November 2017.

Graveline said she was looking to get more involved with the city after her involvement as the treasurer with the millage committee, as she found it fascinating to see how the city operates.

“It’s always exciting when you achieve what you’re setting out to achieve,” she said of her appointment. “It’s also daunting. I do respect what they do, so I hope I can contribute in a positive way.”

While she won’t be sworn in until the next meeting on May 2, she currently is working on getting up to speed on what the Planning Commission is doing, as Edgar was the council liaison to the commission.

She also is looking to get out into the community more at events, now as a Berkley councilwoman, so people will get more comfortable talking with her and she will be a familiar face to them.

Mayor Phil O’Dwyer said it was a difficult call for him in deciding whom to choose as Edgar’s replacement, as he saw three qualified candidates apply for the position. The other applicants for the position were Tracey Rettig and Conor J. Shaw-Draves.

“It would’ve been much easier if we had three openings instead of one,” he said. “Each one was terrific in different respects.”

When it came to Graveline, O’Dwyer said her prior involvement with the city — including on a committee to select the new city manager, Matthew Baumgarten — helped give her the edge.

“She is very well-tuned-in to the issues that are coming before the council,” he said. “She should be able to, as they say, hit the ground running. She is a bright, talented and accomplished young woman, and I think she will bring representation to young women in our city. I think that will be a contribution as well.

“The council should reflect the community as closely as it can. … Selecting her continues that balance.”

O’Dwyer also touted Graveline’s work as a psychologist, which he believes will help her bring a strong set of skills to understanding issues from multiple perspectives.

“I believe she will bring a fair-minded appraisal of every issue and come to a conclusion that puts Berkley first,” he said.