Berkley council picks local business owner to fill vacant seat

By: Mike Koury | Woodward Talk | Published March 6, 2018

 Berkley resident and business owner Bridget Dean poses for a photograph March 5 at Berkley City Hall after her appointment to fill a vacancy on the City Council.

Berkley resident and business owner Bridget Dean poses for a photograph March 5 at Berkley City Hall after her appointment to fill a vacancy on the City Council.

Photo by Mike Koury

BERKLEY — The Berkley City Council was left in an unusual position when it had to appoint a new member for the second time in three months.

Tasked with choosing a new member, the council at its March 5 meeting selected resident and business owner Bridget Dean for the seat.

Her appointment came after former Councilman Alan Kideckel resigned following his alleged involvement in a Jan. 1 hit-and-run accident.

Dean, who owns the knit shop Have You Any Wool?, said she was honored and grateful to have earned the appointment.

“I really look forward to serving the citizens of Berkley (and) being a good steward of our resources,” she said. “It’s a city that I love. I live here — obviously — I have a business here and I look forward to working with all the folks on council.”

The council had the opportunity to nominate whomever it wanted from those who had applied for the vacant seat. A new council member would be chosen after a nominee received four votes.

In the first round of voting, Dean was supported by Council members Jack Blanchard, Ross Gavin, Eileen Steadman and Mayor Dan Terbrack, already earning Dean the necessary four votes. Mayor Pro Tem Steve Baker nominated Natalie Price, and Councilman Dennis Hennen nominated Susan Citraro.

Terbrack also nominated Dean the last time the council had to appoint a new member, in December. He said his reasons for the nomination hadn’t changed, and they included Dean’s involvement as a board member for the Downtown Development Authority.

“The fact that she’s a business owner in the city is not a perspective that I think we’ve had up here in a little while,” he said. “And I think it just brings a very different perspective maybe than what we currently have on council, and over the course of the last month, when she reapplied, the reasons that I nominated her the first time hadn’t changed, and so I felt that it had made sense and I should stick with my first nomination, as opposed to jumping around.”

Dean was appointed in a 5-1 vote, with Hennen the only member who voted no.

The newly chosen council member, whose business background was cited by the majority of council as to why they supported her, said she wants to use her communication experience in her new position.

“There are people who don’t use the internet. I want to be able to reach all Berkley residents, and if that means that we have to go door to door and mail things, I know from my business experience that you have to say things more than one time and keep it short and concise — bullet points — because I would hate to think that someone didn’t lend their voice because they didn’t know what was going on or who to talk to,” she said. “So I think it’s going to be a challenge — but certainly a worthwhile effort — to engage all residents in whatever way they do communicate and find out what is the best way to reach you.”