Dan Terbrack, pictured here with his family, has chosen to retire as Berkley mayor at the end of 2022.

Dan Terbrack, pictured here with his family, has chosen to retire as Berkley mayor at the end of 2022.

Photo provided by Dan Terbrack

Berkley mayor retires after 15 years on City Council

By: Mike Koury | Woodward Talk | Published January 11, 2023


BERKLEY — Dan Terbrack has decided to step down as the mayor of the city of Berkley.

During the City Council’s Dec. 19 meeting, Terbrack announced that he would be retiring from his post as mayor. His last day was Dec. 31.

Terbrack told the Woodward Talk and stated in his address to council that his decision to retire was a choice he began thinking about in July. He had gotten a promotion at his job at a financial firm, and the added responsibilities began to take more of his time.

Because of this, Terbrack said that he felt his ability to effectively lead the city had changed, and if he couldn’t dedicate the amount of time required to be mayor and serve in the job to the best of his abilities, then he shouldn’t be the one to sit in that seat anymore.

More than that, he said, was that he wanted to spend more time with his wife and four children.

“My kids are getting older, and there’s more things that they’re doing and I want to be around for, and I need to give my family the time that they deserve,” he said. “My wife has been … able to carry a lot of that load because I’m working essentially kind of two jobs and trying to raise a family and, at the end of the day, if I can’t do that job as mayor to the best of my ability because I don’t have the time to really do it, well, I shouldn’t be there. The residents deserve somebody who has the time to put in 100% of the effort that it requires. And if I can’t do that, then it shouldn’t be me.”

Terbrack began his time in elected office in the city of Berkley when he was elected to the City Council in 2007. He served as a council member for 10 years before he was elected as mayor in 2017. He was reelected in 2019 and 2021.

He said it was a difficult and emotional decision to step down.

“It’s been my identity for the past 15 years as an elected official in the city of Berkley, and waking up on Jan. 1 of 2023 and that no longer being my identity is going to be a little tough — not gonna lie,” he said in December.

Succeeding Terbrack as mayor is Mayor Pro Tem Bridget Dean. Dean stated the past few years as mayor pro tem has prepared her to become mayor.

“I feel absolutely ready to continue to move the city forward,” she said. “Dan and I worked well together. We worked very closely together. So I feel like the transition will be smooth, and we’ll just continue forward.”

Dean said she’s excited to serve Berkley and she hopes to continue on the path the city currently is on.

“The city is in great shape, and I feel like I had the benefit of excellent leadership and mentoring from Dan,” she said. “It’s bittersweet really that he’s stepping away, but I totally understand it and I’m certainly ready. We have a strong council, we work well together and all of us are committed to moving the city forward. So I really could not be moving into this better situated, and I’m grateful for that. So I look forward to the next chapter.”

When Terbrack first ran for council in 2007, he was a 27-year-old laid-off teacher with no children, but he had hopes to raise a family as a third-generation Berkley resident.

“I just wanted to know that my kids and all the residents would be proud of what Berkley is — what it was and what it is and what it will continue to be in the future,” he said. “I feel confident that I did that.”

With an open seat on the City Council following Dean’s promotion to mayor, the city accepted applications for the vacancy. Like Terbrack’s term, Dean’s council term is set to expire in November 2023. The new council member will fill the seat for the 11 months remaining on the term.

Applications were accepted until Jan. 5. The top five candidates were scheduled to present themselves to the City Council at the Jan. 9 meeting, after press time, and the council will select a candidate at a meeting held on Jan. 23.

The person chosen for the seat will be sworn in at the coucil’s Feb. 6 meeting.