The five candidates for the two at-large Rochester Hills Council positions deliver their introductions during a candidate forum hosted by the League of Women Voters, Oakland Area, June 18 at Rochester Hills City Hall. Candidates include, from the left, Dale Hetrick, Jeff Duperon, Sharon Pizzuti, Theresa Mungioli and Ryan Smith.

The five candidates for the two at-large Rochester Hills Council positions deliver their introductions during a candidate forum hosted by the League of Women Voters, Oakland Area, June 18 at Rochester Hills City Hall. Candidates include, from the left, Dale Hetrick, Jeff Duperon, Sharon Pizzuti, Theresa Mungioli and Ryan Smith.

Photo by Patricia O’Blenes


Candidates to vie for two Rochester Hills City Council, at-large seats

By: Mary Beth Almond | Rochester Post | Published July 1, 2019

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ROCHESTER HILLS — The Aug. 6 primary election is drawing near, and a couple of Rochester Hills City Council seats are up for grabs.

Six candidates in August will be narrowed down to four, who will compete in November for two four-year, at-large City Council seats.

Rochester Hills City Councilman Dale Hetrick is up for re-election and is running again as an at-large candidate. Council President Mark Tisdel is term-limited and therefore cannot run for re-election for his seat.

Hetrick will run against challengers Jeff Duperon, Theresa Mungioli, Sharon Pizzuti and Ryan Smith. Although Angela Joyce’s name will also appear on the ballot, League of Women Voter officials said she has since moved out of town and therefore is unable to fill a seat.

Hetrick, who works in the health and life insurance industry and has lived in the city for 25 years, has served on the council for the last four years. Hetrick said he’s been instrumental in securing an increase in deputies, firefighters and paramedics, while also advocating for improved streets and additional funding for city parks. He said he’s done all this while maintaining the city’s strong fiscal position.

“I’m seeking another term as your at-large City Council member because I’ve demonstrated proven results over my tenure — that includes safest city in Michigan, best city to start a business and the lowest commercial vacancy rates in the city’s history,” said Hetrick.

Duperon, who has lived in the city for nearly 20 years, owns two local businesses focused on international trade and real estate investment. Duperon is currently the vice chair of the city’s Public Safety and Infrastructure Technical Review Committee and is on the city’s Water System Advisory Committee, to name a few. If elected, he said he hopes to advance the city’s commitment to green energy, focus on strategic business investment to enhance the quality of life for residents, preserve natural resources and green space, and invest and focus on increased resident participation in city government, including by embracing diversity.

“It’s always important to me to give back to the community that has given so much to me,” said Duperon.

Mungioli, who has lived in the city for 32 years, is a past Rochester Community Schools Board of Education member, serving from 1993 to 2001. She is currently a certified project manager working at a large automotive company, and has also served on the boards of various community coalitions in Oakland County. If elected, Mungioli said she aims to make sure the city balances taxes and revenues with expenses to keep property values growing, provide more opportunities for families to enjoy the community and businesses to thrive, remain transparent and accountable for how tax dollars are spent, and find new ways to help the city prosper with input from the community.

“My top priority is reaching out to the community. Two-way communication is key to the success of the city,” said Mungioli.

Pizzuti, who has lived in the city for over 27 years, is a consultant for local, state, regional and federal government, providing evaluation, research and recommendations for how to improve government processes to serve the public. She also volunteers with Rochester Community Schools and her church. If elected, Pizzuti said she aims to ensure accessible delivery of services to all residents, recruit and retain a cross-section of residents for input to advisory councils, identify and nurture mutually beneficial partnerships to benefit the residents and neighbors, and maintain and grow the city and its services as a nationally recognized and trusted example of city management.

“I am humble, focused and ready, and I am ready to use my experience and hard work ethic to serve the city that I love and keep Rochester Hills moving forward,” Pizzuti said.

Smith, who has lived in the city since 2015, said he has over a decade of criminal justice experience. He has also volunteered with various local nonprofits, including Rochester Area Youth Assistance and the Rochester Area Community Coalition, and serves on the city’s Public Safety and Infrastructure Technical Review Committee and is a board member of Faith Works Michigan. If elected, Smith aims to create more living wage jobs, improve affordable housing and keep the public safe — especially with the ever-growing opiate epidemic, which he said is a top priority.

“I’m confident that in electing me as your representative on City Council, together we can reinforce the strengths our city already has, and unite to make the changes needed to keep Rochester Hills a community where everyone belongs, thrives and puts down long-lasting roots,” Smith said.

The five remaining candidates — all but Joyce — recently discussed everything from the city budget and a public pool to deer and traffic management during a candidate forum hosted by the League of Women Voters, Oakland Area, June 18 at Rochester Hills City Hall.

To view a video of the complete forum, visit www.rochester hills.org and click on “City Government,” then “Elections.”  

Jerry Burden, the league’s director of candidate forums, noted that all Rochester Hills residents are eligible to vote in at-large district elections.

“Four candidates will be elected in the Aug. 6 primary. These four candidates will then advance to the Nov. 5 general election, where the final two candidates will be elected. The position of City Council is a four-year term with an annual salary of $6,577. City Council positions are limited to two four-year terms,” Burden explained.

The Rochester Hills City Council consists of seven council members, including four district members and three at-large members. Council members are elected to four-year terms and, due to term limits, can serve no more than two terms for a maximum of eight years.

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