Councilwoman resigns to run for Ferndale mayor

Councilwoman resigns to run for Ferndale mayor

By: Mike Koury | Woodward Talk | Published July 16, 2019

 Melanie Piana

Melanie Piana

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FERNDALE — In order to seek the open mayoral seat at the end of the year, Councilwoman Melanie Piana resigned from the Ferndale City Council.

At the July 8 meeting, Piana submitted her resignation from the City Council so that she can run for mayor in the Nov. 5 election. Now the rest of the council has to appoint a Ferndale resident to occupy the vacant seat.

According to City Clerk Marne McGrath, Piana has turned in her petitions to run for mayor, and the city has certified that she has enough signatures to be on the ballot. Because her term doesn’t expire in 2019, she had to resign from the City Council at least 10 days before the election’s filing deadline, which is July 23.

“I’m really honored to have served in this capacity for the last 10 years,” Piana said at the meeting. “(It) has been one of the most professional and personal achievements, and (an) experience that has just opened my eyes up to how local government can positively impact the quality of life of our residents and business owners here.”

The council had to officially accept Piana’s resignation, which it did, but not before honoring her and her decade of service on the council by presenting her with a memento — a glass cube with the council members’ names on it and the city’s vision statement.

Each of the other council members gave their personal thanks to Piana at the meeting as well.

“You’ve been on the council the entire time that I’ve been here. You’re the only one that’s been here my entire tenure, and I just want to thank you for your leadership on so many issues and your advice to me, personally,” Mayor Dave Coulter said. “You’ve been a significant part of this city government for a long time, and your imprints are all over the city, and I do believe this will just be a temporary goodbye. Certainly you have my full and complete support in your quest to sit here, and I hope to see you here in January.”

The City Council now has 30 days from when Piana’s resignation was accepted to fill the position. The person appointed will serve on the council through the end of the year. The council moved its Aug. 12 meeting to Aug. 5 so that it can appoint a new member before the 30-day expiration.

“That appointee will hold office until the next regular municipal election, which means that there will be now a partial term available on the Nov. 5, 2019, ballot for the partial term vacated by Council member Piana,” McGrath said.

For the person who is elected to Piana’s seat in November, the partial term will end in 2021.

Applications can be found on the city of Ferndale’s website and will be accepted until July 29. Resumes and letters of intent also are encouraged and can be sent directly to McGrath at mmcgrath@ferndalemi.gov. Anyone with questions can contact the City Clerk’s Office at (248) 546-4366 or email elections@ferndalemi.gov.

As of July 15, no one else had filed to run for mayor, McGrath said.

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