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 Julia Music smiles as the audience at the Sept. 23 Ferndale City Council meeting applauds her appointment to council.

Julia Music smiles as the audience at the Sept. 23 Ferndale City Council meeting applauds her appointment to council.

Photo by Mike Koury


Ferndale City Council returns to full strength

By: Mike Koury | Woodward Talk | Published September 25, 2019

 City Clerk Marne McGrath swears in Julia Music as a Ferndale City Council member Sept. 23.

City Clerk Marne McGrath swears in Julia Music as a Ferndale City Council member Sept. 23.

Photo by Mike Koury

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FERNDALE — The Ferndale City Council is back to full strength after appointing a new member at its latest meeting.

At its Sept. 23 meeting, the council selected Julia Music as its newest member. Her term will expire at the end of 2019.

Music, the head organizer of the Ferndale Pride festival, said she’s proud of all the work she’s been able to accomplish in and for the city, and that she is looking forward to continuing that while on the City Council.

“I don’t think it was a question that I would always be involved in Ferndale no matter what my role was, but having council affirm that they think that I would be a good council member means that I can do a little bit more as far as tightening up ordinances and making some actual changes to the city,” she said.

The Ferndale council has been playing a bit of musical chairs over the last couple of months. Music was appointed to the seat formerly occupied by Dan Martin, who was chosen by the council two weeks earlier to be mayor after Dave Coulter had resigned to become Oakland County executive. 

A month prior, the council selected Dennis Whittie to fill Melanie Piana’s old seat after she decided to run for mayor in the upcoming Nov. 5 election.

While joking that the council should be good up until the end of the year, Martin stated that he voted for Music because of her long list of accomplishments in Ferndale, describing her work with Ferndale Pride as “incredible.”

“She’s a very hard worker,” he said. “I’ve worked with her on a number of projects, and she’s just excellent. I think she adds to the diversity of the council. I think it’s another way to get her more deeply involved, and she’s just a hard worker, and I know she’s an independent voice. It’s going to be nice to have her up there for a few months.”

Music was one of five people who originally applied with the city to be considered for the vacancy. The others were Fabrizio Constantini, Linda Flaherty, Douglas Rutley and Sherry Wells.

Before the discussion, City Clerk Marne McGrath noted that Flaherty had decided to pull her application from consideration. Constantini didn’t attend the meeting to speak on why he should be considered.

Music has never run for elected office and told C & G Newspapers that the reason was she didn’t feel that running for a seat would be the best use of her time, considering what she likes to do within the city, such as running the Pride festival. 

“For an appointed term that was a specific amount of time, I thought it would be a good time to jump in and serve the city in that way,” she said. “I know that terms ends in December. That’s when Pride starts to really get involved, and so I’ll be able to step back into my Pride role pretty seamlessly.”

With three full months left before the expiration of her term, Music would like to help the city by focusing on something that’s a big concern of hers, which is blight. She’s hoping to shape some of the decision-making around blighted homes and businesses.

“There are areas of our city — not big areas, but house by house — there are some areas of concern as far as blight and just how to get those people assistance, or if the house itself is not occupied, how do we move forward with that,” she said.

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