From left, Ferndale Councilman Dan Martin; Police Chief Vincent Palazzolo; state Sen. Jeremy Moss, D-Southfield; Mayor Dave Coulter; state Rep. Robert Wittenberg, D-Huntington Woods; U.S. Rep. Andy Levin, D-Bloomfield Township; Councilwoman Raylon Leaks-May; and Mayor Pro Tem Greg Pawlica pose for a picture after Coulter’s State of the City address Tuesday, April 16.

From left, Ferndale Councilman Dan Martin; Police Chief Vincent Palazzolo; state Sen. Jeremy Moss, D-Southfield; Mayor Dave Coulter; state Rep. Robert Wittenberg, D-Huntington Woods; U.S. Rep. Andy Levin, D-Bloomfield Township; Councilwoman Raylon Leaks-May; and Mayor Pro Tem Greg Pawlica pose for a picture after Coulter’s State of the City address Tuesday, April 16.

Photo by Mike Koury


Ferndale mayor decides not to seek reelection

By: Mike Koury | Woodward Talk | Published April 19, 2019

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FERNDALE — At the end of his State of the City address April 16, Mayor Dave Coulter announced that he would not seek reelection at the end of his term later this year.

Coulter, 59, has served as mayor of Ferndale since 2010, when he was appointed to the position after former Mayor Craig Covey resigned to serve as an Oakland County commissioner.

After successfully winning four more terms from 2011 to 2017, Coulter has decided to step down after nine years total as mayor.

“I love this job. I’m going to be sad to leave it, but nine years is a long time … to serve in a basically part-time role on top of another job, and I’ve worked really hard at it,” he said. “I’ve given it everything I got, and I feel like, because the city is successful, it’s a good time to step away.”

Coulter said nothing in particular made him feel like he should leave the City Council this year, other than time. He said he also felt comfortable leaving the council knowing that the people still in charge will take good care of Ferndale.

“It’s surprising because every election year, it’s never even crossed my mind,” he said of leaving council. “I thought, ‘Of course I’m running again,’ but just since the beginning of the year, when I started thinking about running for reelection, I started thinking about if it was maybe time to let someone else lead the city. It’s a hard decision to make, but it is made easier by the fact that we have a really solid team, a really strong council, so I feel like this is a time where I’m leaving the city in good hands and it makes the decision a little easier.”

While he’s leaving public service for now, Coulter said he’s not closing the door just yet on running for office in the future.

“I’m open to some kind of public service in the future because I really enjoy it, but I’m also focused on the next eight months of still being the mayor,” he said.

Councilman Dan Martin, who has served on the City Council with Coulter since 2012, said Coulter has been a “spectacular mayor” for Ferndale.

“Of course we’re sad to see him go, and if it’s the right time for him in his heart, he’s leaving at a time when the city’s in a strong place,” he said. “I really enjoy working with him. I’m sorry to see him go, but if this is the right time for him, it’s the right time for him.”

With eight months left in his term, Coulter said he still has work to do as mayor, including passing a budget, overseeing the continued construction of “The dot,” navigating other development projects in Ferndale and continuing park improvements, something he called a “big passion of mine.”

“And then the unexpected, which always happens,” he said. “There’ll be plenty to do.”

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