Mike Dooley was sworn in as a member of the Berkley City Council during its Jan. 9 meeting. Dooley was appointed to fill the vacant seat left by Natalie Price.

Mike Dooley was sworn in as a member of the Berkley City Council during its Jan. 9 meeting. Dooley was appointed to fill the vacant seat left by Natalie Price.

Photo provided by the city of Berkley

New councilman excited to lead city’s vision for Berkley

By: Mike Koury | Woodward Talk | Published January 23, 2023


BERKLEY — After Natalie Price was elected to the Michigan House of Representatives, the city of Berkley was tasked with appointing a resident to serve the rest of her term.

At its Dec. 5 meeting, the council met with six candidates seeking appointment to Price’s seat. The candidates were invited to make speeches to the council about themselves. The candidates were Clarence Black, Maria Ward, Michael Dooley, Erick McDonald, Jacob Robinson and Stacey Stevens.

On Dec. 19, the council met again and selected one of the six for the seat. Michael Dooley was approved by the council 4-2. Council members Steve Baker and Jessica Vilani voiced their support instead for other candidates. Dooley will serve the remainder of Price’s term, which will end in November.

Dooley, a Berkley resident for 32 years, has been involved with the Parks and Recreation Advisory Board but said he has always been interested in how the council functions. This led to him seeking the open seat.

“I can say that, during my time in Berkley, 20 years ago it wasn’t the time for me to run for a seat for the same reasons that, you know, Mayor (Dan) Terbrack has retired,” he said. “I have four kids. I’m very busy with work, but now my kids are grown and they’re living their lives, and I have the time to give back. And I would like to see the younger families and seniors in our city continue to get services and what the city offers.”

Terbrack, who supported Dooley’s appointment, said every applicant was well informed and passionate, and he was appreciative of the type of talent Berkley got in the application process and of the people who wanted to freely give up their time to serve the community. Terbrack retired from the council on Dec. 31, and the council planned to address the vacancy that his retirement created at its Jan. 23 meeting, after press time.

“It’s not a super glorious job, often a very difficult place to be, but the thing that really does matter and was one of the biggest factors for me is experience in the community,” Terbrack said.

Terbrack cited Dooley’s experience on the Parks and Recreation Advisory Board as one reason for his support as well as his involvement in community organizations.

“He left (the board) when his kids were doing a lot of things, and now that his kids are gone, he came back to the parks and rec board not long ago. So to me that shows just a commitment to service and serving the city,” he said.

Dooley has been with the council now for a little more than a month. He said everyone has been helpful and welcoming during this time. He also felt that he understands what the council’s and city administration’s vision is for Berkley and that he’s happy to be a part of it.

Part of that vision, and what Dooley hopes to continue to improve, is city services.

“City services are important to the residents,” he said. “I know that being a part of it, and that is something I’d like to focus on to make sure we don’t lose those in any way — maintain them. We have a great DPW team, we have a great public safety team and I want to help make sure that stays as is for the residents.”