New GPCRDA Board members appointed

By: K. Michelle Moran | Grosse Pointe Times | Published July 28, 2020

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GROSSE POINTES/HARPER WOODS — There’s a new leader of the Grosse Pointes-Clinton Refuse Disposal Authority, but he’s no stranger to the board.

Terry Brennan, who represents Grosse Pointe Farms on the GPCRDA, was unanimously approved as the new board chair during a meeting via Zoom May 12. He chaired his first meeting July 14 by Zoom.

Brennan, who now serves as the building inspector for Grosse Pointe Farms and Grosse Pointe City, had been the Farms director of public service until he retired from that position in 2018.

The GPCRDA Board elections were conducted for the first time in a few years.

“We haven’t done this in a while … and there needs to be a change,” GPCRDA Board Chair Brett Smith said before the elections May 12. “I had some health issues that are going to make it necessary to relinquish my position (as chair).”

Smith suffered a heart attack at work in March but has since fully recovered. He has served as the alternate and then primary representative for Grosse Pointe Shores on the GPCRDA for roughly 30 years.

GPCRDA Board Secretary Donald Parthum Jr. nominated Brennan to become the new board chair, and GPCRDA Board member Bill Snyder seconded the motion.

“I will accept,” Brennan said. “I’m very honored.”

Former Grosse Pointe Park City Manager Dale Krajniak had been the longtime treasurer for the GPCRDA, but after he retired from his city manager position June 30, 2019, the GPCRDA treasurer seat remained vacant. At the May 12 meeting, the GPCRDA Board voted unanimously to name Smith as the new treasurer.

The board also voted unanimously to retain Parthum as secretary.

The appointment is something of a coming full circle for Brennan. During his long career in the Farms, he worked under former Public Service Director Joe Leonard, who he considered a mentor. When Leonard retired at the end of 2002, Brennan succeeded him. Leonard, who later served on the Farms City Council, was also a longtime member of the GPCRDA, and he spent several years as chair of the GPCRDA Board, until his death in August 2012. Brennan, who had served as Leonard’s alternate for the Farms on the GPCRDA since 2010, became his city’s primary representative after Leonard’s death.

It wasn’t known at press time whether Smith, the director of public works in Grosse Pointe Shores, would be able to continue to serve as the GPCRDA treasurer. In June, he submitted his resignation from the Shores, after more than 33 years; his last day is Aug. 19. Smith said during the July 14 GPCRDA meeting that he wasn’t sure whether he would be able to continue to represent the Shores on that board, although he was willing to do so.

“The Grosse Pointes-Clinton Authority has been one of my favorite organizations to be involved with,” Smith said.

Brennan told Smith July 14 that he hoped Smith would be able to remain on the board.

“Brett, thank you so much for your years of service to the authority,” Brennan said. “You are a wealth of knowledge.”

Because of the uncertainty regarding Smith’s position on the GPCRDA after his retirement from the Shores DPW, the board voted unanimously July 14 to appoint board members Tom Jenny and Bruce Smith as official check signers. Being able to sign checks had been one of Brett Smith’s roles as treasurer.

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