The park on Troy’s Civic Center campus will be named in honor of its first female City Council member and mayor, former Mayor Jeanne Stine, pictured here at the site.

The park on Troy’s Civic Center campus will be named in honor of its first female City Council member and mayor, former Mayor Jeanne Stine, pictured here at the site.

Photo by Brendan Losinski

Park named in honor of former Troy mayor

‘When people have problems and don’t know who to go to, I tried to be there for them’

By: Brendan Losinski | Troy Times | Published November 11, 2021

 A ribbon-cutting ceremony is planned for the spring for the upcoming Jeanne M. Stine Community Park in Troy.

A ribbon-cutting ceremony is planned for the spring for the upcoming Jeanne M. Stine Community Park in Troy.

Photo provided by Cindy Stewart


TROY — The Troy City Council voted unanimously at its regular meeting Oct. 25 to name the soon-to-be-completed park on the Civic Center campus after former Troy Mayor Jeanne Stine.

The name, Jeanne M. Stine Community Park, was brought before the council by the city’s Parks and Recreation Advisory Board after a competition that was open to all residents to name the new park took place.

“The policy that was adopted by the City Council is that the public has to be notified about the park being named. We put the competition for the name out there. In some combination, Mayor Stine was by far the most popular name submitted,” said Public Works Director Kurt Bovensiep. “It was presented to the Parks and Recreation Advisory Board, and they discussed it, and they decided to recommend the name ‘The Jeanne M. Stine Community Park.’”

Stine and several friends and family members were present at the Oct. 25 meeting. She said it was a great honor and that she was thrilled to still be playing a role in her city’s activities.

“It’s a great honor, and it’s very humbling. I know that a lot of people turned my name in, and I want to thank the people of Troy,” said Stine. “They gave me the opportunity to serve, and they are still supporting me. I haven’t been on the council since 2007, and people still remember me. That’s a wonderful feeling.”

Stine was on the council starting in 1976 and served 16 years before being elected mayor in 1992. She served as mayor until 2001, when she was term limited, then ran for City Council again a year later and served until 2007. She was the first woman to be elected to the council and as mayor in the city of Troy.

“She has lived in the heart of Troy for 60 years,” said current Mayor Ethan Baker. “She was the first woman on the City Council. She was the first woman elected mayor, but what a lot of people don’t realize is that she is still continuing to help out our city and our residents. I can’t tell you how many calls I’ve received from residents who told me, ‘Jeanne said I should call you.’ She always is involved in something, and she knows how to help people.”

Stine was humble when it came to accomplishments, but she added that she is proud of the numerous opportunities she has had to help others.

“I can’t think of any real achievements of mine,” she remarked. “I can only think of the times people came to me for help and I would be there for them. I remember one time I got a phone call at 1 a.m., and these people had just come home from a vacation and they discovered the city had put a street in next to their house and chopped the trees next to their house. I drove down there that night since they were so upset and I made sure (the Department of Public Works) was there on the scene in the morning. When people have problems and don’t know who to go to, I tried to be there for them.”

She added that she still takes every chance she gets to chip in and do her part.

“I worked with a lot of youth in the community, and I am still on the Troy Rotary and Troy Youth Assistance Board and the Troy Community Coalition,” said Stine. “It’s been a great satisfaction to help others. I still help at nursing homes and help at my church. If you give to others, you get a lot of satisfaction from it.”

Baker credited Stine with being part of most of the city’s major achievements in the last 45 years.

“As a City Council member and mayor, she was involved and in office when all of the development of our city took place,” he said. “Somerset Collection, a lot of our biggest businesses and most of the development in the north of Troy. When she first got elected, Troy’s northern border was for all intents and purposes Wattles (Road). Everything beyond was mostly farmlands and dirt roads.”

Plans for the new park are still being developed, but it will be used mostly as an open space for events such as farmers markets and craft shows.

“It’s really just open space. It’s designed to be flexible and be a catalyst for something bigger,” Bovensiep explained. “It can hold programs, it can be used as a passive space. Outside of our parks and shelters, we didn’t have a place for things like concerts, farmers markets or art-in-the-park-type programs. We wanted that flexible community space for events like that.”

The hope is to open the park for public events in the spring.

“The contractor has a few outstanding items, so we are planning the opening for the spring. We will get a sign made, and we will have a dedication and ribbon-cutting when we are ready to open it in the spring,” said Bovensiep. “This is just the beginning of the Civic Center space. It can grow. It can be used for uses we haven’t thought of yet. It’s the start of something bigger.”

Baker called the vote to approve the park’s name in honor of Stine a “no-brainer.”

“I knew immediately, and several council members have also said they thought this way, that when it was announced there was going to be a new park and it needed to be named, that Jeanne Stine would be the perfect person,” he said. “She has been an advocate for our city. She has been a champion of our city, and she has been everywhere in our city for decades.”

He added that Stine frequently fought to preserve the integrity of the Civic Center campus, so having a part of it named after her is incredibly fitting.

“The fact that it’s on the Civic Center campus is a big deal,” Baker said. “She fought very hard to keep the Civic Center a community asset and not have it sold for development. I know that it’s important to her that it remains a park-like area for the city to have access to, so it’s more than fitting to have her name adorn that park — a park that will be the centerpiece park in our community for generations to come.”

“As public works director, the naming of the park, this lives forever,” Bovensiep added. “There’s no process to rename a park. There’s no process to take a name off or move a park, so this is forever. I love that we have Jeanne Stine’s name living forever as a part of Troy. People may not know who Jeanne Stine is 50 or 60 years in the future, but they can look it up and see everything she did for the city when they see the park named after her.”

Stine said she hopes she can encourage others to play a positive role in their community.

“My time on council was a wonderful adventure and a great learning experience. The mayor said they never name anything after anyone until after they had died, so this is a great honor,” said Stine. “I hope that this park will be a place where people feel welcome and where kids can enjoy time of their own and where adults can have an area that they feel is theirs. I think it will help bring the community together.”

The Civic Center complex is near Livernois and Big Beaver roads. The town center was formerly a concrete-covered parking area. The goal is to turn it into a multiuse space full of grass and trees, a space to be used for public events. The park will include asphalt walkways, on-site parking, lighting for evening events, and wide grassy areas that will offer a range of programming opportunities.