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Rebecca Chamberlain-Creanga named to Troy City Council seat

By: Terry Oparka | Troy Times | Published March 4, 2020

 The Troy City Council appointed Rebecca Chamberlain-Creanga to serve a 5 1/2-month term Feb. 24.

The Troy City Council appointed Rebecca Chamberlain-Creanga to serve a 5 1/2-month term Feb. 24.

Photo provided by the city of Troy

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TROY — The Troy City Council appointed Rebecca Chamberlain-Creanga to serve a 5 1/2-month term Feb. 24. The term was  made vacant when Councilman Ed Pennington resigned Jan. 13.

Chamberlain-Creanga earned a doctorate in economic anthropology from the London School of Economics. She  has served on the Troy Downtown Development Authority and currently serves on the Global Troy Advisory Committee. She works at the Kresge Foundation.

Pennington had a year and a half left in his second term. Chamberlain-Creanga will serve until the Aug. 4 state election, at which time candidates for the seat will be put to a vote of the people.

In his resignation letter, Pennington stated: “I am disappointed that some current council members feel there is a conflict of interest in Pennington Collision repairing vehicles for the city while (I was) simultaneously serving on City Council.”

The council voted 5-1 not to allow Pennington Collision to do business with Troy, with Pennington recused and Mayor Ethan Baker voting to allow it.

The council interviewed five candidates at the Feb. 24 meeting: Daniel Agauas, David Anderson, Chamberlain-Creanga, Mahendra Kenkre and Sunilkumar Sivaraman.

The council members asked each candidate six questions, then chose their top picks, and then they chose from among the two top picks, with Chamberlain-Creanga garnering the most votes. From that, the council made a motion to appoint her, which passed in a 6-0 vote.

When asked what her top priorities are, Chamberlain-Creanga said that the growth and redevelopment in Troy has generated a lot of anxiety in the community. She said that while new development is needed to bring in new tax revenues, she believes the council should revisit the city’s master plan to ensure compatible transitions to neighborhoods.

Chamberlain-Creanga said development should address the missing middle housing stock that seniors are asking for. The missing middle housing stock features walkability to services and serves as a transition between traditional single-family and multifamily homes.

“People want an updated library open seven days a week,” she said, noting that the current library millage expires in 2021 and the library has higher expenses than what the millage provides for.

The question of the Troy library millage is expected to be on the November ballot.

Chamberlain-Creanga said the city budget should be accessible to residents so they can provide input.

“I would be pleased and honored to have any of these five individuals sitting next to me,” said Councilwoman Edna Abrahim. “It really is a difficult choice.” She said that her choice for Chamberlain-Creanga came because she is “best equipped to fill the role immediately. The budget and library millage are top of mind for me.”

Councilwoman Ellen Hodorek said that Chamberlain-Creanga stood out for her “diversity of perspectives. She’s been involved with issues and challenges, so she hits the ground running,” she said.

Baker thanked all five candidates and urged them to stay involved with the city. “I appreciate all the energy and attention you’ve given,” he said.

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