The seven candidates for the Rochester City Council shared their views with the public during a candidate forum Sept. 16.

The seven candidates for the Rochester City Council shared their views with the public during a candidate forum Sept. 16.

Photo by Rob Ray

Rochester City Council candidates share views at forum

By: Mary Beth Almond | Rochester Post | Published October 2, 2019


ROCHESTER — The seven people running for four open seats on the Rochester City Council shared the spotlight during a League of Women Voters candidate forum at City Hall Sept. 16.

Mayor Rob Ray, Mayor Pro Tem Kim Russell and council members Ben Giovanelli and Ann Peterson are all up for re-election, but only Peterson plans to defend her seat.

Peterson will face challengers Mark Albrecht, Jeremiah Glembocki, Douglas Gould, Amanda Keighley, Steve Sage and Laura Traylor on the November ballot.

Four members of the Rochester City Council are elected during a general municipal election in November of every odd year. The three candidates receiving the highest number of votes serve four-year terms, and the candidate receiving the fourth-highest number of votes serves a two-year term.

The candidates gave opening and closing statements and were all asked the same questions. Topics included an all-season farmers market, the aging water system infrastructure and water rate increases, development and the growth of the city, 5G wireless internet infrastructure in public rights of way, diversity, the Rochester Pollinators and the Mayor’s Monarch Pledge, supporting business owners and the Downtown Development Authority, the special projects ordinance, what recent endeavors or policies candidates would change, and ideas for beautifying and maintaining the city’s parks.

Traylor, a Realtor, has lived in the city for 28 years. She believes the city needs to have a mixture of affordable and upscale housing, adding that traffic is “a huge issue” in the city and that she is looking forward to assisting in finding a solution. Traylor is also interested in homeowner rights and the city’s tree ordinance, the Planning Commission, the city’s parks and trails, the Rochester Pollinators and the city’s infrastructure.

“As a candidate for City Council, I’m hoping to become part of the process to maintain balance and sustainable living within Rochester. We are the center of many surrounding cities and are looked to for events and profitable business and shopping,” she said.

Sage, a sales manager for Cummins Inc., has lived in the city for 20 years and previously served on the City Council from 2011 to 2015.

“The most important function that you can do on City Council is your engagement in the fiscal year budgeting process. That’s the foundation that then allows us, and affords us, to have all the things that we love about living here. But we have to do it in the most responsible way,” he said.

Peterson, a local Realtor and mortgage loan officer, has lived in the city for over 30 years and has served on the council since 2015. As the only incumbent running in this election, Peterson said she would bring a “wealth of knowledge and leadership experience” to the City Council.

“Once I am elected, I will be the voice of the citizens and work diligently to make sure decisions are fully vested, with every angle discussed, to make educated and informed decisions. My 10 years of leadership in the city and education places me in a good position to continue protecting private property rights, balanced economic development, sustaining public safety, and a fund balance to continue giving citizens and community a great place to call home, as I have,” she said.

Keighley, who serves as the community relations manager for the Rochester Hills Public Library, has lived in the city since 2013.

“If elected to council, I want to bring balance and common sense to this seat,” she said. “I’m not afraid to do my homework. I’m not afraid to ask the tough questions … and if I am elected, I pledge to keep Rochester a place that you can feel proud to live.”

Gould, a professor and the chair of the foundational medical studies department at the Oakland University William Beaumont School of Medicine, has lived in the city since 2012.

“I believe that government, that City Council, that any leadership needs to be transparent and responsive to the people. I’ve knocked on a lot of doors already, and I’ll knock on as many more as my shoe leather holds out for leading up to the election,” he said. “I will promise you one thing: I will work very hard on your behalf.”

Glembocki, an engineering specifications analyst with General Motors and a manager of condominium communities within the city of Rochester, has lived in the city for over 10 years.

“I really believe wholeheartedly in the next generation, setting a positive mindset for them, while making sound decisions today to better ourselves today and in the future. This is what I believe in. This is what I stand for,” he said.

Albrecht, the senior director of human resources for Orlans in Troy, has lived in the city for 15 years. He said his platform is built around four pillars — infrastructure, reasonable development, fiscal responsibility and developing green space.

“My candidacy for City Council is about applying my experience, my leadership and, as a human resources executive, my ability to get people to work together,” he said. “If  I am so fortunate to be elected, I promise to apply all my knowledge to moving the city forward while honoring our historic roots.”  

To view the entire candidate forum, streaming video is available on the city’s website,