Warren dedicates photos honoring past mayors

By: Brian Louwers | Warren Weekly | Published October 24, 2012


WARREN — They were different men with different styles and different approaches to meeting the city’s challenges.

Seven former Warren mayors were honored Oct. 17 during a ceremony at City Hall, where their restored portraits now hang.

Warren Mayor Jim Fouts said the portraits that used to hang in the old City Hall were plucked from storage and updated by Warren’s Patrick Photographic Studios.

“Each of these mayors contributed in some way to the progress our city has made,” Fouts said. “Each of these men had his own management style and unique personality. Make no mistake about it — all of these men were dedicated.”

Family members of some of the former mayors — Arthur Miller, Louis Kelsey, Bill Shaw, Ted Bates, James Randlett, Ron Bonkowski, and Mark Steenbergh — attended the ceremony in the City Hall atrium.

“I thanked Mayor Fouts, and I think it was well deserved,” said Christine Bonkowski, vice chair of the Macomb Community College Board of Trustees and the wife of the late Warren Mayor Ron Bonkowski.

Christine Bonkowski said her husband always said what he believed, even if it was unpopular, and that even though he disliked politics, he relished serving the city and moving it forward.

“I think all the mayors should have a place up there on the wall. They were an important part of this city,” Christine Bonkowski said.

Former state Sen. Art Miller said his father, Arthur J. Miller, the city’s first mayor, was a “good listener” who always took the time to help people with their problems.

“He took time to talk to everyone, whether you were a corporate executive or a lowly utility person,” Art Miller said. “He found time for everybody.”

Warren’s list of former mayors dates back to 1957, the year the city was founded.

Photos of the men hang on the east wall near the Civic Center Library, on the ground level of City Hall east of Van Dyke and north of 12 Mile Road.