By SUE SUCHYTA
Sunday Times Newspapers
WYANDOTTE – A new city assessor and four new faces on the city council were sworn in May 8 despite the absence of Mayor Joseph Peterson, who injured his shoulder in a recent fall.
Sheri Sutherby-Fricke, who was term limited on the city council, and lost a mayoral bid against incumbent Peterson, stayed for the final meeting of the outgoing council, but declined to stay for the inauguration.
Defeated incumbent Councilman Kevin VanBoxell stayed for the ceremony, at which defeated Councilmen Daniel Galeski and Ted Micuira Jr. — who finished fourth in the assessor race — were absent.
Incumbent Councilmen Leonard Sabuda and Donald Schultz were sworn in with past Councilman Robert DeSana, who returned to the council after a 26-year absence, and newly elected Council members Chris Calvin, Megan Maiani and Robert Alderman. City Clerk Lawrence Stec, who ran unopposed, administered the oath of office.
The Wyandotte Roosevelt Choir, under the direction of Kathleen Kane, sang the national anthem and other selections.
A theme echoed in the remarks of several re-elected officials and residents was the need for city council cohesion and the ability to work together on redevelopment projects and other city improvements.
Sabuda said he begins his third and final council term with appreciation for the voters re-electing him, and he said the new council will “take the city into the future.”
“They are going to be the drivers of the city council and what we are going to do,” Sabuda said. “Wyandotte is the hub of Downriver. We have everything down here and we do a good job when we take a project on.”
Sabuda said he is sure the new council members will have suggestions and recommendations for the city and the vision to make it great.
Alderman said he will work hard for the city as he and the new council bring the city into the future. Calvin echoed the belief that the new council will move the city forward.
Maiani said she appreciated the support of the voters who elected her as a young woman stepping up to the council.
“For those of you who don’t know me, over the next for years I really hope to build your trust and confidence in me,” she said.
Schultz thanked the residents for allowing him to serve on the council for his final four years.
“Ever since I was little I wanted to stand up here, and I thank God the citizens trusted me enough to do it,” he said. “I look so much forward to serving you again.”
Theodore Galeski, who returns to the assessor’s office for a second time after serving with Wayne County government for many years, said he sees it as a reflection of the residents’ desire to have a certified professional in the position so the job is performed properly.
Stec said the inauguration was improvised without the mayor being present.
“This is kind of a hybridized inauguration you’re having tonight,” he said, “a mix and match of things that we thought would work, and I think it came together pretty well.”
He said he became clerk originally to finish the term of his predecessor, William Griggs, who retired after serving in the position for more than four decades, and he was pleased to be re-elected on his own merit.
To view a video of the city inauguration go to wyan.org/Cable-Studio/City-Meeting-Videos.aspx.
(Sue Suchyta can be reached at [email protected])