ROCHESTER HILLS — Rochester Hills City Councilwoman Jenny McCardell recently resigned from her at-large seat on the council to move with her family to San Diego for a new job.
“I have to resign early, as I am taking employment in San Diego, California. It was a decision I had to make for my family,” McCardell announced during the Dec. 3 City Council meeting.
She was first elected to the council in 2007.
“It’s really hard to leave this job. I’m really passionate about the residents and our amazing city,” McCardell said. “So much effort goes into campaigning, and it shows how much I wanted it and wanted to be here.”
McCardell submitted her official letter of resignation to the city Dec. 6 — which noted that her vacancy would be effective Dec. 10.
Rochester City Council members — who formally accepted McCardell’s resignation during their Dec. 10 meeting and wished her luck in her future endeavors — had 30 days to appoint a new council member. Interested candidates were given one week to turn in their applications, and the City Council interviewed 11 candidates during its Dec. 17 special meeting: David Blair, Jeff Duperon, Laverne Farmer, Mike Koch, Theresa Mungioli, David Murphy, Sharon Pizzuti, Steve Reina, Ryan Smith, Jamie Seibert and David Walker.
Walker received the majority vote, 4-1, and was appointed to fill the vacancy Dec. 17. Councilwoman Stephanie Morita voted for Mungioli. James Kubicina was absent from the meeting.
Walker, a 31-year resident of the city, is a real estate agent by profession. He has served on the Rochester Regional Chamber of Commerce’s board of directors for eight years, the Rochester Regional Chamber Foundation board of directors for two years, and the Clinton River Watershed Council for three years.
As a new council member, Walker said he will bring knowledge of the area, a connection to the people, an involvement with local businesses, and his experience with contracts and negotiations to the council.
“I’m a real estate agent for the past 11 years, which gives me the unique opportunity to drive in and out of almost every neighborhood in the Rochester Hills area. I also have the ability to work with the residents moving in and out of the area — all 32-plus square miles of it. Those moving into the area, I get to see the city through their eyes, and I get to understand their likes and their dislikes. It’s a unique opportunity to know the area and work with the residents,” he said.
Through his work with the chamber, both as an ambassador and as a board member, Walker said he has welcomed or celebrated over 500 businesses that have moved into the area over the last 10 years.
“In doing so, it gives me a unique opportunity to work with the businesses, so I know the residents, I know the businesses and I know the area, and that combination gives me a unique perspective of the city in which I live, work and raise my family,” he said.
Walker said he’s looking forward to seeing the Auburn Road corridor project and Innovation Hills Park work through to fruition.
“A deep passion has been formed for this community in my heart, and I want to give back in some way,” he said. “I have done so through the chamber, but I want to see another opportunity, another avenue, and this City Council position will allow me that avenue.”
Although McCardell’s seat was set to expire in November 2021, City Clerk Tina Barton said Walker will serve until the city’s next regular election in November 2019, when a permanent replacement will be elected to serve the remainder of the term.
For more information, call the City Clerk’s Office at (248) 841-2461.