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Michigan Municipal League

Press Release


Contact:

Matt Bach
Director of Communications
Michigan Municipal League
(734) 669-6317; C: (810) 874-1073
mbach@mml.org; www.mml.org

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE: Oct. 2, 2020

Westland Mayor William Wild Named Michigan Municipal League President

Pontiac Mayor Selected as Vice President

ANN ARBOR, Michigan – Westland Mayor William Wild has been named as the Michigan Municipal League’s 2020-21 president.

Wild was selected Board president by the 18-member Board of Trustees this week during the Michigan Municipal League’s virtual Convention. The Board also named Pontiac Mayor Dr. Deirdre Waterman as vice president. As vice president, Waterman is in line to become League president in 2021-22.

“It’s very exciting to be the League’s president, and it’s something I’m very proud of,” Wild said. “To say the least, it’s an exciting, yet challenging time for local governments. We’re trying to redefine our communities to remain relevant, while also tackling some of the biggest challenges we’ve ever faced.”


Wild succeeds Saginaw Mayor Pro Tem Brenda F. Moore as president, whose historic term as the League’s first African-American female president ended this week.

Selected to the League Board in September of 2017, Wild served as vice president since January and, along with Moore, helped guide the organization as it addressed the coronavirus pandemic and racial inequities brought to the national spotlight following the death of George Floyd in Minneapolis.

“Mayor Pro Tem Moore and Mayor Wild have done an amazing job leading our organization and our member communities over the past several months, which have been very challenging to put it mildly,” said League CEO and Executive Director Dan Gilmartin. “I have the utmost confidence that Mayor Wild will continue the strong and thoughtful leadership that he demonstrated as vice president. Mayor Wild brings a wealth of municipal experience that I know will serve our organization well in the next year.”

Wild’s experience in municipal leadership is immense. He is the longest serving mayor in Westland’s history and is extremely active in the League since attending his first MML Convention in 2000, participating in the League’s Elected Officials Academy, and serving on various legislative and municipal finance committees. Prior to becoming Westland’s mayor in 2007, Wild was appointed to the Westland Planning Commission from 1999 to 2001 and elected to the city council from 2001 to 2007, serving as council president from 2006-2007. He also is former U.S House of Representatives candidate for MI-13th in 2018.

His involvement extends beyond the League as he’s also active with the United States Conference of Mayors, Conference of Western Wayne (CWW), Southeast Michigan Council of Governments (SEMCOG), and the Michigan Municipal Risk Management Authority (MMRMA). Under his leadership as mayor, Westland has successfully attracted more than $200 million in new investment to Westland’s business district. Recently, the city was recognized as one of America’s top 50 places to live, work, and play by Wall Street 24/7.
As League president, Wild plans to continue the organization’s effort to reform the state’s broken municipal finance system; assisting member communities in recovering from the COVID-19 pandemic; and infusing diversity, equity, and inclusion work into all aspects of the organization and membership.

“I want to continue the work of the League and the direction the Board has set over the last few years,” Wild said. “Obviously, we will be working to restart our communities and our local economies post COVID-19. And I’d like to see Michigan’s communities continue to take leadership roles on the civil unrest we’re experiencing nationally.”

In addition, Wild hopes to make the importance of local communities a platform issue leading up to the next governor’s race in 2022.

“The League has done an incredible job with its SaveMICity municipal finance reform initiative, showing how the loss of state revenue sharing has hurt our communities,” Wild said. “But I would like us to turn that into a priority in the race for governor, and eventually I hope to see that trickle down and also become a platform issue in state Legislature races as well.”

He said the trick will be balancing all the different challenges and needs being faced by Michigan’s communities.

“We have to remain focused on those goals we had before the pandemic because our broken municipal finance system has not gone away,” Wild said. “We need to make progress on all fronts. We really have our work cut out for us this year, but it’s an exciting time, and together, I know we will accomplish a lot.”

In addition to selecting Wild and Waterman as the Board President and Vice President, the League Board also elected three new Board members and re-elected three currently serving board members during its annual meeting Tuesday, Sept. 29. The new members are Detroit City Councilmember Andrè L. Spivey, Mason City Manager Deborah Stuart, and Monroe Mayor Robert Clark. The re-elected Board members are Muskegon Mayor Stephen Gawron, L’Anse Village Manager Robert La Fave, and Holland City Manager Keith Van Beek.

The newly elected Trustees join Wild, Waterman, and the other volunteers who remain on the 2020-21 Board – Michael Cain, city manager of Boyne City; Brian Chapman, Sault Ste. Marie City Manager; Peter Dame, Grosse Pointe City Manager; Carla Filkins, Cadillac Mayor; Monica Galloway, Flint City Council President; Frances McMullan, Ypsilanti City Manager; Jean Stegeman, Menominee Mayor; Patrick Sullivan, Northville City Manager; Diane Brown Wilhelm, Midland City Councilmember; and Barbara Ziarko, Sterling Heights City Councilmember.

The League Board and League CEO/Executive Director Dan Gilmartin also thanked the outgoing Trustees for their years of service: League President and Saginaw Mayor Pro Tem Brenda F. Moore; Brenda Jones, Detroit City Council President; and Marlon Brown, Mason Mayor Pro Tem.

For additional information, contact Matt Bach, Michigan Municipal League communications director, at mbach@mml.org and (810) 874-1073.

About the League: Michigan Municipal League is dedicated to making Michigan’s communities better by thoughtfully innovating programs, energetically connecting ideas and people, actively serving members with resources and services, and passionately inspiring positive change for Michigan’s greatest centers of potential: its communities. The League advocates on behalf of its member communities in Lansing, Washington, D.C., and the courts; provides educational opportunities for elected and appointed municipal officials; and assists municipal leaders in administering services to their communities through League programs and services. Learn more at mml.org.

 

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