Galvin reflects on Farmington council service

Bill Galvin
Bill Galvin (City of Farmington)

Farmington city council member Bill Galvin on Monday delivered an emotional farewell during his final council meeting.

Appointed in 2011, then elected in 2013 and 2017, his four-year term expires in 2021. Galvin said the decision to resign came after long discussions with his family, and that his time has been increasingly redirected toward his family’s and parents’ needs.

Having joined council during a time of economic decline, Galvin said, “cost-cutting was the focus. I leave as we are on the upswing, with plenty of opportunity.”

Among the developments he cited were new apartments downtown and new homes on the former 47th District Court site, increased programming with the ice rink in Riley Park, and the success of the Farmington Civic Theater and Farmington Farmers & Artisans Market.

End of merger talks

His proudest accomplishment, he said, happened in 2014, during the first of his two terms as mayor.

“The conversations about a merger with Farmington Hills lingered,” he said. “To be blunt, our citizens were sick and tired of this decades-old conversation.”

In his first State of the Cities address, he said, “I declared that a merger was officially part of Farmington’s past. I would like to think I put the final nail in the merger’s coffin.”

Galvin expressed his appreciation to city department heads and staff members, and to citizens for their support,

Colleagues Joe LaRussa and Mayor Sara Bowman both thanked Galvin for his mentorship and service; department heads also expressed their appreciation.

Resident Chris Halas, a community volunteer, stepped up during public comment to thank Galvin for the time he devoted to special projects, like a municipal finance presentation given several months ago.

“Clearly, a lot of work went into a presentation like that,” Halas said, noting that elected officials often put in long hours of service. “The volunteer spirit is something that really helps Farmington run, and there are many, many volunteers you’ve helped encourage along the way.”

60 days to appoint

Galvin’s resignation is effective January 6, 2020. Council members will then have 60 days to appoint his successor. If they fail, the city would be forced to fill the seat during a special election.

“I would like to see the (appointment) process move forward swiftly,” Bowman said in a recent interview. “The goal is to come to a quick consensus.”

Galvin and council member Steven Schneemann were both appointed over the past decade. Bowman said she was among the applicants when Schneemann was appointed and is also familiar with the process.

“I’m hopeful this is not going to be contentious,” she said.