Voters in Pontiac on Tuesday picked a familiar name in Michigan politics to lead the city for the next four years. Tim Greimel is the former state House Democratic leader and also served on the Oakland County Board of Commissioners from 2007 to 2012. He beat out the city’s former development chief Alexandria T. Riley.
“We’ve got to improve basic city services.” –Pontiac Mayor-elect Tim Greimel
Greimel says his top priorities as mayor include improving the relationship between the mayor’s office and city council, building a new youth recreation center and redesigning the infamous “Woodward Loop.”
Listen: Pontiac Mayor-elect Tim Greimel talks about his victory in Tuesday’s elections and his priorities for the city.
Tim Greimel is the new mayor-elect of Pontiac. He previously served as state House Democratic leader and as a member of the Oakland County Board of Commissioners.
“We’ve got to improve basic city services,” says Greimel, who says one of his top priorities will be to build a good working relationship with a completely brand-new city council. He says it’s an unprecedented opportunity for a new start in Pontiac’s government.
“The biggest obstacle to moving Pontiac forward is and has been a discord between the mayor and city council,” he says. “A key question is going to be the working relationship between the mayor and city council.”
He says building a new youth recreation center is another top priority in this term as mayor. He was critical of Pontiac’s lack of a permanent youth recreation center during his campaign. Both Greimel and Riley have been critical of how Pontiac has failed to spend funds from a 2018 youth recreation millage.
“We need to invest in Pontiac’s future and that begins with our young people who are our future. And we need to make sure that we’re giving them constructive activities to do,” he says.
Greimel also says transit can play a significant role in creating opportunities in Pontiac.
“Along transit routes, we’ve seen a lot of economic development occur,” he says. “It’s a really important economic catalyst to implement stronger mass transit.”
He also talks about his commitment to redesigning the way that Woodward Avenue runs through the city. The infamous “Woodward Loop” circles traffic around downtown Pontiac instead of taking Oakland County’s main artery through the city’s business center.
“It’s a high priority for my administration to finish this reconfiguration of the loop,” says Greimel. “It has served as a visual mote that has separated the neighborhoods from downtown.”
WDET reporter Alex McLenon contributed to this web story.