TRAVERSE CITY — Some new faces are coming to the Traverse City Commission, while a few familiar ones will stay.
Unofficial results show Commissioner Amy Shamroe will keep her seat, with 2,399 votes in a six-way race for three commission seats. Newcomer Ashlea Walter will join the board, with 2,263, and Commissioner Roger Putman narrowly beat the closest challenger, Katy Bertodatto, with 1,634 votes to her 1,568 — the top three vote-getters won the seats.
Shamroe said she’s “extremely proud and really grateful” that voters picked her for another term. Shamroe said she tried to make judgements and create policy based on facts, what’s happening in the city and what people want for the future.
“And the response of our voters has been great to see that they’ve not just supported that but overwhelmingly supported that,” she said.
Shamroe added she’s looking forward to working on ongoing projects, like the West Boardman Lake Trail, and key issues in the city like economic development.
Putman said the close race was exciting to watch — early results had him neck-and-neck with Bertodatto. He praised her campaign and said she’ll make a great commissioner if she chooses to run again.
The city commission’s dynamic is bound to change, as is the case with any personnel change, Putman said. He added he has lots of respect for everyone joining the board.
“I see us having a very cooperative group of people that can debate and discuss things in a civil tone while accomplishing great things for the city,” he said.
Walter said she looks forward to representing the people of Traverse City and is humbled by the opportunity. She wants to work together with other commissioners on the issues, including the climate crisis and securing natural resources — those are foremost for her, she said.
Bertodatto was among the three of six candidates to fall short, as were Dave Durbin with 1,309 and Evan Dalley with 986.
Dalley said he was disappointed by the results but is proud of the campaign he ran. He congratulated the winners and hopes city leaders focus on housing issues in the city.
“Amy and Ashlea ran very strong campaigns, and the two of them and Roger Putman will serve our city well,” he said. “Christie Minervini ran a phenomenal campaign and will also serve our city well.”
Messages left for Bertodatto and Durbin weren’t returned Tuesday.
Christie Minervini came out ahead of Tom Mair by 2,506-1,388 — the two faced off for a partial city commission term.
Minervini said she’s “extremely grateful” and felt supported by the community from the first day. She ran after being repeatedly encouraged to do so by other people she respects.
“I was relieved that they all came behind me when I finally decided to run,” she said.
Housing is a top issue for Minervini, and she hopes the commission revisits the issue of funding repairs to the city’s stormwater system, she said.
A message left for Mair wasn’t returned Tuesday.
Voters also overwhelmingly said “yes” to allowing the Brown Bridge Parks Improvement Trust Fund to gather oil and gas royalties from wells on city-owned land for five more years — the measure passed by 3,028-962.
Money in the fund goes toward park improvements and acquisition, and voters created it in 2014, as previously reported. This time there’s no matching funds requirement, no project can get more than $250,000 and there’s a list of priority projects.
Voter turnout, both in-person and those who cast absentee ballots, stood at 4,189 votes out of 12,756 registered voters, figures show.
Record-Eagle reporter Brendan Quealy contributed to this article.
Editor's note: This article has been updated to correct a reporter's error on overall vote totals and registered city voters. Nov. 6, 2019