GROSSE POINTE SHORES — Past Mayor Dr. James Cooper was doubly qualified this month to receive the President’s Award.
Cooper’s 12 years of elected office in Grosse Pointe Shores include being president during the Shores’ final years as a village and as mayor during its reorganization as a city.
“Jim was our last president of the village and our first mayor,” said current Mayor Ted Kedzierski, during a ceremony at the Tuesday, Dec. 18, council meeting.
The audience stood and applauded as Cooper, a dentist, accepted the award.
“Do you want to say a few words?” asked Kedzierski.
“Thank you,” Cooper said.
Kedzierski said the tradition of awarding the outgoing president began with the late Ed Brady.
Brady, a village trustee from 1980 to 1989, and village president from 1989 to 1993, died in November.
Honors didn’t stop with Cooper.
Kedzierski gave proclamations to 10 former members of the village board of trustees and city council leaving office within the last five years:
Dr. Brian Hunt,
Linda Somers and
Rose Garland-Thornton, whose 21 years of service “has the record” of the group, Kedzierski said.
Kedzierski said the city couldn’t operate without citizen volunteers.
“The ultimate volunteers serving their community are the elected council persons, who probably volunteer over 100 hours each year,” he said. “These volunteers believe in the city and want to keep our city the premier community it is.”
The final proclamation honored state Rep. Timothy Bledsoe, D, City of Grosse Pointe.
Bledsoe completed his second and final term this month.
“He wasn’t a Democrat,” Kedzierski said. “He wasn’t a Republican. He was a Grosse Pointer.”
“It’s been an honor,” Bledsoe said.
He lost his bid for a third term in the Democratic primary for newly-drawn District 2, which is dominated by Detroit precincts.