Grosse Pointe News


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Valentine to become next city managerFree Access

CITY OF GROSSE POINTE — Decades after working five years as an assistant harbor master at the Grosse Pointe Yacht Club during college, Joseph Valentine is set to return to the east side — he also grew up in St. Clair Shores — as the new city manager for the City of Grosse Pointe.

Joe Valentine

Currently the assistant city manager for Farmington Hills and a father of three, Valentine also has a 24-year history with Birmingham, starting as an intern and serving his last six and a half years as its city manager.

“The connection for me, I think, was (that) Grosse Pointe has a warm residential charm with a very special downtown,” Valentine said, “and coming from another community that shared that same dynamic, it’s exciting to come back to that, because I do miss that and look forward to bringing a strong customer service focus to the existing great services that the city already provides. That was very appealing to me when I saw this opportunity.”

Valentine was selected out of 25 applicants who were narrowed down to 10 by a search firm and then down to four by the city council’s search committee. Search committee members were Mayor Sheila Tomkowiak and councilmen Terence Thomas and Chris Walsh.

The committee recommended Valentine to council during a special meeting Thursday, July 13, during which council unanimously voted to accept his application, conduct a background check and then empower the city attorney and mayor to negotiate a contract.

“He has everything that we need,” Tomkowiak said of Valentine’s selection. “He comes from a community that’s commensurate in terms of age and size. He understands the infrastructure. We have a very small staff, so we need a city manager who can be hands-on and very active in working on a lot of the issues.

“In Birmingham, he started as an intern, he was human resources director, he negotiated contracts,” she added. “Just about everything that we need done, he has done, so it was a pretty easy answer.”

Valentine is looking forward to contributing his professional skills and experience to the various economic development initiatives ongoing in the city, as well as to the continued success of the downtown district and in keeping the momentum of initiating efforts from the new master plan.

“I think the city council’s done a great job at managing the city,” Valentine said, “and I look forward to working with them and all the community stakeholders to continue the great work moving forward.” 

While an official start date is not yet determined, “We’re hoping we will have a final contract for council to approve at the August meeting,” Tomkowiak said.