The Walled Lake Downtown Development Authority (DDA) Board has tapped City Councilman and former DDA Board Chairman Casey Ambrose to fill his former DDA Board position, after Pat Wlodarczyk stepped down from that post on May 10.
“I’m thrilled and honored that the board wanted me to be chairman again and am happy to accept the nomination,” Ambrose said.
Wlodarczyk was selected to be the board chairperson after Bill Sturgeon vacated the position when he was appointed to the City Council following Ed Bennett’s resignation. Wlodarczyk took over the position in April.
“Pat said she’s extremely busy and stepped up to the plate when Bill resigned unexpectedly,” said DDA Executive Director Charlene Long. “She nominated Casey to replace her because of his vast experience.”
Ambrose served as the DDA Board chairman for nearly 17 years. When the board was formed in May 1990, he was the initial vice-chair, but was appointed chairman a few months later. When he was elected to the council in November 2007, he resigned from his DDA post since, at the time, a dual municipal role was prohibited.
However, Ambrose is at liberty to serve on the DDA board since it’s considered a statutory committee which gives the City Council the authority to appoint DDA board members.
Under Public Act 10 of 1992, the state Legislature statutorily amended Michigan law to state that the act “shall not be construed to prohibit a public officer or public employee of a city, school district, community college district, or county from being appointed to and serving as a member of the board of … a downtown development authority pursuant to Act No. 197 of the Public Acts of 1975.”
As a result, on April 19, the City Council approved a motion stating that council members can serve on the DDA board.
Now that Ambrose will be helming the DDA board, he said he intends to continue enhancements to the DDA district and its infrastructure.
“We need to continue to improve the commercial environment so businesses are welcomed and have a good shot at succeeding, and we also need to continue to improve the infrastructure so we thrive,” he said.
Positions on the DDA board are voluntary, and those who hold them don’t receive compensation.