Councilman Felice Lalli sworn in as Allen Park mayor

Photo by Andrea Poteet

Allen Park City Clerk Michael Mizzi (left) swears in City Councilman Felice Lalli as mayor Tuesday. His wife, Maria, and son, Joe, stand behind him. Lalli will serve out the remainder of the term vacated by former Mayor Gary Burtka, who resigned May 31. The term ends in November.

Sunday Times Newspapers

ALLEN PARK–The highest ranking office in the city has been filled with a face familiar to many.

City Councilman Felice Lalli was sworn in as the city’s mayor at a special council meeting Tuesday.

Fighting back “happiness tears,” Lalli thanked his family, including his wife, Maria, and son, Joe, and former Mayor Gary Burtka, who resigned May 31 citing an unspecified cancer. Lalli will serve out the duration of Burtka’s term, which ends in November. An election for mayor and all council seats is scheduled for Nov. 8.

“As your new mayor, you have my promise that I and the city council will do the best and all we can do in the little time left in this administration to resolve our pending issues,” Lalli said. “We’ll just have to roll our sleeves up and start working for the betterment of the citizens of Allen Park. That’s why I got in this office, and that’s why I’m gonna end up in this office.”

Councilman Francesco Tucci will fill Lalli’s role as mayor pro tempore and resident Tina Gaworecki, the second runner up in the council election four years ago, is to be sworn in at the next council meeting, taking the seat Lalli vacated. The first runner up, Larry Templin, took Councilman Kyle Tertzag’s seat when he resigned earlier this year.

Councilors expressed their faith in Lalli during the meeting.

“You don’t have to be nervous,”Councilwoman Beverly Kelley said. “You’ll do a great job, we’re behind you 100 percent.”

Councilman James Flynn added a moment of levity to the emotional meeting.

“Mr. Mayor, enjoy the swearing in,” he told Lalli. “The swearing at comes later.”