Council veteran elected to fill vacancy

Joe Kosinski

Times-Herald Newspapers

HEIGHTS — A longtime resident was appointed to fill a vacant city council seat during the Aug. 28 council meeting.

Joe Kosinski, 83, won the seat with a 4-2 vote, beating out opponent 48-year-old Lisa Farrens.

Councilors Tom Berry, Marge Horvath, Ned Apigian and Council Chairman Kenneth Baron voted for Kosinski.

Councilors Janet Badalow and Lisa Hicks-Clayton voted for Farrens.

Kosinski’s will sit in on the next council meeting; his term is scheduled to end Dec. 31.

During the council meeting Kosinski said he felt his experience with the council would help him get the appointment.

“I accept the vote of the majority to come back and serve the citizens of Dearborn Heights,” Kosinski said during the meeting, while receiving applause from the crowd.

During the Nov. 6 election candidates Farrens and Kosinski are running for the remainder of the council term from Jan. 1 to Dec. 31, 2013. It is possible that if Kosinski is the winner he can finish out the term uninterrupted. If Farrens wins she could immediately take over the seat.

The seat became available when the previous four-term Councilwoman Margaret Van Houten stepped down March 27 to fill the governor-appointed position of Third Circuit Court judge.

Van Houten’s term ends Dec. 31, 2013.

Kosinski, who has lived in Dearborn Heights since Sept. 1, 1960, said he ran because he was invited by a couple of council members to consider the position and because he has experience as a councilman from 1978 to 1999.

“This is not a new experience,” Kosinski said of his newly elected position. “My public service career in Dearborn Heights spans a period of 39 years. I believe I still have the energy.”

Kosinski began his public service career as vice chairman on the Zoning Board of Appeals in 1973 and from 1996 to 1999 was the City Council chairman.

From 1984 to 2012 he was a member of the city’s General Government Pension Board and since 2000 has been the chairman of the city’s General Government Pension Committee Managing the administrative responsibilities of the Dearborn Heights employees pension trust fund.

(Sherri Kolade can be reached at