Auburn Hills

Media contacts: Barbara Fornasiero, EAFocus Communications, 248.651.7536/cell: 586.817.8414,; Stephanie Carroll, City of Auburn Hills, 248.364.6802,

Auburn Hills, Mich.—Nov. 20, 2013— Following a 24 year relationship with the city of Auburn Hills, serving 12 years as a city council member and 12 years as mayor, lifelong resident Jim McDonald will now return to private life. McDonald, who chose to retire from public office and did not run for the city council this past election, had served on the city council since 1989. He was first appointed mayor in 1994 and served consecutive terms through Nov. 1999. Most recently, McDonald served as mayor from 2009 until Nov. 18, 2013.

“It was a privilege for me to be the mayor of a city I love and care deeply about,” said McDonald. “Every decision I made was guided by a desire to represent the city as a whole, including residents, businesses and city employees.”

In Auburn Hills, the mayoral role is to serve as the executive officer of the city and the official head of the city for ceremonial purposes. The mayor presides at all city council meetings but speaks and votes in such meetings as any other member of the Council. City Manager Pete Auger, who came to Auburn Hills in 2008, congratulated McDonald on his service to the city.

“Jim McDonald always served Auburn Hills with the best interests of the city at heart,” said Auger. “He’s the perfect example of a citizen who gets involved with community politics for the right reasons. His able leadership guided us through the majority of the city’s growth and I think it’s fitting that he’s retiring in the year we celebrate 30 years as the city of Auburn Hills.”

Indeed McDonald recalls Auburn Hills’ early history, including the days of Squirrel Road as one-lane each way.

“Drivers practically had to move onto the shoulder to let someone pass,” said McDonald. “We’ve come a long way with Squirrel Road, now a modern five lane boulevard that serves as a beautiful gateway to and from the city.”

During McDonald’s various terms as mayor and councilman, the city itself also saw tremendous development, including the Auburn Hills community center, public safety building and renovation of the city’s administration building on the city’s municipal campus, as well as three new fire stations throughout the city, Fieldstone Golf Club and the Department of Public Works on Brown Road.

McDonald also commended Auburn Hills employees for their devotion to the city.

“Auburn Hills’ employees are so dedicated. I’m always impressed by how they approach their work and put the city’s needs first,” said McDonald.

McDonald, who retired from DTE’s real estate group in 2001, looks forward to his second retirement.

“My wife Bonnie and I plan to visit our children in Texas and California more often and spend more time at our cottage near Cadillac, but Auburn Hills will always be home,” said McDonald.

Retiring Auburn Hills Mayor Jim McDonald with City Manager Pete Auger - 11-18-13 Council Meeting

Retiring Auburn Hills Mayor Jim McDonald with City Manager Pete Auger

About Auburn Hills
Celebrating 30 years as a city in 2013, Auburn Hills is home to 21,000 residents and also serves as Michigan’s global business address, with 40 international corporations from 32 countries housed here, including Chrysler Group LLC and Borg Warner headquarters. Auburn Hills’ residents enjoy the amenities of city and suburban living with parks, a revitalized downtown district and a welcoming city complex with a library and community center. Additionally, the city has five colleges and universities, the award winning Palace of Auburn Hills entertainment complex and Great Lakes Crossing Outlets, one of the state’s largest destination shopping centers, providing a variety of cultural, social and educational opportunities to residents, workers and visitors. Learn more at