Janette DeCaire Commissioner
Term Expires: 11/19/2018
Cynthia C. Telfer Executive Director
Cynthia "Cindy" Telfer spent her career in the affordable housing industry, starting in 1981 with the City of Ann Arbor/Ann Arbor Housing Commission. Her passion for service to others was groomed by working with low-income families and collaborating with many area services providers. Congressman John Dingell recognized this dedication on August 18, 2006 in a letter thanking Cindy "for a public service job well done". As Cindy continued to navigate the affordable housing world she worked as a teacher, coach and mentor with private housing providers and public housing agencies.
Jerry Lee Williams Vice Chairman
Term Expires: 11/21/2017
I moved to Melvindale from Detroit in July, 2000, and have been a resident of Coogan Terrace since that time. I was on Coogan Terrace Tenant Council from 2002 to 2007, when I was named to the Housing Commission. In 2008 I was elected as Vice-Chair of Housing Commission; in 2010 elected chair, and held that office until 2014. I was recently re-appointed to the Housing Commission for another 5 year term, and received Certification as a Housing Commissioner. I also recently joined the Resident Advisory Board. I attended Berean University Bible College, where I studied Divinity. I have been Pastor at First United Community Church in Detroit since 2011, after having been Interim Pastor at the same church. Other pastoral activities include membership in the International Police Chaplain Corps, and the International Critical Incident Stress Team for the state of Michigan. I am active in Heart to Heart Ministries, and often work to provide wheelchairs as needed to individuals. I am one of the leaders in the Community Emergency Response Team (CERT), was on the Beautification Committee in Melvindale, and am now on the Historical Commission.
Mary Suiter Commissioner
Term Expires: 11/18/2019
Commissioners Board Meeting Schedule
Click here to download the 2017 Commissioners' Board Meeting Schedule
Carmen S. Cotto Commissioner
Term Expires: 11/18/2019
I have been a Melvindale resident since 1969. I am married to Hector J. Cotto and we have three daughters and six grandchildren. I was on the Beautification Committee and I volunteer at the Food Pantry at New Hope Methodist Church. For a few years, I have helped with Safety Town for two weeks in the summer and I am a member of the Melvindale Kiwanis Club. Some of my Kiwanis activities bring me to Coogan Terrace, that is how I know some of the residents here. I am a member of St. Mary Magdalen Catholic Church. I love our little city that is why I am happy to be here.
Term Expires: 12/2/2019
I was born in Detroit, but moved to Melvindale with my family in 1954, graduating from Melvindale High School in 1962. I attended several colleges, including Harper Hospital School of Nursing, Wayne County Community College, and Wayne State University, but received degrees from Henry Ford Community College (Associates), Spring Arbor College (Bachelor of Arts - Management of Human Resources), and Central Michigan (Software Engineering). Don Herman , my much-loved husband of 42 years, died in 2005, after a long illness (COPD). I have 3 stepdaughters, 3 step-grandsons, (all doctors), one step-granddaughter who is a Nurse Assistant, and 4 great-grandchildren. These live in Pennsylvania, California, and Arizona. I have as well two brothers and a sister – of whom I am very proud, and whose families give me great joy. I was fortunate enough to work for Blue Cross Blue Shield for 40 years in many capacities, retiring as a Technical Consultant in Information Systems. Professional Certifications include: (CSE) Certified Software Engineer, (CCP) Certified Computing Professional, and (CM) Certified Manager. It was a great honor that I was head of the Pastoral Council for the Archdiocese of Detroit in 1995 and 1996. I currently attend St. Mary Magdalen Catholic church, where I am Choir Member, Cantor, and Lector, but still deeply mourn the closing of my previous greatly loved church, St. Conrad’s. In 2003, I was elected to Melvindale City Council, where I was Mayor Pro-tem for 4 years, then elected to President of City Council. After election, I established weekly office hours for myself at City Hall to be available to citizens. I served on the Finance Committee, and as liaison to the Library Commission. I was a member of the Charter Commission, that successfully completed the revision of the Melvindale Charter approved by the voters in 2002. I was term-limited off City Council in 2012. Mayor Striz appointed me to the Melvindale Housing Commission and the Library Commission after leaving City Council. As President of Kiwanis, I brought SAFETY TOWN to Melvindale in 1997, and am proud of the many years of teaching safety to pre-school children since then. My Kiwanis activities often bring me to Coogan Terrace to provide parties a few times a year. In addition, with other Kiwanians, I have been a volunteer driver for Meals on Wheels since 2009, delivering approximately 100 meals each week to Senior Citizens (some younger than me). One great source of strength for me is being an Associate member of the Servants of Jesus, a community of Catholic Sisters. These wonderful women have been a great blessing and shining examples for my life. I like books, music, puzzles, computer games, gardening, and my cats.