Traverse City News and Events

Linda Koebert Named To City Commission

By Beth Milligan | Dec. 15, 2022

Traverse City commissioners voted Wednesday to select Linda Koebert to fill a vacancy on the city commission starting in January after current Commissioner Ashlea Walter leaves to serve on the Grand Traverse County commission.

City commissioners interviewed nine candidates for the open seat, including Koebert, Gretchen Carr, Kenneth Funk, Gary Howe, Caroline Kennedy, Jason Lawrence, Brian McGillivary, Merek Roman, and Barbara Willing. City staff randomly selected the order in which candidates were interviewed. Candidates were each given three minutes at the onset of their interviews to provide an opening statement. Each commissioner was then able to ask a question of the candidate - with questions ranging from the importance of tax increment financing (TIF) to the most crucial aspects of the city's master plan rewrite to a candidate's approach to consensus-building - with candidates then given a minute to respond to each question.

Following the first round of interviews, commissioners used a ranked-choice voting system to select their top candidates. Three candidates were invited for a second round of interviews, including Koebert and former city commissioners Gary Howe and Brian McGillivary. Following that round, commissioners voted 5-2 to appoint Koebert to the open seat, with Commissioners Mark Wilson and Mi Stanley opposed. 

Koebert is a retired teacher who served on the Traverse City planning commission for six years, including as chair for four years. She also served on the city’s arts commission, board of zoning appeals, and joint planning commission. Because of those roles, Koebert said in her application that she understands “that work in government is usually thankless, often slow, sometimes contentious, and always time-consuming. A person has to appreciate the nature of public service to dedicate the time and talent required to help move the needle on city governance.” Koebert said she believes that her “reputation as a level-headed consensus seeker would be an asset in decision-making as the city continues to be challenged by the pressures of providing regional infrastructure on limited square miles with limited resources.”

Koebert will be sworn in at her first commission meeting on January 3. She will serve from January to November next year, until the next city commission election is held.

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