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Rochester Hills Mayor Bryan Barnett putting the city in a national spotlight

Posted at 2:32 PM, Sep 07, 2019
and last updated 2019-09-25 18:29:46-04

ROCHESTER, Mich. (WXYZ) — The city of Rochester continues to draw families, friends and fun-seekers to its annual Art and Apples Festival!

"We’ve been named Michigan’s safest city, one of the top ten in the country, the economy is humming, we’ve created lots of jobs, unemployment is low,” said Rochester Hills Mayor Bryan Barnett.

Accolades for the City of Rochester Hills – where Bryan Barnett has been mayor since 2006 – are numerous and noteworthy.

"You know if you’re on one of those lists, you’re doing something right," said Barnett.

He’s also proud of his city’s first new park in 25 years, which is under construction right now. Innovation Hills covers 130 acres and will feature ponds, waterfalls and trails, as well as a recreational sensory garden and a unique playground incorporating nature materials.

The new park will add to the quality of life for its 70,000 residents.

Barnett grew up locally and attended Oakland University. The mayor and his wife, Corrin, are raising two boys, Kenneth and Tristan, who both attend Rochester High School.

On the family’s schedule this weekend: Art and Apples.

Now in its 54th year in downtown Rochester, the festival attracts support and visitors from near and far.

"It brings tremendous attention to our region. It’s just a fun event to attend. The Barnett family will be out in full force. We never miss it," the mayor said.

In 2009, Dave LewAllen joined the mayor for the annual apple pie contest, putting homemade pies to the taste test.

That’s one of the tough, tough jobs of public service, is judging the apple pie contest," said the mayor jokingly. "I’ve done it many times, consider myself somewhat of an expert."

In November, Barnett will run for his fourth four-year term in Rochester Hills.

But he’s also “America’s Mayor” after being sworn in July 1st as the 77th President of the U.S. Conference of Mayors.

"It’s the pinnacle of my profession," Barnett said. "I felt incredibly honored, partly because the conference started in Detroit back in 1932. And to be just the fifth Michigan mayor to hold the title since that time is an incredible honor.”