City Mayor


Kenneth A. Poynter, Mayor

  • Elected November 5, 2019
  • Term expires November 08, 2021

 Biographical Sketch:  

  •  Parents moved to Gratiot Township    (now Harper Woods) in 1940
  •  Harper Woods High School Graduate
  •  College degrees from Valparaiso University,   Purdue University, and Wayne State University
  •  Harper Woods School Board member, 1982-97   as President or Vice President
  •  Harper Woods Mayor since 1997
  •  Retired from public school education (45 years)

Quote: "It is an honor and privilege to serve you and our community.  I appreciate the trust and support that you have given me over the years and I hope to always be able to provide you with dedicated, experienced leadership that is approachable, responsible, innovative and accountable."

Contact Mayor Poynter at

City Council


Cheryl A. Costantino, Mayor Pro Tem

  • Elected November 5, 2019
  • Term Expires November 13, 2023

Biographical Sketch: 

  •  Married/Mother
  •  U.S. Army Veteran
  •  Middle School Administrator
  •  Three terms served as Mayor Pro Tem
  •  Dedicated to serving the residents of Harper Woods 

Contact Councilwoman Costantino at


Vivian M. Sawicki, Council Member

  •  Elected November 7, 2017
  •  Term Expires November 8, 2021

Biographical Sketch:

  •  Married 25 years to Michael, three children
  •  Harper Woods resident/homeowner since 1987
  •  Full-time teacher and forensics team coach, Regina High School
  •  Former girl scout leader at Beacon School and Tyrone School for 9 years
  •  Substitute teacher Harper Woods School District
  •  As a City Council member for Harper Woods, Mrs. Sawicki also serves on the Board/Commissions Nominating Committee, Ordinance Committee and the Beautification Commission and was our city representative to the Grosse Pointe-HarperWoods Futuring Committee.
  • Mrs. Sawicki is very proud of the work she has been involved in to improve our community, most notably in promoting safe and upgraded playground equipment in our parks; improving the city's infrastructure in roads, sewers and sidewalks; and providing excellent city services in an ever tightening economy.

Quote: "I am honored to serve the City of Harper Woods as a councilwoman.  Thank you for the opportunity and trust you have given to me to carry your concerns to the Council and get things done for this fine community.  I hope to keep your faith and continue to serve the people of Harper Woods as we face the challenges of the future."

Contact Councilwoman Sawicki at  


Valerie Kindle, Council Member

  •  Elected November 7, 2017
  •  Term Expires November 08, 2021

Biographical Sketch:

  •  Happily Divorced Mother of two sons
  •  Has lived in Harper Woods since 2002
  •  Former Michigan Works Case Manager
  •  Retired State of Michigan Delinquency worker.
  •  Before  becoming a Harper Woods Councilwomen, I served on the   Planning  Commission, Ordinance Committee and served as the Vice  President of the  Friends of Harper Woods Public Library.  
  • The  President of my  Home Owner's Association.  After my election to City  Council I am still  actively involved in all the committees stated above.

Quote:   "I am so pleased and honored to serve our community as a City  Councilmember.  I WILL continue to serve to keep and improve the quality  of life issues and to sustain our city economy."

Contact City Councilwoman Kindle at 


Veronica Paiz, Council Member

  • Elected November 5, 2019
  • Term expires November 13, 2023

Biographical Sketch:

  • Harper Woods resident and homeowner since 1999.
  •  Delegate, Precinct 5.
  •  Have served as Harper Woods Public Library Board trustee and member of Recreation Advisory Board.
  • Bachelor and Masters degrees from Wayne State University and New York University and studies with Smithsonian Institution.
  • Securing $50,000 in CDBG funds, coordinating a community festival that attracted over 10,000 people, and designing and implementing a University of Michigan Musical Society teachers cultural workshop.

Quote: "I am privileged to represent Harper Woods residents on City Council.  I encourage active community participation at Council meetings, and on City boards and commissions.  Please contact me about your community concerns.  Together we can effect positive growth and development for our City." 

Contact City Councilwoman Paiz at


Ernestine Lyons , Council Member

  • Elected: November 5, 2019
  • Term Expires: November 8, 2021

Biographical Sketch:

  • Ernestine Lyons has been a proud Harper Woods resident for over 20 years. 
  • Has a Master's degree in Political Science and a Bachelor's degree in Foreign Policy from Wayne State University. Lyons studied at Huazhong University of Science and Technology in Wuhan, China and the University of Johannesburg in South Africa examining sustainability and revitalization. Lyons also did research at St. Petersburg State Economics University in Russia analyzing emerging markets and developing economies. 
  • Has served on the Harper Woods Planning Commission for six years and is a certified citizen planner. Ernestine has also worked for the City of Detroit as an analyst on Immigrant Affairs, Civil Rights, Inclusion and Business Opportunity. 
  • Is a fellow of the Michigan Political Leadership Program, the New Leadership Council and an active volunteer with the Harper Woods Neighborhood Economic Development Coalition. She also coordinates the micro-financing community dinner Harper Woods Soup.

Contact Councilwoman Lyons at


Regina Williams, Council Member

  • Elected: November 5, 2019
  • Term Expires: November 13, 2023

Biographical Sketch:

  • Harper Woods resident since 2008.
  • Married to Gregory Williams, one son.
  • Served on the Harper Woods Board of Education 2012-2019 as treasurer, vice president and First African American President, elected two terms.
  • District 2 Precinct Delegate.
  • Former 1st Lieutenant Mi. Army National Guard.
  • Current Math and Science Educator for over 23 years with DPSCD.
  • B.A. and Master’s Degrees from Wayne State University.
  • Doctoral Courses in Educational Leadership.

Quote: “I am very honored to be elected as a member of the city council. I really care about my community and doing what’s right to move our community forward. I believe my years of service as a dedicated school board member has prepared me for this position and I thank you for the trust and faith that you continue to have in me. I look forward to serving the community as a council member and taking your concerns to the council meetings."  

Contact Councilwoman Williams at

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