Two-time HFC alumna becomes Eastpointe’s city manager
Elke Doom, a 2-time alumna of HFC, recently became the new city manager of Eastpointe in southern Macomb County.
On Dec. 2, 2019, the Eastpointe City Council approved a 2-year contract for Doom, of Huron Charter Township. She was one of nearly 40 candidates who applied for the job. Doom succeeds Ryan Cotton.
“She seemed very personable, and I think she will bring a lot of good ideas to the city. She’s very progressive, and she will come up with a lot of ways to move the city forward,” City Councilwoman Sarah Lucido said in an interview with C&G Newspapers.
26 years in public administration
Doom, who has 26 years of experience in public administration, spoke about her goals to improve Eastpointe and how to move the city forward, specifically showcasing its affordable housing and great businesses and restaurants.
“One of the first goals is to prepare next year’s budget, which is always a lengthy procedure. I’ll need to sit down with the Eastpointe City Council and set some goals over the next year,” she said. “I also want to get to know the community better. When I came up to take a good look at the city, I drove around its streets for hours. What impressed me is that it’s a nice community of down-to-earth people who live in attractive, affordable homes. That really drew me in.”
Doom is no stranger to managing cities. She previously served as a city manager in Princeton, WV for three years; Oxford, NC for one year; and Valdez, AK for two years.
“I really enjoyed my time in Alaska, even though it was far from home,” recalled Doom. “I’ll never regret my time there, but it wasn’t an easy place to live.”
A little too young the first time at HFC
Born in Germany, Doom’s parents immigrated to the United States when she was 2. They first settled in Pennsylvania, then in New York, and finally in Michigan. Doom attended John F. Kennedy High School in Taylor, graduating in 1972.
After high school, she attended HFC (then HFCC), but dropped out not long after.
“The first time I went to the College, I was 17. For me, that was a little too young. I didn’t know what I wanted to do,” she recalled.
She soon married Bruce Doom, also an HFC alumnus. They have three adult daughters (daughters Michelle and Laura both attended HFC) and five grandchildren. A set of twins is on the way later this year.
Launch pad for a better career and a better life
Doom worked various retail jobs before returning to HFC in the mid-1980s. She graduated in 1989, earning her associate degree in general studies.
“The second time I went to HFC, I was 30. I was far more focused on what I wanted to do and what I wanted out of a career. I became a very good student. I also knew what I didn’t want: to continue to work in retail and minimum wage jobs. I knew the only way to get more was to return to school. HFC really launched me toward a better career and a better life.”
Doom went on to earn a second associate degree from HFC – this time in business management – in 1996. She then earned her bachelor’s degree in business management and her master’s degree in public policy from Siena Heights University. She also earned her city manager certification through Saginaw Valley State University.
“I knew I wanted to be in some form of management,” she said. “I knew the day was coming, and HFC would be the guiding force to help me achieve my goals.”
Empowering people to do their best
Doom began her career in city government by volunteering for the city of Taylor. She learned how city government operates and how decisions made by city leaders impact the future of the community, for good or otherwise.
“From that moment, I was hooked and wanted to be part of municipal government – good municipal government – and I have been ever since,” said Doom.
In 2008, she was elected to a 4-year term as the Huron Township Supervisor. She’s been managing communities for 12 years. Of those 12, she’s been a city manager for more than six years.
“I’m appointed by the city council to oversee the city’s operations and to be its administrator,” explained Doom. “I enjoy helping the city’s many departments excel in making the community run smoothly and at top speed. It’s such a pleasure to see them working well together as team – that’s why I love being in city government. I love facilitating and empowering people to do their best in their respective jobs.”
Confidence is priceless, and multi-generational
She directs the credit for her success to HFC.
“HFC helped me develop a sense of confidence in my own abilities, which is priceless. It provided me a well-rounded foundation to allow me to go further in higher education. My credits were all transferable. Plus, it’s very affordable. I recommended that my kids attend community college because it’s local, affordable, and gave them everything they needed to prepare them for attending a university. As much as my daughter Michelle argued with me at first about attending HFC before transferring to Texas A&M University, she later called and told me she was grateful for my influence.”
She added with a laugh: “Kids don’t often thank you for advice!”