About Garth Christie
- Township Clerk

Garth Christie

Garth Christie is a life-long resident of Redford and an honor graduate from Thurston High School, the University of Michigan Dearborn (B.A.), and Wayne State University (J.D.). He is a member in good standing of the State Bar of Michigan.

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Board Meeting Information

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Board of Trustee Meeting Dates
All meetings are held at 7:00p.m. at Town Hall, 15145 Beech Daly Road, Redford, MI.

Board of Trustee Special Meeting Notices


Information Pamphlet:
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Clerk's Office: Township Hall
15145 Beech Daly Road
Redford, Michigan 48239


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Feature Story

May 2015


My long-time friend Deputy Clerk Betsy McRae will retire on May 13th after the May 5th Special Election. This is a time for tears and for more cheers as we will miss her daily dedicated service and celebrate her stellar career.

I have known Betsy since about 1992ish. Back then I was the Chair of the Redford Township Democratic Club and her husband Pat was a candidate for State Representative. It was the Club Chair’s duty to help all Democratic candidates get elected. Although I was impressed with the couples’ Democratic bona fides, I was particularly smitten by Betsy.

One particular occasion stands out in my memory. My sister Wendy was dying of breast cancer and Betsy insisted that I stop by her house to pick up a taco salad on my way to visit Wendy at hospice. Initially I thought it was silly but then I saw how much my family appreciated Betsy’s act of kindness. I learned that Betsy understood the human heart and had a heart of gold of her own.

I recommended Betsy for appointment to the Planning Commission to then Supervisor Kevin Kelley and urged then Clerk Marilyn Heldenbrand to hire her as her Deputy in anticipation of my election to Clerk. The plan was to have Betsy get a head start on learning elections. That didn’t go according to plan because the 2000 Bush vs. Gore election changed everything.

Instead, we threw ourselves into learning our jobs with reckless abandon. As a rule of thumb, the Clerk and the Deputy shouldn’t attend the same sessions but unique training opportunities caused me to ignore that rule. We both attended the late Stephen Covey seminar in Livonia. Another time the Michigan Townships Association and the Michigan Municipal Clerks Association each held education conferences in nearby resorts separated only by a long weekend. We attended both conferences and stayed up North for that long weekend. Betsy was joined by her family for camping while I hiked and kayaked.

During my second term, once every year we got up at zero dark thirty to go to Saginaw for an all-day training seminar on the M100. We both were determined to become experts on the new voting machines. Those were long exhausting days for me and they had to be worse for Betsy as a wife and mother even though she slept while I drove.

I will only mention the fire alarm incident to tell readers that the Bureau of Elections determined that Betsy’s quick actions during that emergency were 100% correct and I never believed the mean-spirited accusations against her for a second. I trust Betsy. She is as honest as the day is long.

There were fun times too. We both are concerned about polling place accessibility and enjoyed checking our precincts against the Americans with Disabilities Act standards and it got us out of the office a little bit. Previously we had voting in the basement at Our Lady of Loretto. The basement was accessible by a lift (not really an elevator). After we pushed the button a few times we heard a groan, then rattling and then squeaking came from the shaft. When the gate opened I said, “Betsy, you go on down and if you’re not back up in twenty minutes I will run and get the priest.” Voting is now held in the gymnasium.

The hardest and most difficult task was holding five elections in one year culminating with an important August primary, a stupid September special and a vital November presidential. I knew that it was possible since my colleague City Clerk Val Vandersloot did it but she retired early right afterwards. Whether it’s a presidential or light turnout special the preparation is the same and it is a lot. Every one of the elections I’ve run have been recountable largely because of Betsy McRae’s hard work and attention to detail.

I will be losing my best everyday player on my team but I won’t be losing my friend. Her retirement should be seen in the same light as the retirement of an accomplished and cherished athlete. We are sad and happy at the same time. I bring back retired City Clerk Sandy Gadd and retired Deputy Clerk Pat LaFond to advise me and help me during elections. Betsy will join that core of revered senior advisors.

In the meantime, I encourage readers to drop by the Clerk’s office and thank Betsy for her outstanding service and wish her happiness in a well-deserved and hard earned retirement.


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Township Hall -1st Floor
15145 Beech Daly,
Redford, Michigan, 48239
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Telephone: (313)387-2750
Fax: (313) 387-2707


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