“I am honored that Royal Oak voters have twice elected me to the city commission and I ask for your vote again in 2021. I am focused on our city’s future -- on making sure that our grandchildren and their grandchildren can enjoy the same quality of life that we enjoy today. We want a city that is safe, sustainable, accessible and welcoming to all.”

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Sharlan, her husband, Ken, and their rescue dog have lived in their 1918 home for 24 years. She is mostly retired after 16 years as a public relations consultant. 


She spent much of her career working with nonprofits and associations in community- and economic development. She was the founding executive director of the Eight Mile Boulevard Association, president/CEO of the Dearborn Chamber of Commerce and a vice president at Michigan’s first business incubator.  She spent five years in account management with one of Detroit’s top public relations counseling firms. She has a bachelor's degree in journalism from Michigan State University.

The pandemic has tested but not defeated Sharlan’s love of cooking. She shares that  knowledge with Ken’s granddaughter, who she tutored during last year's home schooling.

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Community involvement

  • Royal Oak City Commission: 2013-present

  • Normandy Oaks Park Committee

  • Downtown Park Committee

  • Crime Prevention Council

  • Animal Shelter Committee

  • Planning commissioner: 2005 to 2014 and 2015 to present

  • Royal Oak Civic Foundation: Founding trustee and current secretary

  • Royal Oak Youth Assistance: Board member

  • Michigan Association of Planning: Past president and current board member

  • Southeast Michigan Council of Governments: Executive committee

  • Michigan Municipal League: Economic development and land use policy committee

  • Daughters of the American Revolution, Ezra Parker Chapter

  • Stagecrafters: 30 years as director, actor, crew, board member.


  • Established the Royal Oak Civic Foundation

  • Established and serve on the Aging-in-Place task force

  • Requiring a two-to-one replacement of trees on development sites and setting fees for lost trees

  • Prohibited pet stores from selling animals from puppy mills

  • Set goals to reduce and ultimately eliminate greenhouse gas emissions in the city

  • Enacted a human rights ordinance 

  • Co-chaired the 2012 campaign for a public safety millage, with 67% voter approval