About Mayor Waterman

Pontiac Mayor Deirdre Waterman is a committed public servant with decades of professional expertise, public service, and philanthropic endeavors. She was elected mayor by the citizens of Pontiac in 2013, becoming the first woman to ever be elected to the position.

Pontiac has had some difficult days over the past few decades but recently it’s been heading in the right direction. For the first two years of Mayor Waterman’s administration, she was still under the Emergency Manager Law and the State of Michigan was stripping Pontiac of its right to local control even when it balanced its budget.

However, in the past two years, Mayor Waterman has built the foundation our city needs to make progress and move forward.

  • Pontiac has a budget surplus of 10 million dollars. This surplus will help the city build a rainy day fund so it never has a state takeover again.
  • Mayor Waterman fought the state government to reopen the road under the Phoenix Center and issued a mandate to the TAB that she was ripping up the order to Demolish the Phoenix Center. She has been vigilant on finding a plan to make the Phoenix Center a bright spot in downtown Pontiac.
  • Although she is sad to see it go. Mayor Waterman won a case for the City of Pontiac against the owners of the Silverdome to have them tear it down. This is an important corner of the city that is ripe for redevelopment.
  • Downtown Pontiac is coming to life with plenty of new businesses. Pontiac is positioning itself as a leader in the high-tech jobs sector. Peter Karmanos (who built the Compuware building in downtown Detroit) has moved Maddog Technology, a high-tech incubator that has brought five high-tech start-ups to Pontiac.
  • Downtown along Saginaw has seen new restaurants come in at a steady pace with Slows BBQ opening its only Oakland County restaurant here. The Fillmore just opened and Ex Fermentation has been supplying food and drink for over year. There are plans for much more to come!

Previously, Mayor Waterman ensured that the Pontiac Public Library remained open and a beneficial asset to city residents. She was founding President of the Friends of the Pontiac Public Library, advocated for the library millage’s successful passage and was elected by the people to the Pontiac Public Library Board of Trustees in 2009. An ophthalmologist by profession, Dr. Waterman was a longtime business owner and operated her practice, Holloway Eye Care, in Pontiac for over thirty years. She was the first African-American female ophthalmologist in the state of Michigan. Many Pontiac residents have been patients in her practice.

She is a graduate of the University of Chicago, with a degree in Biology and Political Science, as well as Meharry Medical College. She completed her residency at the Kresge Eye Institute at Wayne State University.

She and her husband, the late Judge William Waterman, have two children, Shana and Toussaint, whom they raised in Pontiac. Mayor Waterman has called Pontiac home for over four decades. She is an active member of Plymouth United Church of Christ.