Former Rochester Hills Mayor, Kenneth Snell, Passes Away

Snell Served as Mayor from 1995-1999

Photo of Snell, smiling, with gray hair and graying short beard.
Kenneth Dwayne Snell

Former Rochester Hills Mayor, Kenneth Snell, passed away on Monday, September 7, 2020. He was 65. Snell was the City’s third Mayor, serving from 1995-1999, and as a member of Rochester Hills City Council from 1984-1991 and again from 1993-1995. He was City Council President for two years during this time.

During his tenure at Rochester Hills City Hall, Mayor Snell is credited for embracing technology, honoring the past and leaving a mark on the future. He influenced the city’s digital footprint by ensuring that all office employees had their own computer, making Rochester Hills an early adopter of technology among municipal governments at the time. He signed the “Deed of Gift” from the Board of Trustees of Michigan State University that deeded the Red House across the street from the Van Housen Farmhouse at the Rochester Hills Museum to the city, a remarkable gem within our community and on the National Register of Historic Places. In addition, Mayor Snell started Rochester Hills’ popular “Festival of the Hills” celebration, now in existence for over 20 years.

In a statement, current Rochester Hills Mayor Bryan K. Barnett said, “Mayor Ken Snell dedicated more than a decade of his life to public service in our city. We are indebted to him for his leadership, the commitment he made to our residents and the legacy he left in our community. Godspeed, Mayor Snell.” 

In Mayor Snell’s honor, Barnett has ordered flags to be lowered to half-staff at all city buildings through Sunday, September 13, 2020.

The quote from Abraham Lincoln under Mayor Snell’s photograph in the auditorium at Rochester Hills City Hall reads: “Let us have faith that right makes might, and in that faith let us to the end do our duty as we understand it.”

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  1. Scott Hunter says

    Just to clarify. The Festival of the Hills started under Mayor Snells administration but was conceived by the Parks Advisory Board. The first year it was at Bloomer Park and was called Festival O’ The Hills.

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