Jerry Naftaly first was elected Mayor of Oak Park in November, 1991. Previously, he represented residents as a Member of City Council from 1977 through 1991, having been re-elected to consecutive terms in 1979, 1983 and 1987. During that tenure, he served as Mayor Pro-Tem from 1981 to 1983, 1985 to 1987 and 1989 to 1991. Since his initial two-year Mayoral term, he was re-elected to nine more consecutive terms.
While a student at Wayne State University in the early 1970s, Jerry initiated and spearheaded a successful campaign to implement shuttle-bus service from Oak Park to the Wayne State campus and downtown Detroit business districts, in response to severe gasoline shortage concerns. Similarly, among his leadership accomplishments as Mayor, he was the prime mover during the mid-1990s in persuading the Governor and other state officials to locate the Michigan State Police Metro North Post in Oak Park.
A 60-year resident of Oak Park Gerald E. (Jerry) Naftaly served as a member of the City's Planning Commission, Ethnic Advisory Commission and Recreation Advisory Board, and as chairman of the Employees Retirement System.
He has been a member of the Michigan Municipal League (MML) Board of Trustees, and has served as chair of the League's Region I Board, the Eight Mile Boulevard Association Annual Leadership Luncheon and a number of other charitable and business organizations.
"To the rest of the world Oak Park is probably best known for a handful of famous people who lived in the city, from renowned economist Jeffrey Sachs and musicians Don Was and the late Doug Fieger to Detroit Tiger greats Al Kaline and Norm Cash. But in a newly published 128-page pictorial history of the city, former Oak Park Mayor Gerald Naftaly explores the city’s roots and the post-World War II boom years that made Oak Park the fastest growing community in the U.S. in 1956." --Michael P. McConnell, Daily Tribune
"Residents, past and present, historians or just interested readers will enjoy the book Oak Park by its former mayor, Gerald "Jerry" Naftaly, whose tenure of 20 years in office makes him very knowledgeable in regards to his beloved city... Jerry's excellent pictorial revue is accompanied with histories of Oak Park sights (sic) throughout the years." --Danny Raskin, Senior Columnist, Detroit Jewish News
"Jerry illustrates what Northland was all about: The flagship Hudson's, the stores, sculpures, courtyards, and activities. This collection shows Northland as the complete family experience." --James Webber, III, great-great-nephew of Joseph Lowthian (J.L.) Hudson
"As Mayor of Southfield, home to Northland Center for over 60 years, I'm proud of the mark that architect Victor Gruen and Northland made on retailing. Thanks fo Jerry, many of the memories of America's first modern shopping mall have been preserved in this book." --Kenson J. Siver, EdD, Mayor of Southfield