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Who Was Earl Borden?
Earl BordenBefore Avon Township became incorporated as the City of Rochester Hills, Township Supervisor Earl Borden carefully guided its transformation from a sleepy rural community to Oakland County’s fastest developing city. Borden was regarded by friends, colleagues, and political opponents alike as innovative, coolheaded, and decisive. He was instrumental in the safeguarding of Avon’s zoning and planning policies during its greatest period of growth in the mid 1970’s through the early 1980’s. In November 1984 he became the first independently elected mayor of Rochester Hills by an overwhelming majority.

Borden’s political career began in 1967 when he was elected as an Avon Township Trustee. He was reelected through 1974 when he defeated incumbent Township Supervisor Harold Pepper for the position. He spent the next ten years nurturing his vision of Avon Township (City of Rochester Hills) as a better place to live, work, visit, and shop.

Under his leadership, Avon Township emerged as a leader in the statewide fight to steer development of sanitary landfills away from growing residential communities. Always concerned with quality of life, He began the installation of a practical network of voter-approved pedestrian pathways. Historic preservation was also a priority; he encouraged the establishment of historic districts and the development of the Rochester Hills Museum at Van Hoosen Farm. He welcomed the development of light industry in the area, which helped shift some of the tax burden from homeowners and stimulate the local economy by providing more jobs.

Earl Borden was born in Greensburg, Indiana. He served in the U.S. Navy during the Korean War and later earned a degree in Electrical Engineering from Purdue University. He moved to Avon Township in 1959. He died at the age of 53, after serving just nine months as Mayor of Rochester Hills. 

Source: Rochester Hills Museum at Van Hoosen Farm

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