Commissioner Jack Urban
Jack Urban, a chemical engineer (Ph.D, U of Md.), has resided in Kalamazoo since 1967. His public service began with membership, then chairmanship of the city’s Zoning Board of Appeals and as a member of its Environmental Concerns Committee.
Since his retirement from Upjohn/Pharmacia in 1998, he received training in grassroots community organizing from the Gamaliel Foundation and, beginning in 2004, has served in leadership positions within ISAAC (Interfaith Strategy for Advocacy and Action in the Community.) While active in ISAAC, he served as treasurer and as leader of its Divided Region Task Force, the forerunner of Friends of Transit. This organization advocates for improved public transportation in Kalamazoo County and assists in transportation millage campaigns.
After completing a one-year term on the newly formed Kalamazoo County Transportation Authority board (2006), Jack was elected Kalamazoo County Commissioner representing District 1 and served in that capacity for six years, from 2007 through 2012.
He is a founding member of the Kalamazoo River Cleanup Coalition, a grassroots organization which advocates for the complete removal of PCB-contaminated material from the Allied Superfund Site (an abandoned paper mill property in the center of Kalamazoo’s neighborhoods). Prior to his election to the Kalamazoo City Commission, Jack was chair of the Kalamazoo County Public Art Commission and a member of the Kalamazoo County Parks Foundation, the group that raises matching funds for completion of the Kalamazoo River Valley Trailway.
Jack is married to the former Carol Mannion of Baltimore and has two grown sons, Sam and Ben, both of whom reside and work in the Kalamazoo metropolitan area.
Last Elected: 2015
Term Expires: 2017