Meet Mayor Eric Haven


Clarkston, Michigan is a small town with a big reputation and legacy. One of its major promoters is Mayor Eric Haven, a servant of the residents who works to protect Clarkston's main asset, its charm.

Mayor Haven is a native of Michigan, born and raised in Traverse City. After completing undergraduate degrees in psychology and philosophy at the University of Michigan, he earned his masters in Christian education at Westminster Theological Seminary in Philadelphia and Moody Theological Seminary in Plymouth, Michigan. Eric, and his wife, Nancy, settled in Clarkston in 1973, 50 years ago.

Mayor Haven's working career spanned 45 years; 25 in the auto industry as a manufactures' representative, and 20 as executive pastor and director of philanthropy at Woodside Bible Church in Troy, Michigan. Mayor Haven was on the village council 30 years ago when Clarkston became a city and is today a strong advocate of Clarkston as a self governing city, the smallest in the state of Michigan.

Mayor Haven loves to talk about two themes he believes underlie the values of residents. 1. Clarkston's scenic environment and 2. Our intact, contiguous historic district. (Clarkston has been on the National Register of Historic Places since the 1980s.)

Clarkston is 53% residential & 20% water. It is designated a “Watertown,” as most of those residents live around or near our bodies of water; The Mill Pond, Parke Lake, Middle Lake and Deer Lake which are all part of the Clinton River Watershed. Clarkston has 900+ people living in the 400+ homes and it's geographically 1/2 square mile in size. The City of the Village of Clarkston makes up just 1/72 of Independence Township (36 mi.²) but serves as the downtown and heartbeat of the township. The Clarkston Community school system (58 mi.²), Independence township and our two ZIP codes, 48346 & 48348 all proudly carry the "Clarkston" name.

Mayor Haven's favorite asset of Clarkson is Depot Park. He says of it, "New York has nothing on us, we have a Central Park too." Depot Park offers regional Clarkston residents many benefits such as recreation, education, inspiration, commemoration, and repose. All these at the center of a delightful pedestrian community. Mayor Haven, is a member of the Friends of Depot Park Committee. This committed community group is planning to build three new picnic pavilions in the park and construct a river walk through its wetland prairie that would extend from the park to Deer Lake Beach. The mayor hopes that the Clarkston residents will help support these great projects with charitable dollars.

Mayor Haven believes Clarkston residents need to define their "preferred future.”  "If they can visualize the future they want," he says, "they can work toward it and prevent special interests from undermining their collective values." He wants to help "Clarkstonians" as he calls them, develop next generation leaders who will carry out that vision. Mayor Haven vigorously encourages dialogue about Clarkson's future.

A Message from Eric Haven, Mayor

The glue of connecting people is aligned values. As mayor of Clarkston, I look for those values.

I think they include (1) loving what we have, and (2) wanting to make it better.

Leaning forward, I want to talk with our citizens about what “BETTER" means, what their preferred future looks like to them. Let's begin a conversation.

Eric Haven, Mayor ~ City of the Village of Clarkston