By Tom Tolen /

Meeting Thursday night, the Brighton City Council appointed a new member to replace Shawn Pipoly, the former city mayor who resigned in December after serving for 12 years, including two years as mayor.

The newly-appointed person is Paul Gipson, an attorney with the firm of Paul R. Knight. Gipson was a candidate in the November 2021 fall election in which he placed sixth, and was among five candidates for the position filled last night. Originally, there were seven applicants, but, according to Mayor Kris Tobbe, two dropped out of the running. Tobbe says the city “had a very good pool of candidates; all were very qualified.”

Gipson, who has lived in Brighton for the past several years, is originally from Belmont and graduated from Rockford High School. He earned a Bachelor of Science degree at Michigan State University and received his Juris Doctor degree from the Ave Maria School of Law in 2009 while passing his bar exam that same year. The 37-year-old Gipson is married to Megan Gipson, a dentist employed at the VA Hospital in Ann Arbor. The couple has two children — a first grader at Hilton Elementary and a 4-year-old pre-schooler.

Gipson was one of two finalists for the council position: the other was Jordan Genso, a candidate in last November’s election. Gipson ultimately got the nod from council on a unanimous vote. Gipson says he doesn’t have any issues with the city, saying, in his words, "I think the city is doing a great job, and I want to do my part to continue us on the path where we are.”

Mayor Tobbe says he was very impressed by Gipson, saying, “He does his homework, and his humility shone through," adding he has "every reason to believe (Gipson) will do good things for the city.” Gipson will serve until the end of Pipoly’s term, which expires in November of 2023.

The addition of Gipson establishes two attorneys on council — perhaps the first time in the city’s history that there have been two practicing attorneys on council at the same time. While at least one city resident quipped that it "will turn council chambers into a courtroom,” Gipson assures that will not be the case. And he feels his courtroom experience in dispute resolution will be a plus for the city.

Gipson says he has no “agenda” but will strive to do what’s best for the city. He says, again quoting, “My general philosophy is I do care about the community. We have a responsibility to use our talents to serve others.”