Bekken, Johnson & Verplank Returned To Saugatuck City Council; Trester Elected
In the Tuesday, November 4 general election, Jane Verplank, Mark Bekken and Barry Johnson all were re-elected and they will be joined by newcomer Ken Trester on the Saugatuck City Council for a two-year term.
The Saugatuck race had four open seats and with 108 votes, John Porzondek, who is a former council member, got the least votes and was eliminated.
Trester garnered the most votes with 292, followed by Bekken with 278, then Johnson with 270, and Verplank with 267.
Voter turnout in Saugatuck represented 52 percent, or 409 people voted out of 780 registered voters.
In the City of Douglas, the council race was unopposed in an election where there were four, two-year city council seats open and four candidates.
Neal Seabert, who is new to city council, was elected with 301 votes. William Japinga with 315, Eric Smith with 286 and James Wiley with 378, were all re-elected.
The Saugatuck Public Schools also had an unopposed race with three candidates getting re-elected to three open seats.
District voters re-elected Dr. Jason Myers, Jeff Myers and Gordon Stannis to the board.
The Local Observer was able to speak to those Saugatuck candidates who were available for comment following Tuesday’s results.
“I will continue to be an activist for the City of Saugatuck,” said Porzondek, who was defeated in the election.
“I believe that participation in the political process—whether as council member or resident of the city—and working with those in council and city hall is equally important.”
Newcomer Trester said he was pleased with the results.
“I look forward to my service for the city,” said Trester.
“I think very highly of Saugatuck as a great place to live and I want to do everything I can to keep it that way.
“One of my priorities is to find a solution for the siltation in the harbor, a long-range plan to resolve a problem that needs to be fixed.”
Trester was the chair of the Kalamazoo Lake Harbor Authority’s Long Term Planning Committee and is currently a member of the Saugatuck Historic District Commission and the Saugatuck Planning Commission.
Verplank noted, “I think the city is moving in a positive direction. I want to thank the voters.”