City Council Colleagues Pick Peterson As New Saugatuck Mayor; Trester Takes Over As Mayor Pro Tem
The Saugatuck City Council nominated and appointed colleagues Chris Peterson for mayor and Ken Trester for mayor pro tem at Monday’s meeting.
Per city charter, the council must appoint or re-appoint a mayor and mayor pro-tem following every election.
The Saugatuck council’s long-held tradition, as a way to bolster checks and balances, is to self-impose the appointment of a new mayor and mayor pro-tem after each election, rotating leading roles, selecting from the newest members who have already gained some experience in council.
In last week’s uncontested General Election, incumbents Bill Hess (157 votes), Jeff Spangler (166) and Chris Peterson (159) were all re-elected.
Council terms run for two years, and council members’ election cycle alternates between them—some terms expire one year while the other terms expire the following year.
“Bill’s spot (former mayor Bill Hess), takes some big shoes to fill,” said the newly appointed Mayor Peterson after taking her new seat.
She extended gratitude to Hess, the rest of the council and city staff.
“I am looking forward to working with all of you and hope you advise me when I am doing well and when I am not doing so well.”
Peterson also serves as the current council representative on the Saugatuck Planning Commission, with her term expiring on November 2017.
She served as a representative on the commission for several years before being appointed to council to fill the vacant seat left by Wendy Wise Fisher in the spring of 2014.
Citing differences of opinion between her and the rest of council, Fisher resigned less than five months after being elected to council after a stint full of controversy.
The newly appointed mayor pro tem also had words of appreciation for Hess and the other council members.
“I’d like to thank everyone for helping me move along since I first came to council,” said Trester.
Trester was first elected in November last year. He is the chair of the Kalamazoo Lake Harbor Authority, and previously served on the Harbor Authority’s Long Term Planning Committee, the Saugatuck Historic District Commission, and the Saugatuck Planning Commission.