Former Journalist Jim Hayden Uses Reporting Experiences In New Role As Fennville Commissioner
Recently Fennville City Commissioners appointed Jim Hayden to a seat on the commission for four years.
When asked why he wanted to serve on the commission, Hayden replies, “I wanted to give back in some way to the community. A friend suggested I try the city commission because of my past experience with municipalities. I’m grateful for the suggestion.”
Hayden was briefly on the Fennville Planning Commission in the late 1990s, but he had to resign when his job changed and there was a possible conflict of interest.
Hayden has been a newspaper reporter, editor and correspondent for most of his adult life.
“I have been in newspapers since high school,” notes Jim, “and got my first reporting job when I graduated from college in 1988. I worked at newspapers in Kent County north of Grand Rapids and helped found the weekly paper in Cedar Springs.
“I worked at the former Fennville Herald and was editor of the Saugatuck Commercial Record. I started work at the Holland Sentinel in 1991 as weekend editor and have been a night editor, reporter, page designer, photographer and videographer there until early in 2015.”
Hayden continues, “This newspaper experience has given me insight into western Allegan County communities, police, fire, government and people for many years. I think I can use that experience to serve the residents of Fennville as a commissioner.”
Hayden graduated from Adrian College with a degree in English-Journalism and Political Science. He continues his education at Davenport University, recently completing managing and marketing classes.
“I grew up in Hamburg, New York, just south of Buffalo,” mentions Jim. “I often joke I moved here to western Michigan for the mild winter weather.”
Hayden is married and has two daughters, Elspeth and Alyssa.
“Jayne and I met in college and married in 1990. We moved to Fennville about 20 years ago and have lived in the same house here in Fennville the entire time. We love how kind and supportive our neighbors are and how the town continues to grow.”
“Being on the commission has given me a new perspective,” says Jim. “I don’t have any other writing possibilities on the horizon, but I am always open to helping folks with publicity or taking photos whenever possible.”