Peterson, Trester Are Re-Appointed By Council Colleagues To Top City Posts
Colleagues re-appointed Chris Peterson and Ken Trester mayor and mayor pro tem, respectively, at Monday’s Saugatuck City Council meeting.
“It’s been a real honor working with you, learning the ropes,” said Peterson following her nomination and appointment.
In accordance with the city charter, the council must appoint a mayor and mayor pro tem following an election. As a way to bolster checks and balances, Saugatuck City Council has held to the tradition of rotating and appointing the different council members to those seats.
Peterson and Trester were first appointed to their posts following the 2015 General Election.
Last Tuesday’s General Election saw four incumbents - vying for five open two-year seats - get re-elected. Those re-elected included Mark Bekken (337 votes), Barry Johnson (311), Ken Trester (339), and Jane Verplank (298).
Newcomer candidate Joe Leonatti’s 219 votes was not enough to secure a seat on council.
Saugatuck’s electorate also voted to renew the 15-year, 1.79 millage dedicated to street maintenance and repair projects.
In other Saugatuck city business, the council adopted the planning commission’s October 20 recommendation to amend an ordinance pertaining to clubs, lodges, and charitable or civic organizations, clarifying what activities are allowed in those establishments.
Concerns from the local chapter of the American Legion on Mason Street prompted the changes, said city officials.
“They are located in what is essentially a buffer zone, between residential and commercial,” said Saugatuck City Manager Kirk Harrier. “They were concerned that somebody would come in 10 years from now and say, ‘You can’t do that (certain activity) here (in this zone district).’”
In an attempt to alleviate their worries, American Legion representatives asked the city for a rezoning of the property.
However, city officials said there was a better solution.
“This (amendment) solves their concerns,” said Harrier. “It clarifies what activities are allowed so that they are protected. It is a process much less cumbersome than trying to rezone.”
The amendment constitutes added language, which reads, in part, “Activities associated with these entities include traditional civic activities such as, but not limited to: meetings, community hall rental for private parties, fundraising sales, social events, educational activities, puppet shows and movies, veteran support, exhibitions, and other activities.
The sale or distribution of alcohol and/or gambling or playing at any game of chance for money or other stakes is permitted only with a properly issued state license.”