New Mount Pleasant Mayor, Sharon Tilmann wants to hear 'good news' from CMU students


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Sharon TilmannNewly elected Mount Pleasant Mayor Sharon Tilmann has a message for Central Michigan University students – Let the city commission know what you are up to.

"I'd love to see more students come in from CMU," Tilmann said. "Everyone hears about citations and Western Weekend and Welcome Weekend, but what about students in philanthropic groups? There's so much good that goes on. Let us hear about it."

Tilmann, who served as vice mayor in 2013, was given the gavel and elected mayor at Monday's Mount Pleasant City Commission meeting in a unanimous vote. The commission also elected Commissioner Jim Holton as vice mayor.

This isn't Tilmann's first go as mayor, last serving in that position in 1998. She jokingly said she'll need to shake off some rustiness when it comes to heading commission meetings.

"I've got to bone up on my skills," she said laughingly after the meeting.

She was first elected to the commission in 1995, where she served until 2001, including stints as mayor and vice mayor. After leaving for the Isabella County Commission from 2001 through 2004, and after taking a break from local government, she returned to the City Commission in 2009.

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Tilmann said she aims to fight the misconception that residents' voices are not heard or don't matter in local government, urging citizens and students alike to attend meetings and speak their minds.

"People need to know that they are being heard," she said.

The new mayor said her top goal is to ensure Mount Pleasant keeps its budget in order.

"We are one of the few communities in Michigan right now that is actually in decent financial shape," Tilmann said, adding a priority must continue to be placed on ensuring city services remain affordable while ensuring quality of life is kept high.

Toward the end of the commission meeting, Tilmann presented Commissioner Kathleen Ling, the outgoing mayor, with a plaque commemorating her dedication and service as mayor.

"It was a pleasure to serve as mayor, and it's a pleasure to be back as a commissioner," Ling said.

Typically, Mount Pleasant mayors serve one to two year terms. Then, the vice mayor is usually nominated to take over as mayor, as was the case with Tilmann.

The commission next meets at 7 p.m. on Jan. 27 in Mount Pleasant City Hall, 320 W. Broadway St.

City commission notebook

- Ling and new Commissioner Tony Kulick, who was elected in November, were sworn into office at the beginning of the meeting. Their terms expire in 2016.

- The commission voted unanimously to award Mount Pleasant-based J. Ranck Electric, Inc., a contract worth $81,861 to install lighting on Washington Street. The funds come from the Capital Improvement Fund and the Special Assessment Fund. Total costs for the lighting project are projected at $110,000.

- The commission voted to keep its current meeting schedule in place. The commission will meet on the second and fourth Mondays of each month, except for Memorial Day on May 26. It will instead meet on May 27 that week.


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