Quast-Lents elected mayor at City Commission meeting
A new mayor and vice mayor were elected and two new city commissioners were sworn in at the first Mount Pleasant City Commission meeting of 2018.
Nominated by former mayor Kathleen Ling, vice mayor Allison Lents was elected mayor Jan. 8 by a unanimous commission vote. Commissioner Nicholas Madaj was elected vice mayor in a 5-2 vote during the meeting.
Lents was expecting her nomination, however, she said she was surprised by the unanimous support of her fellow commissioners.
"I was really honored that the entire commission felt that I was ready to take leadership." Lents said.
Ling, who now serves as a commissioner after two years as mayor, said it was an honor to be serve in the position. Ling said she enjoys being part of the discussion as a commissioner more. She said she looks forward to being active in debate once again.
As for her choice in nominating Lents, she said it is typical to nominate the vice mayor. Lents has served as vice mayor the last two years.
“I’d say that she had the most experience at this point,” Ling said.
Going forward, Lents is excited to lead a majority female and millennial City Commission.
"I think that we have this really great opportunity to show this community, as well as other communities, that younger generations and women can be in leadership positions, and can make good changes," Lents said.
Commissioner Tony Kulick nominated Commissioner Madaj for vice mayor, followed by a nomination for Commissioner Lori Gillis by the newly elected Commissioner William Joseph. Commissioner Kristin LaLonde and Joseph were sworn in at the start of the meeting.
Lents carried out her first meeting with the commission voting to amend an ordinance regarding the purchase, consumption and possession of alcoholic beverages by minors.
The amendment, in compliance with Michigan law, changes a first violation minor in possession charge from a misdemeanor to a civil infraction. The second and third violations would be a misdemeanor and include jail, fines, community service, substance abuse services, substance abuse screenings and assessments and court costs. The amendment also repeals the use of preliminary breath tests for minors.
Other items at the meeting included:
- Approval of a budget amendment for the purchase of a snow plow for Parks Department truck for $5,869.
- City Planner Jacob Kain made an announcement for the 2018 Citizens' Academy, which is now accepting applications for the seven-week program that starts Feb. 20 and is a way for Mount Pleasant residents to learn how their local government works and operates. The program is free and includes a free dinner. Anyone interested can visit Mount Pleasant City Hall, 320 W. Broadway St., or visit the city's website, www.mt-pleasant.org to download an application.
- After receiving recommendations from both ad-hoc and the Michigan Department of Licensing and Regulatory Affairs (LARA), the City Commission plans to discuss the parameters of a draft for an ordinance to opt-in to the Michigan Medical Marihuana Facilities Licensing Act (MMMFLA).
- A zoning ordinance will be discussed at the next meeting on Jan. 22.
- Christmas tree pick-up concludes Jan. 12.