Three CMU alumni elected to serve as Mount Pleasant City Comissioners
Central Michigan University alumni Lori Gillis, Amy Perschbacher and Petro Tolas have each been elected on Nov. 6 to serve three-year terms on the Mount Pleasant City Commission.
Pershbacher and Tolas will take Mayor Allison Quast-Lents' and Vice Mayor Nicholas Madaj's positions on the commission.
Front-runner Gillis has been re-elected for another term as a Mount Pleasant City Commissioner. Gillis won 22.8 percent of the vote for a total of 3,007 votes cast.
CMU alumnus Petro Tolas beat incumbent vice mayor and city commissioner, Madaj, by a total of eight votes and will replace him as a Mount Pleasant City Commissioner. Tolas won 15.8 percent of the vote for a total of 2,087 votes cast.
A CMU alumna, Gillis is a lifelong resident of Mount Pleasant and has previously served on the Mount Pleasant Planning Commission and city commission for three years. She has a degree in computer science and business from CMU.
Gillis said she wants to be transparent while being a part of local government. She wants to provide a community swimming pool, increase resources to neighborhoods for improvement and home ownership, encourage employers to provide good paying job opportunities with health benefits and provide access to all parks.
“Our city commissioners should listen to the voice of the people, encourage public input and vote accordingly,” Gillis said. “I have strived to be that commissioner.”
CMU alumna Amy Perschbacher has also been elected as Mount Pleasant City Commissioner. Perschbacher won 18.6 percent of the vote for a total of 2,452 votes cast.
Born in West Michigan, Pershbacher moved to Mount Pleasant in 2009 to attend CMU where she earned a psychology degree and a masters in arts counseling. She now works as a downtown property manager, a mental health therapist at Ronan Psychological Associates and as a faculty member at Jackson College. She ran for city commission last year and lost.
Pershbacher plans to focus on listening to residents of Mount Pleasant who have voiced their concerns about issues such as traffic, parks maintenance, poverty and safety for pedestrians and bikers. She said these are concerns she shares and will work to find lasting, reasonable solutions.
“The ultimate goal is to create an approach that offers opportunities to everyone who calls Mount Pleasant their home,” Pershbacher said.
Tolas has been an active member of Mount Pleasant for more than 50 years. He has served on the Zoning Board of Appeals for eight years and is the owner of four local businesses including Tolas Oil and Gas. He has a degree in business administration from CMU.
Tolas’s plan includes cutting wasteful spending by making better fiscal decisions, avoiding pet projects, stopping to look for tax raises or fees and creating better paying jobs by creating an attractive community to employers.
"The city is totally out of control right now," Tolas said. “I want to get back to common sense."
The Mount Pleasant City Commission holds their meetings at 7 p.m. on the 2nd and 4th Monday of each month. A mayor and vice mayor will be appointed from the seven current city commissioners at a future meeting.
In addition, Amy Bond and Sarah Prielipp have been elected to fill two positions on the Mount Pleasant Public School Board.