LETTER TO THE EDITOR: Mayor Will Joseph says goodbye to Mount Pleasant community


To the Mount Pleasant Community,

Effective Nov. 26 I am resigning as Mayor and City Commissioner of Mount Pleasant. I have been honored to serve the Mount Pleasant community as an employee, volunteer, Planning Commissioner, City Commissioner and Mayor. I will forever be grateful to the people and places I have called home. I am resigning to start a new chapter in my life as the Village Manager of Paw Paw, Michigan.

The Mount Pleasant community has been sincere, welcoming, passionate and supportive ever since my initial days of being a transfer student at Central Michigan University. I have been lucky to make many friends and fortunate to have experiences that I will forever treasure. I have been a witness and participant to many great moments and times that shaped our community. As part of CMU’s Student Government Association, I witnessed the effort put forth by community members working with the City Commission to pass our Human Rights Ordinance. 

In 2017, when Mount Pleasant was hit with a 100-year storm, I worked with other city employees to stack sandbags in front of critical infrastructure and witnessed the damage to many homes and apartments from flooding. Developing the master plan by engaging community partners, community members and staff to provide guidance for the next thirty years of development was rewarding. Participating in community demonstrations and discussions that continue to improve the relationship between residents and police have broke down barriers of communication and led to shared success.  

The COVID-19 pandemic has been a tough time for all of us but watching the resiliency of our community, small businesses and anchor institutions has been reassuring. The development of the Broadway Lofts next to City Hall will be a great contribution to our downtown. The community support towards non-profit organizations that serve those in need has been tremendous and I thank those who volunteer their time, money and resources.

Most of all it has been the small interactions with people that have made my time as a resident and Mayor so rewarding. I will miss catching up with staff members when at City Hall, participating in the student exchange with Okaya, Japan, and supporting the International Relations Council. I will fondly remember celebrating the Isabella Day Treatment student graduations, as well as the City Staff Appreciation and Service Awards.

I am grateful for Saginaw Chippewa Indian Tribe hosted events that gave me the opportunity to learn more about our Native American community and establish valuable relationships. I cherished the ability to run into my former professors around town and witness first-hand how teachers never stop educating. I also enjoyed speaking with students about local government and how we can make an impact on issues of concern. It was also an honor to perform wedding ceremonies to couples in love. These moments, and the people with who I shared them, will live with me forever.

I certainly will not be a stranger.  You may catch me around town from time to time working with the Isabella County Restoration House, cheering on our CMU teams, and grabbing lunch downtown. This community has given me so much and I hope I was able to do my part. As a great sendoff, I will be a judge for the Christmas Celebration Lighted Parade downtown scheduled for Dec. 4 at 6 p.m. Make sure you stay for the fireworks immediately following the parade. I hope to see you there!

Mayor Will Joseph