Commission selects winning candidate of City Commission vacancy

Mount Pleasant City Commission Zoom meeting on Dec. 13, 2021.

Mount Pleasant City Commission determined local businessman Brian Assmann will fill the empty City Commission seat at its Dec. 13 meeting.

The commission also approved a purchase for water-related capital improvements and a purchase-buyback program for city vehicles.

Newly appointed Mayor Amy Perschbacher led the meeting for the first time since Will Joseph's resignation.

Commissioners Lori Gillis and Petro Tolas were absent from the meeting.

City Commission Seat Selection

Commissioners considered 10 different candidates to fill the City Commission vacancy created by Will Joseph's departure from the City of Mount Pleasant. 

Based upon Commissioner Mary Alsager's recommendation as head of the Appointments Committee, commissioners narrowed it down to four finalists: Brian Assmann, Kristin Batzner, Taylor Idema and James Kridler.

"We had 10 incredibly strong candidates, but these four stood apart for their backgrounds in volunteering, municipal government and small business," Alsager said. "They were also praised for their open-mindedness."

Commissioners examined each candidate carefully, considering what they could uniquely add to the commission. Remaining aware of the number of commissioners affiliated with Central Michigan University is important, Commissioner George Ronan said. Integrating a candidate with small business experience would be ideal.

After ranking the four candidates, Brian Assmann emerged as the clear winner. He is involved in a family business in town, Assmann's Incorporated, and is a member of the City of Mount Pleasant Zoning Board and Appeals. Alsager described him as a strong candidate with enthusiastic references. He was noted for making rational decisions, considering all sides of the argument.

The motion passed 4-0, approving an offer to Brian Assmann for the open City Commission seat.

Capital Improvements

Commissioners discussed a resolution to purchase, acquire and construct capital improvements to the water resource recovery system and the wastewater treatment facility.

Enhancements will range from septage screen unit and building improvements, site grading and restoration work, upgrading final filtration treatment processes and implementing upgraded treatment technology.

The city is proposing to set a cap at $22 million for this project, City Manager Aaron Desentz said. The project will be completed in two stages, with the first phase being completed in 2022 and the second in 2023. The extended phases will allow for extra opportunities to secure funding.

"I'm pleased with the flexibility and sensitivity being shown by staging it in two phases," Ronan said.

The resolution passed 4-0.

City Vehicles Purchase

Commissioners considered a purchase-buyback program with Krapohl Ford for the renewal purchase of 18 city vehicles.

The program would supply updated 2022 models, Desentz said. 17 trucks would go to the Public Works, Code Enforcement, and the Parks Department and one Ford Expedition to the Police Department.

"After selling the vehicles purchased in the program from the previous year, the city will pay a net of just under $50,000 for virtually a brand new vehicle fleet," Desentz said.

While expressing approval, Ronan addressed a concern regarding electric vehicle integration. Commissioners agreed they would be open to discussing the implementation of electric cars in the future.

The motion passed 4-0.

The entire city commission meeting can be viewed on the city's Youtube channel