Meet the candidates for Mount Pleasant City Commision: Mary Alsager


Mary Alsager | via campaign Facebook page

Editor's note: In the interest of fairness, Central Michigan Life contacted Alsager's opponents, Boomer Wingard, Daniel Hess and Michael Kostrzewa to interview them. Hess and Kostrzewa could not be contacted as of deadline. This article is not an endorsement.   

Mary Alsager has worked in the Mount Pleasant school district for 30 years, served multiple terms as city commissioner and recently being appointed to vice mayor. Alsager is running to once again fill the position of city commissioner in the upcoming election. 

Alsager, a Democratic candidate, said that working close to her community through teaching made her want to become involved in local government. 

“You just see how families have so many different wants and needs and it's nice to have a way to help with that,” Alsager said. 

Alsager identified three major topics that she would be focus on if reelected. One issue she said was important to her is mitigating the city dump to keep it from leaking into the river. 

Alsager also wants to increase the citizens pathway on the south end of town, so that community members can use the path to ride their bikes farther than the current trail to Shepherd. 

“There is no bike route to Claire or Alma,” Alsager said. “Sometimes when you get on your bike, you want to go 20 miles or more.”

She said another focus is developing the Mount Pleasant center property. 

“Mount Pleasant is very landlocked with Union Township," Alsager said. "There are not many areas where you can be building. It would be nice if we could have a year-round homeless shelter, things like that, that we don't have.”

Alsager also said she believes in the importance of promoting business growth, as she has seen the effects of the COVID-19 pandemic had on local shops and restaurants. 

“Numerous restaurants closed," she said. "We really want to do what we can to promote business growth. Now the commission (wants) an incentive for builders to come in and do some work. I think that’s a positive step we can make.”

Alsager said this term as city commissioner would differ from her past experiences with the position because during the past two years, city meetings were virtual due to the pandemic. Alsager said, in January, the members have begun holding meetings in person again. 

“I just find that it’s so much richer in discussion and you share ideas with people,” Alsager said, “so I'm really looking forward to another three years where we can really work as a collaborative team.”

Alsager said the vice mayor position has given her more input into the community agenda. 

She also said she urges citizens in the Mount Pleasant community and beyond to vote in this upcoming election. 

“I think it's especially important when you go off to college,” Alsager said. “That's where you are nine months of the year and that's where you should vote, even though there's many that are still very much tied to their hometown and that's where they choose to vote and there's nothing wrong with that.”