Source: Sherman Publications

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New council ready to roll

by Megan Hess

September 23, 2009

Village residents voted in four council members at the Sept. 15 election: John Ranville and Michael Toth will return as incumbents, with Douglas Hobbs and Lawrence Stumkat serving for the first time.

The three highest vote-getters Hobbs, 128, Ranville, 120, and Stumkat, 112 will serve four-year terms. Toth, with 109 votes, will serve for two years.

Voters totaled 195, or 9.1 percent of the 2,147 registered in the village.

"Of course we'd like to see a higher turnout," said Village Clerk Arlene Nichols, "but historically it's not much better than that."

Voter turnout maxed at 15 percent in recent years with the March 2003 election, according to Nichols.

Ryan Curtis, whose name appeared on the ballot but plans to move outside village limits in the coming weeks, received 43 votes. Lisa Yee and Robert Reighard each received 38 votes.

The new village council will meet for the first time Sept. 28 at 7:30 p.m.

New-comers Stumkat and Hobbs were very pleased with the election results.

"Obviously I've very honored and exited," said Stumkat. "I want to do my utmost for those people who put me here. I want to stay with my platform to keep the budget balanced and maintain service to the village."

Hobbs said, "I didn't think my name was that well known I was surprised that I got so many votes. But I'm glad that I got on. Working along with everybody and dealing with the issues will be a challenge."

He added, "I just wanted to give a thanks to everybody who voted and everyone who let me put a sign up on their property."

Outgoing President Robert Reetz said he would have run for village council again if he were able. Reetz will soon relocate to the Saginaw area for a job transfer.

"I've enjoyed it, I've enjoyed my term," he said. "If my employment location hadn't changed I definitely would have run again."

Councilmember Julie Drabik is also on her way out.

"When I ran before, I didn't have a family," she said. "Now it's time for me to take care of my little one."

She added, "I still care very deeply about the village. You may see me again."

Drabik also noted that she was pleased to see new faces on the council.

"It's good to have new people on the council. It makes for a better village council with better decisions," she said. "It's good to have a diverse representation of the entire village."

Both Drabik and Reetz encouraged residents to get involved in local government.

"If I could say one thing it would be to get involved because you are in charge of your own destiny," said Reetz. "You