Howard City president wins big

By Ryan Jeltema • Last Updated 7:12 pm on Wednesday, September 14, 2011

S. Michael Scott

HOWARD CITY — The longtime village president was elected to another term Tuesday.
Incumbent S. Michael “Mike” Scott received 105 votes while challenger James “Jim” Kurlenda received 46 votes.
Village Clerk Kim Alexander said 152 votes were cast in Tuesday’s election — the highest voter turnout she’s seen in her 11 years with the village.
“I’m very happy to be elected to another term,” Scott told The Daily News. “I’m very grateful to those who supported me and thankful for the opportunity to work for the continuing growth of our community. There’s good things on the horizon for this community and I’m glad to be a part of it.”
Kurlenda, 57, did not return a call seeking comment. He is a Steelcase retiree. His campaign platform called for lowering village property taxes and water bills, reviewing all village ordinances and making the village grow.
Scott, 66, joined the Village Council in 1974 and became president 12 years later in 1986. He has been re-elected as president ever since, making this his 25th year. He is retired from road construction and currently works part-time as a consultant to developers and municipal construction agencies.
He is president of the Howard City Lions Club and Montcalm Alliance, chairman of the Reynolds Township Road Advisory Committee and a member of the Howard City Downtown Development Authority, the Montcalm County Planning Commission, the Montcalm County Brownfield Authority, the Montcalm County Parks & Recreation Commission, the Montcalm County Land Use Coalition and is a Montcalm County representative to the State Boundary Commission.
Scott said he will now begin working on finding a new village manager in the wake of Village Manager Mark Rambo’s resignation. Rambo has accepted a job as operations manager with Grand Valley State University.
His last day with the village will be Sept. 21.
Scott said the village council authorized him to initiate a search for a new village manager at Monday night’s regular meeting.
“I can’t tell you how much I’m going to miss him,” Scott said of Rambo. “We worked well together. He did a lot for this community.”
Three incumbents also were re-elected Tuesday to three four-year trustee positions on the Howard City Village Council — Jodi Cummings, Max Gondre and Eleanor Marek. They all ran uncontested

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