Scottville Christmas parade is another step in restoring town pride.  

December 5, 2021

Scottville Christmas parade is another step in restoring town pride.  

By Rob Alway

Rob Alway is editor-in-chief and owner of Mason County Press. He is also an elected city commissioner/mayor pro-tem of the City of Scottville. He writes this column as a way to communicate with constituents as a commissioner.

Last night, my family and I decided that we were going to take part in the Scottville Christmas parade. This was a small parade that wound its way through the neighborhoods of Scottville, followed by a Christmas tree lighting and other various activities with Santa Claus in downtown. It wasn’t meant to be an event to draw a large crowd. It was mostly meant for people who live in or near Scottville to come out and have a little fun. We decorated our Kawasaki Mule with Christmas lights, tossed out candy and waved to people. Lots of families lined the streets outdoors, but many other people stayed inside and watched from their windows, which was totally OK, and one of the reasons why the parade took place in the neighborhoods. 

A couple months ago we hosted the Fall Celebration on Sept. 11. It was a one day event bringing back some of the qualities of what used to be the Harvest Festival and bringing some new elements as well. I helped organize that event and have to admit, I had no idea what kind of turnout it would receive. I was pleasantly surprised that it was a great turnout with lots of smiling faces.

For the first time since moving back to Scottville 15 years ago, I am seeing a restoration of pride in our town. I have to admit, it hasn’t been easy and it certainly hasn’t come on quickly. I’ve always tried to remain positive about the town’s future, knowing that it has been an uphill battle. 

I believe positive change has now arrived. 

We have a dedicated city commission, led by Mayor Marcy Spencer, that consists of a diverse group of individuals who all want to see what’s best for Scottville. We have a great city staff that includes City Manager Jimmy Newkirk, Police Chief Matt Murphy, Clerk Kelse Lester, Treasurer Kathy Shafer, Department of Public Works team members Marc Hansen, Justin Coolman and Ricky Morse, police officers Katrina Skinner, Steve Case and Scott Fessenden and City Attorney Carlos Alvarado. 

But, there are many others who are part of this change. 

Over the past year, several of the buildings in downtown have changed hands. A partnership consisting of MCC alumni has invested in several buildings with plans to completely change the dynamic of downtown. They aren’t quite ready to go public yet, but I can tell you that this is a serious investment and the people who are making this commitment have proven track records (no pun intended). 

They aren’t the only ones. There have been others who are also investing in downtown.

Other areas of the town are seeing positive change as well. Houses are being fixed up and values have increased. 

Our school system is looking at a bond that will make much needed improvements to its facilities and will also include the construction of a much needed performing arts center.

Fundraising for the now city-owned old Optimist building continues and is half way to its goal. When restored, this will be a great community gathering place both indoors and outdoors. 

Many improvements are taking place at Riverside Park and MacPhail Field. Riverside Park is actually on course to being a source of income for the city. Efforts are taking place to reduce costs to residents, such as water and sewer, by improving accountability of those services. 

There are still challenges that we face, but I am thankful for the movements that are taking place. If you would like to be involved in positive change in Scottville, please feel free to reach out to me or any other city commissioner, and we would be happy to talk to you. 

Epilogue: A big thank you to those who volunteered to make the Christmas parade and event a special evening. It takes many volunteers to make events like this happen and your efforts are greatly appreciated.  

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