Spencer back on Scottville commission

December 27, 2022

Marcy Spencer

Spencer back on Scottville commission

By Rob Alway

Editor’s Note: Rob Alway is editor-in-chief and owner of Mason County Press. He also serves as a commissioner-at-large for the city of Scottville. This posting reports on the events of the Scottville City Commission meeting on Dec. 27, 2022 but also includes the author’s opinions.  

It’s been awhile since I’ve written an editorial piece about what’s been happening in Scottville. I thought I would catch the public up. Tonight, Tuesday, Dec. 27, during its regular meeting, the Scottville City Commission appointed Marcy Spencer to serve a two-year, partial term on the commission. She had served as mayor for the past two years and was defeated during the November election. 

This was another step in putting the city back on track to moving forward again. 

During the November election there were four official candidates, along with a write-in, running for three seats. Spencer took fourth place in the election, coming in seven votes less than the third place candidate, and 13 less than the top voter-getter. The write-in candidate took last place. For the record, I came in second place with three votes less than the top vote-getter. Basically, Spencer’s loss was hardly a crushing defeat, nor was it a message by the people. Instead, it was potentially devastating to the citizens of Scottville.

I began reporting on Scottville City Commission as a journalist in 1989. There were some years when I wasn’t involved in reporting but continued to be an observer. Over the past 16 years, since I moved back into the city, I have been actively involved with city government either directly or as a journalist. In that time, I have seen very few elected officials as dedicated to the City of Scottville as Marcy Spencer. The other two, in my opinion, being Bruce Krieger and Leon Begue (who both also served as mayors). Just to explain, in Scottville, the commission elects its mayor from within the commission every two years. This is different from the City of Ludington, where the mayor is elected as a separate seat every four years. In Ludington, the mayor only votes in the event of a tie. In Scottville, the mayor is a voting commissioner.

Marcy Spencer was the second generation of her family to serve as mayor. Her father, Clayton, served on the commission from 1975 until 1992, including six years as mayor.

She was also the fourth woman to serve as mayor. Other female mayors included Glenna Anderson (who’s father, Glenn Wallace, was also a mayor), Betty Gunningham and Mary Boyd Maguire. Her devotion to her hometown pays homage to the legacy left behind by those who came before her and reflects the values she was taught being raised in a small town. 

During her term as mayor, I saw Spencer devote dozens of hours of her time each week, whether in committee meetings, meetings with the city manager, city attorney or staff, or just volunteering to spruce up the town. Spencer had high expectations for the city government and staff. Those high expectations have paid off over the last few years with new investment in downtown, less blight, higher property values, updated ordinances and charter chapters, new community events, and more pride. Those high expectations also earned her the respect of the current staff, as stated in a previous article I wrote, which can be seen here.  

Unfortunately, the vote to appoint Spencer back on the commission wasn’t unanimous. With one commissioner, Nate Yeomans, absent, the vote was 3-2. Voting in favor was Commissioner Darcy Copehaver, Acting Mayor Aaron Seiter and myself. Voting against were commissioners Ryan Graham and Kelli Pettit, Graham stating that he was unable to vote for Spencer because of the results of the November election. 

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Following the election I turned in my letter of resignation. I stand by the statements I made in that letter, with tonight’s vote showing evidence to support those statements. My letter was submitted during a regular commission meeting that did not have a quorum and therefore the commission could not accept my resignation. Immediately following that meeting I started receiving numerous phone calls, face-to-face conversations, texts, emails and even letters from people asking me to reconsider. Though I truly wanted to be done with public service, I decided to rescind my resignation and take the oath of office. I want to thank all those people who reached out — and continue to reach out — with their support. I will continue to fight for my hometown and tonight’s actions were a clear indication that I have made the right choices. 

An additional note. There were two citizens who turned in their request to be appointed to the commission. Spencer and Susan Evans. Evans currently serves on the planning commission and, in my opinion, would also be a great addition to the City Commission. My vote tonight was not a reflection of her abilities to serve and, during commissioner discussion prior to the vote, encouraged Evans to consider applying for the next vacancy.

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