Samuels announces retirement from Road Commission.

August 30, 2023

Mary Samuels, director of Mason County Road Commission

Samuels announces retirement from Road Commission.

By Rob Alway, Editor-in-Chief

SCOTTVILLE — Mason County Road Commission Manager/Director Mary Samuels has announced she will be retiring effective the end of the year. Samuels, was appointed to the position in 2018. Prior to that, she had worked at the road commission as its clerk/finance director for 19 years. 

“It’s been a great experience,” Samuels said. “I have enjoyed every minute of it. I’ve learned a lot of things.” 

Under Samuels’ leadership, the road commission has increased its public outreach. 

“We have worked really hard on our visibility in the community,” Samuels said. “You’ll see our equipment on display at many community events, most recently at the Western Michigan Fair and, in a few weeks, the Scottville Fall Celebration. Earlier this summer we were at the Ludington Sesquicentennial street fair. I think this has really helped with our relationship in the community and has also built up more pride with our team as well.” 

Another community engagement program was the addition of Snow Path, which allows residents to view, online, the progress of snowplowing in the county.

In addition to public relations, Samuels has overseen many road improvement projects in the county.

“We have replaced an average of 30 culverts a year,” she said. “This coming September there will be a big push to get those done for the season. We have also spent a lot of efforts to improve the ditches in the county, which helps keep the water off the roads resulting in the roads having longer lifespans and less need for maintenance.” 

Samuels has also overseen the early stages of the road commission’s transition of moving its facilities to Custer. A cold storage building was recently completed on the property just west of the village on US 10. Eventually, the entire road commission complex will be on the property. 

“This area will give us much more room. We just don’t have any place to expand in our present location. However, there have been some obstacles with financing and I am not sure if I’ll be able to see that project happen before I retire.” 

Samuels said the road commission has also invested in much needed equipment. 

“We used to have only one excavator in the county. It often caused a challenge when it was needed in two different areas of the county. Now we have a second one, which has made us much more efficient.” 

Samuels said she cannot take credit alone for the changes at the road commission over the past five years. 

“We have a great team here and we also have a great commission,” she said. The road commission is governed by a three-person board appointed by the Mason County Board of Commissioners. 

“The board has been so great to work with. They have been open to hearing new ideas and making improvements. The staff here is just great. I have been part of two union contracts since I became director and both of them have been smooth processes. The union is just great to work with. I am very proud to be part of this and it’s not been an easy decision to move on. But, there are some other things I want to do in my life and I’m unable to do those things when I’m committed to being here.” 

The Mason County Board of Road Commissioners is accepting applications for the position. For more information, click here. 

 

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