Ludington resident defends mayor

January 27, 2024

Ludington resident defends mayor

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Dear Editor,

I recently read an article Mason County Press regarding our mayor, Mark Barnett and a deer cull. Ultimately asking for his resignation.

My name is John Bo Sloan. We have a family cottage here at Epworth Heights in Ludington. I’ve been coming here my entire life, 58 years. I decided to retire to Ludington about five years ago. My Dad had a lot of good friends from Epworth, but most of his really good friends were from Ludington. In fact, my father died in a motorcycle accident in Mexico while with three friends from Ludington 20 years ago almost to the day. Ludington locals Judge John Carney, Don Clingan, and Les Kaines were with him on the trip.

The reason I mentioned this, is because I think I have a pretty good ‘feel’ for Ludington and the people in it. A solid community. Hard working people with really nothing to prove for the most part. Backbone of America type people and town.

I met Mark Barnett approximately four years ago. He approached me at Wesco. I was in my golf cart with my dog on the back…  Mark asked me, “is that a silver lab”? He ended up getting a silver lab from my same breeder months later, and we have communicated ever since then. I have been to his house on a few separate occasions and we text a couple times a month. To my knowledge, Mark is not a hunter of any sort. So I do know the man, and I feel like I am definitely qualified to write this article.

It made me sick to my stomach, reading the article a few days ago where Mr. Tom Rotta accuses Mr. Barnett of “Holding a deer cull on his property…” Going on to call it a “corrupt act.”  And ultimately asking for his resignation.

The article was very confusing to me with all the different laws that were written. Another very confusing thing to me is that Mr. Barrett’s back yard has a fence surrounding his pool and a separate tall fence around the edge of his property. Does that sound like an ideal deer trap to anybody? Pretty much the opposite. In my opinion, and every other person I talk to about the article, feels the article was totally absurd

I’d like Mr. Rotta and all the readers to know what is not confusing to me. What is NOT confusing me is that Mark Barnett is a very good man. Nineteen years as a policeman, retired chief of police in Ludington and now our mayor. Mark is man of faith. Another thing that is not confusing to me is that it seems like Mr. Rotta might have nothing better to do than to complain about lots of different things going on in Mason County (or in this case, not going on).  That is why I felt compelled to write this letter. I hope Mr. Rotta will try and focus his negative energy into something positive and different than what he’s presently focusing on, because it’s really, really exhausting.

In closing, let me please remind everybody of a paragraph where Mr. Rotta calls for Mayor Barnett’s resignation.  And I quote the article: “Rotta, whose lawsuits have cost local taxpayers hundreds of thousands of dollars, attempted to recall now-former City Councilor Les Johnson. Johnson has since resigned after accepting a position as a county commissioner. Rotta was also behind a failed recall attempt against Scottville mayor Marcy Spencer.” I think Rotta has cost most of us way too much money and negative energy.

I think Ludington Michigan is very lucky to have Mark Barnett as its mayor. I truly believe he has our back.


John Bo Sloan