Former mayor receives MML award

Courtesy Photo Former Alpena Mayor Carol Shafto receives the Honorary Life Membership Award at the 2017 Michigan Municipal League Awards Gala.

LANSING — The Michigan Municipal League awarded former Alpena Mayor Carol Shafto with its highest individual honor — the Honorary Life Membership Award. The award was given during the league’s annual Capital Conference Awards Gala March 21 in Lansing.

Shafto served Alpena for 24 years, including being elected to multiple terms on Alpena Municipal Council. She ended service with Alpena as mayor, retiring in 2011.

“Carol was raised with seven siblings in the remote northern Michigan community of Onaway in extreme poverty. But she had the foresight to know that education was her ticket to a better life. So she enrolled at Alpena Community College and while she initially thought her time in Alpena would be short-term, she has made it her home for nearly 50 years,” Fenton Mayor Pro Tem Patricia Lockwood said.

Shafto served in the U.S. Air Force and became a nationally certified planner. She is the planning and evaluation director of Northeast Michigan Community Service Agency Inc.–an 11-county regional community action agency.

Shafto began her public service career with eight years on the Alpena Planning Commission. She has been involved with the Michigan Municipal League since the mid-1990s and was appointed to the league board of trustees in 2008. She was elected board vice president and then became president in 2011. She served on numerous league-related groups, including the league’s nominating committee, legal defense fund board of directors, legislative governance committee, and the land use and economic development committee. She was also a member of the Michigan Association of Mayors and Michigan Women in Municipal Government.

Shafto attributed her desire to get involved with the League to former Rogers City council member and past league President Jim Sinclair.

“Former league President Jim Sinclair was my mentor,” Shafto said. “Jim Sinclair always believed in me. He pushed me to be a better public servant and a better person.”

The Honorary Life Membership, first awarded in 1932, is the league’s highest individual honor, reserved for the most active and inspiring leaders dedicated to the league and its mission.