New Rogers City mayor ready for 2018

ROGERS CITY — As the new year begins in Rogers City, so will new Mayor Scott McLennan.

He said there were a few motivations for when he decided to run for mayor.

“I’ve been on the concil for four years so when Tom Sobeck was mayor we’ve been moving things along for the community. We’ve been taking and making some great advances and rebuilding and doing a lot of planning. I wanted to see that continue. Having been a part of that for the past few years, I wanted to stay on track,” he said.

The way McLennan and the council have decided to start 2018 is a re-evaluation of the city’s master plan.

“We’re pulling the master plan off the shelf a year early,” McLennan said. “Usually they look at them every five years. We’re meeting with each of the committees — parks and rec, marina –asking each of them to put together their priorities, goals for the next several years. Then I will be pulling together the council into strategic planning session around February.

“We’ll be taking a look at the priorities and basically putting together a plan to keep moving Rogers City forward and keeping it on a good track; look at everything with a clean slate. What do we need to do to keep it moving in the right,” he said.

The number one priority of the council is to stabilize their pension liability fund, he said.

“That is a top priority and greatest challenge. Certainly Rogers City isn’t unique. Many communities across Michigan have unfunded liability, working on plans to stabilize that,” he said.

In terms of positive items council will work on includes the 20 year street plan. The city has now entered its third year on the project. He said the city also will focus on other infrastructure such as water sewer system items.

“We’ll be teaming up with the chamber and talking about how we as a city can retain and attract businesses; retaining the businesses we have. So that’s a big thing,” he said.

Inventory of all the playgrounds also will be done. This will help ensure the city receives any needed safety upgrades.

“Just because there are some aging playgrounds that need some work,” he said.

He said the current budget is solid, and he and the council would like to work to maintain it.

McLennan said Rogers City continues to move forward in a positive way and way it has done so through the Team Rogers City Committee. He said the group began about a year and a half ago. Cory Budnick is also on Team Rogers City and said it has been a positive group.

“I think it’s working well. It’s been a positive experience,” Budnick said. “One of the strongest advantages of the meetings is positive. We don’t have a lot of naysayers. I think we have a diverse group there. I think that’s critical. There are people of all walks of life.”

She said since the committee has a diverse group of people from all walks of life it doesn’t focus on one issue. McLennan echoed the same sentiment.

“We have citizens from the community that represent cross sections: local government, education, arts and business community. Our meetings are on the last Friday of each month at 9 a.m. at the library. Generally we have a short presentation from a guest speaker,” he said.

They also discuss what’s happened in each other’s world.

“The real purpose is to break down walls between each group to share open communication,” McLennan said.

He said he’s excited for this year and looks forward to his time with council.

Jordan Spence can be reached via email at jspence@thealpenanews.com or by phone at 358-5687.