Sexton’s time on council comes to an end

News Photo by Steve Schulwitz Mayor Matt Waligora presented Councilman Shawn Sexton with a certificate of appreciation Monday to commemorate Sexton’s time serving on council. Sexton held a seat on Alpena Municipal Council for 10 years.

ALPENA — Alpena Municipal Council and city department heads said goodbye to a long-time council member at the completion of Monday’s council meeting.

The meeting was the last regular meeting for Shawn Sexton, who announced earlier this year that he would not run for another term. His seat will be filled by Amber Hess, who was victorious in November.

Sexton was appointed to the board 10 years ago to replace Carol Shafto, who was elected mayor. He finished out the term and was re-elected each time afterward. Sexton said after getting on council he didn’t know long he would serve, but he was willing to do it as long as the people wanted him to. He said over the year he was on council the city was able to accomplish a lot and believes he spoke and voted in the best interest of the residents.

“I committed to it for the long haul and I’m proud of my service,” Sexton said. “I believe I always put the needs of the community first.”

There have been many changes to the council during the last decade and Sexton has worked with many different people. Councilwoman Cindy Johnson is one of them.

Johnson said she began working with Sexton when they were both on the planning commission. She said Sexton always was well prepared and provided excellent insight on issues and that carried over to council when he was appointed and helped her when she was elected.

“For me personally, Shawn has been a very supportive colleague and I will miss his perspective when debating issues,” Johnson said. “I wish him the best in whatever he pursues.”

Sexton said he has learned a lot while on council, but added it is the residents who do the heavy lifting. He said council plays a supporting role in helping them accomplish the objectives.

“I learned that most positive changes come from the people who live here and truly want to see their community improve,” Sexton said. “I also learned most people respect and support people in public service, regardless of their political party.”

Sexton said once his council commitments are wrapped up next week, he intends to spend more time with his children and their activities. He said he will miss being “in the loop” on happenings and developments in the city, but will be paying attention to what is happening. Sexton said he will dedicate his time to helping the city in some other way, as well as work on a couple of private enterprises he is working on.

Sexton didn’t rule out that the possibility that he may get back involved in politics one day.

“I haven’t entirely ruled that out,” Sexton said. “I had a good experience and I may explore that in the future.”

At Monday’s council meeting Mayor Matt Waligora presented Sexton with a certificate of appreciation for his service.

Steve Schulwitz can be reached via email at sschulwitz@thealpenanews.com or by phone at 358-5689. Follow Steve on Twitter ss_alpenanews.