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Alpena seeks council applicants

ALPENA — Alpena is accepting applications for an upcoming vacancy on the Alpena Municipal Council. The council will appoint a new mayor since Mayor Matt Waligora announced earlier this month that he intends to resign at the end of the year.

Applications for an appointment to council are available on the city’s website, alpena.mi.us.

Applications may also be picked up at the Clerk’s Office at City Hall, 208 N. 1st Ave.

Waligora will step down Dec. 31. The council is expected to appoint his replacement from among the current council members on Jan. 2.

That appointment will create a vacant council seat that needs to be filled within 30 days and the person appointed will remain on council from the date they are sworn in through the end of 2024.

Applicants must complete an application and must:

∫ be 18 years or older

∫ not be in default to the city, Alpena Public Schools, Alpena County, or another municipal corporation

∫ be registered to vote in the city

∫ be a resident of the city for at least one year

∫ be a taxpayer in the city

All completed applications must be submitted to the Clerk’s Office by 4 p.m. Jan. 5.

If multiple applications are received, the council may choose to interview candidates in an open meeting.

Waligora has served as mayor for 12 years and would have wrapped up his term at the end of this year, except, last year the council voted to move council elections to even-numbered years to sync up with Alpena County elections. That move added a year to Waligora’s term, which was then extended through 2024.

In his resignation letter to the council, Waligora wrote that he has fulfilled the duty he promised to voters by serving a four-year term, and he is ready to move on and pass the reins to someone new for the final year.

The change in council terms was a cost-saving measure so the city could piggyback its elections with federal and state elections and not have to pay more for holding them on their own during the odd-numbered years.

“I supported council’s decision to add a year to each of our terms to get on an even year election cycle as the right thing to do for our staff and taxpayers, but it didn’t fit for me personally as my plan was to end this year,” the mayor said in his letter. “Every city employee and every resident I encountered made me a better leader than I was before I met them.”

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