City clerk Michelle Herman gave new council member Abe Garcia a laminated copy of a city ballot to commemorate his first meeting after his recent election. (Photo by Virginia Ransbottom)

Wayland city council sworn in after election

By: 
Virginia Ransbottom, Staff Writer

One new and three returning Wayland City Council members were sworn in Monday, Dec. 3, to begin their two-year terms.

Incumbents Joe Kramer and Timothy Rose along with newcomer Abe Garcia filled three council seats. Garcia fills the seat of John Sloan who did not file for re-election.

Kramer was appointed to fill the council vacancy left by Tracy Bivins who stepped down in June. He was officially reelected to the seat Nov. 6. Abe Garcia who moved to Wayland in 2014,  has served two terms on the planning commission. Frequently attending council meetings as a public member, he took a seat at the council table for the first time on Monday. Rose is now serving his fourth term.

Mayor Tim Bala was also sworn in for a sixth two-year term after defeating Brian Sweebe in the November election.

After swearing in the council, City Clerk Michelle Herman presented each council member with a laminated ballot from the election. Mayor Bala received 952 votes and Brian Sweebe 433. Trustees Kramer received 987 votes, Garcia 886 and Rose 873.

Rose welcomed Kramer and Garcia to the council and thanked Bivins and Sloan for their input, knowledge and experience.

“They both meant a lot to the council and were much appreciated,” Rose said. “I’m also looking forward to what the future council will do.”

Garcia was appointed the ex-officio to the planning commission and Jennifer Antel was reappointed mayor pro-tem.

In other business:

•With only seven applicants applying by deadline for the police chief position, city manager Josh Eggleston said the search is being reopened to the end of December to get more applicants. Two finalists have been chosen from the first list of applicants and will be among those interviewed in January. Police Chief Steve Harper is leaving in February to be the community impact pastor at his church.

•Eggleston informed the council there was a likelihood the city will be getting  $400,000 in funding for a paving project on South Main Street from Maple to S. Locust streets in 2023 from MDOT’s Rural Task Force program.

“This is the first municipal project in four or five years to get considered,” Eggleston said. “It’s been awhile for Wayland; 2009 is the last time we got funding from them.”

• No action will be taken on Recreational Marijuana establishments until after Dec. 6 and after LARA better defines the rules.

• An auditor report will be presented at 6 p.m. on Dec. 17. The Jan. 21 council meeting has been moved to Jan. 22 due to Martin Luther King Day.

• Three Wayland Union High School students attending the meeting said they were interested in applying for the vacant student representative seat on the council. They were asked to stay after the meeting to apply.

• An encroachment permit was approved for Open Road Brewery to have a tent in the alley behind the brewery for a TagaBrew party attracting craft beer enthusiasts from across the state on Jan. 12, from 2-6 p.m. 

• The council invited the public to attend Art Hop on Friday, Dec. 7, from 5-9 p.m. and the Christmas parade on Saturday, Dec. 8, at 11 a.m. A reminder was given to bring non-perishable food items, hats, boots, scarves, coats or mittens for the Christmas Project. The Boy Scouts will be collecting them along the parade route.

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