Five run for three seats on Otsego city commission
Five candidates are running for three open seats on the City of Otsego Board of Commissioners.
The only incumbent to file for re-election was Stacey Withee. Tom Gilmer and Jim Misner both chose not to file for the election.
Challenging for the seats are Jayson Ennis, Lauri A. Kreuger, Brent Milhiem and Robert J. Schurman.
Each was given a limited space to describe their background and their goals for office.
The length of the non-partisan terms is determined by the vote tally. The two candidates with the highest vote totals each earn four-year terms. The candidate with the third-highest total earns a two-year term.
Ennis graduated from Otsego High School in 1998. He has worked as a Certified Technician in the Automotive Industry for over 20 years.
“Otsego, Mich., is my hometown. I have a beautiful wife, a daughter in college and a son and daughter who attend OMS.
“For many years, my family and I have been involved in Otsego’s Creative Arts Festival Car Show, Otsego Main Street, and I was appointed to Otsego’s Planning Commission.
“Community is very important to my family, and service to the community is key.
“Please consider voting: Jayson Ennis for Otsego City Commissioner this November.”
“My name is Lauri Krueger. I am a fifth-generation native to Otsego so some may know me best as Lauri Seibert, Nancy and Jerry’s daughter.
“I am a 1988 graduate of OHS, studied music at Central Michigan University and have been employed in customer service and marketing at Lyster Exteriors in Kalamazoo for several years.
“I am a wife of 23 years to Joel; and Mom to Hunter (Alayna) Krueger, a graduate of OHS, and Gracie, currently a sophomore at OHS. I am also a new Grandma.
“I have been active in my community for years as: Otsego Fire Department Auxiliary President, Alamo Little League board of directors, Otsego Rocket Football Cheerleading coach, Otsego Creative Arts Festival volunteer and committee helper with my Mom.
“I value this town and would like a chance to make a difference and would like to start by working to fill empty storefronts downtown.”
Milhiem is a lifelong resident of Otsego and works as a capital project manager with Kellogg Company in Battle Creek. He and his wife and have four children, all in the Otsego school district. He is an Otsego High School graduate and earned a bachelor’s degree in construction management from Ferris State University.
“In addition, we also have two fur babies, one dog and one cat.
“I have been active in my community by coaching soccer, basketball, football and baseball in Otsego every year for over four years.
“My goal as city commissioner would be to bring a fresh perspective to the commission—no preconceived notions or agendas.
“I want to bring more and affordable housing to our community. In addition, I believe our community would benefit from a more family friendly downtown Otsego.
“In conclusion, I enjoy serving others and would be honored to serve on the Otsego city commission.”
Schurman and his wife, Jeanette, raised a family of three and have been Otsego residents for 45 years. Schurman is a retired Naval officer, a former educator with a Master’s in Industrial Education and currently works with the Michigan DNR. He also serves on two advisory committees: Allegan County Technical and Education Center and Michigan Career and Technical Institute.
“As a longtime resident, I am motivated to give back to my community by serving as a city commissioner.
“I advocate for, among other things, improvement in water quality and the aging sewage infrastructure. “I believe Otsego’s vacant commercial buildings would make an excellent community college, revitalizing Otsego’s downtown and providing a local opportunity for advanced education for residents.
“I would also like to address student safety by completing sidewalks on both sides of the streets for school-bound children.”
Withee was appointed to the Otsego City Commission in 2017.
“I am running to hold the seat for the next four years. I have a bachelor’s degree from Western Michigan University and have worked in the accounting field for more than 25 years. I currently hold a Controller position with M&K Truck Centers.
“When I bought my first house in 2003, I chose Otsego because it is a great small town and the one I had happy memories of growing up in.
“Through my participation as an Otsego Main Street committee chair and volunteer and as a City Commissioner, I have met many wonderful residents and business owners.
“I am dedicated to bringing new businesses and housing options to Otsego.”