RC swears in new council member

ROGERS CITY – After an election that brought changes to the City of Rogers City Council, that same body picked yet another new member to fill out its ranks.

Scott McLennan received a unanimous vote after being nominated by newcomer Ken Bielas. Veteran council member Gary Nowak seconded, adding he believed McLennan gave the best presentation. They chose him over three other applicants, including former council member Dana LaBar.

“I will be very diligent, and give this endeavor my very best effort,” McLennan said after the meeting.

Former Mayor Beach Hall opted not to run for another term, and current Mayor Tom Sobeck was elected from city council ranks. McLennan will fill his old seat.

To serve a full two-year term, McLennan must place his name on the November ballot, interim City Manager Terri Koss said. If he wins, his term will run out on Dec. 31, 2015.

McLennan is no stranger to the area, having been born and raised in Rogers City, he said. He served on the Rogers City Area Schools Board of Education for six years, including two as board president. A registered nurse with a degree in health administration, he’s Thunder Bay Community Health Service’s quality improvement manager, and also owns Golden Beach Manor Adult Foster Care Home.

McLennan, 59, has three sons and a daughter, all of whom are now “college age,” he said. His brother, Donald, is Presque Isle County’s probate judge, and his father, also named Don, served on city council in the 1960s.

As city council member, McLennan said he hopes to bring new ideas to the government body, especially ones for bringing new business to the city. He hopes to apply his experience as a business owner to this end.

“I worked at Rogers City hospital, and I think when it closed it was a sad time for everyone,” he said. “But times change, and our community can change to become stronger … we can become a stronger community than where we’re currently at.”

Although McLennan is familiar with how an elected body works, having become a certified school board member, he is open to the idea of learning more about how to conduct his new duties, he said.

He’ll be one of three new faces on the board, and part of the decision over who to hire as city manager. Clerk/Treasurer Terri Koss is handling these duties, and has since October when Mark Slown left to take the same job in Ishpeming. At Tuesday’s meeting, Koss told city council that 27 had applied for the job.

City council also picked Nowak as the new mayor pro tem. He’ll preside over city council meetings if Sobeck can’t make it.

“It’s an honor to have them pick me, and I thank them for that,” he said. “I’ll try my best. That’s all I can do.”

In other business:

* council members approved transient slip rates for the city marina. Harbormaster Roger Wenzel noted in his email to Koss that they’re being changed from length of boat to length of slip. Prices range from $30 for a 25-foot slip to $101 for a 74-foot slip, and $1.36 for each additional foot. Council also approved seasonal slip rates, unchanged from 2013, and agreed to council member AJ Przybyla’s request to publish transient rates for staying at the marina’s wall and gas dock.

* council agreed to hold off until it gets more information on the Department of Public Works’ request for a new heater and the estimates it received to install one. One no longer works, and the second is straining to keep up, Koss said.

Jordan Travis can be reached via email at jtravis@thealpenanews.com or by phone at 358-5688. Follow Jordan on Twitter @jt_alpenanews. Read his blog, A Snowball’s Chance, at www.thealpenanews.com.