Ferrysburg mayor running unopposed

Marie Havenga • Apr 24, 2019 at 9:00 AM

FERRYSBURG — Mayor Rebecca Hopp will have no challengers this year.

After Tuesday's 4 p.m. filing deadline, it became clear not only will Hopp run unopposed, but there are fewer candidates than council seats available in Ferrysburg.

Incumbent Councilman Tim O'Donnell has filed for re-election, but council members Kathleen Kennedy and J. Patrick Twa did not, which means O'Donnell and newcomer William Montgomery, 30, will automatically win council seats come November.

Had there been challengers, the city would have held a primary election in August.

“We don't have enough candidates for an August primary,” City Clerk Debbie Wierenga said. “They'll go straight to November.”

Anyone interested in a council seat may run as a write-in candidate, according to Wierenga.

“If no one steps up, council would take applications and appoint someone,” she added.

City Manager Craig Bessinger said he's uncertain why there are no challengers.

“Maybe everyone is satisfied with the work the mayor has done the last two years at her position,” he said. “For the last two years, there hasn't been anything controversial going on. It's been business as usual, trying to move things forward. Residents appear to be happy with the work (Hopp) has done.”

Bessinger said he's grateful for the service that Kennedy and Twa provided to the city. Kennedy has served on council since 2012; Twa since 2015.

Bessinger said he also appreciates Montgomery stepping up.

“He will be elected to City Council, so we look forward to working with him,” the city manager said.

Twa said it's time for new people to step up.

“It's time for all those people who thought that council was not doing a job to step up and take a seat,” said Twa, adding that not seeking re-election was not a difficult decision. “Good luck to the next guy.”

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