It’s been five weeks since Michigan votes decided to legalize recreational marijuana, but Williamston City Manager Corey Schmidt said he does not expect a huge change for community residents. “To the extent that is, if it’s occurring in public, there could be some ramifications there,” said Schmidt. “But as of right now, when I talked to our police chiefs and whatnot, we just don’t expect a huge change.”
With the passing of Proposal 1, all communities who are against it still have the opportunity to opt-out of dispensaries within their city limits. Communities had this ability to opt-out when medical marijuana was legalized in Michigan. The Williamston City Council has been debating this issue for months.
Goat yoga in Williamston with MSU student discounts? You’ve goat to be kidding me! The social media phenomenon of goat yoga started with Michigan native Lainey Morse who now resides in Oregon. This phenomenon has expanded and created goat yoga satellite locations such as Hilltop Views Farm in Williamston. Shawn Cannarile is the owner of Hilltop Views and began her goat yoga satellite location in April 2018.
After much campaigning, mainly via Facebook, Karen Potter beat incumbent Greg Talberg in the Williamston School Board recall election. Potter was the only candidate running against the school board to beat an incumbent in the race. Potter received 2,711 votes, Talberg received 2,653, out of the total 8,388 registered voters. Votes cast for the recall election came to total 6,078, a 72.46 percent voter turnout according to the Ingham County Clerk website, proving the city’s anticipation of a large voter turnout for a non-presidential election in Williamston correct. “I’m super excited to take this position with all the other board members and help the school district become stronger and start healing as a community,” Potter said.
Holly Thompson is the Williamston city clerk and has been busy working on preparing Williamston for one day – the 2018 midterm election. A couple of large tasks that she does for elections which help ensure a fair and easy process for her community are ordering ballots and updating computers. For residents who order ballots overseas, they ship out the absentee ballots 45 days in advance. Thompson’s office also has bipartisan flyers for people looking to learn more about the candidates. “We’ve been extra busy with the absentee ballots because those have been really high and just emails and phone calls and everything,” Thompson said.
In the center of downtown Williamston, is a small printing business owned and operated by Wendy Shaft and Don Bixler named Limner Press. Shaft and Bixler both come from printing families – one in Missouri and one in Michigan. For Bixler, it started with his grandfather who started his own publishing house in 1892 and even printed a newspaper called The Center Colorado Dispatch. His father followed in his footsteps and then with Bixler in tow. The two met while working different jobs in Anchorage, Alaska, and Bixler ran into Shaft at her work.
At the Oct. 8 Williamston City Council meeting, the cost of keeping the city running safely and efficiently was the focus of the evening. The theme of the night was the costs of replacements. The first item on the agenda for approval was a new 2018 Factor 2100i Frontliner chassis for a street-cleaning Vactor truck with the price of $390,981.86. Vactor trucks are used for sewage and excavation but also helps clear out clogs in sewers which can damage homes and back up into basements.
Tucked into one of Williamston’s neighborhoods, the Monette house greets you with a large chalk drawing on the driveway and a wall of paint tubes in the garage. Barbara and Dean Monette said they have always loved children, whether it be teaching or simply helping the neighbor kids with painting which started with their own children. To channel that love, the couple created The Monette Children’s Enrichment Fund. The fund became an official 501(c)(3) nonprofit about a year ago but the Monette’s have been raising money for about four years. The fund is for promoting Science, Technology, Engineering, Arts and Math (STEAM) programs in local schools as well as in Haiti.
Going back to its roots, Williamston had its first inaugural Alleyfest which included musicians, artists and glassblowers, creating an old-fashioned festival reminiscent of the antique shops littering Williamston’s main drag. The festival was spearheaded by founder Will Long and his partner and co-founder, Matt Mulford. This was a way that Williamston could bring back its brick-and-mortar history. Williamston is known for its antique shops, however, the downtown area now has four vacant buildings and residents are becoming worried Long said. “It’s great for all of our businesses that are downtown and it gives our residents that live in town, something to do,” Tammy Gilroy, Williamston mayor, said.