The Williamston City Council voted Oct 28, unanimously to add Williamston resident Jeffrey Roland as it’s seventh council member on.
The new councilman will hold his seat at the table until his term expires on Nov. 30, 2020.
During the Oct. 14 council meeting four applicants presented for the vacant seat.
“All (applicants) came with a diverse background,” Mayor Tammy Gilroy said. “I think that any one of them would serve the community well.”
Previously, Roland served as chairman of the Williamston Planning Committee for several years. Roland has a legal background as an attorney in the local area.
“Jeff is just a really smart guy,” Gilroy said. “He was a great chair as planning commission.”
The planning commission works with any new development within the city limits.
Councilman Noah Belanger said Roland is well prepared for his new position.
“He (Roland) was planning to run for council in the future,” he said. “I felt Jeff had more knowledge with the planning commission background.”
Roland is set to swear in within the next couple weeks and will take his seat at his first city council meeting on Nov. 11.
“I look forward to having him bring (his) expertise to council.” Gilroy said.
With the appointment of a new city council member, vacancies open on other committees or boards within the community were brought forward for discussion.
“I’d encourage anyone that’s interested to come out and apply,” Councilman Daniel Rhines said.
Roland will leave his position as chair of the planning commision creating the third opening available on that commission. Gilroy stressed the planning commission is one of the most important boards to fill.
“We always mention that we do have seats available on our other boards,” she said.
Gilroy and Belanger started on smaller boards and commissions. Gilroy began on the Economic Development Corporation and Tax Increment Finance Authority (EDC-TIFA). Belanger was part of the Planning Commission and Downtown Development Authority before his time as mayor of Williamston.
“That’s always a good stepping stone if you have not ever served for a municipality,” Gilroy said. “It just gives you that baseline knowledge of the city and how we operate. Without all of those boards . . . we wouldn’t really be able to function as a city.”
More information on all vacancies within the city can be found here.
Williamston Treasurer Rachael Piner was named the 33rd recipient of the PRIME Award given out by the Michigan Municipal Treasurers Association. The PRIME Award is the highest award given out by the association.