Apply for vacant Plainwell City Council seat by Aug. 16

Ryan Lewis, Editor

Though the late Mayor Rick Brooks will be missed, the Plainwell City Council needs to fill the vacancy.

Council members voted Monday, Aug. 12, to accept applications from those willing to serve on council, planning to appoint one to serve out the remainder of Brooks’ term, through November 2022.

Plainwell clerk Brian Kelley said the city’s legal counsel had reviewed the city charter on the specifics of vacancies on the council.

“Council has 30 days to appoint a new member,” Kelley said. “In the absence of an appointment, we’d need to call a special election.”

He said a public notice was published last week and posted online to show the city was seeking applications from those interested.

At, applications can be downloaded by clicking on the “Seeking Applications for City Council” link on the home page; applications are also available at city hall.

They will be accepted there through Friday, Aug. 16, by 4 p.m.

The application includes basic questions about the applicant as well as a questionnaire council used when reviewing applicants to fill a vacancy in 2012. The result of that process found Roger Keeney appointed to serve after Dale Burnham resigned about halfway through his term.

Kelley said, “It’s my understanding we’ll get together next week for at least one special meeting for interviews and/or appointments.”

Kelley noted he would gather the applications for council members to review during the weekend.

“If we can appoint someone by Friday, Aug. 23, that satisfies the 30-day requirement,” he said. “Then we’d seat that person at the next meeting, which is Aug. 26.”

The appointee will take the oath of office, and the new five-member council will also vote to determine the council’s mayor and mayor pro-tem at that meeting.

Brooks died July 25 after a short illness.

Kelley called the roll at the beginning of Monday’s meeting, ceremonially calling Brooks’ name. Current Mayor Pro-Tem Lori Steele, overcome with emotion, said, “We’re leaving that seat empty tonight in honor of him.”

The longtime Plainwell resident served on the city council for 26 years, with 20 of those as mayor

Council member Todd Overhuel said, “I’m really going to miss that ole’ one-eyed walrus.

“He did a lot of good for me, and a lot of good for the city. He’s going to be missed.”

Contact Ryan Lewis at or (269) 673-5534.



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