Marlee checks out the victory bouquet as she was named Otsego Main Street’s Pet Mayor on Saturday. (Photo by Virginia Ransbottom)Steve, Helen and Princess Lulu Walters accept a bouquet on behalf of Lulu being named Otsego’s Pet Mayor pro-tem. Riki Dorothy of the Main Street Promotions committee gave the honors.

Marlee is Otsego’s new pet mayor

Virginia Ransbottom, Staff Writer

Marlee, the Siberian Husky sporting a red, white and blue bowtie, was named Otsego Main Street’s Pet Mayor of Otsego during the 30th annual Otsego Creative Arts Festival on Saturday, Sept. 30.

Princess Lulu the pug was so close to winning, she was named mayor pro-tem.

It was a hard fought canine campaign over the summer with candidates sniffing out and digging up votes.

Voting started May 29, as a fundraiser for Otsego Main Street. Votes were $1 each and people could cast a vote as many times as they liked at downtown business venues.

Marlee and Lulu quickly became the two front-runners among the 10 candidates who altogether raised $802.

With voting until 11 a.m. on festival day, the lead kept flip-flopping back and forth between the two canines until 11:30 a.m. when the winner was announced. That’s why the position of mayor pro-tem was given to Lulu. It was not a position the dogs campaigned for but one that was earned.

“We’ll include the pet mayor and mayor pro-tem as much as possible in downtown events such as ribbon cuttings, parades, other Main Street events and the Riverfront Family Fest on Oct. 15, at the Historical Museum for a meet and greet with the community,” said Riki Dorothy, chairman of the promotions committee for Otsego Main Street.

“We also have Otsego’s Hometown Christmas on Dec. 2.”  

Marlee is owned by Ashley Brown. Marlee campaigned “To talk all the time, so no issues will go unresolved.” As a pack dog, Mayor Marlee also promised to lead as an example for all dogs of the Greater Otsego Area and to officially be the center of attention.

Lulu is owned by Steve and Helen Walters. Lulu’s campaign profile said she loved spending time with her family and posing for pictures (usually dressed in an outfit for every occasion and her own custom vehicle).

As mayor, or in this case mayor pro-tem, Lulu will be loyal and value family.

The pet mayor contest was a first for Otsego’s Main Street. The fundraiser was not only successful, but something fun for people to get involved with in downtown, Dorothy said.

Virginia Ransbottom can be contacted at or at (269) 673-5534.


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