14+ New Year Resolutions for Lowell

It’s that time of year when people are inclined to reflect on where they are in life and where they would like to go. To find out what’s on the minds of our local leaders, we asked for their New Year Resolutions. Specifically, we posed the following question:

What goal would you like to accomplish for Lowell in 2019 in your capacity as [job title]?

We sent emails to 20 local government and civic leaders including the Lowell city manager, all five city councilmembers, the two adjoining township supervisors and a number of department heads and non-profit directors. We received responses from 13 people, and here’s what they sent us. We’ve also included our own resolution at the end.

All responses are published as received with only minor editing for grammar and clarity when needed.

Mike Burns
City Manager, City of Lowell

Since 2016, city staff, in conjunction with Williams and Works and Prien & Newhof, have been developing capital asset management plans to make the necessary improvements to our sanitary and storm sewers, water distribution system and our streets. This detailed work has taken nearly three years to analyze and develop a tangible plan to move forward and address the glaring deficiencies the city needs. This plan is also being created in a way in which we are making improvements in a well-thought approach rather than paving a street then going back a few years later to address a water main or a sewer line.

Our number one goal in 2019 is to present that plan along with a financial sustainability plan to meet these needs. This reinvestment into Lowell has not been done in over 40 years and is vital to our future. This will be the City Council and my #1 priority in 2019.

Jerry Hale
Supervisor, Lowell Charter Township

My resolution is to see the [North Grand River Riverfront] bridge and park finished in 2019.

Mike DeVore
Mayor, City of Lowell

I have a few resolutions for 2019.

The first and most important is the roads and infrastructure. They need fixing. They’ve been neglected long enough and now we’re in a hole that it’s gonna take some work to get out of. The SAW grant will help, and we’re doing a very comprehensive plan to make sure the major needs get addressed in a way that will benefit the city for years to come. Exploring other sources of revenue is never an easy discussion, but it’s a necessary one.

Next is our beloved Showboat. Priority one needs to be to get the existing boat out of the river. It’s part of our identity. Heck, it’s in the city logo. It needs to be respected as such. The Showboat Committee has done an AMAZING job of getting us ready to replace it. Now we need to do everything we can to help them realize their vision. The Showboat is who we are.

Lastly is downtown. With the new Showboat and the downtown businesses being near capacity, we need to continue to work with the chamber and the DDA to make it all it can be. The school development is important. The chamber building and garage are important. But we also need to make supporting our amazing existing businesses a priority.

Greg Canfield
Councilmember, City of Lowell

I hope to be a participant in keeping the forward momentum Lowell is presently experiencing.

In the last couple years, significant investment has been made by multiple stakeholders in our community, creating a destination that brings visitors to our awesome restaurants, breweries and unique shops. The historic charm of our beautiful downtown preserved and protected by our Historic District Commission is incredible. Our schools are fantastic, with wonderful teachers and administration that maintain a culture unmatched anywhere. The Lowell Police and Fire Departments provide unequaled service and response times with a gentleness and caring that you don’t find in big cities.

The Lowell community is not defined by city boundaries but instead by the neighbors that pull together for Pink Arrow, FROM Food Fight, Riverwalk and other Festivals that clearly make Lowell the Best Place to Be. There are some very exciting things on the horizon for us as we move forward such as Lowell Township’s North Grand River Riverfront Park and Bridge, the completion of the 125-mile rail trail, the rebirth of the new and improved Lowell Showboat and plaza and new residential developments in the city and townships.

There is so much to be thankful for. Yes, we are truly blessed to call Lowell home.

Jim Salzwedel
Councilmember, City of Lowell

One of the issues I would like to see is something on the November 2019 ballot that will help pay for city infrastructure improvements over the next ten years. I believe at this time we need to present several options to the citizens of Lowell to consider for the 2019 ballot. If Lowell does not make any progress, it would be an additional two years to get it back on the ballot and would be 3-4 years before any monies could possibly be collected from any decisions.

Steve Bukala
Chief of Police, Lowell Police Department

I would like to see our goal to enact the proper zoning for the incoming marijuana businesses since the city has opted in. We can regulate how and where they will operate. The consensus from what I understand is no one wants it on Main Street. However, with the way the law is written, these establishments cannot be within 1000’ of a school so West Main Street, Bowes Road or the Attwood property are the only places it can go.

My second goal would be to start an accreditation process with the Michigan Association of Chiefs of Police. This would be a review from the association of our policies and procedures both inside and out. This is similar to an audit. They will examine what we’re doing right as well as areas we can improve upon. This process can take up to two years.

These two areas will take up most of our time next year, however, I look forward to the challenge.

Steve Donkersloot
General Manager, Lowell Light & Power

For LL&P’s 2019 resolution, I will defer to the vision and purpose statements in the LL&P Board’s Strategic Plan, which state that Lowell Light & Power will be a premier utility whose purpose is to provide safe, reliable, cost effective electricity and energy services in a culture of efficiency, compliance, and sustainability.

Accomplishing this is a continuous challenge and an ever moving target in today’s dynamic environment; balancing reliability, system improvement, energy markets, power supply, energy efficiency, workforce development, financial health, and more all at the same time. However, it is critical to do so for the good and wellbeing of LL&P’s ratepayers and the entire Lowell community!

I am confident the entire LL&P team – from the Board to the staff – will once again be up for the challenge in our 123rd year!

Teresa Hoffman
President, Lowell Women’s Club

The Lowell Women’s Club is a diverse and very active club. Our members share one very important thing in common: a desire to give the best service you know how to render.

My 2019 New Year’s resolution as their President is to continue to grow our membership from 67 members, increase our volunteer hours of 8000 and to raise more than $14,000 for student scholarships and community gifts. We are celebrating 91 years and exciting events, luncheons, guest speakers and volunteering opportunities for our community are planned.

If you would like to a part of the Lowell Women’s Club please email lowellwc@gmail.com

Greg Pratt
Superintendent, Lowell Area Schools

As we enter the 2019 calendar year, I have a renewed focus on literacy for all ages.

It would be my resolution to continue to support a “culture of reading” across the district. It would be a desire to have students read on a regular basis, not to merely complete a task, but because they have an enjoyment of reading and understand the importance of that skill in their future endeavors.

It is a continued commitment for the district to create individual reading plans for our youngest readers in support of their success. We will continue to provide reading opportunities throughout the summer. Arrows on the Move continues to be a popular reading opportunity for all elementary students throughout the district. The district will continue to support those students who struggle with reading by providing specialists and coaches who support our classroom teachers. We will provide supports and instruction year round to help our students achieve their reading targets.

It is our goal to have all students reading at grade level by third grade, and our older students enjoying reading as it will continue to be a major part of their lives as they graduate from our programs.

I wish everyone a happy new year.

Christa Wetzel
Executive Director, Alpha Family Center

We are anticipating much activity in the 2019 year. I was asked to begin a new center in Lake Odessa so we will all be busy getting that rolling as well as sustaining continued growth here in Lowell.

We are encouraged by the recent four graduates from our GED/High School Diploma program. We will commit to continue to grow that program as well as our other services. We are anticipating adding additional services to the medical services we provide so keep watch for those additions.

For those unfamiliar with all that we do, we provide free ultrasound and pregnancy services. We also provide material assistance and parenting education through our Earn While You Learn program. We commit to continuing to provide excellent services to the families we serve.

Jim White
Youth Service’s Chair, Lowell Rotary Club

My resolution for Lowell Rotary is that we continue to be the leader in our community by providing even more assistance to those in need – not only right here in Lowell but in other countries around the world.

We will create even more leadership opportunities for the 300 plus student Rotarians in our four school-based programs as they seek to help others in their schools, their community and internationally. These students are the future leaders of Lowell and far beyond, and we will do everything we can to nurture their leadership potential and growth.

My resolution includes focusing our attention and action, just as we are doing with our student groups, on people and places in our own community as well as around the world.

Locally, I believe we will continue our financial support for the new Lowell Showboat; assist in helping to stimulate the discussion for and creation of a new Community Center; partner with FROM to assist even more of those in need of winterization repairs; assist other non-profits in our town with small financial grants to meet their needs. Internationally, we resolve to provide even more clean water and sanitation for those who live in extreme poverty in Haiti and other third world countries.

As a member of the largest service organization in the world, Lowell Rotary will take itself to new heights providing help and assistance to those we may never meet. We will continue “Doing Good In The World” without seeking a thank-you or acknowledgement. Helping others is the right thing to and we are going to do even more in 2019!

After all, that’s our motto — Service Above Self!

Vikisu Condon
Commander, American Legion Post 152

My resolution for 2019 is to become more active as a veteran.

Our American Legion post will be doing a potluck for veterans on the second Sunday of the month at 2:00. You do not need to be a member but just be a veteran.

The other activity I want to be involved in is getting young students going to Boys State and Girls State. This is a program dedicated to teaching young people about government and leadership skills from the ground up.

Lisa Plank
Executive Director, Lowell Area Historical Museum

My resolution for 2019 is to make Lowell’s history accessible to as many of our citizens and visitors as possible through school programs, public programs and new exhibits.

Lowell’s First Look

As for our 2019 resolution, we are hoping to provide greater coverage of Lowell Township and Vergennes Township in the coming year.

While we feel like we do a good job of covering the City of Lowell, many of our readers live in the townships, and we’ve largely neglected the news there. The coming year will bring some big changes in the townships – from a new hall in Vergennes Township to a new park in Lowell Township – and we want to do a better job of letting people know what’s happening outside the city limits.

1 Comment

  1. The plans are all will and good but we need restaurants in the city or township give us a brake give us some thing new!
    I know that it won’t work but I had to speak my mind! I was born in town and I think I have to wright to be heard!

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