2021 Lowell City Council Candidate Profile: Marty Chambers

While some members of Lowell City Council are transplants, Marty Chambers has lived in the area all his life. He grew up on a farm near Murray Lake and spent 14 years working in agriculture before becoming a driver with Phillips Pet Supply in Lansing.

He’s worked in that position for 21 years and, along the way, added new jobs to his resume. Seven years ago, he and his wife Laurie opened Red Barn Consignment & Antiques in Lowell’s historic downtown. And then four years ago, Chambers was appointed to Lowell City Council to fill a vacancy.

In November, Chambers will be one of four people vying for three seats on Lowell City Council. He says he isn’t done yet and hopes voters will return him to the council so he can continue to ensure Lowell has a healthy Main Street and a bright future.

Focused on Roads, Plans for Recreation Park

When asked about his priorities, Chambers is quick to point to the roads. He notes a PASER study done a few years ago was vital to this work. Standing for Pavement Surface Evaluation Rating, PASER studies gauge the health of local roadways and assign a value ranging from 1-10.

“I think that was the best thing we ever spent money on because we found problems we didn’t know we had,” Chambers says.

He adds that part of the reason he wants to return to city council is to ensure that work continues on the roads as planned. “I don’t want to see someone else come in and take that money from roads and go to something else,” he explains.

Overall, Chambers says he is happy with the progress being done on local roads. “I’m very proud to see all the black asphalt we have here in town,” he explains. Going forward, Chambers is confident the city has a good plan in place to fix and maintain streets.

The other major issue looming in his mind is what to do with Recreation Park after the Kent County Youth Fair moves to its new location. Chambers likes the idea of turning that space into a campground. “If you’d do it correctly, that could bring 200 new families to town each weekend and that helps our businesses,” he says.

Stepping up to Help the Community

Chambers says he wants voters to know that he is invested in the community. He moved into the city in 1991, and he and his wife raised two children here. The couple currently has three grandchildren.

Main Street is the healthiest it’s been in a long time, according to Chambers, and he feels he has played a role in creating a vibrant commercial district. “There’s no better way to put yourself out there than to make an investment,” he says.

For Chambers, that investment has been Red Barn Consignment & Antiques. He also has been willing to lend a hand to help other business owners and community events whenever possible.

“The Pink Arrow Drive-In is a prime example,” he notes. When it became apparent that fans could not be in the stands for last year’s Pink Arrow game because of the COVID-19 pandemic, Chambers helped find and set up equipment to allow the game to be streamed to a drive-in crowd at Recreation Park.

“I’m invested in the city,” he says. “I don’t shy away from problems that come up.”

In wrapping up his comments about why people should vote for him, he ends with one simple statement: “I do care.” As voters consider their choices on the November ballot, Chambers hopes that people will remember that and return him to the council so he can continue the work he has started.

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