SPOKES VOL. LXIV NO. 15                                                                               October 17, 2017
Our greeters this morning were Art Ayers and Mark Odland.
We opened our meeting with “America the Beautiful”, and Art Ayers offered our invocation.
Our guests today included our speaker, mayoral candidate Scott Smith and member to be Jeremy Burleson.
Our spotlight today included the induction of Jeremy Burleson into our club.  Jeremy represents Lake Michigan College and serves in the Education classification.  He was inducted by his sponsor, Art Ayers in the official manner recommended by RI.  Jeremy was welcomed aboard!
Bob Boerma, with the help of Jerry Gruber and the repaired Dottie, was our song leader this morning.   We had a couple of tear jerkers on the music sheets this morning, beginning with the 1910 hit, “Down by the Old Mill Stream”.  Several hounds in the neighborhood were heard howling as we made our way through this barbershop quartet favorite.  Next up was “Me and My Gal”, a 1917 popular standard song by George W. Meyer with lyrics by Edgar Leslie and E. Ray Goetz and recorded by Van and Schenck.  This song was used in the 1942 film of the same name, where it is the first song that Jo Hayden (Judy Garland) and Harry Palmer (Gene Kelly) perform together.  We finished with “Sing a Song to Rotary” which is sung to the tune of the University of Maine’s “The Maine Stein Song”; it was popularized in 1930 by Rudy Vallée and became the only college song to become a number one hit.
These were the same songs as last week and, in spite of Bob’s best efforts, we stumbled on the tricky parts of the songs.
  • Don’t forget the Club Runner App for your phones, it’s a great resource! It now features member birthday and anniversaries.  Hopefully consistent use of Club Runner will keep members aware of their anniversaries and save much grief.  Spokes can also be assessed through this app.
  • Snowbirds are reminded to let Bob Straits and Rhonda know when you will be gone and to take care of your financial arrangements prior to leaving.
  • Members are encouraged to move around each week so you get to know your fellow Rotarians, especially new members.
  • Our first Blessings in a Backpack work session is scheduled for November 3rd.  Let Rhonda know if you will be able to help.
  • We will be manning a beer tent at the Haven Harvest Festival on Saturday, October 21st.  Put it on your calendar, either to work or to enjoy a beverage or two.  A signup sheet was passed around for two hour shifts from 4:00 to 9:00 PM on the 21st.
  • The planters on the bridge will be taken down at 10:00 Saturday morning if you have time to help.
  • Jerry Portman announced that at 1:00 Saturday the Portman Farm near Paw Paw will be dedicated as a nature preserve that includes nature trails.  Jerry has worked with the SW Michigan Land Conservancy to make this happen.  Congratulations and thank you!
Tom Ruesink returned as Sgt.-at-Arms, found a politician hopeful to draw out ticket today.  Art Ayers had a lucky ticket and drew the “2”, becoming half potted.  He did draw a $2 winning ticket for Barry Winkel before donating his winnings back to the club.
  • Tom Renner, slightly heart-broken, is hopping for some Cub’s victories in the near future – hopefully beginning tonight.
  • Bob Copping is celebrating the latest version of his 35th birthday.
  • Scott and Sue Mark celebrated their 32nd anniversary in Las Vegas and enjoyed the wedding of their son in a chapel there which included music performed by Elvis Presley.
  • Deb Davidson is pleased to celebrate the birthday of her husband this week!  We did a Ludington style birthday song for all of the birthdays and anniversaries.
  • Larry Wittkop announced that another relay team, featuring granddaughters of two of our members has qualified for the MHSAA State meet.
  • Don Hixson is celebrating his grandson’s birthday.
  • Glenn Pietenpol is in mourning.
  • Tom Ruesink was disappointed that he did not win the bid for the Pierce-Arrow at a car show he recently attended.  The winning bid was 1.2 million dollars.
Barry Winkel introduced our speaker, Mayoral Candidate Scott Smith.Scott is a city council member, Boy Scout leader, Director of OT at Bronson South Haven and has served on several city boards.He, his wife Listy and his family have lived here for 22 years.
Scott began talking about why he is running – he loves this town and wants to make it a place his children will want to live in both now and in the future.He wants to make the town better.
He presented his agenda to us.It includes Economic Development, Improving relationships with schools and regional partners, become closer with SW Michigan First, Kinexus and the Cornerstone Alliance.Improving infrastructure is also high on his agenda as that lays the foundation for business growth.He feels that a major missing piece in our community is recreational opportunities and would like to see that improved.He also believes we need to celebrate our diversity, embrace tourism and make sure we have a consumer focused government.
He talked about the short term rental story in our community, noting that there are very few complaints filed but that vigilance and even training is important to eliminate problems.(None of our efforts will make any difference if local control is usurped by the legislature.)
He spent a good deal of time on economic development, focusing on partnerships, especially with LMC and SHPS on workforce development, the townships and the afore mentioned economic development organizations.
Scott also reviewed the infrastructure improvements that have been made during the last ten years and those that are continuing, including street improvement and wastewater treatment.
When asked what the two biggest obstacles to economic development might be, he responed with size and training of our workforce and limited land in the city, both which can be addressed by using our strong relationships with educational institutions and the township.
He also responded to a question about housing by talking about the lack of affordable housing in town, especially near the lake, but he believes that affordable land and housing could be a possibility near town.
He said that parking in the summer is a problem on most weekends but a financially feasible solution is hard to come up with.
President Renner provided Scott with one of our speaker’s gifts and thanked him for presenting.
President Renner also reminded us that the AAUW will be holding a forum for all of the City candidates on Thursday evening, October 26th.
We closed the meeting with the Rotary Four Way Test.
Next week’s program: Preserving our Big Lake by Robert Tolpa.
Next week’s Greeters:  Richard Swanson and Nick Tuit
Editarian:  Dene Hadden