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Steve Stepek appointed to open Wayland Council seat

Steve Stepek, executive director of the Kalamazoo Area Transportation Study, was appointed to a vacant seat on the Wayland City Council Monday night.

Stepek, who has served on the City Planning Commission for about two years, fills a seat vacated by former Mayor Pro Tem Jennifer Antel, who resigned to seek the office of mayor, for which she will be unopposed in November.

He and former Councilman Tim Rose were the two candidates who applied for the post.

The new councilmen said he is familiar with the importance and operations of infrastucture and mentioned he has been impressed with the city’s Department of Public Works and its service. He said the only problems he’s had with city government in the past year is its slow response to crafting a marijuana ordinance. However, he praised the council for its turnaround in handling budget issues after having a dangerously low fund balance about a decade ago.

At first, the council hesitated to make a selection Monday night because only four members were present. Mayor Tim Bala and councilmen Joe Kramer, Abe Garcia and Rick Mathis. It was Mathis who insisted on choosing a councilman because the 30-day window for appointment would close in two weeks.

The matter was resolved in a 4-0 vote to select Stepek, who now must resign his seat on the Planning Commission.

COVER PHOTO: Wayland City Clerk Leanne Claussen swears in newest City Council Member Steve Stepek.

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