The City of Plainwell welcomed Michigan Attorney General Dana Nessel to town on Tuesday, Aug. 30.
Nessel—who was in the area to visit Martin Public Schools as part of her office’s school safety initiatives—took time to stop in at several small businesses and Christian Neighbors in Plainwell.
Martin Board of Education trustee and Allegan County Commission candidate Austin Marsman extended the invitation to Nessel.
“I thought it was important for the attorney general to see firsthand how a rural school district handles safety,” Marsman said. “We have state of the art facilities and a staff dedicated to providing a safe learning environment for students. I am honored she took the time to tour our building, ask questions and listen to our concerns.”
A number of dignitaries were on hand to greet Nessel upon her arrival in Plainwell: Plainwell City Manager Erik Wilson; Plainwell community development manager Denise Siegel; Plainwell Community Schools superintendent Matthew Montange; Allegan Country Board of Commissioners chair Jim Storey; Otsego/Plainwell Area Chamber of Commerce executive director Jenny Boerman; Plainwell Board of Education secretary Jill Dunham; and Plainwell First United Methodist Church pastor Jennifer Ward.
“As the tour progressed, the friendliness of Allegan County was on full display,” Marsman said. “I think those of us who have lived here our whole lives often take this friendliness for granted. It was nice to see such a warm welcome.”
The friendliness of the area was on full display during Nessel’s visit to Christian Neighbors, which provides hundreds of families and individuals in the area with food, financial assistance and tools for success each year.
“I’m glad the Attorney General was able to witness the incredible work this agency does to help people across southeast Allegan County,” Marsman said.
In addition to Christian Neighbors, Nessel stopped by locally-owned businesses Perfect Image Salon, Bridge Street Tea, Passiflora and Dog & the Bank.
“With the expansion and addition of businesses in recent years, downtown Plainwell’s economy has grown substantially,” Marsman said. “At each stop, the attorney general was able to have conversations with business owners and local officials.”
During his time on the campaign trail as part of his bid for a seat on the Allegan County Board of Commissioners, Marsman has had the opportunity to meet and talk with people in the community. Common topics of concern include school safety and price gouging, among other things.
Marsman was able to share those with Nessel.
“It was good to chat with Dana about how things are going in southeast Allegan County and hear about the work she is doing to help the residents of our state,” Marsman said.
Storey and others also discussed the possibility of adding a third judge position to the Allegan County Circuit Court, with Nessel offering to help how she could.
“Overall, I really appreciate the attorney general for taking time out of her busy schedule to meet with small business owners and people making a difference in southeast Allegan County,” Marsman said.