News Saugatuck/Douglas Commercial Record

Fennville elections

By Jim Hayden


Four write-in candidates are seeking four open seats on the Fennville City Commission in the Nov. 7 election. Polls are open 7 a.m. to 8 p.m. at city hall, 125 S. Maple St. There are no other issues on the ballot.

Voters must write in the candidate’s name and fill in the oval next to the name for the vote to count.

The deadline to be a write-in candidate was Friday, Oct. 27, though a Declaration of Intent can be filed at the candidate’s precinct before the close of polls on election day.

Seeking four-year terms are incumbents John Jamros and Shawn Machan, and newcomers Carlos Lopez and Sarah Sliter. Mayor Dan Rastall and commissioner Jim Hayden are not seeking re-election.


Fennville has been through more than a year of tumultuous financial issues costing about $198,700 to investigate and correct. The investigation showed no criminal actions but highlighted many irregularities that caused accounting confusion.

The city is in sounder fiscal shape now, fresh staff is confident.

Issues facing a new commission post-election include road repaving and continued infrastructure work. A new city water well-site must be found, dug and equipped for a now-estimated $660,000.

Neither Lopez nor Sliter have sat in on recent commission meetings.

Why Only Write-ins?

Petitions to be on the Nov. 7 ballot were due July 25. Fennville commission hopefuls needed to collect 15 signatures. The clerk received documents from four people — Rastall, Jamros, Machan and Sliter — to be named on the ballot and rejected all.

Machan’s petition was short one sig who turned out to be a nonresident. The identity affidavit was also missing.

Sliter’s petition was dated incorrectly. The two others went to the Allegan County Clerk’s office for a ruling that Jamros’ and Rastall’s petitions lacked information required by state laws.

On Oct. 16, Rastall — a commissioner 13 years and 2007-2015 mayor, announced he was not running as a write-in. His current term too was to end this year.

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