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Hopp narrowly wins Ferrysburg mayoral contest

Marie Havenga • Nov 7, 2017 at 10:45 PM

FERRYSBURG — By less than 29 votes, Ferrysburg voters on Tuesday chose Rebecca Hopp as their new mayor.

Hopp bested opponent and fellow City Councilwoman Regina Sjoberg, 489-460.

Hopp said she was “ecstatic” about the election results.

Reading from a statement she had prepared, Hopp said: “I'm honored the residents of Ferrysburg have selected me to serve as their next mayor. Tomorrow begins a new chapter for the city and I'm excited to be a part of it.”

Hopp, an educator who has served on council since 2009 and as mayor pro tem since 2014, said she looks forward to the council working together for the good of the residents.

“We have new members on council, we have new decisions to be made,” she said. “I want our City Council to work together to better represent the residents that we serve and to respect everyone. I believe our residents deserve to be treated with integrity and honesty.”

Hopp said one of her first tasks will be to work with engineers to research options for the Smith's Bayou bridge. Ferrysburg voters on Tuesday also defeated an up-to-3-mills ballot proposal to help fund the bridge’s replacement.

“I want to make sure we have all the facts available to us to make the correct decision of what needs to unfold, whether to replace or repair the bridge,” Hopp said. “I believe the decision the voters have given to us will make us work harder to create other financial revenues.”

The city has applied for a state grant to help fund the bridge. Hopp said she would like to explore other state and federal grants that may be available.

“We're going to have to continue to research to see what kind of financial assistance would be available to Ferrysburg,” she said.

Sjoberg, who was present at Ferrysburg City Hall with many of her supporters when the election results were announced, said she's disappointed that she didn't win the mayoral seat, but is pleased that the charter amendment issue that allows voters to decide if a city park should be sold was approved, 776-181.

“That's the most important thing,” she said. “I'm disappointed I lost — however, I think I forged a trail that others are going to follow. People are looking for more transparent and accountable government and a government that is responsible to the people.”

Sjoberg said many young people got involved in the Save the Parks citizens group and that they're the future of Ferrysburg.

Sjoberg noted that the election caused much division in the community.

“It's difficult to bring people together, so I wish her the best,” Sjoberg said of mayor-elect Hopp.

Sjoberg said she has no plans to run for council again in the future.

“Never,” she said. “Younger people will take up this mantle of leadership. I'm really honored to have worked with the Save the Parks people. They really gave it 100 percent. I'm honored that they trusted in me.”

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