McCaleb elected mayor

The voters have spoken, and 65-year-old Geri McCaleb will be Grand Haven's newest mayor. "I think it will have to sink in a bit,' McCaleb said Tuesday night. McCaleb received 897 votes Tuesday, while 669 votes were cast for write-in candidates.
Alex Doty
Nov 9, 2011


McCaleb takes over for Roger Bergman, who announced earlier this year that he would not be running for re-election after serving as mayor since 2003.

McCaleb served on City Council from 2001-09. She was also an active member of the Eastown Association — most recently serving as president.

City Clerk Linda Niotis said a breakdown of votes for write-in candidates could be released as early as today, as the Ottawa County Board of Canvassers were slated to review Grand Haven’s ballots first.

McCaleb said she was appreciative of support from both her family and those in the community, and was anticipating the next two years as mayor.

“I am looking forward to it,” she said.

Write-in candidate Ken Sharkey, 57 — who owns a Grand Haven-based construction company, Commercial Contractors Inc. — said despite losing, he was pleased with how things went for his first foray into politics.

“I think it went really well,” he said.

Sharkey said he also plans on continuing to be involved in local politics as an official ballot candidate in the future.

“Now that I’ve been bitten by the bug, I doubt that I’ll be going away anytime soon,” he said.

John Hierholzer and Mike Fritz were elected uncontested to City Council for two four-year terms, both expiring in 2015.

Hierholzer, 62, received 1,119 votes and replaces Ed Nieuwenhuis.

Fritz, 58, received 1,295 votes and will return to his council seat, which he has held since 2003.

Incumbents Gerry Witherell, 74, and Larry Kieft, 70, beat out challenger Michael Ciofu, 60, for two seats on the Grand Haven Board of Light & Power. Their new terms expire in 2017.

Witherell received 1,116 votes, Kieft received 1,164 votes and Ciofu received 414 votes.

Unofficial results indicated 20 percent of the city’s 8,172 registered voters turned out for Tuesday’s election.



Congratulations Geri! Job well done. Special thanks goes out to "Margaret Korcz" and "mrgrandhaven" for helping rally the troops.


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