Hanks eyeing Village Council seat

Marie Havenga • Aug 16, 2017 at 10:00 AM

Spring Lake Village Council has formalized plans for adding a new council member in the wake of Joyce Hatton's resignation as village president last week.

And the person who launched a petition drive to recall Hatton last month – Michelle Hanks – said she is “strongly considering” applying for the council seat vacated by Mayor Pro Tem Mark Powers when he took over the president's seat when Hatton resigned Aug. 8.

The council has 30 days to appoint someone to fill Powers' seat, which expires in 2018.

Applications are available on the village’s website.

The council is accepting applications through noon Friday, Aug. 18, and will interview candidates at 6:30 p.m. Monday, Aug. 21, at Barber School. The new member is expected to be appointed during the 7 p.m. regular meeting.

Village Manager Chris Burns said she has not yet received any applications, but at least one resident has expressed interest.

Hanks, 56, said she is “strongly considering” applying for the vacant council seat. She said getting involved with the recall petition effort has inspired her.

“Ever since I started getting involved in what's happening, it's made me very interested to play a positive difference here,” said Hanks, who moved to the village in 2003 and opened the Seven Steps Up concert venue with her husband, Gary, in 2010.

Hanks said she believes the disincorporation issue divided the village. Voters rejected it 556-325 on Aug. 8.

“I feel like we have a lot of healing to do as the village,” she said. “I think there's still a lot of bad feelings, and I'd like to be a part of something positive and not just seen as somebody who cares about the parking lot.”

Hatton had implied that Hanks wanted the village to remain intact because her business uses a village-owned parking lot, which is plowed by the village.

Hanks said if she is appointed, she would like to see a more vibrant Downtown Development Authority and a change in the sign ordinance. She would also like the village to become more than “just a drive-through to get to Grand Haven.”

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