Crawford County Comissioner who has served for 20 years selected to serve as chairwoman of the board
Dan Sanderson | Staff Writer
As its first order of business, the Crawford County Board of Commissioners selected its leaders and made appointments to established committees to better effectively utilize community resources.
The board held its annual organizational meeting on Thursday, Jan. 3.
Fellow county commissioners voted to have Shelly Pinkelman serve as the chairwoman for the board. She was elected to office in 1998, serving the county for 20 years.
When first elected Pinkelman represented Frederic, Maple Forest and Lovells Townships. After redistricting, she now represents Frederic and Maple Forest Townships.
Pinkelman said she did not expect to be selected to lead the county board. She takes the place of Dave Stephenson, who served as chairman of the board for several years. He opted not to run for reelection.
“I was very humbled by my peers for the nomination,” she said. “I have never considered being a county commissioner anything more than serving my community, to the best of my ability.”
At the state level Pinkelman served six years on the Michigan Association of Counties, which represents all 83 counties, with one year as the president. The committees she served on were human services and law enforcement. At the national level she served eight years on the National Association of Counties. The committees she served on included human services, veterans affairs and law enforcement.
Pinkelman said new industry, a housing shortage, a population increase, drug addiction and the opioid crisis are issues the county, city and townships will face in the upcoming year. In addition, she cited unknowing unfunded mandates handed down to local by the municipalities as another top issue.
“I cannot tell what the future will hold for us,” Pinkelman said. “I can only imagine the possibilities, and that we as a community must take on each issue or hurdle as they come forward.”
Pinkelman is the building zoning administrator for Frederic Township. She also owns an upholstery business.
Pinkelman is a lifelong resident of Crawford County. Her family has been in the Frederic area since 1930, when her grandparents came over on the ship the New Yorker from Germany and landed in New York. They then made their way to Frederic.
Pinkelman’s son-in-law, daughter and granddaughter recently moved to Maryland. Her son-in-law holds a position at the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives headquarters in Washington D.C. Her daughter is now able to be a stay at home mom after owning her own insurance agency in O’Fallon, Illinois.
Commissioner Phil Lewis was selected to serve as vice chairman for the board.
Commissioner Jamie McClain will serve as chairwoman of the ways and means committee, while Commissioner Laurie Jamison will lead the personnel and labor committee. Commissioner Sharon Priebe will head up the law enforcement committee.