New mayor appointed to lead the Grayling City Council on behalf of the community
Dan Sanderson | Staff Writer
With new members on the Grayling City Council comes a new leader to handle the official business for the community.
Heather Forbes was appointed to serve as the mayor for the City of Grayling by fellow council members at a meeting held on Monday, Nov. 12.
Forbes, Kimberly Hatfield, Clinton Ross, and Karl Schreiner took their oaths of office to serve on the city council at the meeting. All four candidates ran unopposed at the Nov. 6 general election polls.
Hatfield made the motion to appoint Forbes to serve as mayor, which was supported by Ross.
Grayling Mayor Pro-Tem Roger Moshier nominated Schreiner to continue severing as mayor, but that measure failed due to a lack of support.
“With new members coming on, I just think some people wanted to see change and that was a place to start,” Forbes said.
Forbes is the second woman mayor to serve in the history of the city. Marilyn Palmer served as the first woman mayor for the city from November 1999 to November 2001.
Forbes said she was not seeking the position, but is eager to take on the challenge.
“I’m excited and nervous,” she said. “It’s a lot to take on and learn. I take it very seriously.”
Working to keep the Grayling Fire Department running full-time with a full staff is an immediate issue the city council has before them. The fire department is funded through an agreement between the City of Grayling and Grayling Charter Township. For the last several years, Camp Grayling has provided funding for fire services at the camps as new multi-level barracks are being used to house troops. The city has a ladder truck in case a fire occurs at the barracks. Camp Grayling officials are seeking to cut operating costs, and funding the fire department has been placed on the budget chopping block. City, township, and military officials are in the midst of working on plans to fund the fire department full-time to provide quick responses to fires and accidents.
“The fire department is the number one thing we’re working on,” Forbes said.
Other issues before city officials are adopting a blight ordinance, planning and developing for the Northern Market as a year-round farmers market and food hub, and creating a potential recreation center for the community.
Forbes was sworn in to take a seat on the council on Feb. 12 of his year. The vacancy was created when Kate DeVries-McIsaac resigned from her position on the city council since she moved to a home located in Grayling Charter Township.
She had previously served the Grayling City Planning Commission, and still holds that position.
Forbes looks forward to working with and attracting new businesses to the community.
“I plan on putting as much time as necessary,” she said. “I feel like the city has a lot to look forward to in the future, and I want to help it grow.”
Forbes was born in Alma, but was raised in Grayling. She is 2001 Grayling High School graduate.
Forbes has raised her four children, Ryan Nelson Jr., McKenzie Nelson, Cherise Nelson, and Lahken Forbes, in Grayling. She is married to Marvin Forbes II, who is an employee for the City of Grayling’s Department of Public Works.
Forbes serves as an assistant for Grayling attorney Jason Thompson. She will continue work as a stylist at Salon Rue in downtown Grayling through the new year, and will then serve clients at the salon on a limited basis.