As New Members Sworn In, Heights Council Approves Police Internship Program, Names Sims Next Mayor Pro Tem

Andrew Trzaska | November 14, 2011

Monday night’s Muskegon Heights city council meeting saw the swearing in of two newly-elected and two reelected officials in Muskegon Heights, the honoring of a former member who spent 16 years on the council, and the approval of a police internship program she helped create.

Winning re-election last Tuesday, Darrell Paige was sworn in again as mayor of Muskegon Heights.

The city council retains members Willie Watson, Keith Guy, who were not up for re-election this year.  It also retains Bonnie McGlothin, who ran unsuccessfully for mayor this year but has two years left on her term, and Kimberly Sims, who won re-election on Tuesday.

Newly-elected members Patrice Johnson and Vernonell Smith join the council, filling seats vacated by Dorothy Scott and Charmaine Green.

Scott, councilwoman of 16 years who lost her bid for mayor this November, received honors at Monday’s meeting from Mayor Paige and the council for her years of service.

Monday’s meeting had a light agenda, but it did include passage of a resolution that moves forward a planned internship program that partners the Muskegon Heights Police Department with students at Muskegon Community College pursuing criminal justice and law enforcement.

As part of the program, students who intern will be able to gain experience by performing administrative police work for the department.

Former Councilwoman Scott greatly influenced the development of this internship initiative through her affiliation with the local community college.

The changing of the guard on the Muskegon Heights City Council includes some other changes in the coming weeks.

The position of mayor pro tem will change.  The position traditionally rotates among sitting council members; at every election, the top two vote recipients earn the title for the next two years.

As the top recipient of votes in this year’s election, mayor pro tem will pass to councilwoman Sims from its current holder, councilman Watson, effective immediately for the next year.
In one year, Patrice Johnson will take the reins, having received the second highest vote tally.

Committee responsibilities will be assigned in the coming weeks.

Andrew Trzaska

103.7 “The Beat” – local government beat reporter and political analyst