City to hold Citizens’ Academy; accepting applications now

The seventh Citizens’ Academy is now accepting applications. Presented by the City of Mt. Pleasant, the academy is designed to engage members of the community and to expand their knowledge of the structure and functions of local government.

Participants will attend seven, weekly sessions beginning Tuesday, February 21.  Each session will offer an in-depth look at the fundamentals of the City’s administration and budget; public works and utilities; parks and recreation; public safety; and community development. Additional topics covered include the basics of local government, elections and more.

The Citizens’ Academy is open to anyone living, working, owning property or attending school in the City of Mt. Pleasant.  Director of Planning & Community Development Manuela Powidayko shared, “The Citizens’ Academy is an opportunity for residents to capture a close up view of how a municipality operates and the many services the city provides on a daily basis.”

Registration for the academy is free and space is limited. Sessions will occur on the following Tuesdays from 6 – 8:30 p.m.: February 21, February 28, March 14, March 21, April 4, April 11, and April 18. Graduates of the academy will be recognized at the April 24 City Commission meeting.

Applications are available at City Hall or online, and are accepted until January 17, 2023. Find the application and learn more at www.mt-pleasant.org/citizensacademy.

Christmas Celebration Parade Route and Road Closure Information

It is time to visit Downtown Mt. Pleasant and enjoy the Christmas Celebration slated for December 2-3, 2022. Please note the following street closures. For full event information visit: www.mt-pleasant.org/christmascelebration.

Thursday, December 1 starting at 5 p.m. – Saturday, December 3 at 10 p.m.

Broadway St. closed from Main to Franklin.

Court St. closed from Jockey Alley to Broadway.

University St. closed from Broadway to Cat’s Meow Alley.

Franklin St. closed from Broadway to Cat’s Meow Alley.

Beginning December 1 at 4 p.m., cars left on the streets noted above will be subject to towing.

Saturday, December 3

6 a.m. – 10 p.m. No on street parking on Main St. from Town Center to High St.

Cars left on Main St. will be subject to towing.

8 a.m. – 10 p.m. Broadway St. closed from Main to University.

2 p.m. – 10 p.m. Main St. closed to through traffic from Town Center to High St.

The lighted parade which begins at 6 p.m. on December 3, starts at the First United Methodist Church, travels north on Main Street, east on Broadway Street, south on Lansing Street to Michigan Street. B’s Music Shop will serve as parade Grand Marshal.

PARADE SAFETY NOTE:  For the safety of parade-goers and parade participants; please do not venture out into the street during the parade. Stay on the sidewalk during the entire duration of the parade.

November 12 is “Ladies’ Day Out” in Downtown Mt. Pleasant

Ladies’ Day Out is scheduled for Saturday, November 12, 2022 and is poised to be another great event in downtown Mt. Pleasant. And, a wonderful opportunity to conquer that holiday shopping list.

Big prizes. Rather than smaller raffle prizes being distributed, attendees will have the opportunity to win $250, $500 or $1,000 in downtown gift certificates. Individuals can stop by the Broadway Theatre from 11 a.m. – 5 p.m. to register to win these notable prizes.

Questions: Contact Downtown Development Director Michelle Sponseller at msponseller@mt-pleasant.org or (989) 779-5348.

Pumpkin Promenade and Trick or Treating Information

The Pumpkin Promenade is scheduled for Monday, October 31 from 4-6 p.m. in downtown Mt. Pleasant. Children 12 years and under are invited to dress in their Halloween costumes, trick-or-treat at downtown businesses, and enjoy kid-friendly outdoor activities at Town Center.

The City of Mt. Pleasant’s Trick-or-Treating hours are 6 – 8 p.m. on October 31. Please remember the following safety tips.

  • Remain on well-lit streets, and use sidewalks.
  • A parent or responsible adult should always accompany young children.
  • Look both ways before crossing the street, and use crosswalks.
  • Carry a flashlight and/or wear reflective clothing.
  • Always stay in front of a residence, and never enter a house when Trick or Treating.
  • Inspect all treats collected, and discard any item that is not sealed.

Mt. Pleasant Youth Police Academy Graduates 21st Class

Cadets from the Mt. Pleasant Police Department’s 21st Youth Police Academy recently celebrated their graduation with their law enforcement mentors, family and friends. Those in attendance enjoyed comments from academy leader Officer Josh Theisen, and retired educator and coach Denny LaFleur who served as keynote speaker.

For the past three weeks these sixth through eighth grade cadets learned what it takes to become a law enforcement official; integrity, trust, leadership, compassion, and the ability to quickly assess a situation. All of this is in addition to the rigorous physical requirements of the job. By completing a series of hands-on training sessions and classroom instruction, cadets realized how much knowledge and fitness a police officer must possess to perform their job.

Cadet Andrew Moutsatson, Mt. Pleasant Middle School 6th grader shared, “During the academy I learned to believe in myself and push through challenging tasks. I was surprised at the many responsibilities a police officer has, and all of the paperwork they have to complete. It was very nice of the police officers to take time to teach us,” he continued. “They were all very kind, caring and helpful. I know Officer Theisen will be there to help me with many things when I am in the middle school.”

Mt. Pleasant Middle School 8th grader Chloe Churchman graduated from the academy last year and returned this year as a cadet instructor. She originally learned about the academy through her school. “The Youth Police Academy made me a better person due to its discipline and challenges it provided,” Chloe stated. “The police officers teaching the academy are real people and they are very kind, considerate and caring. Besides learning so much about law enforcement, it was wonderful to get to know the officers personally, and know they are here to help us in so many ways.”

The Youth Police Academy is a free program which offers sixth to eighth grade youth an up-close view of the skills and necessary training needed for law enforcement officials. Applications for this summer program are distributed through the schools in May and also available at the Division of Public Safety, 804 E. High Street, Mt. Pleasant.

Gratitude is extended to the Central Michigan University Police Department, Isabella County Sheriff Department, Michigan State Police, Saginaw Chippewa Tribal Police Department, Saginaw Police Department, DNR, MMR, Mt. Pleasant Fire Department, and Isabella County Central Dispatch who also shared their expertise with the cadets throughout this program.

Live Radio Show Discussing City News Broadcast on WMHW-FM

Infrastructure, upcoming events, public safety, elections and more are discussed on “Mt. Pleasant City Connect”. This live 30-minute radio show, produced by WMHW-FM, features City of Mt. Pleasant staff sharing the latest City news and updates.

During the summer “Mt. Pleasant City Connect” is broadcast at 1 p.m. on the first and third Wednesday’s of the month. To listen tune into 91.5 FM or live stream at www.wmhw.org.

Mt. Pleasant City Connect Broadcast Schedule

June 1:             Guest – Aaron Desentz, City Manager

June 15:           Guest – Heather Bouck, City Clerk

July 6:              Guest – Phil Biscorner, Director of Parks and Public Spaces

Krysta Carabelli Fills Social Crisis Advocate Role

At the March 28, 2022 Mt. Pleasant City Commission meeting, Public Safety Director Paul Lauria introduced Social Crisis Advocate, Krysta Carabelli.

Krysta Carabelli recently joined the Mt. Pleasant Division of Public Safety as a social crisis advocate. This is a new position resulting from an expanded partnership between the City and RISE, an agency which provides support services for survivors of both domestic violence and sexual assault. 

With an overwhelming need for mental health support services, RISE and the City have entered into a one-year pilot program agreement. The purpose of this agreement is to offer networking services to individuals suffering from mental health and temporary crisis issues, as well as substance abuse and drug overdose situations.  

Director of Public Safety Lauria stated, “An innovative concept for a public safety division of our size, this new position will provide further guidance to first responders in dealing with these specific types of encountered incidents.” He added, “It will also connect individuals to additional resources in obtaining specialized help. The Division of Public Safety is excited to see where this pilot program takes us as we continue to serve with pride, integrity and compassion.”

Krysta, a two-time graduate of Central Michigan University, earned her master’s degree in Clinical Professional Counseling. Previous work experience includes service as a social worker, domestic violence counselor, and a sexual assault counselor. For the past year Krysta has worked for RISE, specializing in trauma and crisis counseling.

Krysta shared, “I went into counseling to help people, and while completing my degree I decided to concentrate on trauma and crisis counseling. Trauma work is difficult, but I am honored to be a support when needed.” She continued, “You can make a drastic difference in someone’s life by being present and genuine. This integrated approach with first responders can make a noticeable difference.”

City Awarded Financial Certificate of Achievement for 34th Year

For the 34th year in a row, the Government Finance Officers Association (GFOA) awarded Mt. Pleasant the Certificate of Achievement for Excellence in Financial Reporting. GFOA established this recognition program in 1945 to encourage and assist state and local governments to go above the minimum requirements of Generally Accepted Accounting Principles. The award acknowledges municipalities that clearly communicate its financial story while motivating potential users and user groups to read the Comprehensive Annual Financial Reports (CAnFR).

The Certificate of Achievement is the highest form of recognition in governmental accounting and financial reporting. The CAnFR was prepared by the city’s dedicated Finance Division staff. Budget preparations that led to this award were spearheaded by Mary Ann Kornexl, Director of Finance and Chris Saladine, Assistant Director of Finance.

Youth Outdoor Exploration Program Launch Successful

The City of Mt. Pleasant’s Parks and Recreation Department recently partnered with Central Michigan University’s Recreation, Parks and Leisure Services Department (RPL) to form an exciting indoor rock-climbing class for area youth. The program, led by RPL Instructor Jordan Bruursema, and trained CMU student facilitators, is designed to build participant’s self-confidence and social skills through climbing, bouldering and other group activities. Attendees also learn about harnesses, knots and proper safety techniques to help them meet their rock-climbing goals.

The Youth Outdoor Exploration program offers rock climbing classes for kids 6-9 years old and 10-13 years old. Classes take place at the indoor climbing wall located in Finch Fieldhouse on CMU’s campus on Monday and Wednesdays, January 24 – February 23.

Initial sessions, which began in Fall 2021, have been met with great interest. The goal is to offer year-round programming not only on CMU’s campus, but in the City’s expansive park and river trail system where outdoor education and nature-based sessions will take place.

Spring sessions will be offered in mid-March. Follow the Mt. Pleasant Recreation Department on Facebook for registration information as it becomes available. www.mt-pleasant.org/recreation.

Know Your Neighbors. A message from Director of Public Safety Paul Lauria.

Being neighborly, is not only polite – but your front line of defense in emergencies.

Your neighbors, if they know you, will be the first to notice if something is not quite right.

To make sure your front line of defense is strong, get to know your neighbors.

Talk now, before a problem arises.