Terms of newest member, four others expire in Nov.
ALMONT — In a 4-2 roll-call vote on Tuesday, Feb. 4, the Almont Village Council selected Bernard Calka, II to fill the council seat left vacant by the sudden passing of longtime councilman Gary Peltier in December.
An initial roll call vote on Tuesday resulted in three votes for Calka and one each for candidates Wayne Glasser, Jamie Albers and Angela Edwards.
Because a majority of four was not reached in the first vote, a second role-call vote became necessary.
During the second round of voting, Calka received four votes, with Glasser collecting two and none for Albers and Edwards.
Almont Clerk-Treasurer Kim Keesler said the aforementioned candidates (Calka, Glasser, Albers and Edwards) had been alloted three minutes each to introduce themselves and discuss their reasons for wanting to serve at the council’s January 21 meeting.
She noted that three additional applicants, Pastor William King, Steve Palmer and Matt Gibson, who applied after the January 21 meeting, were present at Tuesday’s (Feb. 4) meeting and afforded the same opportunity.
Following the second vote, Council President Pro-Tem Tim Dyke motioned to appoint Calka to the vacant seat, which was unanimously approved by the council.
Keesler then administered the oath of office fo Calka and he was seated for the duration of the meeting.
Village Council President Steven A. Schneider made a point of acknowledging all seven candidates who sought the opportunity to serve their community as council members.
“We’re thrilled that so many of our fellow citizens have stepped up to participate in this process,” said Schneider. “To improve our community and to make a difference in whatever way we can.”
Council member Dave Love offered encouragment to the six applicants who were not selected.
“There appear to be some very good candidates here,” Love noted, “and there’s an election coming in November.”
An Almont resident for 29 years, Calka has a bachelor’s degree in Business and a master’s degree in International Business, both from Davenport University.
In his Jan. 13, 2020 application letter to the Village, Calka expressed sadness in Peltier’s passing, along with the hope he would attempt to serve with the same commitment, dedication and positivity of his predecessor.
“Gary set the bar pretty high for anyone coming in behind him,” said Calka. “He was always the first to volunteer and the last to leave. He spoke with his heart — always thinking of others and not for himself.
“It would be an honor to try to follow in his footsteps if you allow me.”
A program manager at General Motors for 35 years, Calka believes his training, experience, knowledge and leadership skills can be helpful in dealing with challenges the Village of Almont faces today and in the future.
Tom Wearing started at the Tri-City Times in 1989, covering the Village of Capac as a beat reporter. He later served stints as assistant editor and editor. Today, he covers Imlay City and Almont as a staff writer. He enjoys music and plays drums and sings with various musical groups in the Detroit Metropolitan area.