Happy New Year from the City of Olivet! My name is Laura Barlond-Maas, and I am very excited to be the Mayor of Olivet again!
First, for those who may not know me very well, a bit of my background: I was born on a farm in Lee Township, the youngest of six children. My dad instilled in us the idea that hard work matters, and my mom taught me how to examine a need, and plan toward a solution, thereby improving our corner of the world. In every area of my life, this is what I try to do: improve systems to make them better for people and help people learn what it takes to be better, whatever that means to each of them. I’ve done these things as a mom, elementary school volunteer, Girl Scout Leader, Meals on Wheels volunteer, teacher, and friend. I’ve also taught adult Sunday school, and I present mini-lessons to target the kids present at church—but the adults are listening too!
After graduating from Olivet College, I got married and settled down here to raise five kids. I think Olivet is a great place to raise a family—excellent schools and a caring community. I have worked at Olivet College for nearly thirty years, first as a secretary and then as a teacher.
So, my life’s work is to make the world better for people and help people become better for the world. As many of you know, I did exactly this when I served the City and its residents on the council and as mayor from 1997-2005.
As mayor, I coordinated a comprehensive plan for the city, initiated the quarterly city newsletter and worked with city and state representatives to replace the old water tower. We also had a mayor exchange day to share ideas and discuss infrastructure with the village of Schoolcraft. I regularly talked to school groups about leadership skills and how city governments function, letting children and teens at every level know that they, too, can participate in our communities.
I ran for mayor this year so I can pick this work back up and take it to the next level. The city needs creativity to develop a plan to solve the many challenges small towns will face in the next few years. I am ready, willing, and able to be back in this role. Thank you for electing me!
Soon I will announce my winter office hours, about four regularly scheduled hours each week that I will be available in City Hall. You may call Amy or Rebecca to set up a time or just drop by. I am looking forward to working with you all!
See you around town!