Retiree’s legacy is Olivet’s progress
Becky Palmer, Mayor Gary Peterson and Denny LaPoint with Sen. Rick Jones in the back right./Courtesy photo
After more than 30 years of service to the City of Olivet, retiring clerk Becky Palmer leaves a legacy of six mayors, major development projects and more than 42 grants, totaling more than $3.7 million for this one-square mile city.
More than 100 people gathered to witness another accomplishment. Palmer, who will be locating to Thornapple Lake and days spent with grandchildren, is now one of only four Olivet residents who have had a day proclaimed in her honor.
That day was March 31, when area residents gathered at the Lamplighter OC restaurant to wish her well, and heard Mayor Gary Peterson read his proclamation. Some of those residents who share the honor were in attendance as well – Denny (Dennis) LaPoint and Jennifer Miller, with the third, Lou Collins, now deceased, recalled in fond memories.
“The city is in good hands,” Palmer said, addressing the crowd, which also included Sen. Rick Jones. “And I did not do it alone,” she added, in reference to the accomplishments shared by Peterson, including acquisition of $658,000 in grant funds from the Michigan Economic Development Corporation – Downtown Infrastructure Grant Program, which took place in 2014.
Palmer also recalled that two city council members, Mike Judd, also a former mayor, and Don Walker, went to bat for her to be hired, telling then mayor Dave Masters, “You should give her a chance.”
Throughout her years at city hall, which is another accomplishment for Olivet, moved to a new location, Palmer was honored by state agencies for her work, which varied from administrative record-keeping to learning “more about water towers and sewers” than anyone would want to know, she said.
The open house drew residents and acquaintances from throughout the area, enjoying food and homemade ice cream supplied by LaPoint.
Erin Bierly is the new clerk/treasurer for the city, sworn in March 14 by her predecessor.