10-01-2020 Mayor Polashak Retirement Party was a successful event

MAYOR HONORED AT RETIREMENT… State Senator Kim LaSata presenting retiring mayor, Jim Polashak, with a proclamation from Lansing as his wife Sherry helps hold award.

Mayor Polashak Retirement Party was a successful event

By Angela Widdis Chances are pretty good that anyone who has lived in or visited any Coloma celebrations anytime since the summer of 2007 they have met or seen James ‘Jim’ Polashak, the Mayor of the City of Coloma. His impact on the greater Coloma area could be felt as thoughtful words, special awards and recognitions, and gifts were bestowed on him as members of the community honored Mayor Jim at his retirement party Friday, Sept. 25, 2020, at Randall Park. “Marsha and I were so pleased to organize this celebration that highlighted the dedication and commitment of Mayor Polashak,” said Chana Kniebes, the Community Development Coordinator for North Berrien Community Development and Coloma Watervliet Area Chamber of Commerce. In addition, Kniebes stated that she has enjoyed the many committees and events that she has been involved in with the mayor and that she has fond memories of Jim as he helped celebrate the community and the great businesses and citizens that make Coloma their home.

Honoring the Mayor State Senator Kim LaSata was present for the festivities. She presented Polashak with a proclamation recognizing his 13-year service to the city and the wider community as he retires. Jack Greve, Executive Director/Curator at the North Berrien Historical Museum (NBHM) said they wanted to do something for the mayor to commemorate his time with the city over the last thirteen years and ended up with a photo collage consisting of three photos depicting the tree trunk carving in Baker Park. One photo is of the “Windows Into The Past”, 22-foot tall tree carving. A second image is of Jim and his wife. And the last image is a photo of a slab of wood that was cut off the tree in 2015. All of this was made possible by Gus Anton, a former Mayor of Coloma. He donated the slab of wood, which he gained in a fundraising auction, to the NBHM along with the photo of the slab being cut, in honor of Polashak’s retirement. Anton said, “It was from one Mayor to another.”

Representatives from agencies throughout the community including North Berrien Fire & Rescue, Coloma City and Township Police Departments, Coloma Charter Township, Coloma Lions Club, Coloma Public Works Department, Coloma American Legion, Hagar Township, Coloma DDA, Mike Ryan from Congressman Fred Upton’s office, State Senator Kim LaSata, and various family and community members from the area came to celebrate Jim’s retirement. “The most impressive thing to me was when he asked me to type up all the things that he has done in his lifetime,” said Jodi Pitchford, Jim’s step-daughter. “I was amazed at all the accomplishments he has achieved.” The list included things from being on the Lions of Michigan Foundation to playing Santa for 48 years. Polashak responds After the presentations, Polashak had a chance to speak to the crowd. He picked out people in the audience and thanked them individually, reflected on his fondest memories as a public servant, and without hesitation, he said “That’s enough” and thanked everyone for attending. The two individuals Polashak recognized for having a major impact on his time in Coloma are City Commissioner and Mayor Pro-Tem Marsh Hammond and his wife Sherry for the guidance and support they gave him. In closing, Jim stated, “When I graduated I didn’t know where my life would lead me, but I am so glad it lead me to Coloma.” The celebration ended in a standing ovation for Polashak.

Hartford F.D. events include lighted parade & breakfast By Jon Bisnett The Hartford Fire Department is busy this week in recognition of National Fire Safety Week with presentations to elementary students, a lighted truck parade and a pancake breakfast. Students at Hartford’s Redwood Elementary campus always enjoy a visit from the firefighters who will present demonstrations to the youngsters throughout the week. Saturday, Oct. 3 at 8:00 p.m., the HFD will host the Lighted Truck Parade featuring a fleet of fire trucks and first responders from several neighboring departments down Hartford’s Main Street. Sunday morning Oct. 4, the HFD will fire up the griddle and throw open the doors of the firehouse from 7:00 a.m. to noon for their Annual Pancake Breakfast Fundraiser. Due to COVID-19 the meal will be served in a non-contact drive-thru fashion. Sponsored by Hartford Harding’s Market, everyone can be guaranteed they won’t go away hungry for the cost of a donation that helps to fund the department’s fire education efforts throughout the year.

THESE KUTE KIDS ARE… The smiling faces of Landon Ott (15) of Manhattan KS, Louis Martindale (10), Paige Martindale (4), both of Stevensville MI, and Brady Ott (9) of Benton Harbor. Their parents are Kim and Rob Ott (Manhattan K