EVART — Evart residents elected native Chris Emerick to serve as mayor in the Nov. 3 election.

Emerick has been sworn in and will preside over the next city council meeting, tentatively scheduled for 7:30 p.m. Nov. 23.

Emerick defeated Incumbent Mayor John Joyce, 293 votes to 151 votes.

“I am incredibly humbled and honored that the election turned out the way it did,” Emerick said. “I am excited about the new platform and being able to serve the community in this way.”

Emerick added that her immediate top goal will be to ensure that the residents are safe in light of the ongoing COIVD-19 pandemic, and the announcement of new restrictions put into place by the Michigan Department of Health and Human Services to help curb the increase in positive cases.

“Other than that, my immediate goals include looking at ways we can communicate better so that we are best able to serve our community,” she said. “In the long term, I would like to see Evart grow.

“There are lots of opportunities here to grow on multiple levels,” she continued. “A lot of the smaller plans — some of the things council has already been working on and have been discussed during previous meetings — can all converge together where there will be larger growth for the community in general.”

Joyce was presented with a certificate of recognition for his service to the city at the city council meeting Nov. 9., the last of which he would sit as mayor.

Joyce has served the citizens of Evart as Mayor for the past two years, after being elected in 2018. Prior to being elected as Mayor, he sat on the city council.

When asked about the election results, Joyce said, “The people have spoken.

“I thought we had a really good team put together that had accomplished a lot,” he said. “Obviously the people wanted a change, and they got a change.”

Joyce said he has not yet given thought to how he can or will continue to serve the community.

Also receiving recognition during the meeting was city council member Ralph Carlson, who has served on city council for the past five years.

Carlson was appointed to fill the seat vacated by Casey Keyser in 2015, and was elected to serve a four year term in 2016.

He was defeated in his bid for re-election on the Nov. 3 ballot, receiving 229 votes to Sean Duffy’s 395 votes and incumbent Matthew Hildebrand’s 336 votes.

In other business, the city council passed a resolution approving policies and procedures for virtual and hybrid meetings.

The resolution is intended to ensure the city council is in compliance with the Open Meetings Act following the passage of Public Act 228, the latest legislative action amending the OMA in an effort to deal with the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic.

PA 228 allows governmental entities to conduct virtual meetings, or for members of the body and the public to participate in public meetings via remote access through the remainder of 2020.

The Evart city council will now conduct virtual or hybrid meetings, meaning there will be a remote access option available to the public.

The next council meeting is scheduled for 7:30 p.m., Nov. 23. For information on how to access the meeting, visit evart.org or call 231-734-2181 or 231-250-1432.