Slope Champs: Ski team honored for winning state

Kali Katerberg/Daily Mining Gazette Houghton-Hancock girls ski team members were honored Wednesday by the Hancock City Council for their MHSAA Division II state title.

HANCOCK — Honoring a team of champion local athletes, the City Council began its Wednesday meeting with a resolution recognizing the Houghton-Hancock girls ski team.

The team won the MHSAA Division II state championship in late February, winning by four points over Notre Dame Prep in a comeback after being down four points at the start of the day.

Mayor Lisa McKenzie read the framed resolution recognizing the team’s history of high performance, hard work, unparalleled talent and commitment to the sport.

The team was complimented for serving as quality representatives for the Houghton-Hancock area.

“The really neat thing about this is any time you have a resolution like this it goes into the city record,” McKenzie said.

Later in the meeting, the council approved the resignation of two planning commission members, David Lucchesi and Stephanie Swartzendruber. Replacements were immediately appointed to serve the remainder of their terms.

Three Hancock residents — Susan Burack, Andrew Lahti and Jeff Kelley — had asked to be considered for the vacancy.

Pleased with the interest from community members and the highly qualified candidates, the council unanimously appointed Jeff Kelley to the term expiring in 2021.

“According to Mr. Kelley’s resume, he has extensive community planning experience,” said McKenzie.

A newcomer to the area, Kelley submitted a resume detailing experience with logistics planning in the Air Force and holds a master’s degree in Community Planning from the University of Cincinnati. The council hopes Kelley’s experience will aid with Hancock’s master plan.

“It sounds like he could teach us all a thing or two,” McKenzie said.

Andrew Lahti was unanimously appointed to the term expiring in 2019 after a motion by council member John Haeussler to appoint Susan Burack failed to gain support.

Though Lahti is the brother-in-law of council member Ron Blau, the appointment does not raise any legal issues, Haeussler said.

The council also accepted the resignation of Jason Parker from the Recreation Commission leaving another position open for applications.