Sparta has a new mayor, The Alternative Press reported. At Tuesday's Sparta Township Council reorganization meeting, the body unanimously selected Molly Ann Whilesmith to be the township's new mayor. The new deputy mayor, also chosen unanimously, is Jerry J. Murphy.
Whilesmith, 2013's deputy mayor, is in the fourth year of her first term on the Town Council. Her choice is historic, as this is the first time women have held the top spots on the council and the Board of Education simultaneously. The new school board president, chosen Monday at the BOE reorganization, is Karen Scott.
The remainder of the reorganizing focused on filling seats on municipal boards and committees, among them the Economic Development and Recreation committees and the Planning and Zoning boards, as well as other liaison positions, the article said.
This is the fourth year of Whilesmith's first term. She served as deputy mayor for this past year. Murphy has served on the council since 2005. He has previously been mayor and deputy mayor.
With the back-to-back reorganization meetings of Sparta's two public governing bodies, this is the first time Sparta has had women in the top leadership positions of Township Council and Board of Education at the same time. Whilesmith is first woman to hold the title of mayor since Ailish Hambel in 2005. Karen Scott, named to the position Monday night, is only the second woman ever to be the president of the Board of Education