Morenci has four new council members 2011.11.16

Morenci now has three new city council members following the November general election and a fourth member, Robert Jennings, was appointed in October.

Brenda Spiess, Rebecca Berger and Jeff Bell all ran unopposed in the recent election.

Brenda Spiess

Brenda is a native of Montpelier, Ohio, and moved to Morenci three years ago. She and her husband, Chad, have a son, Ryan, and a daughter, Rachel.

She works from her home as a level  III technical support consultant for Hewlett-Packard.

“This means I fix very large systems when they crash,” she said.

She is a Unix specialist and has been with Hewlett-Packard for 13 years. Before that, she served in various technical roles with NCR and Holiday Inn Worldwide.

Brenda describes herself as an avid reader who enjoys spending time with her family and friends.

“It is my opinion that public service is everyone’s responsibility and each of us should volunteer at least once in our lifetime,” she said. “My family has enjoyed the sense of community we have found in Morenci and I am proud to serve such a wonderful group of people. This will be my first foray into public service and I look forward to the challenges it will present.”

Rebecca Berger

Rebecca met her future husband, Scott, when she was a student at Evergreen and he attended Morenci schools. She moved to Morenci when they married and they’re now the parents of two children, Clarissa and Wyatt.

She earned an associate’s degree in law enforcement from Owens Community College, a bachelor’s in criminal justice from Lourdes University and a master’s from Lourdes in organizational leadership.

After 11 years in investigative work, including child protection, Rebecca is on a break from that work and now serves as the assistant store manager for the Toledo Wal-Mart on Central Avenue.

Like Robert Jennings and Brenda Spiess, Rebecca served on Morenci’s planning commission. She decided to give city council a try when she learned that three council members were retiring.

Jeff Bell

Jeff was raised in Morenci and has lived nearly his entire life here. He earned a bachelor’s degree in business administration, majoring in business management.

He is a Certified Tax Practitioner and with his wife, Kelly, owns and operates Bell’s Tax Service in Morenci. The Bells have three children.

Jeff has been employed at Sauder Woodworking Co. in Archbold for more than 17 years as a manufacturing area leader. He has held various positions with the company, each with it its own challenges.   

“My career brings a very well rounded, business oriented, accounting background to my position on council,” he said, and he believes he has skills that should be of value as a council member.

“I am excited to be part of this dynamic group and look forward to accomplishing some great things together during our term,” Jeff said.

Robert Jennings

Robert was born in Detroit and grew up on a small farm between the communities of Frankenmuth, Vassar and Millington. He graduated from Millington High School in 1961 and later earned an associate's degree in mechanical technology from Delta College and a bachelor's degree in mechanical engineering technology from Saginaw Valley State University.

He and his wife, Doreen, are parents of three grown children and they have seven grandchildren.

Robert has more than 30 years in the engineering field, working in manufacturing, tooling and product design. The majority of his experience was with major automotive suppliers.

He is now semi-retired, working three days a week for a manufacturing company in Holland, Ohio.

Robert and his wife moved to Morenci in 2005. His many hobbies include restoring older cars, such as his 1960 Corvair.

  • Front.web
    NICE WORK—A spider remains at the center of a web, awaiting visitors, during a moist morning last month. The was built in front of Eagle Funeral Home in Morenci.
  • Front.bridge Cross
    STEP BY STEP—Wyatt Stevens of Morenci makes his way across a rope bridge Sunday during the Michigan DNR’s Great Outdoors Jamboree at Lake Hudson Recreation Area. The Tecumseh Boy Scout Troop constructed the bridge again this year after taking a break in 2016. The Jamboree offered a variety of activities for a wide range of age groups. Morenci’s Stair District Library set up activities again this year and had visits with dozens of kids. See the back page for additional photos.
  • Front.bridge.17
    LEADING THE WAY—The Morenci Area High School marching band led the way across the pedestrian bridge on Morenci’s south side for the annual Labor Day Bridge Walk. The Band Boosters shared profits from the sale of T-shirts with the walk’s sponsor, the Morenci Area Chamber of Commerce. Additional photos are on the back page.
  • Front.eclipse
    LOOKING UP—More than 200 people showed up at Stair District Library Monday afternoon to view the big celestial event with free glasses provided by a grant from the Space Science Institute. The library offered craft activities from noon to 1 p.m., refreshments including Cosmic Cake from Zingerman’s Bakehouse and a live viewing of the eclipse from NASA on a large screen. As the sky darkened slightly, more and more people moved outside to the sidewalk to take a look at the shrinking sun. If you missed it, hang on for the next total eclipse in 2024 as the path comes even closer to this area.
  • Cecil
    THE MAYOR—Cecil Schoonover poses with a collection of garden gnomes that mysteriously arrive and disappear from his property. Along with the gnomes, someone created the sign stating that he is the Mayor of Gnomesville. He hasn’t yet tracked down the people involved in the prank, but he’s having a good time with the mystery.
  • Front.rest
    TAKE A BREAK—Last Wednesday’s session of Stair District Library’s Summer Reading Program ended with a quiet period in a class presented by yoga instructor Melany Gladieux of Toledo. Children learned a variety of yoga poses in the main room at the library, then finished off the session relaxing. Additional photos are on page 7. Area children are invited to visit the library today when the Michigan Science Center presents a flight program at 11 a.m. and roller coasters at 1 p.m.
  • Front.batter
    THE DERBY—Tyler “Smallpox” Flakne of Minnesota’s Home Run League All-Stars goes for the fence Friday night during the National Wiffle League Association’s home run derby in Morenci. This year the wiffleball national tournament moved from Dublin, Ohio, to Morenci’s Wakefield Park. During the derby, competitors had two minutes to hit as many home runs as possible. The winner this year finished with 21. See page 6 and 7 for additional photos.
  • Front.green Screen
    OUT OF THIS WORLD—Elizabeth McFadden and Elise Christle pose in front of the green screen as VolunTeen Noah Gilson makes them appear as though they are standing on the Moon. More photos from the Stair District Library’s NASA @ My Library program are on page 12.
  • Front.fireworks
    FIREWORKS erupt Saturday night over Morenci’s Wakefield Park during the waning hours of the Town and Country Festival. Additional festival photos are inside.