2005-05-27 / News

Mayor Margaret Doud Honored for 30 Years of Service

By Jessica Delaney

Margaret Doud (right) was appointed in 1964 to the Mackinac Island City Council to fill the term of Dennis Brodeur (left), who retired. In 1965, she was elected mayor, and has been reelected each year since. Mr. Brodeur, who owns the Mustang Bar, attended the surprise party for Mayor Doud last Sunday.
Margaret Doud (right) was appointed in 1964 to the Mackinac Island City Council to fill the term of Dennis Brodeur (left), who retired. In 1965, she was elected mayor, and has been reelected each year since. Mr. Brodeur, who owns the Mustang Bar, attended the surprise party for Mayor Doud last Sunday.

  • Not many people have the opportunity to celebrate their birthday with 250 people. Then again, not many people have served for 30 years as mayor. Sunday, May 22, a surprise party was thrown for Mayor Margaret Doud to celebrate both her birthday and her 30th anniversary as mayor of Mackinac Island.
  • Celebrants began arriving at Community Hall at 2 p.m., greeted by party organizers Jodie Chambers, Molly Hagenbaugh, Lois Lenaghan, and Karen Lennard. Mayor Doud had been informed that there would be a baby shower for Carrie Kaminen, and party organizers were careful to keep that impression. The men who were attending were quickly brought inside, to avoid ruining the facade of a baby shower. Ms. Hagenbaugh guarded the doors, and special care was taken to make sure nothing seemed out of place. There were even blue and pink balloons tied outside the building, and bikes were checked to make sure there were not too many.

    Carrie Kaminen joked about the hall full of people. “I never knew that I knew so many people,” she said, surveying several hundred people waiting for the mayor to arrive.

    City Clerk Karen Lennard said the party took months to organize, but the job was easy.

    “It was so easy because the first time anyone heard this was for Mayor Doud, they wanted to help,” she said.

    At 2:30 p.m., Mayor Doud and her mother, Jeannette, opened the doors to a chorus of “Happy Birthday.” She was presented with a corsage by Ms. Hagenbaugh and quickly ushered to the stage, where Armand “Smi” Horn took over as master of ceremonies.

    He presented the mayor with a plaque thanking her for her contributions to the Island. Ms. Hagenbaugh presented a tribute from the State of Michigan signed by State Senator Jason Allen, Representative Gary McDowell, and Governor Jennifer Granholm. Her former college roommate and best friend, Elaine Noffze, presented Mayor Doud with a certificate of congressional recognition from U.S. Senator Debbie Stabenow.

    Fr. Jim Williams, pastor of Ste. Anne’s Church, on behalf of Congressman Bart Stupak, presented the mayor with a U.S. flag that was flown over the United States Capitol Friday, April 1, in honor of her 30 years of service to the city.

    Former Michigan Department of Community Health Director Jim Haveman, who facilitated construction of the new medical center, sent a congratulatory note, thanking her “for your commitment to values to make a difference and protecting the jewel of the north.”

    Mayor Doud expressed her thanks for the effort everyone had put into the surprise. She reminisced about when she first announced she would be running for mayor, and her original doubts about assuming the position.

    “I thought, ‘I’m a woman, I’m not experienced, it will never work,’ and 30 years later, here I am,” said Mayor Doud. Her greatest accomplishment in the past 30 years, she said, was the construction of the new Mackinac Island Medical Center.

    Margaret Doud, now 62, was born and reared on the Island and attended the Thomas Ferry School until ninth grade. She was graduated from St. Mary’s Academy in Monroe and received a degree in education from Central Michigan University.

    She taught third grade at Ottawa Elementary School in Petoskey for two years, then taught kindergarten on Mackinac Island for four years, resigning in 1974. That same year, she was appointed to the City Council to fulfill the term of Dennis Brodeur, who was retiring, and a year later, she ran successfully for mayor, replacing Clem Gunn.

    Mr. Brodeur, who owns the Mustang Bar, was on hand Sunday to offer his congratulations.

    During her first year, she worked at fostering communication between organizational bodies on the Island and the public. She also worked at city planning, and on increasing the responsibility of the City Council and other elected officials.

    Being elected mayor of a place like Mackinac Island does not come without problems, and Mayor Doud addressed some of those issues Sunday.

    “The smaller the town, the greater the factions,” she said. “But you need to rise above and look for the common good. I enjoy it, enjoy serving the people, and it’s been my life.”

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