And the results are in! Congratulations to the new Mayor of Omena, Michigan….Sweet Tart McKee the cat! Wait, what?
Yes, you read that right. The village of Omena has elected the gorgeous 9-year-old feline Sweet Tart as their “offurcial mayor” for a 3-year term. After serving on the Omena Village Council from 2012-2015 and as the Omena Vice Mayor from 2015-2018, she has more experience than most elected candidates.
The small town of 280 residents has awarded this honor to a local animal for over a decade and Sweet Tart will be the 4th elected official. Reigning Mayor of Omena, Madame Polly Loveless has held the office since her win in 2015 with grace and dignity…all balanced on 3 legs. Her slogan of “Don’t Stop Retrieving” couldn’t be toppled!
Resident polls and online votes were calculated as a fundraising event, with the $1 per vote proceeds going to the Omena Historical Society’s endowment fund. This year’s election brought in over 7,000 votes!
The village was founded in 1852 when a reverend brought a band of Ottawa and Chippewa Indians from Old Mission and settled in what is now Omena. It is said that the name “omena” was an Ojibwe expression that meant “is that so?” or “is that really true?”
We think that purrfectly fits with their governing elections!
This year wasn’t an easy race for Sweet Tart though, and she ran against some very “ruff” canine opponents and some other surprising candidates! In all there were 13 dogs, a goat, a chicken, a peacock and one other cat; all later receiving a position on the village council.
Mayor Sweet Tart will have a dedicated staff to support her time in pawffice.
With their honesty throughout the campaign and election promises, we can only imagine this was not an easy decision for voters!
First Vice Mayor: Diablo Shapiro the Dog
“Convicted??? As a male, there have been accusations of sexual harassment about me, but sniffing is just how I say hello!”
Second Vice Mayor: Punkin Anderson-Harder the Dog
“I’m the best kisser ever! I can take your breath away cause I kiss so fast, and sometimes my tongue goes up your nose”.
Press Secretary: Harley Jones the Goat
“Naughtiest Deed? I fathered four kids this year to two different ladies…I couldn’t help Myself.”
Special Assistant for Fowl Issues: Penny Labriola the Chicken
“I vow to unearth all the worms, crack all the corn, and cross all the roads. I consider it a nest-essity to use my natural talent and, if elected, will continue to poop breakfast for the great people of greater Omena. Thanks- om-e-lette you cast your vote now. Cluck Cluck Cluck”
Some honorable mentions should however also be noted.
Dog Bailey Adelson’s bold campaign slogan claimed, “No one will want to “flea” Omena with me as Mayor.”
Local hero and skunk eradicator, Schatzi Putam Bradley used his past heroism in his race for mayor. “When I am Mayor, I promise to scare away skunks and porcupines. As documented in the Omena News column, I am not afraid to chase them away. I promise to “take it in the face”” for Omena”!
Canine Riley Miller digs right in with his motto, ““No poop left behind” I will make it my mission to keep Omena beautiful and clean!”
After the close race, the candidates pawticipated in an inauguration ceremony and mayoral parade. Announcing the winners at the close of the festivities, town folk got a chance to congratulate the newly elected officials. Sweet Tart’s human “servants” and campaign managers, Harold and Kanda McKee, were overjoyed when the results were announced.
Thankfully pawprints can be used for signing legal documents and are recognized as binding in this unique town. Scheduling council meetings around a cats napping schedule though may be a bit more challenging!
Here’s to shaking paws and kissing fur-babies!