Near family providing three generations of public service.

January 21, 2019

Andy, Samantha and Ken Near.

Near family providing three generations of public service.

By Allison Scarbrough, Editor.

SHELBY – Andy Near grew up watching his dad, Ken Near, routinely attend Shelby Township Board meetings. Andy – following in his father’s footsteps – serves as a Shelby Village Council trustee. Now, a third-generation Near family member begins her tenure in public service as Andy’s 26-year-old daughter Samatha Near, was recently appointed to the Shelby Village Planning Commission.

Ken, who has served the township board for nearly 43 years, said he got involved in local government to “look out for the interests of farmers.” He worked for three and a half decades as a fruit farmer himself. “I’m looking out for the agriculture community.”

“It’s pretty cool,” Andy said of the three generations representing their community. “I don’t remember a time that he didn’t go to the township board meetings” Andy said of his dad. “He’s always worked for the community.”

“As a public servant, you pull your weight for your community,” said Andy, who has been on the village council for three years. “It’s a way for a good, upstanding citizen to help municipalities make good decisions. You’re a voice for your community.”

“I enjoy the people on the board,” said Ken. “Everybody gets along. I’ve stuck around for continuity.”

“He’s very diplomatic,” Andy said about his dad. “He knows what it’s like to stand in someone else’s shoes to make a decision.”

Samantha recently attended a council meeting and became interested in serving her community like her dad and grandpa. There was an opening on the village planning commission, and she decided to pursue it. Now that the council has appointed her to the commission, she will continue the family tradition her grandfather started nearly four and a half decades ago.

“I want to help the community like my grandpa and dad have done,” she said.

This story is copyrighted © 2019, all rights reserved by Media Group 31, LLC, PO Box 21, Scottville, MI 49454. No portion of this story or images may be reproduced in any way, including print or broadcast, without expressed written consent.




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