Jay Penny fills partial Edwardsburg council term as councilman resigns

Published 10:17 am Thursday, January 3, 2019

EDWARDSBURG — In November, Jim Meltinos officially resigned from his seat on the Edwardsburg Village Council. Meltinos was a longtime public servant in the village, and said, “I’ll still be around,” at his last meeting with the council.

Jay Penny, who ran in the November election for council, but was not elected, was appointed to fill the partial term in Meltinos’ vacancy.

Penny is a longtime resident of Edwardsburg. He spent time in Edwardsburg through different periods of his life, but has lived in several other places as well. Despite living in other places, Penny and his wife of seven years settled in Edwardsburg largely because of Penny’s affection and sentimentality for Edwardsburg and the greater region of southwest Michigan.

“In a lot of respects, I like a larger city, but there’s something about Edwardsburg that’s indicative of the whole Midwest,” Penny said. “It’s what drives me back to that southwest Michigan comfort.”

Penny is a big fan of southwest Michigan, particularly in the summertime, but when it comes to Edwardsburg itself, it’s more about the community and the sense of a tightknit community within a larger whole.

“What drew me to come back here was a really good school system and sense of community. This is an interesting area being so close to Indiana and Chicago,” Penny said. “One of the best things about Edwardsburg is the small-town feel, but close to a lot of big city amenities.”

Penny decided to run for council for simple reasons. He wants to see better roads, to help bring the community together and to be a part of community projects like the potential Edwardsburg development project through Michigan State University’s School of Planning, Design and Construction.

“I think there’s going to be a number of issues coming up, and I want to see Edwardsburg grow as a community,” he said.

Penny sees recent events like to application for the MSU project and the Edwardsburg football state championship as indicators that Edwardsburg is a great place to be and flourishing community to be a part of.

“I think Edwardsburg winning the football championship helped galvanize the community, and I’d like to see us do some projects to continue building up the community.”

From the outdoor opportunities to city services, community projects and the outstanding school district, Penny is pleased with his home community and ready to step in for his partial term.

“I’m just getting my feet wet, and feeling out my situation,” he said. “But it looks like there are steps forward toward being more of a community.”