BERRIEN SPRINGS — The Berrien Springs Village Council is back to full strength and its new member is someone very familiar to the village. Jack Davis served on the council more than 45 years ago and most recently was the general manager of the village-owned Shamrock Park campground.
Davis, 79, of South Cass Street, was the only person to apply for the council vacancy left by the recent resignation of Jim Allred. Allred resigned effective Jan. 1 after moving out of the village. Allred is the owner of the Allred Funeral Home in Berrien Springs and the Bowerman Funeral Home in Eau Claire.
Davis ran for the council in the recent November election but lost to incumbents Jesse Hibler, Lonna Johnson and Sandy Swartz for a four-year seat on the council. With the appointment approved Monday night, Davis will serve for nearly two years until the November 2021 election.
Davis served previously on the council for four years, from 1969 to 1973. He is retired from a long career in retail as well as owning the former Pennelwood Resort and running the Shamrock Park campground for more than 10 years, until 2017. He and his wife, Pat, have two grown daughters.
In a brief interview before his appointment, Davis told council members that he felt his experience as a business owner as well as the Shamrock Park manager is his greatest asset. “I’ve always been interested in the village,” he said.
He also said he’d be interested in being more involved in the community and volunteering for efforts such as helping those who may need assistance in fixing up their home. Last fall, he said he wanted to work on improvements to Grove Park, cleaning up the village and enforcing property codes.
Davis showed his value to the council shortly after being sworn in as he shared his experience at Shamrock Park during a discussion of the policy on what holidays the campground manager must work with or without getting “comp time.” He told council members which fall and winter holidays are busy ones at the campground.
The manager will now be required to work spring and summer holidays while getting paid comp time or extra vacation days for them. He will not get comp time for seven fall and winter holidays without the approval of his supervisor.
Davis noted that while some fall and winter holidays aren’t busy, the day after Thanksgiving is traditionally a busy one. Village President Milt Richter said that could be a mitigating circumstance where the manager could get comp time.
Richter appointed Davis to be one of two village representatives on the joint township-village fire board, as well as to the council’s public utilities committee.