BURTON FOX is shown standing beside the historic 1921 American LeFrance Fire Engine that has been a passion of his for years. His goal has been to see a memorial established for Owosso fire fighters and to preserve this piece of Owosso history.

(Independent File Photo)


by Karen Mead-Elford, co-editor

“My philosophy on council has always been, if we have a problem, there is a solution to that problem. We need to find the solution and then we need to act on the solution. It takes action,” shared Owosso city council member Burton Fox in a recent phone interview. Fox announced his resignation at the Monday, July 16 council meeting.

“I need some time with my wife. She is in hospice. I was having trouble sleeping with Owosso city problems on my mind. I realized I had to give something up,” Fox offered some of his reasoning in relation to his decision to leave the council. “I knew I needed to lighten my load.”

Fox moved to Owosso in 1973 and has continuously been involved with council, either through attending meetings, or through his many years of service on the planning commission, or his nine years involvement with the council – he has readily admitted to his dedication and passion for the city that he “fell in love with.”

In discussing his council involvement, Fox shared, “There have been good times and times of disappointment, too. Overall, I enjoyed my time on council because I could help people.” Fox offered a story in which he took the new city manager, Nathan Henne, to lunch when Henne had first been hired and how they had enjoyed a positive discussion on the future of Owosso with Henne sharing that he strongly hoped to have a very clear-cut and concise relationship with the council on his duties as city manager.

Fox also outlined his involvement with the historic 1921 American LeFrance Fire Engine and his continued desire to see the antique fire engine memorialized as a part of Owosso’s history. His goal has been to see it designated as a memorial to Owosso fire fighters, particularly two fire fighters who lost their lives. The truck has been stored in the temperature-controlled Baker College ADI Institute for three years at no cost to the city. Baker staff and students have since volunteered time to restoring the truck to working condition. Recently, Baker College asked the city to find another storage facility, which led to a council discussion on the possibility of selling the engine. However, Fox has proactively sought out a possible storage solution for the historic truck on the property of Ron Pearsall, who retired from the fire department. A local towing service has volunteered to move the truck to the new location, as well. Though Fox has resigned from council, he plans on being involved with a committee to save this piece of Owosso history.

Mayor Chris Eveleth had this to say about Fox: “Councilman Fox will be greatly missed. He’s been a decades-long fixture in the Owosso City Council chambers. While he served a short time in the ‘90s, along with his most recent service starting in 2011, Burton has to my knowledge been attending council meetings since the 1970s. The lack of his presence will be felt, not just by we who serve, but by the people he so aptly served. I sincerely wish he and his family well during this difficult time.”

One thing is for certain, Fox, who was always openly shared his informed point of view during council meetings regarding his passion for his service to the people of Owosso as a council member, will be missed.

Fox Moving On from Owosso City Council was last modified: July 23rd, 2018 by Karen Elford