by Graham Sturgeon, co-editor
Former Owosso Mayor Ben Frederick, who was recently elected as the 85th District’s representative for the Michigan House of Representatives, unveiled his mayoral portrait during the Monday, Dec. 5 Owosso City Council meeting. The portrait will join those of past Owosso Mayors, which adorn the walls of the council’s chambers in the basement of Owosso City Hall. Joining Ben on this special night were his uncle, Bob Rentschler, and his wife, Lydia.
While the painting is special to the former mayor because it will be included on the city’s mayoral wall of honor, the portrait has a special significance to Frederick as well. His late uncle, Jim Wildermuth, began the painting years ago, with Rentschler (shown) putting the finishing touches on the work of art in time for Monday’s unveiling.
New Owosso Mayor Chris Eveleth read a proclamation to mark the occasion, saying, “Ben never forgot his humble beginnings, or the friends and neighbors who voted him into office. He strove to do what he could to make life better for Owosso’s residents… he believed in honest, open communication… he worked tirelessly to build a friendly environment for job creation… and he worked to find creative ways for the city to increase revenue without increasing the burden on the taxpayers.” He also praised Frederick’s role in the redevelopment of several local buildings, his efforts to rehabilitate residential neighborhoods, and his protection of low income families from predatory practices, among Frederick’s many other notable accomplishments.