Hancock Mayor Paul LaBine holds final city council meeting before new position as county prosecutor

According to City Manager Mary Babcock, a new mayor will be chosen from the current council members at next month's meeting.
Published: Jul. 19, 2023 at 11:18 PM EDT|Updated: Aug. 14, 2023 at 8:39 PM EDT
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HANCOCK, Mich. (WLUC) - The City of Hancock council meeting Wednesday night was the last council meeting with Paul LaBine as mayor.

He announced earlier this week that he has been appointed to become the new Houghton County Prosecutor.

LaBine has been a council member since 2016, and mayor since 2019. He says the choice took careful reflection.

“With a lot of encouragement from people who I trust and respect,” said LaBine. “And for the opportunity to challenge myself and continue to serve the community, it became an easy decision.”

LaBine notes that he has been a licensed attorney in California since 2006, and in Michigan since 2009. He has handled negotiations, criminal work, and more.

“I feel that I am well qualified,” continued LaBine. “I certainly can see that I have a lot of learning to do on the job, but I’m certainly up to the challenge and I look forward to the possibilities the job will bring.”

His expected swear-in date is July 24.

According to City Manager Mary Babcock, councilor Kurt Rickard will be the mayor Pro Tem for the council’s August Meeting. A new mayor will be chosen then. Babcock says it is likely the position will be filled by the existing council members.

“There will be a council seat opening up due to the fact that Paul LaBine is resigning,” said Babcock. “And then the mayor will be voted on at the next meeting, who will become our mayor for the next six months.”

Part of the business of the meeting was a unanimous vote to send a grant application to the Copper Shores Community Foundation for $10,000. This is to help purchase three parcels of the Ryan Street Community Garden. This is one of two purchase agreements the city is handling with the receiver of Finlandia University, the other being for Quincy Green.

“Our agreements are just going into place at the end of this week,” added Babcock. “So, we will be moving forward with the acquisition of both those properties.”

The city had previously had a purchase agreement for Quincy Green earlier this year with the university. However, the university closed before the deal was finalized.