After Troy Stowell, the former quality of life director for the City of Eaton Rapids, departed to become the Parks and Recreation director for Eaton County, Eaton Rapids City Council and city manager got right to searching for a new quality of life director. Stowell left big shoes to fill as he looked after not only Eaton Rapids parks, but also fulfilled several other tasks.
Monday, April 30, Lindsey Zeller will start her new job as Eaton Rapids quality of life director.
Zeller has spent the last few years in Eaton Rapids. She has two sons, ages 9 and 6, who have attended Eaton Rapids Schools. Zeller worked at Eaton Rapids Schools where she met her husband, Jason Zeller, who is the principal of Lockwood Elementary. As she’s lived, worked, and integrated into Eaton Rapids, Zeller has found a special appreciation for the Island City.
“I love the small town feel. It has a lot of unique qualities to it,” said Zeller. “There’s something here for every member of the community.”
Zeller came across the job opening at the city and knew she had to apply. She will soon complete her degree from Central Michigan University, which is in community development with an administration focus. The quality of life director job was right up her alley, and what better place to use her new skill set than in her hometown.
Having not yet started the job, Zeller plans to come into City Hall with an open mind and a task-oriented work ethic. She knows Eaton Rapids has great opportunities with youth sports, parks, and events, but she wants to get a feel for the administrative side of the community before making an serious changes or plans. Upcoming programs and events with youth sports, or the 4th of July celebrations will be her main focuses coming in.
Zeller is intrigued by many of the changes taking place within the city. She sees a lot of potential in the downtown revitalization efforts.
“The whole project is going to be awesome. I’m excited to be a part of the grant writing team for the facelift to downtown. I think it’s going to be great to see where the city takes that,” said Zeller.
But to Zeller, the tasks, programs, projects, events, and even the parks won’t have a significant impact without the purpose and drive to see quality of life in the community.
“It takes a village. I think the higher the quality of life the more closeness in the community,” said Zeller. “Quality of life is more than what the city does. It comes full circle.”
Quality of life is about vision, involvement, and community buy in. Seeking the community’s needs and wants, providing those in tangible ways, and showing surrounding communities the potential of one small town keeps the momentum of community efforts and demands more creativity. Like the rest of the new leaders at City Hall, Zeller may have big shoes to fill, but she expresses the education, the vision, and the internal vision to build on what’s come before and create and implement more desired community assets.