TECUMSEH – The hand-painted sign at the front of the Montz Motorcyle Museum says “Where You Invest Your Love, You Invest Your Life” and Bill Montz Sr. has been investing in Tecumseh for nearly 78 years.
Montz has been involved in city government for 17 of those and is in his second term as mayor, but tendered his resignation Monday.
He says he still loves the city, but recent donations to his museum have convinced him more time will need to be invested there.
Montz: “It just came to the point where I felt so overloaded with things happening pretty fast with the other aspects our life, where our investments were, I don’t think I can do justice as the mayor.”
Montz expects a national story to be released this summer describing recent donations that will enhance the museums’ World War II display and may lead to a sudden need to expand the building.
Montz: “It kind of was a shock to me, but just lately we had a huge donation to the motorcycle museum. It made us … we have more motorcycles than we have room right now. There’s going to have to be another construction project.”
Montz said Tecumseh city government accomplishments include becoming the first city ever certified as a leadership community by the state Department of Economic Development.
He said that certification helped the city win a federal downtown revitalization grant that grew from a $1 million application to the award of $3 million with a 20 percent match.
He said there were a number of hurdles with downtown revitalization, like gaining consensus on what to do with the 40 or so “coal chutes” around the historic town square. They also had to make a decision about reusing the old street brick.
Montz: “There’s just other things that have delayed it, but we’re pretty much ready to rock ‘n roll, I think. So, I feel good about leaving at the time we are in the shape we are in.”
Montz said there have also been differences about expenses for the new swimming pool.