Michigan town inaugurates feline mayor

A 9-year-old cat named Sweet Tart won the 2018 Omena mayoral election, topping 17 other candidates in the process. (WPBN/WGTU)

LEELANAU COUNTY, Mich., (WPBN/WGTU) - The Village of Omena inaugurated its fourth mayor Saturday morning, a 9-year-old cat named Sweet Tart.

Omena has had a four-legged mayor for more than a decade, and has used the election to raise money for its historical society.

Votes are cast through $1 donations. This year, proceeds from more than 7,000 votes go straight to the Omena Historical Society's endowment fund.

"This is by far our largest total," said Keith Disselkoen, the society's president. "We suspect that there were many votes coming from outside of the immediate area because of our internet reach and because of our publicity and because of the ability to receive votes from PayPal. It’s really expanded the number of people that have participated."

Sweet Tart campaigned against 13 dogs, a peacock, a goat, a chicken and another cat, all of which were awarded positions in the village council.

The new mayor won't have to make many administrative decisions. If necessary, Sweet Tart won't need to learn to write.

"They have their paw," Disselkoen said. "We accept paw prints. Legal documents can be executed with a paw print."

The inauguration ceremony followed the mayoral parade, in which many of the candidates and other local organizations marched.

Prior to being named mayor, Sweet Tart was the village's vice mayor. She will remain in office for three years, until the Omena mayoral race of 2021.

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