Boyne City Commission Candidates; a look at Gaylord and Neilson

candidates for city commission

Beth Gohs

Staff Writer

Leslie Neilson, and incumbent Derek Gaylord are the two other candidates running for the Boyne City Commission. This is a continuation of the article that appeared in the April 29 Boyne City Gazette—the primary election is to be held Aug. 4.

Gaylord currently serves on the city commission in his first term and currently works as the Charlevoix County Jail Administrator. Opponent Leslie Neilson owns inspired living [sic] in downtown Boyne.


“I decided to run this year because I don’t feel my voice is being heard or taken seriously by our current commissioners,” Neilson said. “As a business owner, I speak to many local people on a regular basis who feel the same way. I feel a few of our current commissioners, although residents of the city, are out of touch with what is going on in Boyne City on a daily basis.”

Neilson moved to Boyne City in 2000, she has opened her store inspired living since then and she recently opened the balanced living yoga and fusion [sic] in 2013.

“I chose Boyne City as my home because I thought it would be a great place to live and raise a family, and it is,” she said. “I am not willing to sell out my community to the highest bidder, even if it would result in higher sales at my store. Some things in life are more important than the almighty dollar.”

Neilson said she feels the city commission votes on projects that often affect downtown businesses. As a business owner, Neilson said she feels qualified in that area but she has also worked as a scientist and consultant in wastewater treatment.

“I think the city needs someone on the commission who is looking out, not only for our community, but also our environment,” she said. “And, has the knowledge and interest in protecting our most precious asset—our water.”

Neilson said she doesn’t have a first order of business, but does not completely agree with some developments that are currently being made in Boyne.

“As a person who is deeply concerned about our environment, a business owner and resident of Boyne City, my ultimate goal will be to provide input based on my education,” said Neilson. “And, to help guide the smart growth of Boyne City in such a way as to achieve slow sustainable growth with minimal impact on our environment.”

derek gaylord

Derek Gaylord said he is running with the same agenda he came in with during his first race: to represent the citizens of Boyne City.

“I am honored for the opportunity to continue to represent Boyne City,” he said. “That’s the main reason I’m running again.”

He told the Gazette citizen comments to him have included appreciation that Gaylord asks questions and presents the commission with topics that citizens are most concerned about.

“I think that’s one of my biggest strong points … there’s always something beyond just face value,” said Gaylord. “And, I try to get all the information on all the sides to best make that decision.”

Gaylord will be running against five other candidates for one of two positions open on the city commission, along with the other incumbent Tom Neidhamer and challengers Eric Frykberg, Gary Mellon and Hugh Conklin.

“I’m looking forward to the ability to represent Boyne City, my home,” Gaylord said. “I love this town and I’m just honored at the opportunity, and I will continue to represent them with the best of my ability.”