Nick J. Shelton Mayor
The Mayor is elected to a 4-year term. The Mayor is the official head of the City for ceremonial purposes, maintaining civil order, and other responsibilities required by law. The Mayor votes only when required to break a tie vote of the Council.
Hello, and thank you for visiting the Niles City website. My name is Nick Shelton and I am honored to serve as your mayor.
If you’ve been to Shelton’s Farm Market in the past 30 years, we’ve probably crossed paths. I started bagging groceries when I was 5 and worked in different capacities over the years. The experience has taught me a lot about leadership, the importance of working well with others, and the ultimate key to success – taking care of and helping people.
I am a graduate of Brandywine High School and earned my degree in Economics & Management from Albion College in 2008. Following my heart, I returned to Niles to be a part of the family business and to be closer to my parents, grandparents, and six siblings. It is in Niles where I met the two loves of my life, my fiancée, Allison Hayes, and her amazing daughter, Emery. Returning to Niles was the best decision I've ever made.
Living in the City of Niles has been a game-changer for me. I’ve fallen in love with our downtown and surrounding neighborhoods. When I’m not working in my yard, you can find me biking along the riverfront, visiting with my aunt Kim and cousin Katie (both small business owners in Downtown Niles), enjoying a movie at Wonderland, picking up a slice from Pizza Transit, Massimos, or 3rd Street, drinking a pint at The Brass Eye or The Tavern, singing karaoke at The Nugget, and caffeinating with a cup of coffee from Brew Ha Ha or Top Heavy. I’ve discovered that our city has a lot to offer, and I know we’re just getting started.
As Mayor, it is my goal to positively impact the City of Niles, and to be a champion for the people of our city. I am confident that our experienced City Council and I will accomplish a lot over the next several years. But your help is crucial.
I encourage you, as Niles residents, to get involved. Come to meetings. Call and email your council members and me. Join a committee. Shop local businesses, attend city events, care for your Niles properties, and love your city. After all, if we don't love Niles, how can we expect outsiders to?
The future of Niles is now, and I am so happy to be a part of it. I am looking forward to the days, weeks, months, and years ahead! I look forward to hearing from you and encourage you to contact me. I want to know your concerns and your suggestions for the improvement of Niles. Please email me at email@example.com. Thank you!
The City Council is the governing body of the City of Niles. The Council is composed of eight members elected at large.
The City Charter delegates authority to the Council. In the determination of city policies and setting standards for service, the Council has the authority to appoint the city administrator, adopt the annual budget, enact city laws (ordinances), levy taxes, and authorize contracts and agreements.
The actions of the Council are accomplished by ordinance, resolution, or motion. Ordinances are adopted or amended according to the procedures shown under "Public Hearings."
Gretchen Bertschy, 1st Ward
I am a graduate of Niles High School and received my undergraduate degree in Education from Manchester College and earned my Master’s Degree from Andrews University. My first teaching job was at Oak Manor Elementary School, but I’ve also taught at Ring Lardner and Cedar Lane schools I was principal at St. Mary’s Elementary School. I currently do not teach.
I’ve served on the Board of Directors for the Niles-Buchanan YMCA and was a five-year member of the Niles Service League. I truly enjoy the neighborhoods in the 1st Ward and am very humbled to be serving in that ward alongside Georgia Boggs. There are so many wonderful people working to make Niles a great community and I appreciate and am happy to be a part of those efforts. Please feel free to contact me.
Georgia Boggs, 1st Ward
Hi, Welcome to the Niles City Website. My name is Georgia Boggs and I have been serving on this council since 1995 as a Council Member of the First Ward. I was formerly employed by the Niles Community School system as a coordinator for the Drop Stop program.
Some of my hobbies include golfing, music, reading and working in my church. I am also a member of several local and national organizations. I am a graduate with a dual degree in business administration and marketing. I have over 20 years of volunteer experience in our community. Please feel free to contact me at any time.
Daniel VandenHeede, 2nd Ward
Hello, my name is Dan VandenHeede and I represent Niles' second ward. I have served on the Niles City Council since 1999 and have lived my entire life in Niles, except while attending college. I graduated from Niles High School in 1986. In college I majored in education and history as an undergraduate. I completed my masters in history at Western Michigan University.
I am a social studies teacher and a cross country and track coach at Dowagiac Union High School in nearby Dowagiac, Michigan. Teaching civics to my high school students has given me a new appreciation for how our government works and the importance of getting involved. This renewed enthusiasm helped me to decide to run for a seat on the Niles City Council. I serve as the Chair of the Ordinance Committee and strive to make sure all voices are heard and all aspects of a decision are considered before the decision is made.
My wife, Jodie and I have three adult children: Elizabeth, Sam and Kate who are all successful products of the Niles Community Schools system
Travis Timm, 2nd Ward
William Weimer, 3rd Ward
Hello, my name is Bill Weimer. I became a City Council Member representing the Third Ward in early 1999. I am proud to be of service to my community and in fact, have served many years on various city boards and community projects.
My wife Marie and I are the parents of 7 children and we have 8 grandchildren. I am a lifetime resident of the City of Niles who is currently employed at Tyler Refrigeration. In 1989 I retired from National Standard Company. I served as a volunteer for the Southwestern Michigan Community Ambulance Service for more than 10 years. I am a very active member of Huntley Baptist Church and I also minister at Leisure Valley Campgrounds each holiday weekend.
I hope you have enjoyed viewing the City of Niles Website. Please visit it often to learn more about our city. Feel free to email me.
Charlie McAfee, 3rd Ward
Hello and Welcome to the Niles City Elected Officials Webpage. I am Mrs. Charlie McAfee, one of your 3rd Ward Council Members. My husband Hulan and I have 8 children - 4 boys and 4 girls.
I am proud to be your council person. I've worked as a public servant on and off since 1972 at both the state and local levels. I look forward to working with the Niles City Council to help make Niles the best little city in Berrien County. I promise to always keep the welfare of our citizens at the forefront of all decisions that we make so that Niles can remain the beautiful city that it is and to ensure that we provide good housing and a good quality of life for all of our citizens.
I hope to help make a difference in the lives of our families and friends. If you are a 3rd Ward resident, please do not hesitate to contact me if you feel I can be of assistance to you. Thank you for allowing me the opportunity to serve you.
Jessica Nelson, 4th Ward
Hi! I'm Jessica Nelson, Council Member for the 4th Ward. My husband, our two sons, and I love our hometown! We get so much out of living here - safe neighborhoods, friendly people and great potential for small businesses - so we decided it was time to get more involved.
Following graduation from Niles High School, I earned an Associate's degree from Lake Michigan College and went on to earn my Bachelor's degree in Political Science at IUSB. I currently run the Center for Business Intelligence at the University of Wisconsin's Institute for Business and Entrepreneurship, working remotely from home.
Together we can make Niles an even greater place for small businesses to thrive, families to grow and people of all ages to be excited to call this beautiful place home!
Shoot me an email if you have ideas or concerns you want to share. I look forward to hearing from you!.
John DiCostanzo, 4th Ward
Greetings, I am John DiCostanzo, recently appointed to represent the fourth ward of our wonderful city. My wife Denise and I moved here with our two sons in 1988, consciously selecting the City of Niles to be our “home town”. We relocated here from Long Island New York where we grew up in the shadow of New York City. The improvements in our “quality of life” have been many but I will explain a few highlights.
The move enabled us to own twice the house for half the price. At present the property taxes on the home we sold are 3.4 times what we pay for our home in Niles! The quality and responsiveness of the services provided by the City of Niles are equivalent and in some respects better. We are especially pleased by the reliability of the utility services. We receive an excellent value for our tax and utility dollars! I feel that many lifelong residents of Niles don’t fully appreciate these comparative economic realities.
One area where our city falls short is property value appreciation. This is a reflection on the state of our local economy, including availability of employment opportunities, the quality of our schools, and the state of our housing stock among other factors. The home we owned on Long Island has appreciated 120% since 1988 vs. 92% for our home here in Niles. I believe we can do better than that in the future.
My involvement in city government has enabled me to be more aware of many of the efforts that are already focused on making such improvements, including the small accomplishments along the way that may go unnoticed by many citizens. My objective as a member of City Council is to advocate for policies and investments that will deliver continuous improvement of the value we receive from our tax and utility dollars, as well as those that will attract new businesses to invest and improve our employment opportunities. Frequently these initiatives need to be done in cooperation with our neighboring communities so we need to maintain and improve our relationships with our neighboring local governments, leveraging our combined cooperative resources.
This Website is your portal to the City Government. Please take advantage of the wealth of information that is provided and feel free to contact me or the appropriate city staff members with your questions and concerns.