There are three people running for two four-year terms on the Cedar Springs City Council. Candidates include incumbent Christine Fahl, who is currently serving as Mayor Pro Tem, and newcomers Bob Truesdale and Patricia Troost. Councilor Pat Capek opted not to run again after 16 years.
Christine Fahl grew up and graduated from Cedar Springs High School in 1984, and moved back in 2006 to be closer to family. She has two daughters, and for the last 13 years has been a Labor Relations Specialist for Service Employees International Union (SEIU) Local 517M. She currently serves as Mayor Pro-Tem, is on the personnel and compensation committee, the zoning board of appeals, the wellhead protection committee, the local government liaison committee, council finance committee, and is Vice Chair of the Library board. She feels her main strength is her ability to look at all sides of an issue and the ability to cost-out potential expenditures of the city and recognize the impact it would have financially to the city budget. Christine feels the major challenge to the city is maintaining financial sustainability in the wake of revenue cuts, while still maintaining quality services to citizens and improvements to the City of Cedar Springs. “I will continue to be very self-conscience of expenditure decisions that affect the City’s budget,” she said.
Patricia Troost grew up in Howard City. She has lived in the City of Cedar Springs for 3 years and is a Paralegal at Reisinger Law Firm, PLLC, in Grand Rapids. She has been married to Scott Troost, for 25 years; and they have three adult children and four grandsons. Patricia said she is running because “there seems to be a lot of strife going on between the current council members and the residents of Cedar Springs and I am hoping to change that. Our City is going through a difficult time right now and I decided I could not just sit back and watch others determine the fate and future of our city.” She said her main strength is having the ability to disagree and still hold a relationship with that person, and being willing to make the tough decisions that need to be made to bring goodwill and trust between the residents and the council. Patricia believes the major challenges facing the city include the parking enforcement codes, and the issue the town’s identity. She’d like discussions to begin again between the Red Flannel Board and the City.
Bob Truesdale was born in Nelson Township during the Great Depression. He and his wife, Betty, have been married 58 years, and they own the Amish Warehouse on Main Street in Cedar Springs. Bob said he learned from his Grandpa Riley Eldred, who ran a dray service out of the barn at Sue’s Kountry Kitchen, and his Uncle Max Eldred, who developed White Creek Country Estates, that hard work and having a goal produces results. He currently serves on the Planning Commission and says he is appalled by what he sees, including the rolling of eyes and gestures of “we don’t care” when a resident brings their problems to them. “We apparently have no interest in attempting to solve what is a big issue for a little person,” he said. “That attitude needs to change.” Bob said a main strength he brings is having operated several successful businesses, both in Cedar Springs and Grand Rapids. He feels the main issue facing the city is the Red Flannel issue and that nobody won and everyone lost. “Hundreds are …brokenhearted, attempting to be heard by the very few on both sides.” He also feels leadership is a problem, and would like to see the Mayor elected by the people instead of the Council.