By Judy Reed
Council reprimands mayor
The Cedar Springs City Council went into closed session last Thursday evening, July 18, to “hear complaints against a public officer.”
While council members, including the mayor, cannot talk about what is discussed in closed session, the news on the street is that council members have not been happy with recent editorials that Mayor Bob Truesdale has put in the Post—especially one where he talked about the problem of brush in the city right of ways, and the fact that there was no money in the budget to pick it up until the next pickup in the fall.
The mayor, owner of the Amish Warehouse, has been a proponent of a “kinder, gentler” city that is more business-friendly, and operates with a more common-sense approach and less rules and regulations. In the editorial he compared running the city to running a business. “I am also told that running a city is nothing like running a business, and I guess I can see that,” he wrote. “For, as a businessman, I buy the truck, I pay $75 to fill the gas tank and I pay wages to the driver, so it only makes sense to have my driver stop and correct the problem when driving by the blight. I also realize that in our present system of procedures that the few minutes of cleaning up the blight would need to be charged back to that city vehicle. It sure sounds like something that came out of Washington D.C.” He also included that his wife was looking for nominations for that city worker or any citizen that goes the extra mile to make the city a nicer place, and the winner would win a $50 gift card to a restaurant of their choice.
While it was never the Mayor’s intention to make it sound as if he was blaming the city workers (he told the Post at the time he wrote the editorial that he was very proud of our city employees—that they were just following policy by not picking up the brush), his letter must have ruffled a few feathers because several of the council members included in their council comments at the end of the meeting how appreciative they were of the city employees. And one council member stated that the city could not be run like a business.
The Post asked Mayor Truesdale about the closed session, and he confirmed that he couldn’t discuss what was said. He did, however, dispute the rumor that he is stepping down. “I have no intention of stepping down,” said Truesdale. “I’m hanging in there for now. Better days are ahead. We are just going to move forward.”
In the past, the city used to pick up brush on Monday mornings, but it was changed to two pickups per year—spring and fall—due to budget cuts last year. Residents are now urged to take brush to Cannonsburg Wood Products on Northland Drive, near Rockford. They will take it for free.