by Judy Reed
Five people in Cedar Springs were running for two seats on the City Council, and the Tuesday, August 6 primary whittled that number down to four. The top four vote-getters will appear on the November ballot. The results, according to City Clerk Linda Branyan, were Jerry Hall, 77, Dan Clark, 64, Pam Conley 55, Mark Laws with 50, and Perry Hopkins with 32.
According to Branyan, only 6 percent of the city’s registered voters turned out for the election. “I was hoping for 10 percent,” remarked Branyan. “It was a lot lower than I expected.”
She added that only 146 ballots were cast in yesterday’s primary for the Cedar Springs City Council, and 54 of them were absentee ballots.
Branyan explained that according to the City’s charter, they must hold a primary when the number of candidates running is twice the number of open seats.
The cost for this election is expected to be somewhere between $1,000 and $1,500. Branyan said they have to pay for the ballots, a $300 processing fee to the county to program the machines, ads in the paper advertising the election, and pay the election workers.
Branyan said she was really disappointed in the turnout. “You put a lot of work in preparing for an election. There are a lot of state guidelines to meet. It’s disappointing to go through all that effort and not have the turnout,” she explained. “People need to vote!”
Cedar Springs was one of only six municipalities in Kent County that held an election Tuesday. Grand Rapids, Kentwood, Grandville, and Wyoming all held primaries, and Cascade Township had millage proposals on the ballot.