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If it’s true that “any town’s history is only as good as its local newspaper,” then that newspaper has the responsibility to be totally neutral, complete and factual in its reporting. Coverage of a recently adopted service agreement between the City and the Red Flannel Festival left out a few vital details that could negatively impact taxpayers.
Potential legal ramifications to the City:
1. References to a prior agreement in the document have not being properly identified,
2. City services that will be provided have not been clearly specified,
3. No cost containment provisions for what the city could be required to spend for future festivals are included,
4. The terms of nullifying the agreement are nearly impossible to meet and possibly unenforceable,
5. The Council ignored legal council’s concerns about these issues,
6. The Council ignored the Manager’s recommendations to follow legal council’s advice.
1. The City was forced to remove all Red Flannel logos by the Festival Board,
2. The cost to taxpayers for this dispute has been thousands of dollars,
3. The former Council had no choice but to create an individual and unique logo for the city to use on its vehicles, letterhead, etc.
4. Use of the Red Flannel Festival’s logo benefits and promotes one nonprofit over other local nonprofits,
5. It is not the city’s job to provide “long term sustainability” for festivals, rather, it is the Chamber of Commerce’s job to promote the city and all of its businesses.
The last local election vividly demonstrated the electorate’s lack of awareness of the true story surrounding the logo, the ousting of good public servants and the personal agenda mindset of the current council. Cedar Springs is more than a logo and with several new businesses coming to town we are moving forward. Just because a person challenges the actions of the RFF doesn’t mean they hate our red flannel history but that is the divisive message that has been promoted the last few years; it needs to stop! Congratulations to Councilor Perry Hopkins for voting against the service agreement. It takes a strong person to do the right thing in the face of such irresponsible behavior.
Kathryn A. Bremmer, City of Cedar Springs