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Archive | Voices and Views

Solon Twp Ordinance on Lot Size

 

The current Solon Twp Board has gone against the wishes of voters and passed an ordinance requiring a 2-acre home site. They have passed this despite citizen’s survey responses of 61 percent wanting to leave lot size at 1-acre.

When the township master plan was updated in the 90’s, a majority of the residences responding to a similar survey also preferred the 1-acre lot size and the board followed their recommendations.

The board’s idea of saving farmland and natural resources is nonsensical. Requiring lots to be twice the size encourages urban sprawl, reduces tillable farmland, and disturbs wildlife habitat and resources.  

Residents’ quality of life would not be improved either. Under the ordinance, homeowners would be required to mow and rake lots twice the size as a 1-acre lot. Larger lot sizes require more time to maintain, reducing quality time with family and friends or overall enjoyment of their property.  

This ordinance is bad for residents and even worse for the future of Solon township.  Vote “NO” on Proposal 18-4-Z.

John Cornell

Retired Solon Twp Supervisor

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Money wasted on pocket park

Post Scripts NOTICE: The Cedar Springs Post welcomes letters of up to 350 words. The subject should be relevant to local readers, and the editor reserves the right to reject letters or edit for clarity, length, good taste, accuracy, and liability concerns. All submissions MUST be accompanied by full name, mailing address and daytime phone number. We use this information to verify the letter’s authenticity. We do not print anonymous letters, or acknowledge letters we do not use. Writers are limited to one letter per month. Email to news@cedarspringspost.com, or send to Post Scripts, Cedar Springs Post, PO Box 370, Cedar Springs, MI 49319.

* We only print positive letters about candidates one week prior to the election.


 

Many of you may be familiar with the area just to the north of city hall. That is the area that previously had broken cement with two handicapped parking spaces. It was with anticipation that I noticed work being done on that area. Problem is, it was not fixing the parking spaces, but putting in what is called a “pocket park.” The city council and the city manager decided that would be a better use for the space. It may look better than the broken concrete but it’s not very useful. There is no seating, no parking and no identifiable useful space. With winter coming, whatever use might have been imagined for the “park” is not going to happen at least until spring. Handicapped parking was at least a year around use.

The handicapped parking is now out on Ash Street, in another area with broken concrete and only one space instead of two. It is now a much longer and painful walk to get into city hall for anyone who must count each step with a mobility aid. If you are not very careful, you will be in danger of falling if your cane or walker falls into one of the cracks. It doesn’t appear that our handicapped residents are considered when these types of decisions are made.

People who make these decisions should not be allowed to decide how to spend the three million dollars that is being asked for to build a new fire barn. I suggest, if you agree, to vote NO on the fire barn. 

Allen King

City of Cedar Springs

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Vote Gilmore for school board

Post Scripts NOTICE: The Cedar Springs Post welcomes letters of up to 350 words. The subject should be relevant to local readers, and the editor reserves the right to reject letters or edit for clarity, length, good taste, accuracy, and liability concerns. All submissions MUST be accompanied by full name, mailing address and daytime phone number. We use this information to verify the letter’s authenticity. We do not print anonymous letters, or acknowledge letters we do not use. Writers are limited to one letter per month. Email to news@cedarspringspost.com, or send to Post Scripts, Cedar Springs Post, PO Box 370, Cedar Springs, MI 49319.

* We only print positive letters about candidates one week prior to the election.


 

Dear Cedar Springs Voters,

You have an opportunity to impact the lives of students by voting Trent Gilmore for Cedar Springs School Board in November.

Trent Gilmore takes an interest in those around him. He is the first to jump in and get involved when there is a need. Trent saw there was an opportunity to serve on the local school board where his children attend and he stepped up to the task. You won’t find a more hard working, genuine individual. If you’ve met Trent you can speak to his authentic interest in those he meets. Quick with a smile and a handshake, you know you’ve met a friend.

Coming from a family of educators, Trent’s life attests to the value he places on education. Trent worked to put himself through college while working full-time and caring for his family. A natural teacher himself, Trent is quick to share whatever he is learning, reading, or building with his co-workers, family, and neighbors.

Trent asks great questions, reserves judgment until all the information is present, and keeps the students as the priority. For all of these reasons and many more, I believe Trent will be an asset to our community in this role.

Please join me in voting for Trent Gilmore for Cedar Springs School Board on Nov. 6th.

Natasha Mueller, Courtland Township

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Gilmore would be a valuable board member

Post Scripts NOTICE: The Cedar Springs Post welcomes letters of up to 350 words. The subject should be relevant to local readers, and the editor reserves the right to reject letters or edit for clarity, length, good taste, accuracy, and liability concerns. All submissions MUST be accompanied by full name, mailing address and daytime phone number. We use this information to verify the letter’s authenticity. We do not print anonymous letters, or acknowledge letters we do not use. Writers are limited to one letter per month. Email to news@cedarspringspost.com, or send to Post Scripts, Cedar Springs Post, PO Box 370, Cedar Springs, MI 49319.

* We only print positive letters about candidates one week prior to the election.


 

 I am writing in regards to Trent Gilmore, who is running for the Cedar Springs School Board. I have had the pleasure of working with Trent in a professional capacity, as his direct supervisor, over the last year. He is hard working, dependable, thoughtful and always has new ideas. He is passionate about morale, and making people feel like they have a voice. He does not hesitate to stand up for what he sees is important and he makes sure that decisions that are made are fair and for the greater good. I believe Trent has the skills and the heart of a person that would make a valuable board member for the Cedar Springs School District.

 Thank you, Amy Walt

Executive Director, Customer Operations, CMS Energy

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Vote for Trent Gilmore for school board

Post Scripts NOTICE: The Cedar Springs Post welcomes letters of up to 350 words. The subject should be relevant to local readers, and the editor reserves the right to reject letters or edit for clarity, length, good taste, accuracy, and liability concerns. All submissions MUST be accompanied by full name, mailing address and daytime phone number. We use this information to verify the letter’s authenticity. We do not print anonymous letters, or acknowledge letters we do not use. Writers are limited to one letter per month. Email to news@cedarspringspost.com, or send to Post Scripts, Cedar Springs Post, PO Box 370, Cedar Springs, MI 49319.

* We only print positive letters about candidates one week prior to the election.


 

I would like to recommend that when it comes time to vote for the partial term for the Cedar Springs school board position ending in 2020, you write in Trent Gilmore. He is a compassionate, kind, business minded man that always puts his family first. From helping to coach his son’s baseball team to re-creating a fishing boat with the assistance of his children, he focuses on family time first and foremost. With his patience and innovative thinking, there is no doubt that he would be a great asset to our school board.

Andrea and Beau Libera, Solon Township

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Support Gilmore for school board

Post Scripts NOTICE: The Cedar Springs Post welcomes letters of up to 350 words. The subject should be relevant to local readers, and the editor reserves the right to reject letters or edit for clarity, length, good taste, accuracy, and liability concerns. All submissions MUST be accompanied by full name, mailing address and daytime phone number. We use this information to verify the letter’s authenticity. We do not print anonymous letters, or acknowledge letters we do not use. Writers are limited to one letter per month. Email to news@cedarspringspost.com, or send to Post Scripts, Cedar Springs Post, PO Box 370, Cedar Springs, MI 49319.

* We only print positive letters about candidates one week prior to the election. 


I am writing in support of Mr. Trent Gilmore joining the Cedar Springs school board and would like to encourage my fellow residents to strongly consider him for this role, as a most qualified candidate. 

Having known Mr. Gilmore for many years, I can attest to his character, work ethic and sense of responsibility. He will always lend a helping hand or give sound advice to those who need it. He is seasoned in business matters and adept at looking at a problem from all angles, considering the input of others and proposing rational solutions.

I have seen him excel as a leader and be equally effective as a team player. His ability to collaborate with others, with patience and respect, will be crucial to making progress towards the board’s vision.

Mr. Gilmore is and will be an effective communicator. He will work hard to help keep the public informed of the district’s progress and challenges.    

I have no doubt that Mr. Gilmore will help to establish a clear vision for our school district and will work hard to ensure that the team sets goals and measures its success, in a matter that is well considered, planned and executed, and fiscally responsible.

Most importantly, as a father in our district, his focus will be on what is best for our students.  I truly believe that and will be placing my vote for Mr. Gilmore.

Andy Fochtman, Algoma Township

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Michigan should not automatically prosecute 17 year-old as adults

 

By Det./Sgt. Theodore Nelson, retired, Michigan State Police

For much of my twenty-five year career as a Michigan State Trooper, I agreed with those who argued for lowering the age at which minors could be prosecuted as adults. Then I started teaching high-school-age kids at a career center and my thinking changed. Getting to know these kids, I see young people who struggle with decision-making, peer pressure, lack of adult role models, lack of parental support, and a general lack of knowledge about the direction in which they are headed. They need direction, guidance, and advice by teachers, coaches, counselors, and other community resources. If instead we put 17-year-olds in the criminal justice system for non-violent crimes, we start them on a cycle from which many will never emerge.   

Only four states automatically prosecute 17-year-olds as adults. Unfortunately, Michigan is one of them, and it does so regardless of the severity of the crime. 

This public policy is not sustainable. It’s out-of-step with best practices, recent U.S. Supreme Court decisions, and Michigan law. On top of that, the punishment is cruel, discriminatory, and counter-productive. Approximately two-thirds of Michigan youth prosecuted as adults were convicted of non-violent offenses that did not include weapons.

Sending these kids to an adult prison—rather than to a juvenile facility—significantly reduces the likelihood they will obtain a diploma or certification. Many suffer severe mental and physical damage from the violence and sexual abuse endured while in the adult prison system.  

The current policy has a strong negative impact on all Michiganders, as nearly all incarcerated individuals eventually come home to our communities. Keeping that in mind, it makes sense to ensure that these young people return as assets, not as liabilities. This means promoting and advancing policies that support effective, rehabilitative practices and job preparedness. 

The best path to achieving this outcome for 17- year-olds is to ensure that they never enter the adult criminal justice system in the first place. National research shows that youth exiting the adult system are 34 percent more likely to re-offend, re-offend sooner, and escalate to more violent offenses than their counterparts exiting the juvenile justice system. Furthermore, Michigan’s impacted youth face an incredible hurdle to employment upon their release: an adult criminal record.  

Simply put, the national research indicates that Michigan’s current policy is better at preparing youth for a life of crime than re-entering society. The current law misses the mark morally, ethically, and is not practical in its application.

The state legislature is currently considering a 10-bill package that fixes this problem while promoting public safety and holding youth accountable for their actions. I’m urging them to raise the age before the current legislative session expires in December. Concerned citizens should contact their state legislators and do the same. 

For more information on Raise the Age, please go to www.raisetheagemi.org.

Theodore “Ted” Nelson is a resident of Howard City. His 25-year career with the Michigan State Police included serving as a trooper in Detroit and investigating large-scale narcotic conspiracy cases. He also has 17 years experience teaching high school students at a career center. He is now a member of the Law Enforcement Action Partnership, a nonprofit group of police and other law enforcement trying to improve the criminal justice system. You can see his full bio at https://lawenforcementactionpartnership.org/wp-content/uploads/2017/11/Ted-Nelson2017.pdf.

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Who voted for the Health Care Bill

 

AARP opposes act it calls an ‘age tax’ on older Americans

AARP – June 2017

The U.S. House of Representatives on May 4, 2017 passed the American Health Care Act by a razor-thin margin: 217 to 213. It includes an “age tax” that AARP says would add as much as $13,000 to the cost of insurance for those 50 to 64, and would discriminate against people with preexisting health conditions such as cancer and diabetes. What’s more, we believe it would cause millions of Americans to lose coverage and put Medicare in worse financial shape, according to AARP.

That’s just a partial list of what we believe is wrong with the legislation, which is now under Senate consideration. AARP promised to hold members of Congress accountable if they voted for this bill.

Here they are for the state of Michigan:

MI-1 Jack Bergman

MI-2 Bill Huizenga

MI-3 Justin Amash

MI-4 John Moolenaar

MI-6 Fred Upton

MI-7 Tim Walberg

MI-8 Mike Bishop

MI-10 Paul Mitchell

MI-11 Dave Trott

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What does it mean to be an American? 

 

By Lee H. Hamilton

Tell me: What does it actually mean to be an American? In the press of day-to-day events and amid the ongoing tumult of politics, we don’t think about this much. Yet it’s a crucial question, one that each generation in this country is called upon to answer for itself.

Despite our differences, there are some traits that I think we and our predecessors would recognize—characteristics to being an American that resonate with most of us, regardless of our age or our political beliefs. For instance, I believe the aim of our representative democracy is to enhance the liberty of free people, and to offer them the opportunity to make the most of their talents. This lies at the root of what it means to live in a representative democracy: extending respect to all and wanting every person to be aware of his or her political importance.

Perhaps the most eloquent expression of this view is the awe-inspiring Declaration of Independence, which remains a core inspiration both for our political values and our shared identity. The notion that all people are created equal, that we possess God-given inalienable rights, including to life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness—these are beliefs that undergird our democracy.

They suggest that our country can—and should—be an example to the world of what a government of liberty can mean in the lives of citizens. And that we should never stop trying to make the world a better place. Bringing these values into our policies and our politics depends on all of us—another notion embedded in this country since the beginning.

Often people ask, “Where are the Jeffersons or Lincolns in this time of need?” They understand that the quality of our elected leaders makes all the difference, and that bold, decisive, thoughtful leadership is essential for our country’s success. Yet while I recognize the need, ultimately our success as a nation will rest on the strength and capabilities of our citizens. The Founding Fathers spoke often of the need for citizens of virtue and talent, for people capable of governing themselves.

We do so through our political institutions, within a framework set out in our Constitution. While our system is not perfect, it has provided us with the tools to meet our challenges and in a better fashion than any likely alternative.

Politics as it is practiced in our country can bring despair and crushing defeat. But it can also produce splendid achievements. If you enter politics, you have to be prepared for both. I know that a lot of people view politics with disdain and disapproval, yet over the course of a long political life, I never felt the desire to escape it. Just the opposite, in fact. I knew a lot was at stake in the battles, and I embraced them.

To be sure, I pursued them at a time when it was possible to find common ground across partisan divides, and when respecting one’s opponents did not bring immediate censure from donors and primary voters. The atmosphere is different now. Yet the basic need—for using the political system to resolve fundamental challenges—has not changed.

Nor has one of its most basic features: a permanent tension between the preservation and expansion of individual freedom on the one hand, and the stability and strength of the nation on the other.

Government must have enough power to protect the national interest and to be capable of addressing deep-seated problems. It must secure and enlarge personal liberties while maintaining order and stability. It must provide the national security necessary for the preservation of freedom.

These are not contradictory goals, but they do rub against each other. How we interpret them—how far in one direction or the other we go as our national circumstances change — is a constant challenge. Being an American means not shying away from that task, but instead embracing it as part of our birthright.

Lee Hamilton is a Senior Advisor for the Indiana University Center on Representative Government; a Distinguished Scholar, IU School of Global and International Studies; and a Professor of Practice, IU School of Public and Environmental Affairs. He was a member of the U.S. House of Representatives for 34 years.

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Securing the Integrity of Michigan’s Elections

 

By Michigan Secretary of State Ruth Johnson

This is my last year as your Secretary of State and I am proud of what we have done to promote voter registration and secure the integrity of our elections. 

Because of our efforts, USA Today has ranked Michigan number one in the nation for getting eligible people registered to vote. There are currently 7.4 million Michiganians registered to vote in 2018 and we are ranked in the top 25 percent in the nation for voter turnout. Over the last 7 years we have registered 4.9 million voters in Michigan. In the August 2018 Primary 2.1 million Michigan voters broke the turnout record with an increase of 12 percent since the 2014 election. 

It’s clear Michiganians are engaged in our elections process and I am proud that they have a secure elections system which guarantees that their vote counts on election day.

In my administration, we’ve worked on election integrity since day one. PEW rates Michigan among top states for conducting elections, thanks in large part to our local clerks. 

In just over seven years we have removed 1.2 million names from the Qualified Voter File including 604,532 who are deceased, 144, 303 who moved out of state, and 3,505 who were non-citizens.

We have invested $40 million to purchase state-of-the-art voting machines for all 83 Michigan counties and we have invested 11.2 million dollars in upgrades and security measures to make sure our current and ongoing elections process is secure. 

Michigan has become a model for other states for post-election audits and ballot validation through a hand count process. We have conducted 1,787 post-election audits. We have helped train 30,000 poll workers and we have expanded training for 1,520 local clerks. And we have replaced a 20-year-old qualified voter file with a more secure system. I am happy to add that we have guaranteed the use of paper ballots in Michigan’s elections, making sure we have a paper trail for every vote in our state. 

Our administration has set goals and we have met them. I am so pleased with our team and all the work we have accomplished in the last seven and a half years. 

Every Michiganian can feel confident in the security and integrity of our state’s elections system. It is a legacy that I am happy to leave behind as I finish out my second term as your Secretary of State. Thank you for putting your trust in me and my team with your vote. It has been an honor serving you. 

Ruth Johnson

Michigan Secretary of State 

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