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Archive | Voices and Views

Marckini and Reed the best candidates

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 PostScripts, Cedar Springs Post, PO Box 370, Cedar Springs, MI 49319.

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


 

 

Marckini and Reed the best candidates

I am fairly new to the Cedar Springs area. Prior to this summer, I knew nothing about ANY of the School Board candidates. I was a relatively blank slate.  I recognized that I needed more information, so I researched the candidates and the politics surrounding the School Board.

As part of my research, I attended two Sabinas & Bowser Meet & Greet events.  I had hoped to hear them speak about their student centered vision.  Instead, I heard Ms. Bowser & Mr. Sabinas misrepresent information regarding district finances and the administration.

The outcome of this election will have a direct impact on my child’s/our children’s education and future.

Therefore, I want to share with you the truthful FACTS I have learned from my research.

Sabinas & Boswer False Statement:  Between January and August 2016, 55 Staff have left.

Truth:  I have reviewed every BOE Minutes from January through August 2016, and have identified only 53 names that have gone before the board. Of those 53, 6 were internal moves, and still employed by the district, while 7 were temporary positions and/or coaches. The remaining 40 names I have categorized for analysis.

Licensed Staff – 6 (15%); Certified Teachers -7 (18%); Non-Certified Roles -16 (43%); Retirees -11(28%)

As you can see, the actual number of TEACHERS who have left the district is 7.  ONLY 7!

Sabinas & Bowser False Statement: The Board does not meet with community members.

Truth:  Mr. Sabinas sent an email to the board, and requested a meeting with each board member.  However, it is a violation of the Open Meetings Act for board members to individually meet with the same person on one issue.

For additional examples how they have misrepresented the facts, including “Where is the 1.3 Million over budget”, please email CedarVote@gmail.com with subject line – Post Article.

My research has proven to me that Joe Marckini and Heidi Reed are BY FAR the best candidates for our children, our school board, and our community!

Please vote for Joe Marckini and Heidi Reed on November 8th!

Thank you, Linda Keim, Nelson Township

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A hidden agenda?

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 PostScripts, Cedar Springs Post, PO Box 370, Cedar Springs, MI 49319.

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


 

 

A hidden agenda?

I am writing because I am concerned that there is a hidden agenda afoot. The school board candidates that are running as a team I believe are intentionally misleading voters. They apparently want to fire our current superintendent and bring back the past deadwood, including the previous athletic administration. The past administrations were less qualified and fiscally irresponsible. I believe the past days of the “Good Ole Boys” network are gone and have no place in our schools. We need to restore integrity in our school system. With our current superintendent we have taken the correct steps forward and we will continue those steps forward by electing Heidi Reed.

Tom House, Nelson Township

Senior citizen/Volunteer at school

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An Advocate that puts kids first

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 PostScripts, Cedar Springs Post, PO Box 370, Cedar Springs, MI 49319.

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


 

An Advocate that puts kids first

The quality of a child’s education will have a lasting and powerful impact on their future and the future of their community. Working as a licensed social worker with families and children, I have seen the evidence of this firsthand.

As an alumna of Cedar Springs High School, my hope is that every child in the Cedar Springs Public School District receives an education that serves as a solid foundation for success. In order for that hope to be a reality, the children of Cedar Springs need a school board member who will put their needs first.  Our children deserve an advocate who will ask the tough questions and who recognizes the complexity of today’s educational environment.

When I first met Heidi Reed years ago she was raising three young boys, working full time, and still finding a way to strongly support a group of CSHS Varsity softball players. She was an avid supporter of extracurricular activities, recognizing that learning happens both inside and outside the classroom.

In the years since, Heidi Reed has only deepened her commitment to the children of CSPS and the community.

As the wife of a current CSPS teacher and the mother of three young gentlemen, including two current CSPS students, she has firsthand knowledge of the current successes and challenges of Cedar Springs Public School District.

As an active member of our community, she supports local organizations that have a direct, positive impact on our children. She already has a proven record of putting the kids of CSPS first by regularly attending school board meetings, serving on the Sinking Fund Committee since 2010, and working on the 2016 District Improvement Team.

The children of CSPS deserve a school board member who will put them first. They deserve an advocate who knows the current needs of CSPS students firsthand. Heidi Reed will be that advocate.

On election day, please consider putting the children of CSPS first by voting for Heidi Reed.

Heather DeLine, MSW, LSW, Nelson Township

CSHS Class of 2007

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Concerned voter

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 PostScripts, Cedar Springs Post, PO Box 370, Cedar Springs, MI 49319.

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


 

Concerned voter

I am a taxpayer in the Cedar Springs District and have been dismayed over the ugly politics being played in our schools. I have observed the barrage of negative attacks against the superintendent and the school board as the new leadership had demanded accountability and transparency. These attacks, seemingly made by a few disgruntled employees, their families and friends, have promoted the dual ticket running for school board.

To the detriment of the entire educational system, Ted Sabinas and Mistie Bowser have steadfastly represented the interests of only a handful of voters. What is their true motive for running for school board?

They complain that our top three administrators don’t live in the district. Why don’t they complain about the five principals and 79 percent of the teaching staff who do not live in the district? Does it really matter where staff members live?

They seem to be concerned about the students and staff who have left our district. Student count has increased. Staff members choose to leave their jobs for a variety of reasons. Some retire, some move and others want to work closer to home.

They are unable to produce authoritative evidence to support the claims they make. Positive changes cannot be made by spreading negativity and rumors.

Mistie has run twice for the board in the past and wasn’t elected. I can’t think of any good reason to elect either one now.

I encourage those who are in favor of the positive progress being made in the district to vote for the two individuals running for the sake of the students and moving forward in Cedar Springs: incumbent Joe Marckini and Heidi Reed.

Concerned voter,

Denise Bremmer, Algoma Township

 

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Let your voice be heard on November 8

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 PostScripts, Cedar Springs Post, PO Box 370, Cedar Springs, MI 49319.

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


 

 

Let your voice be heard on November 8

Our nation is extremely divided. Cedar Springs is, too. We all want what’s best for our nation and our school district. As a nation our national debt is a big concern. As a school district, it is important to retain a balanced budget while being transparent to our taxpayers.

As a nation, we must remember that all lives matter including the unborn. As a school district, we need to continue putting our kids first by offering intervention for the at-risk population and job training skills along with continuing the progress we have made by offering middle college and dual enrollment to the students who need to be challenged.

Our nation’s borders need to be secure, so we can live in a safe society. As a school district, we need to continue to keep our schools safe. Employing a safety officer is a start. Securing our schools, endorsing programs such as BE NICE and OK2Say, along with professional development for our teachers and staff are just a few of the other ways of maintaining a safe and healthy school environment.

I applaud everyone who wants to make our school district better. Each candidate has their unique gifts and abilities. Based on what I’ve read of each candidate, I feel that Heidi Reed and Joe Marckini have what it takes to sit on the school board. “As you discover what strength you can draw from your community in this world from which it stands apart, look outward as well as inward. Build bridges instead of walls.” Chief Justice Sonia Sotomayer

 

Shelley Bauer, Nelson Township

Employee of Cedar Springs Schools

Parent of student at Cedar Springs Middle School

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In support of Sabinas and Bowser

Dear Community Members,

I am a graduate of Cedar Springs Public Schools and taught in Cedar for 24 years before retiring in 2010. I loved my job. We were a close-knit group. We learned from each other, helped each other and were supported by our administrators. I worked on the negotiating team with board members and administrators collaboratively. We could talk openly, expressing any concerns we had.

Cedar schools were at the cutting edge professionally and academically. Cedar was known as the “best kept secret in Kent County.” Now other districts are questioning what is going on in our district and we have become the laughing stock of West Michigan.

Teachers continuously go through change; new leadership, new curriculum, new students.  They are not afraid of “Change.”

The change I currently see and feel in our district makes me sad and concerned for the future. We have lost excellent teachers and administrators. We have lost more than 50 employees since January 2016. Why? Our district is divided with their loyalties to each other and the direction the district is going. They fear saying anything because they don’t know whom they can trust and have watched the retribution time and time again. They are scared and don’t want to be the next one targeted as so many to date.

Currently the board has lawyers showing up at “collaborative” contract negotiations. We have paidconsultants supporting some of our new administrators. I wonder how much money has been spent on lawyer fees and consultants in the last two years.

We have students leaving our school system because of the conflicts in the community. Our fund balance is diminishing.

Our top three administrators chose to not live in our wonderful district and the superintendent does not even send her children to Cedar schools. What does that tell our community?

Is this really the direction you think is best for us to be heading? The best thing for kids?

I support electing Ted Sabinas and Mistie Bowser for board members. What they stand for and their vision is what Cedar schools need now!!

Sincerely,

Concerned citizen for Cedar Springs Schools

Peggy (Nielsen) Hansen,

Nelson Township

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 A vote to preserve and improve quality of school system

As a parent and active volunteer at my children’s school I care deeply about the students and staff at CSPS. The upcoming school board election will have significant impact on the future of CSPS. We need to elect individuals who are dedicated to addressing the educational needs of the district, are financially responsible and whose only agenda is in preserving and improving the quality of our school system. That is why I am voting for Joe Marckini and Heidi Reed.

Liz Grice, Algoma Township

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Candidate will ask ‘Who benefits?’

The primary function of the Board of Education is to oversee the education of students in the community. I support electing Heidi Reed for a school board member on November 8. The Michigan Association of School Boards (MASB) lists indicators of effective boards and board members and it is my opinion that Heidi Reed will:

Focus on Student Achievement-Focus on issues that will improve student achievement.

Accountability-Play an active role in committee meetings and work sessions. Visit schools and other community events and help shape a positive public opinion about the district.

Culture and Conduct of Board Meetings-Value differences of opinion and don’t let the differences denigrate into personality conflicts. Publicly support the Superintendent and staff.

Ethics-Ensure that commitments and directives are in the best interest of the entire board and district and not the individual board member. Create an environment that discourages micromanagement or undermining of the Superintendent.

Heidi Reed’s desire is to watch over the districts assets, focus on finances and help create a collaborative environment amid ever changing dynamics and requirements of education. Her priority is to keep kids first by asking, “who benefits?” She looks forward to being a trustee for kids and the community.

Kathy Corwin, Solon Township

Community Member and Parent of CSHS Student

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Do the presidential debates help us choose wisely 

 

By Lee Hamilton

By Lee Hamilton

By Lee H. Hamilton

We’re in the middle of the presidential debates, and not surprisingly, they’re drawing viewers in great numbers.

This is hardly a bad thing. Overall, presidential debates are a plus for the public dialogue. Yet I think our focus on debates—at least in the form they currently take — is misplaced: they don’t actually help us make a good choice. Here’s why:

I’ve sat in on a lot of meetings at the White House where foreign and domestic policy was discussed. Presidents want to hear different opinions, seek advice, and then go off and make a decision. The choices a president has to make are often very difficult — almost by definition, an issue doesn’t get to that level unless it’s a tough one. What this means is that the real quality you’re looking for in a President is judgment: the ability to consider issues from all angles, weigh options carefully, and then choose the wisest course —s ometimes from among a tangle of unpalatable alternatives.

The qualities necessary to do this do not come through in the debates, which tell us very little about how candidates would do at exercising judgment in the fog of policy-making. A campaign event that calls for impassioned oratory, a quick wit, one-liners, and sharp digs is not especially helpful for helping us choose who is going to make the best decisions.

I think we can do better. Selecting a president is serious business. We want to put control of the process on the voters’ side, and not let the candidates get away with fluff.

How do we do this? We change the nature of the debates. To begin with, I believe there should be a series of them, each focused on a single issue—education, say, or national security. Candidates should face a panel of questioners asking them to address the toughest questions on those matters who will press them when they spout mush. Ideally, the candidates should face this panel one at a time, rotating who goes first, and with other rules to assure fairness.

The point is we want voters to go to the polls not just with a good idea of where the candidates want to take us but how they’re going to get there. We also want voters to have a clear sense of how sound the candidates’ judgment is, because that’s ultimately what will make or break their presidency.

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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A sobering look beyond the election 

 

By Lee H. Hamilton

This campaign year has been full of twists and turns. We don’t know what’s going to happen tomorrow, let alone on November 8. So talking about what comes afterward seems premature. But it’s been on my mind a lot, because I’m worried.

This is not about who wins the presidency. I’m concerned about the aftermath of this campaign season and how hard it’s going to be for our next set of elected officials, from the President on down, to govern.

Let’s start with the belief expressed by a lot of people—including some candidates—that the system is “rigged.” This is a perilous way to treat the country’s political system: it sows distrust in future election results, de-legitimizes winners, and undermines the government’s credibility. Without a basic foundation of trust, representative government crumbles.

Instead of taking aim at “the system,” we could instead focus our criticism on politicians, including the two presidential candidates, who have failed to serve us well in their debate on the economy.

Much of it has revolved around immigration, trade, and other issues of the moment. But our real economic challenge is how to provide meaningful work and good wages to tens of millions of people whose jobs are disappearing because of globalization, automation, and other irreversible changes in how work is accomplished. Economic growth is the key that unlocks many doors and is the preferred course to ease the anxiety and cynicism abroad in the country.

The problem is, this election isn’t providing us with a substantial policy debate on that or any other issue. Indeed, if anything characterizes this election, it’s the politics of personal destruction. This approach is toxic for democratic institutions and political culture. We have to be able to disagree in this country without tearing into and trying to destroy the opposition.

All of this — the attacks on the system, the lack of meaningful debate about improving Americans’ economic future, the generally substance-free nature of the campaign, the politics of demonization—will make it very hard for whoever wins office to govern well.

It used to be that when a president came into office, a substantial majority of the American people gave him the benefit of the doubt, and with it an extended period in which to get things done. I don’t believe that’s going to happen after this election. And all Americans will be worse off as a result.

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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