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Archive | Voices and Views

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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Change direction of school district by voting Nov. 8

Change direction of school district by voting Nov. 8

As we approach this upcoming November 8th election for Cedar Springs School board, I encourage everyone to learn about the current state in our district and the candidates running for two open board seats.

Our district’s integrity and our commitment to our children’s education, the teachers and each other matters.  We have endured much change over the last two years, some of it positive and some of it destructive. This is our home; it is where we chose to raise our children. This is something we all have in common.

The divide in our community is heart wrenching to experience. I have tried to seek information and understanding on the actions of our new leadership and Board of Education. Instead of conversation and communication, we are met with resistance and disregard. Walls have been built instead of bridges.

November 8 gives us the opportunity to change the trajectory. Who we vote into these seats matters. The board must be involved and active in building relationships, being strong stewards of our district, our budget and our success. They need to be brave, engaged and thoughtful members that are not afraid to challenge, negotiate and lead. Healthy debate is good and necessary. Accountability with checks and balances is critical. Our leadership needs to practice these qualities.

Ted Sabinas and Mistie Bowser are two candidates with a passion for getting involved and building us back to the education powerhouse we were.

Ted has rich experience from being a teacher and coach in our district for over 30 years. He is known as a balanced, smart, intuitive leader who is not afraid to work through the tough issues with grace, respect and accountability.

Mistie is a passionate mother who is centered on our kids and the well-rounded education and life experiences they get here. She is committed to tackling the tough challenges ahead and celebrating the successes. She has a proven commitment to serving our community.

I trust both of them and hope you will, too. Please join me in getting to know Ted and Mistie. On November 8, I hope they can count on your YES vote.

Laura Davis, Algoma Township

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Crashes on 17 Mile and White Creek

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

 

 

Once again, on the corner of White Creek and 17 Mile Road, there is a wreck—one truck with the front end destroyed and the other upside down. Quite a few crashes in the center turn lane and the other lanes on 17 Mile Road. Two people taken to the hospital from the two-truck incident. Cars are turning this way and that way into the stores. People run the light at White Creek and 17 Mile Road often. Does anyone else wish the speed limit on both roads was 35 mph enforced? Forty-five to 50 mph is way too fast.

David Viau, Cedar Springs

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Wife upset Post reported husband arrested

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

 

 

I am writing regarding the defamatory article that was published on September 15, 2016, about my esteemed husband of 20 years Richard Webb. I stand in support of my husband’s character and our business regardless of the charges mentioned. Since we were not given an opportunity to comment I will list some details that were not reported:

When my husband was a young man he voluntarily assisted The Cedar Springs Post specifically, Lois Allen and her mother, when they had computer issues. In addition he also voluntarily assisted with preparing the papers for delivery.

Zylatech has supported the City of Cedar Springs for 12 years. In recognition of our home town we waived our standard travel charge for them. We have always gone above and beyond to make sure they were taken care of. When there were no technicians immediately available I myself went onsite and installed memory in a PC for a previous City Manager so he could get back to work.

The current City Manager, Mike Womack, has only been with the City for a very short time and has never met Rich. I do not consider his comments to be an accurate representation of our company.

My husband and I have run our business with integrity for 16 years. Our goal has always been “To honor God while providing a timely response and quality service.” That is what we do and will continue to do.

I am disheartened by the fact that our own hometown newspaper has treated us and our local small business with such disrespect. Rich and his family have been members of this community most, if not all, of their lives. I personally have lived in Cedar Springs for 19 years and am proud to have our 12-year-old son, Ian, attending Cedar Springs Middle School. It’s unfortunate that no one at The Cedar Springs Post took in account the damage that this article would do to our son, family, friends, church, employees, and livelihood.

In closing I would like to remind the Post and it’s readers that one of the most sacred principles in the American criminal justice system is that a defendant is innocent until proven guilty. I also want The Cedar Springs Post and it’s readers to understand that God is with us no matter what the situation or trial we face in life. I recommend everyone watch and see what our Almighty God is going to do!

Sherrie E. Webb

Director of Operations, Zylatech, LLC

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No longer a welcoming community?

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

I am truly saddened and disheartened by the actions of some of our community members. The way that some behave and tear others down is just wrong.  I remember when my kiddos were at Cedar Trails they use to sing a song about welcoming people to Cedar Springs and how people with all different backgrounds were welcome here. I wish our community would follow in the footsteps of that song.

How horrible it is that someone comes to our town looking to put down roots, but before they’re even able to get a toe in the water there are people trying to push them out. Constantly being criticized for doing the job they were hired to do. The way our superintendent has been treated makes me sick. How would you feel if you put your all into something you believed in, working tirelessly and accomplished amazing things, bringing our district many, many positive changes and programs that it had been in desperate need of, but yet, you constantly had to be on guard and defend yourself because some people want you gone? The same people who were upset you got the job in the first place. Now they’re not only attacking you, they’re attacking your husband; a man who spends countless hours volunteering for the school and Red Flannel. I’ve heard it said that people don’t know how it is possible that he’s now the Red Flannel President. I can only imagine it’s because of the countless volunteer hours he’s put in for the festival and he’s earned his place.

It really makes me sad that we live in a place that does not give people a chance and does not accept everyone as equals. I can’t even begin to list all the positive things that have happened in our district in the past two years, things that directly affect our kids. I pray people take a step back and think of how they’re treating others and the message it’s sending to all of our kids. It is high time we let the past be the past and move forward together in the positive direction the district is now heading.

Jennifer Skelonc, Nelson Township

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Development causing problems

 

Nelson Township has not yet granted Allen Edwin Homes its request for the rezoning of the property located at 6500 18 Mile Road for the building of an OSPUD development. However, building of the first unit has begun.

Woes and hazards for motorists driving on Shaner and 18 Mile Roads came on the first day (August 24) with the arrival of the developer’s construction equipment and hauling rigs. The area where the construction was taking place was a field with soft ground and no driveway to get to the actual building site. One semi driver chose to park his rig behind the stop sign on Shaner’s southeast corner, blocking all clear vision for drivers needing to get on or off either of the roads. Other smaller vehicles parked on the narrow road shoulder in front of the stop sign. One accident took place in the intersection, while the vehicles parked were in the clear vision area. On September 8, a more hazardous situation came about when double tandem rigs hauled in tons of dirt up Shaner to the building site. This time the haulers used the eastbound lane of 18 Mile to back up their rigs, in order to turn around to get southbound on Shaner. The northbound lane of Shaner was used for parking the loads while the dirt was being unloaded. This activity lasted from early in the morning that day until around 2:30 p.m. This is only a sample of what is to come if the developer gets the request for rezoning and the rest of the building starts.

On September 21, Allen Edwin Homes will present yet another new plan for its condominium site to the Nelson Planning Commission. This proposed development has already raised several legitimate concerns with residents living nearby, and others not so close. Some of these concerns seem to have fallen by the wayside where the Township Board and Planning Commission are concerned. For instance: increased traffic, well water contamination, well water supply, and the other impacts that a development of such density will have on current property owners/taxpayers. The amount of time that the Township has spent on it should be a strong indication that what Homes wants to do on the property isn’t compatible to the location.

Mary L. Stidham, Nelson Township

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Why this Democrat wants a strong Republican Party 

 

By Lee H. Hamilton

I’ve been a Democrat all my life. I believe in the party’s values, I’m pleased when its candidates win elections, and I’m persuaded the country is better off when Democratic ideas get a fair shake in the public arena. But none of this means that I favor a weak Republican Party. Indeed, just the opposite.

Before my Democratic friends drum me out of the party’s ranks, let me explain why.

The short answer is, our nation is stronger and our representative democracy healthier when we have two strong parties. A single political party that’s able to dominate public policy-making undermines the give-and-take that’s crucial to effective policy and leaves us weaker as a country.

Why is this? Let’s start with the big picture. If you think about the issues we confront—from the impact of climate change to the fight against terrorism to rebuilding an economy that serves poor and working families as well as it does the wealthy—it’s hard to argue that a single perspective or ideology really has all the answers. None of us, and neither political party, has a monopoly on wisdom.

Moreover, this country is huge and varied, and the legitimacy of the political system rests on its ability to give voice to the multitude of concerns and attitudes held by the American people. Some prefer the GOP’s approach, others the Democrats’, but it’s important they all have a political party to turn to. The more people feel that no one represents them or their views, the more alienated they become from the democratic process.

So the country benefits when two robust parties face off — in elections, in Congress, and in the 50 legislatures. When they can present their views, defend them, adjust them, and negotiate, compromise, and move forward, we’re being well served.

Which brings me to the Republican Party of today. I don’t want to get into the split between backers of Donald Trump and the traditional Republican leadership—that’s for the GOP to sort out, and they certainly don’t want the advice of an old Democrat. But there’s no doubt that the Republican Party has reached a crossroads.

If Trump wins the presidency, he’ll be the chief actor in determining the future of his party and what it stands for. If he loses, the GOP will more than likely move back toward its more traditional views as a party that embraces the free market, advocates for a muscular approach to national security, believes in American exceptionalism and our role in leading the world away from chaos, is filled with fiscal hawks who think that we have to curb entitlement programs, and pays attention to a business community that believes trade wars—especially with Mexico or China—would be catastrophic.

I suppose I’m showing my biases here, but I believe that a robust Republican Party will strengthen its willingness to improve and broaden the policy debate and move it away from steps to impede it. This would be a GOP that advocates for limited government, wants to reform our unwieldy tax code, and is determined to remain fiscally responsible so that deficits don’t explode. I want to see Republicans tackle our healthcare system by reforming it using market mechanisms. I want Republicans to confront regulations that hamper the formation and growth of businesses, especially small businesses. And I want them to remain inclined toward devolving power away from Washington, giving states more control over such basic responsibilities as highways, welfare, and education.

Each of these issues has been at the center of the national agenda for many years, suggesting their difficulty. We need proposals from both sides that are realistic, coherent, and based on numbers that add up. We need parties that are at the top of their game, generating solutions to the issues we confront that can get vetted in Congress, and be amended and reshaped to reflect the realities of a divided country. And we need parties that are prepared to negotiate to move us beyond our current gridlock.

This can best happen when a healthy Republican Party is competing with a healthy Democratic Party. And at the moment, that’s not what we’re seeing.

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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Withdrawing from school board race

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

Dear Readers,

First, I would like to thank my neighbors and friends for their encouragement and support as I sought to pursue a position on the Cedar Springs Public Schools Board. My mother taught me the value of education. A rural farm girl who sought a degree in Chemistry during World War 2, she was one of few moms with a college degree, in chemistry no less.

It is my firm belief that public education is for all students, not just those with connections. I have, in my career as an educator, become known as an advocate for those students who don’t come with one.

Having five candidates for two positions seems like a great opportunity for voters, however, it can also make it difficult to make an informed choice. After much consideration, I am withdrawing from this race. It was never my intention to run against Joseph Marckini who has done a remarkable job for Cedar Springs’ students. I misunderstood Joe’s intentions when I submitted my petition. Joe is respected widely for his board work. He has spoken at state and federal levels as an advocate for kids. He is in it for the kids, refusing to allow adult controversy to distract from this focus. This is what schools need today in the hostile finance and compliance environment created by legislation. My name will remain on the ballot, but I ask that you choose between the other candidates.

The Michigan Association of School Boards provides information for local school boards that may also guide in the selection of local board members. Their document, “Essential Attributes of Effective School Board Member,” states that every deliberation, decision and action must reflect the best interests of every student. Board members represent the entire community, not a single constituency or special interest. Listening to understand divergent opinions is important and board members must focus on how the district impacts students to influence the larger world.

Please consider these essential attributes in your selection of School Board candidates. Most importantly, be sure to vote November 8.

Sincerely, 

Rita M. Reimbold 

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