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Recall petitions for BOE members available

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.

 


The recall effort for the board of education members Heidi Reed, Matt Shoffner, and Shannon Vanderhyde is officially underway. The specific language refers to what I and other members of the community believe was a violation of the open meetings act, but that is merely a symptom of the larger problem. This board has repeatedly ignored stakeholder voices. They are beginning to rush into selecting a new superintendent when at least 4, if not 7 seats will be up for election in November. I believe this to be a mistake. There are calls to put in place a highly qualified interim superintendent until we have a board that will be seated more than 6 months. The board openly silenced stake holders, can anyone trust that they will listen now? There will be petitions available at the Cedar Springs Burger King community room on Saturday May 5th 1-4 pm, Tuesday May 8th 6-9 pm and Thursday May 17 from 6-9 pm. A board who will not listen to voters cannot be allowed to continue to serve.

Molly Nixon, City of Cedar Springs

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Rude comments and spending money

 

We attended the Cedar Springs School Board Meeting on March 26 and made several observations.

Our first observation came when the school board president Heidi Reed stated that the school board pays an outside consulting firm (from Ohio) for school policies. While it might be common practice to pay a consulting firm for crafting of school policies, is it the best practice? How much of the community’s money was spent on this out-of-state consulting firm? We believe that our local school policies should be determined by those who live here, not in some other state. We have no problems with getting ideas and inspiration from any and all sources, but community members should determine our local policies. How about having a public forum with debate and discussion of what policies we would like to have in our local school district? We can see what other communities are doing, but this is our school district, serving our children, and our community. If our school board members are unwilling or unable to make policies that fit and form our local community, perhaps they should not be serving on the board.

We got the impression that Ms. Reed was attempting to absolve herself and the board from having any personal responsibility for unpopular policies.  

Over the past several years, public comments and statements made by board members and the superintendent seem to reflect a view that spending public money is good. Instead of focusing on results or finding the best value for taxpayer dollars, the board and superintendent appeared to try to solve problems by spending money.

We were also shocked and offended by comments made by board president Reed and board trustee Tim Bauer. Ms. Reed made a comment that seemed to be a personal attack on those members of the community that spent their own money, time and resources on yard signs and t-shirts. She said that she wished that effort had gone to supporting the kids who are going to The Odyssey of the Mind competition. The audience reaction to her statement was shock, immediately followed by comments. At that time, another board member demanded that the audience “respect the board president.” The audience should respect the position of board president, but the board president should respect members of the audience and community as well. While she’s entitled to her own personal opinions, we feel that this comment was inappropriate. 

We had serious concerns regarding Trustee Tim Bauer, but those are now moot since he announced his resignation.

The board approved paying an interim superintendent $600 per day plus mileage. We would like to see how that figure was reached and the rationale behind it. Is this the best value for our tax dollars?

As a final thought, perhaps we should consider adding another board member. This new member would be elected by and from the district’s teachers to provide direct representation of those who teach our children. The new position could either be a full voting member, or an advisory member depending on statutory and regulatory requirements. 

Chris and Emily Scott

Solon Township

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Post Script 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.

 

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Disturbing facebook post

 

Dear Editor,

I have been watching the developments concerning the CSPS superintendent with interest as I have a young child in the school system. I have been waiting for facts to come out on either side. I look forward to the meeting that will be on the same day that the Post will be distributed to have some questions answered. I hope that many from the community will be able to attend what I hope will be a very informative meeting.  It will be held March 15 at 7pm, Solon Township hall.

I came across a disturbing Face Book post from one of the trustees that was recently appointed to the school board which I believe may call their judgement into question. Tim Bauer wrote on his page 

“Yesterday, in the afternoon, I heard from God regarding the turmoil that has filled our town. He will now bring to an end the rebellion that is fighting against His will. To the degree that you have led this fight will be the degree that God’s judgment will fall on you and your households. To the Christians that have joined themselves to this unholy alliance, may you repent quickly and separate yourselves from that which the Lord will expose as lies, deceit, and treachery against Him. His impartial justice has been declared. Woe to those who have called good evil and evil good, declaring their cause to be righteous. A strong east wind will now blow away the dark clouds of confusion, giving way to the light of God’s glory in Cedar Springs, Michigan. Amen.”

I am not sure what I find most disturbing. It could be that this man feels that God speaks directly to him, and potentially him alone, or that anyone who disagrees with his position will receive the wrath of God. What is more disturbing is that our school board thought that this gentleman was a good choice. It makes me much more open to the idea that perhaps they misjudged the character of our current superintendent as well.

When teachers feel so trapped that they feel the need to appeal directly to the public, it is time to take notice. 

Molly Nixon, 

Cedar Springs

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Thanks for presenting both sides

 

Dear Post,

Thanks for the way you presented two different views of the Cedar Springs school system. 

It’s good to hear about all of the security work going on, especially that there is a full time sheriff deputy.

Sally Thompson, 

Cedar Springs

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Your opinion of CSPS superintendent 

 

To current and previous employees at Cedar Springs Public Schools:

It has been said of Cedar Springs Public Schools Superintendent Dr. Laura VanDuyn that “District employees have expressed their reluctance to continue working with you as you undermine, disparage, and bully them.” Do you find that to be true? Are you fearful to speak out? Or is she being targeted unfairly? Perhaps things are better than ever at CSPS. I want to know! 

I am going to collect anonymous first hand accounts of how the Superintendent leads and the atmosphere in the school. Also how it’s affecting the kids.

Please mail them without a return address to 13840 Sunset Shores, Cedar Springs, MI 49319 or email austingirls123@gmail.com (You can use a new generic email—see below).

Send them whether good or bad! I mean it. I want all sides. As soon as possible. I’d like all answers by 3/11.

Everyone  please share this so it reaches all staff regardless of what your opinion is.

Just a suggestion for anyone who would like to email their comments: 10minutemail.com (you will be given a temporary e-mail address).

Thank you,

Katy Austin, Nelson Township 

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Just say no to conservation and environmental program cuts

 

To the editor:

President Trump’s latest proposed cuts to conservation and environmental programs are even more severe than they were last year. 

Let your representative know your thoughts regarding slashing the funding for environmental protections. I hope you oppose the funding cuts.
The President’s proposal includes a dramatic 92 percent reduction to the Land and Water Conservation Fund. Such an extreme cut would limit opportunities for all communities to access public lands. His proposal would also cut the Environmental Protection Agency’s budget by 34 percent and would shrink the National Science Foundation’s budget by 30 percent.
These are the biggest cuts proposed among all federal agencies—despite the fact that Congress has already approved an overall higher level of spending.

Steve Mueller, Courtland Twp. 

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Shipping to PO boxes

 


Many residents having post office box numbers have received notices that letters flats and parcels will need to have the PO Box number provided or items addressed to only the street address will be returned. Since some orders placed online will not ship to a post office box and won’t accept both the street address and the PO Box I placed a call to the Rockford Carrier Annex. Thankfully I learned there is a way around this problem. Simply offer the street address followed with box # ____.
DO NOT USE PO in front of the word box or it will still be kicked out of the system. The post office will recognize the box to route an item to if this suggestion is followed. 

Kathy Bremmer
City of Cedar Springs

 


Post Script 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.

 

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Loved the Christmas decorations

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.

 

Loved the Christmas decorations

The Christmas decorations on Main Street were eye-catching and very beautiful! They helped make our community glow with Christmas cheer. Many thanks to the many folks who them up and took them down! Huzzah!

Lyle Perry, Jr., Cedar Springs

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Patricia Eary resignation letter

This letter was read by Patricia Eary at the Cedar Springs Board of Education meeting on January 15, 2018.

We have sold our home and moved out of the district due to location of employment so I must resign my position on the Board of Education.

This is not “goodbye” but rather “see you soon.” For the first time in more than 60 years, there will not be a member of the Eary family either as a teacher, student, or a volunteer in Cedar Springs Public Schools.

I appreciate the elected and appointed members of the current CSPS Board of Education who will advocate for the students of the district in every decision they make. This Board will work well together as a cohesive unit.

Thanks to the guidance of Dr. VanDuyn over the past couple of years, Cedar Springs Public Schools has embarked on a continuous improvement journey. Our enrollment is increasing, which is not the case in the majority of the districts in the State. We now have an actual math curriculum, a School Resource Officer, iReady, a qualified Special Ed Director, counselors in each building, zero-based budgeting, Orange Frog, facility improvements to building security, infrastructure and the athletic stadium, and growth of Early Middle College and AP classes to name a few highlights of the journey. Frankly, I wish my child was young enough to attend school here in order to take advantage of the many great things that have been put in place recently. I highly respect every staff member who is working so hard to make Dr. VanDuyn’s vision for this district a reality.

We owe it to students of this community to continue to do and be better as a district. I wish Dr. VanDuyn, the current Board of Education, the staff, the community and most of all the students continued success.

Patricia Eary

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