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Vote Yes on Solon Township Fire Millage

I am writing to encourage my fellow residents of Solon township to vote yes in support of the fire millage on August 5. As the former township clerk from 2004 until 2012 and currently one of your township trustees I have witnessed firsthand the changes that have occurred within Solon Township fire department.

In recent years our staffing levels have changed. As a result of fewer fire fighters being available during the week days some calls for medical help have gone unanswered, only to be picked up by neighboring community fire departments. In an effort to better serve the community the Board recently authorized a paid part time firefighter to be available 20 hours per week on a trial basis. While there may be support for a full time fire fighter (40 hours per week) this probably can only happen if this millage is approved. I believe we owe it to our residents to insure that adequate first responder protection is available for those with medical emergencies.

We can all talk about the wonderful things we would like to see happen in Solon Township however, I for one place knowing that my loved ones are protected in case of a medical emergency at the top of that list.

The Solon Township Fire Department is staffed by a dedicated group of men and women and they deserve our support.

Vote YES on the Solon Township Fire Millage

 

John W. Rideout

Solon Township Trustee

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Save money by going with Sheriff department

POST SRIPTS: 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. Email to news@cedarspringspost.com, or send to PostScripts, Cedar Springs Post, PO Box 370, Cedar Springs, MI 49319.

 

I am typically that person that doesn’t go to steps like writing a letter to my local newspaper but enough is enough. I recently attended a public meeting regarding the City entertaining the idea of contracting our police services to the Kent County Sherriff’s Department vs. maintaining a local police department.

I must admit that I agree with councilman Jerry Hall that it was a disappointing turnout, who I know is angered by the amount of tax dollars we pay, with barely over 30 residents attending.

In a July 13 Grand Rapids Press article it stated Walker has the lowest city tax in Kent, Ottawa Counties that was shared by a private citizen. It listed property tax based on a $150,000.00 house (summer tax bills).

 Walker – $666.20

Kentwood – $786.50

Ferrysburg – $802.98

Zeeland – $835.16

Grandville – $838.50

Hudsonville – $842.27

Rockford – $883.50

Wyoming – $959.05

Coopersville – $1,057.30

Grand Haven – $1,077.00

East GR – $1,137.68

Cedar Springs – $1,224.10

Holland – $1,253.80

Lowell – $1,261.29

Grand Rapids – $1,436.39

*Walker and Grand Rapids levy property and income tax.

Something is seriously wrong with the City of Cedar Springs having these high taxes!

I have been a Cedar Springs resident for over 30 years. We have three teenage daughters and purchased a home in the city limits in 2013. I received my summer tax bill and almost needed our community rescue squad to come and save me. We purchased our home, which was built in 1969, for $99,900.00 and my summer tax bill exceeded $1,800.00.

The downtowns of Rockford, Grandville, East Grand Rapids compared to ours? We pay more taxes than those communities and my question remains, for what? Our roads are full of potholes, roads not plowed well in the winter, sidewalks are in terrible condition and overall our downtown looks shabby at best, especially considering the large amount of tax dollars that are pouring into city hall.

I attended a city council meeting a while back where Councilmember Patty Troost stated that there were over 80 foreclosures in the City of Cedar Springs. No kidding Patty, who can afford to live here?

Patty Troost also tried to calculate savings at the informational meeting, stating it was roughly only $5.35 savings per person. This was proven incorrect by the City Treasurer.

Kent County Sheriff and his team did a great presentation. The City can design the program as they see fit. Any savings to a town that is only 2 square miles and has a tax bill like ours, let me say emphatically, City Council it’s time to partner with the Sheriff’s department and save money!

Simple mathematics shows the potential savings by going with the Sherriff’s department is at a minimum $120,000.00. Over the next 10 years that is over $1 million dollars in savings!

So I ask again, where is the question?

Laurie Nozal, 

Cedar Springs

 

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Exercise your right to vote

POST SCRIPTS: 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. Email to news@cedarspringspost.com, or send to PostScripts, Cedar Springs Post, PO Box 370, Cedar Springs, MI 49319.

 

 

Dear Editor,

Election season is upon us, with phone calls, door to door campaigning, and more mailers than anyone wants. While I share the inevitable eye rolling at some of the claims, I want to point something out to my fellow citizens of Cedar Springs. When you choose not to vote, you are allowing others, who were not elected by you and may not share your views, to make decisions for you. We are a city of approximately 3,500 residents. There have been times when less than 200 people have voted. Did these people represent your interests? Have they shared your concerns and struggles?

Many people feel that their votes do not count, but I would counter that statement with the question: “then why do politicians spend so much money on advertising?” Some pay more money than people like us will ever see in a lifetime. The answer is because your vote is priceless. It is one of the few things that cannot be bought; it can only be given.

I have heard still others say that they leave that to people who may be smarter than they are. Intelligence is not measured in diplomas. No amount of education can compete with life experience. Your experience is unique and cannot be duplicated or replaced. It is valuable and necessary for the community to hear from many points of view to come to the decision that is best.

Perhaps there are time constraints that prevent people from voting. Citizens are within walking distance and can register to vote at Cedar Springs City Hall, or at any branch of the Secretary of State. We all manage to renew our license plates and driver’s licenses; it is less than an additional 60 seconds to register to vote as well. I have frequently brought my young daughter with me to vote. The team that runs elections at City Hall has never taken long enough for her to get restless.

This last week we celebrated the Fourth of July. I challenge each and every one of you to do the truly patriotic thing and vote.

Thank you for your time,

Molly Nixon, Cedar Springs

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Stop the childish actions

To the Editor:

First, let me thank all you good friends for the wonderful support you gave Bob during the past few months. It is truly appreciated.

Bob is a man with honesty and integrity that is beyond question. He loves his city and only wants to see us progress to be a more friendly, transparent City Government, moving forward with plans for the new library, community building, gym, a beautiful green space with the flowing well, and perhaps, even a new fire barn! Not five years from now, but in the very near future.

With one more verbal attack on Bob, at the June council meeting, I felt it was time for me to write my first letter to the editor.

The attack came after Bob stated that he would like to see the City quit spending money on attorney fees regarding the closed session and the recall effort, as he had forgiven the actions of the council in 2013.  A council member then said she wanted the lies to stop, because his wife (meaning me) had collected signatures on the recall issue. I did collect signatures—but as a private citizen of Cedar Springs and without Bob’s support.

The attacks began with the closed session that was held on July 11, 2013. The members of City Council decided among themselves to call for the closed session. The contents of the meeting are secret, but let me quote from an article in the Cedar Springs Post dated July 18, 2013. “While council members, including the mayor, cannot talk about what is discussed in closed session, the news on the street is that council members have not been happy with recent editorials that Mayor Bob Truesdale has put in the Post, especially one where he talked about the problem of brush in the city right of ways, and the fact that there was no money in the budget to pick it up until the next pick up in the fall.” Not one of the council  members came to Bob and asked him to refrain from writing editorials. They chose to use, what I call, the mafia approach, and collectively beat on him.

And then in November, he wrote a very private e-mail to one of the council members.  Rather than come to Bob and discuss it privately, it was taken to the new mayor, who orchestrated a meeting at City Hall, which was to be just him and Bob. It turned out to be many more than that, and so Bob refused to walk into another hostile situation. The mayor then called for a special meeting, where this private e-mail was made public to the standing room only crowd who attended. Bob’s response to the harassment was, I should not have written the e-mail, but contacted the council member personally. He had also written an apology, which was not read at the special meeting.

Bob’s desire is that the citizens of Cedar Springs be informed of the happenings at City Hall. I have personally heard the new mayor say on several occasions, “What happens in the council chambers, should stay in the council chambers.” What ever happened to the First amendment to the constitution? One of the reasons our founding fathers wrote the First amendment was to make sure, that in our present day, tax paying citizens of our municipalities were made aware of what is going on in local government.

I would personally like to see some of our council members be more professional. When name-calling and harassment are practiced, rolling of eyes and smirking are evident, it is very unprofessional.  Let’s put personal likes and dislikes aside and work for the good of the community.

As one lady wrote in a letter to the editor. “Cedar Springs needs a leader with plain old common sense. I’m not a common sense type of person, but have enough wisdom to realize that to run a successful city, business, or anything, common sense is a requisite of great value. Mr. Truesdale would have made a very, very good Mayor. He is honest and blessed with common sense.” That is why our City Charter needs to be changed, so we the people decide who we want for Mayor.

The letter writer added: “There was a comment as a reason for not voting for Mr. Truesdale. The reason came from a piece of gossip:  ‘Mr. Truesdale didn’t believe women should be on the council.’ It does give one pause. That’s a good reason?”

And again, the person accusing Bob of not wanting women on the council, did not contact him, but chose to believe a bit of gossip, which is not true. Let me remind that person, it was Bob who nominated a woman to be the mayor of our fair city. He does not, nor has he ever, put women in a lesser position of authority then men.

So why am I writing my very first letter to the editor? Because I have had enough of the childish actions of some of our City Council members. Let’s put our minds to making our city a better place to live.

Respectfully submitted,

Betty L. Truesdale, Cedar Springs

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. Email to news@cedarspringspost.com, or send to PostScripts, Cedar Springs Post, PO Box 370, Cedar Springs, MI 49319.

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Apology

 

My apologies: It was brought to my attention at the April Council Meeting, that I needed to apologize to others for my private e-mail sent to Patricia Troost, which was read by a citizen of our community at the public forum. I had thought that an earlier e-mail apology to Patricia was received by her in good truth and that my mistake in judgement had been forgiven. It was never my intention that this e-mail would be made public and ultimately involve hurt feelings to those who were mentioned in the e-mail.

Therefore, I am asking that those involved please forgive my mistake in judgement.

 

Bob Truesdale, 

Cedar Springs City Council

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Let the people elect our mayor

My condolences to the family of our beloved council person and mayor, Ron Merlington, who had a great big heart for the people of Cedar Springs.

Soon, seven council members will be deciding who your mayor will be for 2015. This means, that only 4 council persons will make that very critical decision. The Michigan Municipal League tells me that our city attorney, at very little cost, could help us rewrite the city charter, so that you, the caring people of our city, would vote to elect the mayor of your choice, every 4 years at the same time we elect our state governor. To me that sounds like a better plan. If you concur, talk to your council persons. My only interest is building a community that is beyond reproach.

Next week see my apology to those who were offended by my personal e-mail to council member Patricia Troost.

 

Bob Truesdale, 

Cedar Springs

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City Council takes a gamble

 

Sometimes governing bodies risk public money in the hope of benefitting the public.  And sometimes city governments use their power to take actions where their authority is questionable. Last Thursday I sat on the council trying to persuade my fellow council members to delay using  public time and resources for what I considered a questionable purpose; an investigation into last July’s alleged Open Meetings Act violations.  Admittedly, the intent of the council was not thoughtless foolishness nor has the amount spent so far been large.  But, depending on the course of the investigation and decisions of the state prosecutor, spent public funds could grow significantly. Secondly, and of even greater concern, these uses of public resources may infringe on voting process integrity. Three members of council were willing to at least put off the investigation to allow time to better understand the City’s position.

We are currently gambling at the one-dollar table, where public resources are concerned. The voting process issues cannot be valued. They are connected to the recall petition. Many readers are aware of the current recall petition seeking to replace two of our current council members. The council is using public money to conduct an investigation to demonstrate innocence. This use of public money may be illegal. Rather than show restraint until we can be legally clear, the council is pushing ahead risking our integrity, the very item they say they are trying to protect.

Here are the three numbers on which the council can still gamble:

1.  Delay  investigation (low risk)

2.  Continue  investigation  (high risk)

3.  Cancel investigation (no risk)

My number is (3).  I do not feel the investigation will lead to public confidence or satisfy all of the council members. However, if the council chooses (2), then I believe they must show responsibility by insuring the investigation is in no way violating the voting process. Would this additional time and information gathering cost more money? No, if the council will consult the attorney generals office for their opinion, yes if we go through our city attorney. Costs will also increase if the state prosecutor decides to proceed with the recall-connected investigation, number (2.)

I encourage council members and citizens to consider the most responsible course, not what might make us feel justified or avenged.

Please contact council member Dan Clark at 616-263-7172 if you want to receive more information about this issue:

a) Open Meetings Act quotes

b) Attorney General Kelley’s opinions on public money spent on recall-related activities

These comments and opinions do not represent the City of Cedar Springs nor the majority of council.

 

Dan Clark, Cedar Springs

 

 

 

 

 

 

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RF Festival threatens Chamber

We have received numerous responses to our article last week: RF Festival threatens Chamber with legal action. Below is just a sampling of comments we received through the mail, on our website, and on our Facebook page.

 

Keep Cedar Springs Red Flannel Town, USA

My sentiments are tangled in memories of living where we are in Cedar Springs for over 50 years.

The new generations didn’t know us when the Clipper Girls were with us; and when Gerald R. Ford, a future president of the United States, walked the parade with us year after year; or Emory Monroe on Red Flannel Day policed the sidewalks and traffic; or Tom Anderson in his bear skin coat, in all kinds of weather, called the names of parade participants; or we viewed 10 or more area high school bands playing and marching in the parade.

Just recalling these few events fills me with nostalgia of Red Flannel Town.

And, generations later, youth who have grown to adulthood, do not have these experiences to remember. They have their own, newer experiences, and rightly so.

I vote to keep Cedar Springs, Michigan, Red Flannel Town, U.S.A.

Very truly yours,

Lyle Perry Jr., City of Cedar Springs

 

What a joke

Please move the weekly articles regarding the childish underwear antics and aberrations between the City Council and the Red Flannel Festival Committee from the front page news. Please enter these as “Joke of the Week”!

Thank you,

Bob Robinson, City of Cedar Springs

 

From the editor: The current news articles are actually of a situation between the Cedar Springs Area Chamber of Commerce and The Red Flannel Festival. The City of Cedar Springs is not involved, other than two of their members being under recall for voting on a new logo to replace the old Red Flannel logo.

From George Follett (website) Cedar Springs always has been and always will be the Red Flannel Town. If the so called board seems to think otherwise then I suggest they take their festival to the new Solon Township hall. They have enough room. I was proud to say and brag I was from the Red Flannel Town. My how things change when they think they can be somebody. Myself and family missed last year and will not bother to attend another. I hope everyone is proud that they ruined a good thing!

 

From Trisha Dart (website) There are so many wonderful comments in support of the Chamber of Commerce. I am another who supports them. We are and will always be The Red Flannel Town. The RFF need to understand the perspective of the citizens of Cedar Springs. We are tired of the fighting. We want our community back with our slogan without questions. I grew up here and I want to raise a family here but I also want community. Stand tall Chamber in your decision. I support you.

 

From Cindy K. (website) Most people in the town know that the Red Flannel Festival is run by volunteers. What they don’t realize is that they have by laws that they must adhere to which state office terms. If the town does not like what the president of the Festival is doing and the board of directors they should get a copy of their by laws and see what can be done to remove them and to get some volunteers in there to ensure the well being of the towns legacy of being the “Red Flannel Town” and bring back harmony to our town regarding the City, the Chamber, the Library, and the Festival.
All of these organizations should be working together in the best interest of the town as a whole, thus enhancing all the organizations in Cedar Springs instead of giving us a Black Eye to the rest of the world!

 

From Nicole Snyder-Brinley (Facebook) So my 4 year old daughter and I are sitting at the table this morning eating breakfast. I was using the butter. She also wanted to use it. She said, “Let’s just share it. It makes more sense.” If my 4 year old gets the concept why can’t the Red flannel festival get it? Yes it comes down to what we all learned in preschool “SHARING IS CARING.”

 

From Kathy Bullen  (Facebook) Way to keep it classy Cedar. How embarrassing. If there were ever an example of how not to do things, the relationship between the Red Flannel Festival, Inc. and nearly everyone else would be it.

 

From Kelly Stewart (Facebook) Cedar Springs is the Red Flannel Town!! This needs to stop. Stop bringing such negativity to our Community. Sounds like it’s time for a new Red Flannel Festival Board and time to VOID that stupid trademark! It’s doing nothing but causing problems. This is not why Red Flannel was created!!!

 

From James Cheevy (Facebook) How embarassing that the city can’t even support the only thing the city has going for it. Keep bullying the festival, why would the volunteers want to continue to try to fight these people? I know I wouldn’t. Shawn, if its the city’s identity, then why did the Chamber file paperwork with the state? You knew what you were doing, and you knew what you were doing was wrong.

 

From Michelle Milzarski (Facebook) Legally “right”… Morally WRONG!

 

From: Cedar Springs Area Chamber of Commerce (CSACOC) (Facebook) Your Cedar Springs Area Chamber would like to make it very clear that, to date, we have spent nothing on attorney fees and we truly hope that it is not ever necessary.

 

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The kindness of strangers

When I describe what it’s like growing up in Cedar Springs, I always mention the small town feel and how people seem to be looking out for each other. If you grow up in Grand Rapids, it’s a hard thing to understand and even describing it can be a challenge. However, if you have lived in Cedar Springs you know just what I’m talking about.

I have never had a serious situation where I truly required someone to look out for me but there is always a time when it is going to happen. This winter has been one of the toughest and coldest we have had here in Michigan and sometimes the elements can get the best of us. This year, those same elements got to me.

The snow drifts and ice combination on Sunday, January 19, had me sliding off the road and into the ditch. I was pretty shook up; after all it was my first time ever sliding off the road. I was in once piece and so was my car. The thing that surprised me the most was the amount of people who stopped to make sure I was okay. I realize this probably happens a lot but I can’t imagine anything like this occurring in Grand Rapids.

Many of the people who stopped offered to stay with me until my neighbor arrived to pull me out of the ditch. I sent them on their way but two gentlemen offered to get their tow rope and to come back to make sure I was out. They arrived soon after my neighbor did and quickly hooked everything up and had me out in no time.

I want to personally thank everyone who stopped to make sure I was okay. I also want to thank the two gentlemen who helped not only get me hooked up to get out of the ditch but also on helping me drive out. I also want to thank my neighbor who was quick on the moment to come and help me. A big thank you to everyone who stopped to check on me and those who helped get me out. If it wasn’t for you all, I would probably still be in that ditch!

 

Tanya Giaimo, Courtland Township

 

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City needs a leader with common sense

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. Email to news@cedarspringspost.com, or send to PostScripts, Cedar Springs Post, PO Box 370, Cedar Springs, MI 49319.

 

_________________________________________

Dear Editor,

I have lived around the Red Flannel Town for 80 years now, and was a resident of the city around 30 years in that time span. I have no voting power now, so maybe I can look at the machinations going on more objectively.

I do not know the council members personally and Mr. Truesdale slightly. When reading his letters to the public in prior editions of the Post, my reaction? Wow! What a great thing to keep the citizens informed, regardless!

Cedar Springs needs a leader with plain old common sense. I’m not a common sense type of person, but have enough wisdom to realize that to run a successful city, business, or anything, common sense is a requisite of great value.

Mr. Truesdale would have made a very, very good Mayor. He is honest and blessed with common sense.

Council take heed of one comment in the meeting and have no more of “underhanded dealings and slipping things in at the last minute.” This is not the most ethical way of business.

There was a comment as a reason for not voting for Mr. Truesdale. The reason came from a piece of gossip: “Mr. Truesdale didn’t believe women should be on the council.” It does give one pause. That’s a good reason?

To the mayor and council members, for the good of the city, everyone stop the pettiness. Please!

 

Alice Powell, 

Solon Township

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