Posted on 26 June 2014.
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.
Betty L. Truesdale, Cedar Springs
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