Thursday night’s council meeting was our City Manager, Thad Taylor’s, last. Mr. Taylor came here three years ago as a very experienced, well-qualified manager who has since received high praise from many citizens, professionals, businesses and developers. He did all he could to move our city forward and was successful in bringing several new businesses to town.
Regrettably, Thad Taylor has been run out of Cedar Springs! He was blindsided by a group of people who made his job unendurable. These people now sit on our Council advancing their own personal agendas over the interests of the community as a whole. They are catering to special interest groups, spending thousands of dollars that should be spent on our crumbling sidewalks and roads under the guise of “the good of the community.” I found Councilor Powell’s sudden concern for finances, in searching for a new manager, seemingly hypocritical given the fact that she freely encourages council to write blank checks for unbudgeted items benefiting groups she supports and is affiliated with.
Ignoring Thad’s MML recommendation Council Conley urged Council to get opinions from stakeholders on what qualities they wanted in a manager. After some debate, the decision was made to allow the public to have a say. Aren’t we, the taxpayers, the biggest stakeholders after all? On November 19, at 7:00 p.m. there will be a special meeting for the public to express their opinions on what qualities a city manager should possess. I’m hoping integrity and transparency are among those at the top of the list. I also hope this council strives to acquire the same characteristics because, to date, I have sensed a great deal of ignorance of the law along with a failure to listen to those who do understand the gravity of making decisions contrary to it, that being the manager and city attorney.
I support libraries and community buildings but the council’s first responsibility is the health, safety and welfare of its citizens; running the fund balance down is not in our best interest. When Council passes a resolution giving special advantages to groups determined to get their ideas advanced regardless of the consequences and when, as a member of the Planning Commission, I am asked to make a decision “in the spirit of the law,” basically ignoring the law, there is something seriously wrong with the governing unit of this city. If citizens attended meetings or watched council meetings on youtube.com they would better understand the critical nature of business that is going on behind the scenes.
I wish Thad Taylor God’s speed and a professional group of people to work with in Manistee, something he so desperately deserves. He will be missed.
Kathryn Bremmer, Cedar Springs