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We need new city council

Dear Citizens of Cedar Springs,

I have been looking though the council minutes all the way back to 2009, and what I have seen is disturbing. Time and again, citizens showed up and voiced their objections to proposed changes in ordinances, and despite that, the council went ahead with no documented public support and changed them. People were being ticketed for parking on their own property. It is my understanding that if I wish to put up a tent in my backyard, I must first secure a permit. Why does the council feel that they have the right to dictate to us what we may or may not do on property that we pay taxes on? Cars parked in public lots have been vandalized. Citizens have told me that when they have spoken out in a way that the city did not like, code enforcement showed up at their door. To say that if they have done nothing wrong, they have nothing to fear is untrue. My next door neighbor parked 23 ft from the side walk and 60 ft from the center of the street. The car was in front of her own garage, and was ticketed. She had to fight it all the way to the doors of court, despite talking to city hall.

Another matter I would like to call to the attention of the public is the city’s purchase of 95 N. Main. *In council member Fahl’s own words: “It’s a mess.” “The city can’t make money off of it.” “We paid like $19,000 for the entire property, it’s actually 3 lots and a building, and the reason we paid that is because that’s what the IRS…was owed on the back taxes. So we picked it up because it was actually a really good deal, at the time.”  She also explains the city can only sell the property for the original purchase price, plus any upkeep. I wonder who was this a good deal for? If the city legally is not allowed to make money off of it, why did we enter the real estate business? According to the council minutes from 3/08/12, “City Manager Christine Burns stated that the buyer for 95 N. Main St. had rescinded his offer and had presented another offer due to the discovery of asbestos contamination during a property inspection. The buyer now only wanted to purchase the two vacant parcels associated with the property.” The council voted to not allow this sale, but rather demolish the building and sell the property as a whole. According to council member Fahl, “There is a fuel tank that’s underneath that building…and that was one of the city’s requests that whoever buys that building remove the fuel tank due to … possible contamination.” She continues that removing just the asbestos from the building was estimated to “cost us close to $80,000.” She states that if the building did not have so many issues “somebody could have made good money off of it.” So, if I understand, the city legally cannot make a profit, and we now own an asbestos contaminated building sitting on top of a fuel tank that could potentially be a source of contamination? We bought it because it was a good deal?

Christine Fahl, Bob Truesdale, and Patty Troost are all on the November ballot for City council. Christine Fahl was the only one of them on the council in 2009 when we bought this poisonous building. I don’t know about the rest of Cedar Springs, but Christine Fahl will not get my vote.

Molly Nixon

City of Cedar Springs

*The quotes from Mayor Pro Tem Christine Fahl were from a private meeting in Ms. Nixon’s home, which Ms. Nixon videotaped, without Ms. Fahl’s knowledge.

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Looking for information on Michigan

Dear Editor,

The fourth grade at Aviston Elementary, located in southern Illinois, is learning about the United States and the different environments, climates, resources, and highlights found in each region. The kids in the class think it would be fun to receive postcards, souvenirs, resources, or any information about our great country from each of the 50 states.

We hope that people reading this letter will be interested in mailing our class items pertaining to their state. Our address:

4th Grade at Aviston Elementary

350 South Hull Street

Aviston, Illinois 62216

A sincere thank you to anyone who is able to contribute! We appreciate the excitement you will add to our learning experience.

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Correction to Post Script

I erred in claiming the Red Flannel Festival had their building paid off. My apologies for not getting that fact straight.

Kathy Bremmer

City of Cedar Springs

The letter Kathy is referring to appeared in our paper on September 20.—Editor

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Take back Red Flannel Town, USA

A peaceful demonstration protest march is planned before, during and after the Cedar Springs City Council meeting on Thursday, October 11, at 7 p.m.

Red Flannel Town is not just a logo. It is our history. A symbol recognized for 73 years worldwide. It’s the reason for a wonderful festival to celebrate our community, schools, families, friends and volunteers.

I have much respect for all the folks who work on City Council, Red Flannel, and various other committees. It was sad and shocking to see our city medallion taken down, smashed, and displayed for photos. How can the destruction of public property be justified? Look at our city flag (if it hasn’t been destroyed). It is a symbol for educated, fun loving, reasonable people that enjoy red flannels year-round.

City Council—the Red Flannel Festival isn’t asking for a free ride, just reasonable negotiations about cost. It’s time to fix this mess. Not one more red cent should be spent to cover or destroy public property or develop a new logo.

To our new City Manager: Good luck. I sure hope you can guide City Council back to the citizens of Red Flannel Town, USA.

Thank you Red Flannel Fesival for purchasing and paying to hang up the wooden Red Flannels.

Rose Powell

City of Cedar Springs

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I know who lost!

Go ahead and celebrate, but for me the enjoyment of Red Flannel has waned. And nobody won. Even being in the parade no longer excites me. We residents of Cedar Springs let the clashes of two ladies (who don’t even live within our city limits) spoil it for us.

I understand it was mandated by the Festival that the city destroy everything that even looked like red underwear. They tell me that now I can still wear my Red Flannels, but not on city property. It makes me sad to see pictures of the broken up, expensive logo that once hung in the chambers at City Hall. If Red Flannels are now history to the City of Cedar Springs, why didn’t that logo go to the local museum so that my great-grandchildren can know that there was a day in the history of our city, when people had unity and respect for one another? Thank you Grace (Hamilton) and Nina (Babcock) for your inspiration and the many years of enjoyment.

Amish Bob Truesdale

City of Cedar Springs

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Post Script to the Editor

To All Concerned Cedar Springs:


I have repeatedly said I was not going to get into this fiasco but the more I read and hear people talk that old saying comes back to me, “You have the right to remain silent but you don’t have the ability,” so here go again.

It is time for all parties to button up the flap on your Red Flannels and end this “blank” contest. I mean the School, City Hall, and the Red Flannel Committee.

I for one do not need a new logo, theme, handle or any other saying to know I am from Cedar Springs Michigan the Red Flannel Town U.S.A.

If the Red Flannel Committee, City Hall, and the School wan to end this BS before someone goes off and spends a lot of money to hire a consultant to give us a new logo you all can do it. If you have four council members who are sorry this happened then you have a majority to change the outcome.

If the Red Flannel Committee has to charge for the logo, then sit down and come to an agreement on the fee.

If the School needs to charge the Red Flannel Committee for the use of the parking lot, sit down and come to an agreement on the fee.

We as taxpayers of Cedar Springs have a right to say how our money is spent and I for one want the Cedar Springs Red Flannel underwear flyng from my light post, I want the Red Flannel logo on our police cars, I want the Red Flannel logo in the City Hall council room. I want that Red Flannel logo in as many places as possible and so should you all.

I do not think anyone really wants this outcome we are now faced with.

So button up that flap and celebrate Red Flannel Day in Cedar Springs, Michigan.

Sincerely, Bud Bailey

Cedar Springs

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Amazing community gatherings

Our community recently received encouragement, inspiration, and acts of love while facing some serious challenges and saddened hearts. Some awesome people stepped up to remind us that we are surrounded by some of the most wonderful, united, and compassionate human beings found on earth.

In the last week, we’ve had a peaceful compromise on use of the Red Flannel logo, gathered at Morley Park in a united celebration of faith, and celebrated the life of Wyatt Phillips.

In my 45 years in this community, these few days have been the most amazing community gatherings of God’s faithful servants. It has been overwhelming and almost too much for me to absorb in a short period. We are fortunate to have some of the best Christian and educational leaders and followers living here among us.

On Sunday, I heard several profound messages and challenges at the United worship service. The pastors, the music ministry, and the members of various churches who provided us with lunch, showed us the message of God’s true love for us. People of all ages and faiths gathered, free of traditional symbols from their particular denomination, yet sharing in the bigger picture of following, serving, and celebrating Jesus Christ. Strangers held hands to pray for peace, guidance, and love within our community and the world as a whole.

On Monday, I walked away from the funeral service feeling blessed to have known Wyatt and to have the Phillips family living within our community. The messages of this celebration were life-changing experiences. Zack Phillips challenged us to live with passion, and at the close of each day to ask ourselves if we had followed our passion and lived it to the fullest. The closing song, “Surrender,” challenged us to surrender our lives to God and reminded us we are not in charge, but God is, with the perfect plan for each of us.

Celebrations in both the park and the auditorium were filled with family, friends, and neighbors. It was a united display of this community’s concern and love for each other. God has placed the perfect people in our lives here in Cedar Springs. I am thankful to our Lord and Savior for placing such awesome people in our community. Thank you to those of you who are following your passion and surrendering your lives as servants to God, and who give so much only because you want to. You are making a positive difference.

Sue Wolfe

Cedar Springs

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Postscript to the Editor

The truth and nothing but the truth

Our former City Manager is now history, and as the dust settles from the fallout of the Red Flannel Festival vs. the City of Cedar Springs, we will probably never know who falsified or told the whole truth. As a merchant on Main Street, it sure leaves me disillusioned as to where we all go from here. I, for one, having lived here all of my life, can’t seem to comprehend how we can have one without the other. History proves that nations fall when divided, so I am sure cities do the same.

Written with a saddened heart,

“Amish Bob” Truesdale, Cedar Springs

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Community garden thief

To whoever keeps taking the vegetables out of our garden, it is not appreciated. The community garden does not mean that you can pick whatever you want. You did not plant it, weed it, or water it. My grandchildren did all of the work, so stay out of our garden. That watermelon you took, my grandchildren were looking forward to it.

Vicki E. Covell
Cedar Springs

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To the Editor – Where are the benches?

On Saturday, August 11, 2012 my family attended your sidewalk sales. We parked at one end of town and walked to the other. The problem – no benches to rest. My daughter is on crutches with no place to sit. This seems to be a problem with elderly and handicapped people. The American Legion is the only spot that has a bench. Please consider everyone, and bring back the benches.

Thank you,
Vickie Totten
Solon Township

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