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Tag Archive | "Ashley Bremmer"

Go ahead given on recall petitions


Cedar-Springs-new-logo

Cedar Springs resident Mark Laws can begin collecting the signatures he needs to recall City Council members Ashley Bremmer and Patricia Troost. The two councilors had 10 days to appeal the decision of the Kent County Election Commission, who approved the language on the petitions 2-1. But they opted not to appeal this time, and are instead leaving it in the hands of the voters.

The recall petition language reads:

1) On July 11, 2013 Ashley Bremmer/Patrica Troost voted to go into a closed session, to hear complaints against council member Truesdale. The Open Meetings Act 267, 15.268, 8a allows for a closed session if it is requested by the person to be disciplined or reprimanded. Council member Truesdale made no such request.

2.  On November 14, 2013 Ashley Bremmer/Patricia Troost voted to change the city logo and tagline. For many years it has been procedure of the council to not take action on an item not previously on agenda for public input and comment. This change in the logo and tagline was not presented to the public for input or comment before the change was made.

While Bob Truesdale voted with the rest of the council to go into closed session for that July 11 meeting to hear complaints against him by the council, he says he was unaware of his rights. During a special meeting in December, he alluded to the previous meeting and noted that it was illegal for the council not to explain to him when they took him into closed session that he could call it off anytime. “Some of you really pounded on me,” he said, “and I said nothing in my defense.”

At  last Thursday’s City Council meeting, the council voted 6-1 to authorize City Manager Thad Taylor and their attorney to investigate whether anything illegal did occur regarding the July meeting. An outside agency will need to investigate the matter.

The second complaint on the petition refers to the new logo for the City of Cedar Springs, and the complaint is that the public did not get to see or comment on the logo before it was voted on.

According to Kent County Elections Director Sue deStiguer, the recall law has changed drastically, and the Cedar Springs recall will be the first test of the law since it went into effect in January.

The language on the petitions is good for 6 months from the date it was approved—March 7. However, the signatures (170 of them) must be gathered within a 60-day window. It used to be 90 days. “Any signature older than 60 days is automatically stricken,” explained deStiguer.  The amount of signatures needed is based on 25 percent of the votes cast in the last presidential election.

Another change is that there will be no justification or explanation from the defendant (the council members) on the petition. The language will be as you see above.

A local recall can now only go on a May or November ballot, where previously it could go on the February or August ballot.

The ballot will also look differently. It will say recall election partial term ending, and the two candidates will automatically be on the ballot as running to fill that term. And that may be confusing for some people. “If the voter wants them to complete the term, they vote for them,” she explained.

 

 

 

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Recall language approved


Cedar-Springs-new-logoLast Friday, March 7, was the third time the Kent County Elections Commission has held a clarity hearing on the petition language filed to recall two Cedar Springs City Council members. It was approved 2-1.

Council members Patricia Troost and Ashley Bremmer have 10 days from last Friday to appeal the decision.

According to Elections Director Susan deStiguer, the petition language was approved 2-1. Chief Probate Judge David Murkowski expressed concern about the factual portion and voted no.

Resident Mark Laws filed the petitions. The first time he filed, they were rejected by the Elections Commission. The second time he filed, the Election Commission approved them 2-1, but the Council Members appealed, and Circuit Court judge Mark Trusock reversed that decision Friday, February 21. Laws then immediately filed new language. That is the language approved last Friday.

It reads:

1) On July 11, 2013 Ashley Bremmer/Patrica Troost voted to go into a closed session, to hear complaints against council member Truesdale. The Open Meetings Act 267, 15.268, 8a allows for a closed session if it is requested by the person to be disciplined or reprimanded. Council member Truesdale made no such request.

2.  On November 14, 2013 Ashley Bremmer/Patricia Troost voted to change the city logo and tagline. For many years it has been procedure of the council to not take action on an item not previously on agenda for public input and comment. This change in the logo and tagline was not presented to the public for input or comment before the change was made.

Watch the Post for more details next week on the status of the petitions.

 

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Court reverses decision on recall


by Judy ReedCedar-Springs-new-logo

A Grand Rapids judge has overturned a January decision by the Kent County Elections Commission approving recall petitions for two Cedar Springs city council members.

The Commission voted last month that the petitions submitted by Cedar Springs resident Mark Laws against Ashley Bremmer and Patricia Troost were of sufficient clarity for voters to know what they were voting on and why. Circuit court judge Mark Trusock reversed that decision Friday, February 21.

Laws filed new petition language at the end of the hearing, and a clarity hearing will be held on March 7, at 8 a.m., in the Training Room located on the 2nd floor of the Kent County Administration Building, 300 Monroe Ave NW, Grand Rapids, Michigan.

According to Cedar Springs City Clerk Linda Branyan, the new language reads:

1) On July 11, 2013 Ashley Bremmer/Patrica Troost voted to go into a closed session, to hear complaints against council member Truesdale.  The Open Meetings Act 267, 15.268, 8a allows for a closed session if it is requested by the person to be disciplined or reprimanded.  Council member Truesdale made no such request.

2.  On November 14, 2013 Ashley Bremmer voted to change the city logo and tagline.  For many years it has been procedure of the council to not take action on an item not previously on agenda for public input and comment.  This change in the logo and tagline was not presented to the public for input or comment before the change was made.

This will be the third time Laws has filed the petitions. The first time, the Kent County Elections Commission ruled against the language.

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Petition language approved for recall


Ashley Bremmer

Ashley Bremmer

Patricia Troost

Patricia Troost

The petition language to recall two Cedar Springs City Council members was approved by the Kent County Elections Commission Wednesday morning at a clarity hearing.

City resident Mark Laws filed the petition to recall Patricia Troost and Ashley Bremmer.

According to Elections Director Susan deStiguer, the petition language was approved 2-1. Chief Probate Judge David Murkowski expressed concern that the language might not be clear enough and voted no.

This was the second attempt by Laws to file petition language. The language was denied at the first hearing, because a new law says the language must be both clear and factual. The Election Commission’s approval of the petition language does not mean the statements are true, only that they are clear and provide facts. The language reads:

The new language (reason for recall) reads:

“1) On July 11, 2013 the city council motioned and supported to adjourn to a closed session and then adjourned. The Open Meetings Act 267, 15.267, 8A allows a closed session if the named person requests a closed hearing. No such request was made.

2) City council has a protocol in place requiring any change of import to be on agenda for public input and comment before it can be acted on by council in a following meeting. Former council member Merlington wrote this protocol. The new logo that was approved in November 2013 council meeting was not presented to the public for input or comments.”

The first reason applies to a council meeting where then Mayor Bob Truesdale was allegedly taken into closed session without asking for one and yelled at by other council members. The second reason has to do with the process of adopting the new logo.

Councilors Troost and Bremmer have 10 days to appeal the Election Commission’s decision to Circuit Court. If the court approves it, or if they fail to file an appeal, Laws can begin to collect signatures. If enough signatures are collected within the time frame allotted, and they are all valid, the recall would be on the ballot in November.

 

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New recall petitions filed


 

New petitions were filed last Friday, January 10, with Kent County, to recall Cedar Springs City Councilors Patricia Troost and Ashley Bremmer.

Resident Mark Laws filed the new petitions after the language on two previous petitions was rejected at a clarity/factual hearing on December 31. Elections Director Susan deStiguer said that none of the three on the committee thought the petition held any facts.

A clarity/factual hearing has been set on the new petitions for January 29, at 8 a.m.

The new language (reason for recall) reads:

“1) On July 11, 2013 the city council motioned and supported to adjourn to a closed session and then adjourned. The Open Meetings Act 267, 15.267, 8A allows a closed session if the named person requests a closed hearing. No such request was made.

2) City council has a protocol in place requiring any change of import to be on agenda for public input and comment before it can be acted on by council in a following meeting. Former council member Merlington wrote this protocol. The new logo that was approved in November 2013 council meeting was not presented to the public for input or comments.”

The first reason applies to a council meeting where then Mayor Bob Truesdale was allegedly taken into closed session without asking for one and then verbally lambasted by other council members. The second reason has to do with the process of adopting the new logo.

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Bremmer wins uncontested election


Ashley Bremmer

Ashley Bremmer will serve a full four-year term as a Cedar Springs City Councilor after winning in an uncontested election Tuesday.
She was the only person on the ballot, and there were no write-in candidates. The city has 2,171 registered voters, and 100 of them turned out to vote for Bremmer, who was appointed to fill out the remainder of Raymond Huckleberry’s term after he resigned earlier this year.
This was the first election where the city used the electronic poll book, instead of a big binder to check voter registrations. “It went pretty smoothly,” said City Clerk Linda Branyan. “There were a few quirks, but overall it worked out pretty good.”

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