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Tag Archive | "City Hall"

To the Cedar Springs City Council and its Tax Payers:


 

I have held back my thoughts for a couple of years, but recent events do not allow me to do so any longer.

Just when several of us, and what I truly believe to be a majority of the tax payers, were excited that we had a leader with innovative business ideas, as well as a goal of making the city friendlier, a majority of the council voted him out of office in what I would call a very unprofessional manner. I know Mr. Truesdale had some very big, aggressive, modern, and forward-thinking ideas that quite possibly the council was not ready for yet, but in my opinion, it is past time for big ideas for this city. He may have made some mistakes, but who doesn’t? I, personally, like big goals. I look at it if from the point of view that if you only make it half-way to your goal, you still got somewhere! But why should I be surprised when this is the same group that says you cannot run the city like a business? I find this statement ridiculous and cannot believe such a thing is said. Rather, if it’s a school, city, county or any organization, it must be run like a business and get the most out of every dollar you possibly can. Please remember in your thinking, you do serve the taxpayers. The task of the council should be about what is best for the citizen not about which side one is on or about wins or losses.

It also does not hurt to be friendly instead of arrogant. Some of the city employees are great, but it seems as you get up the ladder it ends. City Hall should be a friendly place to go, not confrontational. After all, you are working for the citizens of the community!

I know some of the council members will say I have no vote or voice, as I do not live in the city, and yes, I cannot vote but I do feel the $468,000 I have paid in property taxes to the city in the last ten years does give me a say! I pay what I consider a lot of property tax without any city services: no water, sewer, leaf pick-up or road maintenance, as our property is on a county road but in the city limits.

I have never met the new city manager who has been here over a year. If I was a council member, I would want him out meeting with the tax payers, seeing if they had any needs, complaints, and maybe even new ideas. The last couple city managers at least stopped at our place of business when they first came to town.

Our company does a lot of municipal work for several cities throughout West Michigan and I can assure you, our city is very backwards and unfriendly. I truly feel we are a joke to all of West Michigan, not just Kent County. In the construction industry, we are known to be a very unfriendly city to try and build anything for and/or with.

I remember when my uncle (Mike Holton) and I donated the heating and air-conditioning to the Kent Theater, I checked to see if we could get the city fees waived. “Oh absolutely not,” as that would set a dangerous precedent. A few months later, we donated the plumbing for a shower building at the Kent County fairgrounds in Lowell. The city waived the fees and asked us if there was anything else they could do; they even thanked us and they weren’t even the owners of the building!

I have watched this city squander away so many things in the past, one being when the new Meijer store was being built. Meijer offered to pay the entire cost to run a water main big enough for their store as well as for future use under the expressway. This included all engineering, fees, permits, fire hydrants and related items at a cost close to one million dollars, and all at no cost to the city. As the individual from the West Michigan Metro Council tried to explain to both the city and the township, he encouraged them to take this gift as this is something the two of them wouldn’t be able to afford to do together in the next 10 to 15 years.  It was still turned down. In talking to Meilogo. This is my opinion, but I feel this is such an embarrassment to all of the residents in northern Kent County. What a joke that never should have happened. The attorney fees and time that was wasted on this is totally ridiculous! I am old-school and just a plain plumber, but I feel both sides should be tarred and feathered for their actions. Some sensible people from both sides need to get involved and get this issued solved. We do not need a new logo. I truly believe the Red Flannel logo needs to be returned to the people who really own it—the citizens of Cedar Springs and surrounding area. It has been our logo for as long as I can remember.

It’s past time to return the community back to the people that pay the taxes instead of a few people, who in my opinion, are trying to feed their huge egos and it appears have no common or business sense.

In all honesty, I feel badly that I have to write a letter of this nature. I grew up in this town, graduated from the school system, I’ve ran my business here, Northwest Kent Mechanical Co., for 25 years, and my mother lives here. My dad was fire chief for several years, he was on the council for 15 years, and served as its’ mayor for 7 years. This is a city which I truly cared for in my past, care for in my present, but more importantly for the future.

I truly hope this council can go forward in a more professional manner, but I am not convinced it can.

Thank you for taking the time to allow me to share my concerns and frustrations.

Dale Larson

 

Posted in Post ScriptsComments (8)

Congratulations to the new mayor


Congratulations to our new Mayor, Mark Fankhauser, for winning the mayor’s seat, and a big thank you to that person who spilled the beans several days before election night that I would not be returned to serve you, the good people of Cedar Springs. I have been asked not to write and inform you any longer. I will honor that request, but let me tell you before I go, our City is not broke, and the $2,930 in fees invoiced to the Red Flannel Festival for 2013, is not the big picture.

I have a copy of those “severe” cuts that were made a few years ago when our revenues dried up. One of them was using two-ply rather than four-ply toilet tissue at City Hall. You poor people, it made me want to cry. When I was a kid growing up on West Muskegon Street, we had the luxury of going from corn cobs to the pages from a Sears and Roebuck Catalog. Those were the good days, as my Grandpa Eldred was also a successful businessman.

Thank you for your prayers and support. 

See you, Bob Truesdale

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From the Mayor’s Desk


By Bob Truesdale

 

Yesterday, on my way to church, we drove past a home on 5th Street, where a family was parking their second car on the grass, just off their single gravel driveway, leading to a one-stall garage. It has been that way since I was a kid.

But, it brought to memory, a former city manager, who rode with a uniformed police officer, in a marked police car, targeting these families, who were violating some type of a city code—families who were already struggling in our poor economy. We can only hope and pray these Gestapo tactics are now behind us.

I heard a present member of our planning commission say, “I liked it the way it was in the past,” which I took to mean he felt we had too many codes and it was not our business to regulate everything people do.

I agree with you. 2014 can be a year of healing. As for me, I can never have too many friends, as we move forward. Please join us at 7 p.m. tonight (Thursday) for our annual City Council meeting at City Hall. Some exciting projects are being proposed.

Humbly, your friend,

 the mayor

Posted in From your Mayor's DeskComments Off

From the Mayor’s Desk


Mayor Bob Truesdale

Mayor Bob Truesdale

By Bob Truesdale

 

Wow! Election Day was exciting. I saw many of our older citizens hobble in and out of City Hall to vote. They remember the good old days when our city was a thriving community.

A big thank you to everyone that put forth the effort to vote the new faces to city council. It was a tough call, but you made it happen.

Congratulations to Daniel Clark and Jerry Hall. I look forward to working with each of you in years to come.

And to Pam Conley and Mark Laws, you fought a good fight, and don’t give up. Our city needs someone like you to form a “Concerned Citizens Coalition,” with a representative of the group at every planning and council meeting. If you, the taxpayers of our city will get involved, I promise you an all new Cedar Springs in 2014. With God’s help, watch us make the changes you have been asking for.

 

Posted in From your Mayor's DeskComments Off

Trick or treat in Cedar Spring—indoors and out


Are you ready to trick or treat in Cedar Springs?

Are you ready to trick or treat in Cedar Springs?

Are you ready for a night full of fun? Don’t let the forecast of rain keep you home Halloween night—there will be plenty of fun both indoors and out at the annual Cedar Springs Halloween Spooktacular in downtown Cedar Springs! Sponsored by the Cedar Springs Area Chamber of Commerce, area businesses and churches, the fun starts at 4:30 p.m. with spooky storytime inside the library, at the corner of Cherry and Second, and a scavenger hunt by En Gedi that starts at City Hall. That is followed by trick or treating from 5 to 7 p.m. at almost 40 Main Street businesses—so bring your umbrella!

If you are looking for more indoor activities, The Springs Church, located at 135 N. Grant Street, will host their Trunk or Treat inside the church. Calvary Assembly God will also hold their kids carnival inside at The Springs. There will be lots of candy for the taking, games, hot chocolate, cider and donuts. It will be fun for the whole family!

The Cedar Springs Fire Department will hand out hot chocolate and donuts at the firebarn at W. Maple and Second St. again this year, and the Cedar Springs Historical Museum will host a haunted school house inside the museum in Morley Park for the first time.

The En Gedi youth center’s “Ghost in the graveyard” at North Park (NE corner of Pine and Main) will be canceled if it rains.

Come see us at The Post! We will be handing out candy, along with many other businesses. Check out all the businesses and non-profits handing out candy this year on or just off Main Street (starting at the south end):

Cedar Street: The Cedar Springs Historical Museum

Between Muskegon (17 Mile) and Church Streets: Family Video, Hungry Howie’s, CS Family Chiropractic, Main Street Restaurant, Awesome Tan, and Admiral.

Between Church and Beech Streets: Amish Warehouse, McBride Accounting, United Methodist Church.

Between Beech and Ash Streets: American Legion, The Cedar Pub.

Between Ash and Cherry Streets: D&J Nails, Traveler’s Trunk, Link Wireless, The Hair Craft Company, Alpha Omega Coffee and Games, Round Up Tavern, Take Two Game Shop.

Between Cherry and Elm Streets: The Cedar Springs Public Library (Cherry Street), The Kent Theatre, Vitale’s Pizza, The Gun Tavern.

Between Elm and Maple Streets: Curves, Cedar Chest, Homemade Ceramics, Car Quest, Frog’s Legendary Billiards; Perry’s Place, Cedar Springs Fire Department (W. Maple), The Cedar Springs Post (E. Maple), and The Springs Church (driveways off E. Maple and First Streets).

Pine Street and North: Wesco, B&H Sporting Goods, Cedar Springs Tire, Dollar General, KC’s Kones and Coneys, Kelly’s Restaurant, Vanderhyde Ford.

 

 

Posted in Featured, NewsComments (1)

From your Mayor’s Desk


Like you, who have come to me, after your stop at City Hall I am also concerned about our blight in the city right of ways, especially West Muskegon Street, the gateway to our downtown merchants. I am referring to the weeds growing three inches above the curb and tree limbs from recent wind storms. I am told that this will not be picked up until late fall, so, please don’t feel bad folks, as even hound dog Bob can’t you any answers—other than we didn’t budget any monies for weed pulling. I am also told that running a city is nothing like running a business, and I guess I can see that. For, as a businessman, I buy the truck, I pay $75 to fill the gas tank and I pay wages to the driver, so it only makes sense to have my driver stop and correct the problem when driving by the blight. I also realize that in our present system of procedures that the few minutes of cleaning up the blight would need to be charged back to that city vehicle. It sure sounds like something that came out of Washington D.C.

My wife is convinced that with your help, we can change our city’s image on every front, so over the next few months she needs your help to find that proud city employee, including the police department, fire fighters, office personnel, DPW, etc. who goes the extra mile to make our city a nicer place to be. Register that person and the good deed, at the Amish Warehouse, 141 S. Main St. She will have a $50 gift certificate, to a restaurant of your choice, for the top entry. Thank you for your prayers and support. Stop by and see me on Mondays at Cedar Springs City Hall from 2 p.m. to 5 p.m.

 

Bob Truesdale, Mayor

Cedar Springs

Posted in Voices and ViewsComments Off

Earth Day cleanup 2011


Last year’s cleanup included tree plantings at Veteran’s Park. Post photo by J. Reed.

By Judy Reed

Do you have any old junk computers and monitors lying around?  Would you like to see Cedar Creek clean again? Want a good deal on surplus goods?  What do all of these have in common? They are all part of Cedar Springs’ 4th annual Earth Day 2011 celebration!

The city will hold their Earth Day celebration on April 16, starting at 8 a.m. with E-waste collection behind Cedar Springs city hall. Bring all your electronic waste for disposal such as computers, monitors, keyboards, cell phones, radios, stereos, laptops, VCRs, modems, power cords, etc.

Residents will meet at 10 a.m. at the trail staging area on W. Maple Street (west off Main) to clean up Cedar Creek. Volunteers report to the staging area to receive their t-shirts and clean-up assignments. You don’t have to pre-register to work, but the first 100 registered get a free shirt!

After the cleanup, there will be a pizza party at noon the American Legion for the clean up crews, with awards for winners of the logo and photography contests.

There will be a city surplus auction at 1 p.m. Visit the city’s website at www.cityofcedarsprings.org for a list of items, and to download a registration form for the cleanup.

Posted in NewsComments Off

State rep meets with residents


73rd District Rep. Peter MacGregor shakes hands with City Councilor Pamela Conley. Looking on is Cedar Springs Board of Education President Joe Marckini and Carolyn Davis.

Newly elected State Representative Peter MacGregor met with area residents at Cedar Springs City Hall, on Friday, March 4.

According to Cedar Springs City Manager Christine Burns, there were a variety of comments on what Governor Snyder is doing with his new budget, including questions on school funding. MacGregor stood and talked and answered questions well past the time City Hall closed.

“I was very pleased with how it went,” commented Burns.

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