Cedar Springs Mayor Mark Fankauser has called a special meeting to hear complaints against a public officer.
The decision was made on Friday, November 22, sometime after 5 p.m. to hold the meeting on Monday, November 25. A notice was posted, on the bulletin board inside of City Hall, but there was a question as to whether people could actually see the notice through the doors, and so the meeting for November 25 was cancelled. Under the Michigan open meetings act, a public notice must be given within 18 hours of the special meeting, and it must be accessible.
The meeting has since been rescheduled for Monday, December 2 at 7 p.m.
The Post was unable to contact Mayor Fankhauser or Mayor Pro-Tem Patricia Troost about the reason for the meeting or the scope of the complaints. However, it is believed to be about Councilmember and former mayor Bob Truesdale. Truesdale said that Fankhauser called him Friday, and set up a meeting to discuss some issues with him, but arrived with Mayor Pro-Tem Patty Troost, so Truesdale refused to meet with him. “I only agreed to meet with him one on one,” said Truesdale.
The complaints may be in regard to a personal letter that Truesdale wrote to Troost, in which he expressed his disappointment in some of her recent actions during a city council meeting, which he interpreted as being too friendly with certain members of the city staff. “There is too much friendly banter—too much ‘palsy walsy’ going on. We have serious issues at hand. I felt she would be one of four of us to stand up for change,” he explained.
Troost also voted for Fankhauser to be Mayor, which was disappointing to Truesdale. While he knew he might not be mayor this year and that was ok, he said he was disappointed in the way the vote for Mayor was handled. He took issue with the fact that Fankhauser was nominated with no discussion—as if it had already been discussed and decided on among several of the members. “I felt they kept me in the dark about that,” he said.
Truesdale said that if he had it to do over again, he would have handled things differently. “I would not have written the letter,” he said. “I would’ve contacted her personally. I am sorry I didn’t do that. I overreacted, but have concerns about city business that need to be addressed.”
Truesdale says he has been frustrated over the treatment of elderly members of the community by certain city staff, which is one of the areas he wants changed. He said many of the people who come to him with complaints are afraid to take them to City Hall for fear of retaliation. “I may have been overly aggressive but people need an advocate. My heart goes out to those who have been verbally abused by city employees. I’ll stop pushing when that goes away.”
In the meantime, Truesdale said he will reach out to both Troost and Fankhauser, and try to talk to them one on one before Monday’s meeting.