Posted on 07 November 2013.
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 Desk
Posted on 31 October 2013.
Mayor Bob Truesdale
By Bob Truesdale, Mayor
The City of Cedar Springs
First, my condolences to the Mike and Alice Holton family. You should be mighty proud to be the children and kin of such a caring couple. Cedar Springs and Red Flannels was a great part of their lives, and they showed it in so many ways that can’t be named or counted. Thank you, Mike and Alice, so very much for your love and example to we that remain.
In June of this year, I asked my wife to send an email to my fellow council members that started with the statement, “Depending on your support, I might become known in the future, as the Mayor who served the shortest term in office, for delving into the problems John and Mary Taxpayer experience. I asked for their support and it backfired, with my getting called on the carpet for editorials in the Post.
As kids in Sunday School we sang, “Dare to be a Daniel, Dare to stand alone, Dare to have a purpose firm, Dare to make it known.” Daring to be a Daniel is not always easy, but I stand by the statements I made; length of time served as your Mayor means nothing to me. If it turns out to be only a one-year tenure, so be it. You won’t find me crying, for in God’s sight, I have given it my very best, with the abilities He gave me.
My promise to you: I will continue to serve with a good attitude, in any capacity, for an all-new Cedar Springs in 2014.
Thanks for your prayers and support,
Your friend and present Mayor
Posted in From your Mayor's Desk
Posted on 18 July 2013.
By Judy Reed
Council reprimands mayor
The Cedar Springs City Council went into closed session last Thursday evening, July 18, to “hear complaints against a public officer.”
While council members, including the mayor, cannot talk about what is discussed in closed session, the news on the street is that council members have not been happy with recent editorials that Mayor Bob Truesdale has put in the Post—especially one where he talked about the problem of brush in the city right of ways, and the fact that there was no money in the budget to pick it up until the next pickup in the fall.
The mayor, owner of the Amish Warehouse, has been a proponent of a “kinder, gentler” city that is more business-friendly, and operates with a more common-sense approach and less rules and regulations. In the editorial he compared running the city to running a business. “I am also told that running a city is nothing like running a business, and I guess I can see that,” he wrote. “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.” He also included that his wife was looking for nominations for that city worker or any citizen that goes the extra mile to make the city a nicer place, and the winner would win a $50 gift card to a restaurant of their choice.
While it was never the Mayor’s intention to make it sound as if he was blaming the city workers (he told the Post at the time he wrote the editorial that he was very proud of our city employees—that they were just following policy by not picking up the brush), his letter must have ruffled a few feathers because several of the council members included in their council comments at the end of the meeting how appreciative they were of the city employees. And one council member stated that the city could not be run like a business.
The Post asked Mayor Truesdale about the closed session, and he confirmed that he couldn’t discuss what was said. He did, however, dispute the rumor that he is stepping down. “I have no intention of stepping down,” said Truesdale. “I’m hanging in there for now. Better days are ahead. We are just going to move forward.”
In the past, the city used to pick up brush on Monday mornings, but it was changed to two pickups per year—spring and fall—due to budget cuts last year. Residents are now urged to take brush to Cannonsburg Wood Products on Northland Drive, near Rockford. They will take it for free.
Posted in News
Posted on 26 November 2012.
In a strange turn of events, a newly elected member of City Council was voted in as mayor Monday evening.
“Amish” Bob Truesdale was voted in by the Cedar Springs City Council as the new mayor of Cedar Springs by a 4-2 vote. The City Councilors voted six times on two different candidates before they finally got the needed 4-2 majority vote.
Pam Conley was nominated by newcomer Patricia Troost, but could not get enough votes. Each vote ended in a 3-3 tie, with Troost, Conley and Truesdale voting for Conley, and Charlie Watson, Ken Benham and Ashley Bremmer voting no. Former Mayor Watson was nominated by Benham but refused the nomination so it did not come to a vote.
Watson nominated Truesdale, who said he thought Conley should be mayor, because when the City Council voted on the Red Flannel issue, she was the lone dissenting vote and seemed to feel an agreement could still be reached. He also noted that he had no experience.
Watson then explained why he nominated him. “With all due respect, you stated in open forum that you think the people should vote for mayor. If that’s the case, why would you not accept a vote of the people? I think you need to sit up here so that you can realize how much power you don’t have,” he said.
Truesdale then said that he did not want the position but would accept it if they voted him in, which they did, when Conley changed her vote.
“I will accept humbly and do the best I can,” said Truesdale.
Watson said that he would help him.
A mayor pro-tem will be selected in December.
Posted in News
Posted on 25 October 2012.
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.
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.
Posted in Post Scripts