web analytics

Tag Archive | "vote"

Four running for two seats on city council


 

City residents to vote on Tuesday, November 5

 

Residents of the City of Cedar Springs will vote in two new City Council members on Tuesday, November 5. Four candidates are running to fill two four-year terms. One seat is being vacated by Mayor Pro-Tem Charlie Watson, who decided not to run again, and trustee Pamela Medford-Conley’s seat is also up for reelection. The election will be held at the Cedar Springs City Hall.

N-Candidates-ClarkDaniel Clark

About him: “All in all I have lived in the City of Cedar Springs for 20 years. I met Donna at what later became known as Jordan College on Pine Street in 1972. I graduated from Jordan College that same year with a B.A. and then from Andrews University in Berrien Springs in 1975 with my Masters.  I received my teaching certification from Aquinas College in 2007. We lived in Oklahoma, Donna’s home state, and then in Israel from 1988 to 2000. In 2000, I was hired by Creative Technologies Academy, where I am currently employed as the Director of Operations and Maintenance.”

Primary reason running for office: “I would like the opportunity to work for the good of my community; to make a practical, positive difference; to offer workable solutions as challenges and issues arise. I want to be involved.”

Other experience: “While living in Oklahoma I served as a volunteer fireman for eight years in a department with three full-time firefighters and twenty volunteers. I served three of those years as a captain of a five-man team. I completed training as a second level EMT. Mustang’s population at that time was 10,000. Through the last 12 years since we relocated to Cedar Springs I have volunteered on many occasions at Creative Technologies Academy beyond my regular work duties and have helped Donna with many details to do with library programs and fundraising, such as helping to load and unload tables and books for Friends book sales, etc.”

Main strength he will bring to the board: “I was raised on a farm and have a strong work ethic. I keep up on the news both locally and around the world and feel that my various experiences will help me identify with the citizens of the community and hopefully make choices balanced between necessary regulation/expenditures and those offering greater personal/business opportunities to Cedar Springs citizens.

The major challenge he sees facing the district and what would he do about it:  He said the major challenge is rebuilding community good will, especially regarding the Red Flannel Celebration. Also he would work to provide activities and opportunities for our youth to discourage drug and alcohol dependency.”

Gerald Hall – No photo

About him: He was raised here and has lived in Cedar Springs for 64 years. He is retired from the City of Cedar Springs, where he was formerly the Superintendent of Public Works.

Primary reason running for office: Gerald believes his experience will help the future of the city.

Other experience: His experience includes serving on the City Planning Commission and six years on the Cedar Springs Board of Education.

Main strength he brings to the position: Gerald said the main strength he will bring to the position is his knowledge of the city.

The major challenge he sees facing the district and what would he do about it: He said the major challenge facing the city is a shrinking budget.

N-Candidates-Mark-LawsMark Laws

About him: I moved to Cedar Springs from Muskegon last June 2012. I am an operations management professional who most recently worked for Huntington Bank and before that the Federal Reserve Bank. I am now an entrepreneur.

Primary reason running for office: “I found myself complaining about some of the outcomes in the council meetings. My momma taught me to get involved and do something to improve the situation and get off the bench and into the game. Complaining about something never makes it any better and according to my momma it actually contributes to making it worse. We have so much potential here in Cedar Springs.”

Other experience and main strength he will bring to the board: “Twenty plus years of operating businesses and business units up to 7 billion dollars, making tough budget decisions, negotiating contracts, sales and marketing, continuous improvement implementations, innovative and outside the box vision, and a can do attitude are just the tip of the iceberg of previous experience that will be beneficial to the City Council position.”

The major challenge he sees facing the district and what would he do about it: “Residents and businesses need to know that City Hall is here to assist them to get ‘er done. Whatever that may be. I would have the attitude of if it is a good idea that will benefit the community I would find a way to accomplish that thing and do all in my power and ability to do just that. Can’t is not in my vocabulary.”

Other: “Contracts for services needed by the City should go to residents of Cedar Springs if at all possible. Keeping the money local is a good thing, even if the local quote is  $37 more than the out of town quote. It would also be nice to have Cedar Springs be the Red Flannel Town that the Clipper Girls gave us and we have enjoyed for 70 plus years. And just how much has been spent on attorney fees for this situation? And we don’t have any money is the line that is put out there. But the cost of the attorney fees says something different. Just sayin!”

N-Candidates-Pam-ConleyPamela Medford-Conley – Incumbent

About her: Pamela Medford-Conley is 43 years old, and has lived in Cedar Springs for 14 years. She holds degrees and certifications from Montcalm Community College, CMU, and GVSU in child development, speech pathology, theater, dance, history, secondary education, communication, and argumentation. She teaches policy debate, communication, and academic tools for Forest Hills Central High School. She is married to Clint Conley who is a teacher for KCTC. She has two children–a daughter, Abbi Conley, will be a senior at Cedar Springs High School this fall and her son, Caelun Conley, will be entering first grade at Cedar Trails.

Primary reason running for office: If re-elected this would be her second term on City Council. “I am looking forward to continuing to represent my fellow citizens and be what I hope they feel is a true representative of their concerns,” she said. “One of the biggest issues the city will face in up-coming years will be our aging water system and continued funding cuts brought by Michigan’s state government.”

Other experience: Past experience includes serving 6 years on the Board Of Education for Cedar Springs Public Schools, where she held the positions of Treasurer and Legislative Representative and made multiple trips to Washington DC and Lansing to advocate for kids in Cedar Springs; 5 years on the Library Board including part of that time as Vice President; one year on the PTO Board of Directors; one year on the Red Flannel Festival Board of Directors; 10 years  in the  Garden Club with 6 years as President; and 13 years as co-discussion leader of the Cedar Springs  Book Club.

Main strength she brings to the position: “I believe what I bring to the office is experience, the desire to always seek information before making any decision, and an open mind to listen to all positions and represent all citizens.”

The major challenge she sees facing the district and what would she do about it: “The major challenges I see on the horizon are dealing with our aging water system, and resolving the issue with the Red Flannel Festival regarding the use of logos and doing this with dwindling resources as Michigan’s State Government – both the legislative and executive branches continue to add mandates and restrict funding.”

Posted in NewsComments (1)

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.


Posted in Post ScriptsComments (7)

Residents to vote on GRCC bond proposal Tuesday


Residents across Kent County will go to the polls Tuesday, May 8, to vote on whether to approve a $98,600,000 bond proposal for Grand Rapids Community College.

The proposal is for purchasing, remodeling, renovating, and constructing buildings to be used for the college (including the fieldhouse and other facilities); renovations of sites, and acquiring and installing technology infrastructure.

They propose the millage to be .38 mills per thousand for 2012, and will go no longer than 20 years. For someone owning a $100,000 home, that would be about $19 per year. They would capture $274,000 the first year.

Polls open at 8 a.m.

Posted in NewsComments (1)

Solon Township briefs


Solon Township announces precinct changes

As a result of the 2010 census count and the resulting redistricting on the state and national level, Solon Township residents may find the places they have always gone to vote and who they voted for have changed.

Solon Township was part of the 73rd district in the state house of representatives, but is now represented by the 74th district (as are the Cities of Cedar Springs, Rockford, Grandville, Walker, and the townships of Tyrone, Algoma, Sparta, and Alpine). Also, the township used to be represented by both the 2nd and the 3rd congressional districts, which have now changed so that the entire township is represented in the 3rd congressional district. As a result, voters who may have liked voting for one candidate may have to decide on another.

Solon Township Clerk John Rideout said they considered two things when redrawing precinct lines: one was the size of the buildings where the elections are held; and two, they wanted to keep Kent City School District in one precinct. The reason being that the township hall, where precinct one is located, is much smaller than precinct 2, located at the Solon Wesleyan Church. As a result of the redistricting, precinct one will consist of the southeast corner of the township bordered by Algoma Ave. and 20 Mile Road. The remainder of the township will be precinct two. Additionally, keeping Kent City Schools in one district will facilitate a less confusing election.

Rideout indicated that voters should be receiving new voter identification cards in the mail shortly informing them where they need to go vote in the future. If they have any questions they are encouraged to contact the clerk’s office at 696-1718.

Barn to get facelift

The old horsebarn at 15185 Algoma will soon get a facelift—literally. The Solon Township board voted last Tuesday to tear down the first 30-40 feet of the east side of the building. “This preserves the majority of the barn,” said Clerk John Rideout. “We’ll put a face on it, fix it, close it up.” He said this would give them the room to start construction on the new township hall/community building in the front part of the property. He noted that they would be showing the final plans to the planning commission on March 28 to get their input. Solon bought the 19-acre horse farm in 2009 in a tax foreclosure sale for $28,378.

 

 

Posted in NewsComments Off

The 19th annual “Best Lips” Contest


You be the Judge – Vote online for your favorite lips!

Vote for who you think has the most luscious lips! The Post staff has chosen this year’s top ten entries, but you get to pick the winner. Voting starts Thursday, February 9. You can vote once per day. Contest closes Tuesday, February 14, at 5 p.m. The person who has the most votes at that time will be the grand prize winner, and will receive a dinner for two (up to a $20 value) at Main Street Restaurant in Cedar Springs; a $15 gift card for Bay Leaf Books in Sand Lake; a large pizza (up to 6 toppings) or two subs, and breadsticks from Mr. Pizza in Sand Lake; and a haircut from Corner Hair Design in Sand Lake (a $15 value). There will also be prizes for second and third place. So get your family and friends and start voting! Winners will be featured in next week’s issue, February 16th edition.

 

Posted in Arts & Entertainment, NewsComments (4)

Sand Lake to vote on Tuesday


By Judy Reed

Sand Lake voters head to the polls Tuesday to choose their next village president for the next two years. They will also vote several trustee positions, but none of them are contested.
There are four trustee positions open, and only three people running. Incumbents Dave Tibbe and Roger Towsley are running to retain their position on the board, Duncan Rogers is a write-in for Dave Dewey’s position (Dewey is not running again), and no one has filed for the partial term previously filled by Tonia Parkhurst.

Kirk Thielke

Kirk Thielke is running for his third two-year term as president of the village of Sand Lake. The former business owner said he looks at running again as a continuation of the civic service he’s done in Sand Lake for the last 25 years. During that time he has served on both the fire and police department, coached, served on the Sand Lake Chamber of Commerce and more. “I’ve been the same guy all the way through. I’ve been consistent, with the same tenacity and integrity I’ve always had. That’s what people are going to get. I enjoy it. It’s a challenge. Sometimes we have to make hard decisions that aren’t always popular. But I’ll do what the village asks me to do,” said Thielke. “The village president position is a privilege. With it comes responsibility, not a personal agenda. I think I’ve proven that. If they like what they’ve seen, then vote for me.”
He said that while he’s been in office, they have had several opportunities to cut costs through pay adjustments and looked at ways to absorb increases, and updated policies and procedures. There are also some new people in charge of various departments. One of the big projects that will pay off in the future is a $2.1 million sewer project. They received a $1 million-plus grant to update and repair the sewer system, and a $1 million loan from the USDA to fund the rest. Thielke said that they previously weren’t charging enough to ensure they had money for repairs, and in order to borrow the money, they had to up the user fee from $42 to $69 per quarter to show they could pay back the loan. He said that while some people may not like the increase, without the grant and the loan, they would be paying $135 per quarter for the repairs.
Thielke urges voters to get out and vote and not be apathetic. “We usually have about 60 people vote. There are 500 people in Sand Lake, and about 300 voters,” he said.

Todd Finkel

Todd Finkel is a newcomer to politics and is running against Kirk Thielke for the Village President position. He is manager at Tire Wholesalers Plus in Rockford, and has been a resident of Sand Lake for three years. Finkel said he has no background in politics but was asked by several people to run. “I know how to run a business, and I can’t imagine it is too much more complicated to get into the political end of it,” he said. “I’ve been running businesses my whole life.”
Finkel said he is running with the intent to save the village money, such as by moving the village election from September to November. “It’s costly to the taxpayers to have this special election,” he said. He noted that in Sand Lake they pay taxes to both the village and Nelson Township and that there must be some way to reduce taxes.
Finkel admitted he was one of the people that signed the petition last year to dissolve the Village. The Post asked Finkel, if he was elected, and another petition came around, would he vote for it or support the village? “I believe you are supposed to work for the people, not against them,” said Finkel. “People want the village to remain. It was quite unanimous that people wanted to keep the special amenities of the village. So, if elected, I would not vote for it. I’m not ashamed I did it, though, because we need change.”
Finkel said he would have an open door policy, and that he would return calls.

Posted in NewsComments Off

America’s Favorite Farmers Market contest enters final month


Rockford Farm Market still leads entire nation

Farm Market vendor table laden with the very first of the season Michigan apples and peaches.

By Cliff and Nancy Hill

Let’s color this as an athletic event. We are about to enter the 10th week of a 13-week contest—the America’s Favorite Farmers Market contest. One might say we are entering the 9th inning of a ballgame.

The Rockford farm market is holding the lead, however slim, and it’s time to bring in the “closers” to protect our lead. Our opponent is tenacious (Venice, FL) and has been dogging us in the vote tallies for the past five weeks.  Time to put the Venice Farmers Market away and raise our hands in victory on August 31!

Now just who are these “closers”?  It turns out that they are the ones who have, as yet, not voted and have been holding themselves in reserve for this very moment in time.  It’s their time to step to the plate and hit one out of the ballpark.  It’s time for Cedar Springs Post readers, many of whom love and attend the Rockford Farm Market, to be designated hitters in this prestigious nationwide election.

Are you a “closer”? Then go online (www.farmland.org/vote) to cast your vote for Rockford’s Farm Market or visit Saturday morning’s farm market in downtown Rockford and cast your vote in person at the voting booth in front of the Lion’s Market Master stall.

Thanks to those of you who have already voted. You can also be a “closer” by using all of your social networking skills to spread the word and encourage the vote. Vote totals as of 11 p.m. Monday, August 1, 2011 for top 5 in all market size categories:

·      Rockford Farm Market (sm. mkt.) – 1886
·      Venice, FL (sm. mkt.) – 1697
·      Snellville, GA (med. mkt.) – 1550
·      Fayetteville, AR (lg. mkt.) – 1252
·      New Braunfels, TX (lg. mkt) – 1133
·      Las Cruces, NM (lg. mkt.) – 1014

If you have been following this contest online, you may have noticed that Michigan has another player in this contest. The Manistique Farm Market is no threat to Rockford’s standings but nevertheless is leading the nation in the boutique market size category with 271 votes.

Imagine the possibility of Michigan, the doormat of the nation for the last 10 years, having two small city farm markets being declared America’s Favorite Farmers Markets in their market size categories with Rockford’s Farm Market #1 overall in the entire United States.

It’s not that improbable a scenario when you consider the fact that Michigan is the 2nd most agriculturally diverse state in the nation and nowhere is that locally grown and freshly harvest bounty more apparent than every Saturday morning at Rockford’s “Pure Michigan” Farm Market.

Posted in Bloomin' Summer, NewsComments Off


advert

LOCAL Advertisers

Tri County Body Shop

Get the Cedar Springs Post in your mailbox for only $35.00 a year!