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GRCC millage fails; Pierson president survives recall

Kent County voters sent Grand Rapids Community College the same message Tuesday that they’ve sent three times since 2007: NO NEW TAXES.

The college had asked for a $98 million bond proposal to upgrade facilities, and it was soundly defeated by a vote of 26,417 (no) to 19,856 (yes). While Grandville, Northview and Lowell also had millages on the ballot, most communities had nothing else on the ballot, which led to low voter turn out.

Voters in Grandville nixed a $22.85 million bond proposal by a narrow margin—only 38 votes. There were 2,508 no votes, to 2,470 yes votes.

Lowell renewed their operating millage, and Northview passed an $11.9 million bond proposal.

In Montcalm County, Pierson Village President Karl VanHaren survived a recall election by three votes—24 to 21. He has filed a recall petition against three of the trustees involved in the recall against him: Rebecca Starr, Duane Grifes, and Verna Smigiel. That vote will take place in August.

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City Council vote next week

First election using electronic pollbook

Ashley Bremmer

City of Cedar Springs voters will see something new when they go to vote next Tuesday, November 8. It will be the first election with them using the electronic poll book, a device that replaces the three-ring binders normally used to verify a voter is registered. Voters will be asked to show their driver’s license or state ID as they have the last few years, and it will be scanned on to the computer and a ballot assigned electronically. If a person does not have an ID, their name can still be looked up on the computer. “With a driver’s license it is just a little quicker,” noted Cedar Springs City Clerk Linda Branyan. She added that no private information is accessed. The info in the pollbook is the info the voter gave when they registered.
There is one seat up for grabs on the Cedar Springs city council and the only candidate running for the seat is the person that currently holds it—Ashley Bremmer.
Bremmer, a self-employed bail agent with West Michigan Bail bonds, was serving on the planning commission, as vice chair, when she was appointed  last April to fill the seat on the city council that opened up after Raymond Huckleberry resigned. She had served on the planning commission since January 2010.
Bremmer said she volunteered for city council because she wanted to be a part of our community and have a say in the direction it was going and to be able to give back. “City council was just another way of doing that, and I felt it was a way to get a little more involved,” explained Bremmer. “I now have a son, who is 2 1/2, and I want to make sure that our city stays wonderful and will still be a good and safe place for him as he gets older.”
Bremmer said being on the planning commission helped prepare her for the job. “Being on the planning commission has helped me to understand our city and the direction it was going, especially when it came to our appearance. I carry that mentality when it comes to businesses and new construction, anything to make our city more beautiful,” she noted.
“I also volunteer for the development in which I live, being the treasurer for our association. Working with money, paying the bills for it and developing a budget has given me a new appreciation for our city and our city’s budget.”
Bremmer said that she feels that lack of funds for the city’s budget is the most important issue facing the city. “Until being on city council I didn’t realize how bad it was. What I personally would like to do about this is to keep our budget in mind when making my decisions. Anything that can save our district money, while at the same time being beneficial, is going to be important,” she said. “Buying local to help community growth and development is also something I think is important.”

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