Open seats for Big Rapids Township trustees

BIG RAPIDS TWP. — All new faces will line the trustee positions this fall on the Big Rapids Township Board of Trustees. Carman Bean, Tony Geib and Travis Williams currently are running for three of the four positions available.

Two trustees, David Hamelund and John Zimmerman Jr., initially petitioned for re-election, but withdrew their petitions in April. Both men said they are dissatisfied with how the board is being run.

“This township board has many items that need to be discussed in an open forum with the public. For various reasons, this is not happening,” said Hamelund in an open letter to the public.

Zimmerman shares his feelings in a similar letter.

“I feel there have been several occasions where the line has been crossed, and I am afraid we are slipping back into the mentality of the previous administration. These actions will put a serious damper on my ability to continue to work for the people of Big Rapids Township, and for the board to have open and frank discussions concerning the future and continued success of our community,” he said.

Trustees Jim Toogood and Rich Jenson are not running for re-election for different reasons, leaving all four trustee seats open.

“I chose not to come back for personal reasons,” Toogood said.

After five years on the board, Jenson said he has been there long enough.

The three individuals on the ballot will win the nomination and be placed on the November general ballot, said Marcee Purcell, Mecosta County clerk.

“If there isn’t another candidate, the township would appoint someone. But I’m sure that won’t happen. I’ve already heard of a few different people who are going to run as a non-party,” she said.

Big Rapids Township Clerk Rene Fountain said she already has one non-party candidate.

The deadline to file a write-in affidavit to be on the August primary ballot is Friday, July 22. The deadline to run as a non-party candidate on the November general ballot is Thursday, July 21.

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Posted by Meghan Gunther-Haas

Meghan is the education reporter for the Pioneer and Herald Review. She can be reached at (231) 592-8382 or by email at mhaas@pioneergroup.com.

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