Best, McPherson on the ballot for Bear Lake village clerk

BEAR LAKE — Two candidates will be featured on the ballot for the Village of Bear Lake clerk position.

Dendra Best and incumbent Cynthia McPherson answered a series of questions for the Manistee News Advocate, with responses under 250 words. Responses are published as is.

The News Advocate sent questionnaires to all candidates in contested races.

MNA: Please introduce yourself and describe your background, professionally, politically or personally.

BEST

BEST

BEST: Although I have disabling mobility issues, I have been the executive director of Waste Water Education, a national and international organization, for 15 years. Having access to high speed cable internet, thank you Spectrum, means I have professional contacts throughout the world of water, wastewater and sustainable development.

I am the lead distance learning creator for wastewater CEU courses for this organization. Being able to work from home means I can be available at any time our clients or partners need to contact me. I see no reason the Village Clerk can’t do the same.

I was raised by parents who lived through World War II and gave me a strong moral compass of right and wrong, of being tolerant and above all respectful to people – even if they aren’t particularly respectful to you. To provide local news, not gossip, I created bearlakemichigan49614.com in 2015.

I was raised to believe your character depends whether you can look at yourself in a mirror without shame. I have never felt the need to brag about my honors degree, or my presentations at national conferences, or my wastewater certifications and PDH qualifications.

Some of the most generous people I know don’t have a dime to their name. Some of the cruelest and greedy just want more. I am still married to the man I fell in love with 37 years ago and this month we celebrated finally paying off his 20 year medical debt for Vietnam Connected cancer treatment.

MCPHERSON

MCPHERSON

MCPHERSON: I am Cynthia (Cindi) McPherson and I am running for re-election as Bear Lake Village Clerk on Nov. 6, 2018.

My husband and I own Bear Lake Bed & Breakfast in beautiful Bear Lake.  Previously, I was the Volunteer Coordinator at Spectrum Health Zeeland Community Hospital for 13 years.

I enjoy working with people, northern Michigan outdoor activities and work challenges.

Along with being the village clerk, I am currently the recording secretary for Bear Lake Village Planning Commission, member of the village Redevelopment Readiness Community (RRC), Triginta and Bear Lake Promoters.  Additionally, I was part of the team to design and purchase the awesome banners in the downtown district and along US-31.

MNA: Why are you running for Bear Lake clerk? What qualities would you bring to this seat?

BEST: The International City County Management Association published an appropriate and relevant article, “Top 5 Reasons People Say They Don’t Trust Local Government.”

1. You didn’t tell us you’re making a decision; 2. You didn’t ask us before making that decision; 3. Everyone said ‘X’, but you decided ‘Y’: 4. Outside influences said ‘Y’ and you decided ‘Y’; 5.If you really wanted our opinion and participation why is it so difficult to get answers and actually participate?

A democracy is only as strong as its citizen engagement. For a government of the people, by the people and for the people to work, its citizens must have a clear voice in the issues and decision making. The Village should honestly justify its actions in ways that make sense to the public.

I am running because I think the 261 Village residents deserve to have a public servant as Clerk. I was, and still am, opposed to Council’s Ordinance making the Clerk and Treasurer positions appointed not elected. To date no one has apologized for, or offered a solution to, the error on the August Ballot referendum proposal which calls that result into legal doubt.

The rational – that no one who lives here could possibly be qualified to hold these positions I find frankly insulting. I believe everyone deserves to be treated with professional courtesy and respect. The principles of public service, public accountability, public transparency and the rule of law is my reason for running.

MCPHERSON: I would like to be re-elected as the Village Clerk to maintain the continuity in the clerk position.  Many strides have been taken over the last 3 years to improve the administrative side of the village clerk’s position.

As a business owner I have a vested interest in the community of Bear Lake and want to see Bear Lake become a thriving community again.

I attend training classes for clerks and development meetings for rural communities.  I hear from many residents supporting the positive improvements happening within the village.

I look forward to being part of the continued momentum of making Bear Lake a great community!

MNA: Explain how you plan to address specific issues and/or improve Bear Lake if elected.

BEST: I will not hold ‘office hours’ – no prior Village Council has ever restricted residents to 1-3 p.m. just 3 days a week! I am seeking election to be a public servant. It’s not a job it’s a privilege. If I can work from home with people in India or Australia I think I can manage Maple Street or Cody!

The Clerk’s position may be non-voting but it sets the tone and character of how this tiny municipality should respect and serve its residents – regardless of income. I am tired of hearing comments like ‘if you can’t afford to live here then move.’ Really?

To echo the heartfelt words of Meghan McCain at her father’s funeral – those of us who have lived here all our lives have always thought this was a pretty great place to live. Why do non Village taxpayers have the loudest voices? Who will really benefit from the massive debt being saddled on our 161 adults?

If these projects are designed to increase business and bring in families they will have plenty of empty homes to move in to. For full disclosure yes my own home is for sale because I can’t see how we can now have a secure retirement unless things change. Coincidentally so is the business and home of my opponent.

We can do better. We can redevelop smarter! Without making this an affordable place to live, how can businesses survive? We need to join the 21st. Century of sustainable development opportunities.

MCPHERSON: If re-elected I will continue to work with and support the council on village issues and improvements, listen to resident’s concerns, look for ways to improve Bear Lake and find the best solutions to issues within the community that may arise.

The Village of Bear Lake has many positive assets and I would like to continue the positive direction in which the community is going.  Thank you for your vote!

 

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