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Month: May 2014

Community committee the driving force behind Maple Valley’s $18 million proposal

Voters in the Maple Valley Public Schools District will vote Tuesday, May 6 whether or not to approve an $18 million bond proposal. The bond proposal represents a tax increase of 4.1 mills. Members of Citizens for Maple Valley’s Future, a committee created by local residents, outlined the bond proposal Tuesday, April 29 during its last community meeting before the May 6 election. Committee co-chair Darren McDonald emphasized throughout the two-hour meeting that the proposal was created and is being driven by a committee of concerned citizens, not by school administration. “Over the years there has been a trust issue between some community members and the school board and administration combined,” McDonald said. “Having this bond come from the community shows we are being open and transparent. I think people will put more trust in it knowing it’s coming from the community.” A group of community members — 25 to 30 McDonald estimates — has been working on this process for more than a year. They came together after recognizing the need to improve the district’s aging facilities. “We recognized the needs have been there for a while,” McDonald said. “In talking to community members it’s apparent we want to take care of needs not staff or administrators wants.” Committee member Jason Hoefler said the bond represents only needs of the district. “We went through thousands of needs, not...

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Council delays decision on potential street millage

The Charlotte City Council did not reach a majority decision Monday, April 28 as to whether or not to place a 2.35 millage proposal on the August primary ballot. Discussion of the proposal will continue at the council’s May 12 meeting. City Manager Gregg Guetschow said the city received information that Eaton County is looking at a potential countywide millage for street repairs, though details are still being worked out. Guetschow said he was certain the county would not meet the deadline to have any proposal on the August ballot, which makes the Charlotte City Council likely to approve placing the proposed 2.35 mill increase for five years before the voters. “We agreed we could wait one more council meeting before making a decision,” said Charlotte Mayor Carrie Burch. Burch said she feels it is in the best interest of the city to move forward with its own proposal. Not all council members were comfortable doing so April 28 in light of the new information from the county. Burch said she feels it is important for the citizens of Charlotte to address street conditions within the city rather than leaving it up to the county. Guetschow said he feels confident the council will move forward with the proposal at its next meeting. “It is my sense of the council at this point that they will vote to put an...

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Becoming a foster parent sparks new purpose for local resident

When the call came to Jenn and Matt DeLeeuw in February about becoming foster parents for the first time, their decision was made without hesitation. That’s not to say it came without a lot of thought, the couple simply knew in their hearts it was the right choice for them. What Jenn didn’t realize was the kind of impact becoming a foster parent would have on her life. “I feel like it was my calling,” she said. “We want to open our home to more foster children.” Having researched the foster care system in Michigan and Eaton County, she...

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