The Grand Ledge City Council unanimously voted on Oct. 23 to paint a new logo on the water tower at 318 E. Saginaw Highway when it’s refurbished. The water tower was the only new business at the council meeting. During public comment, Joseph Dickson, executive director of Over the Ledge Theatre Co., spoke to recap the company’s sixth season and thank its donors for their support. “We’re finishing up actually our sixth summer season at the playhouse,” Dickson said.
With more than 100 students involved, the show promises to be great, director Tracy Clark said. “Those kids are super talented and the community provides great support,” Clark said. The cast began practice in August and has been working four or five days a week, Clark said. “It was really extremely nervous at first, and then they went away, but I’m sure they’ll be back for opening night,” junior Cam Palmer said. Palmer is one of two actors playing Captain Hook.
Voter turnout in Grand Ledge was slow, but expected, considering there was not much on the ballot, said City Clerk Gregory Newman. Newman said turnout on an off-year is typically between 10-15 percent of the approximately 6,000 people in the city who are registered to vote. “It’s been going off without a hitch,” said Newman on Election Day. Voters expressed interest in the mayoral race between incumbent Kalmin Smith, who has been reelected, and Michael Coll. Several mentioned concerns about water quality, including Kevin Shaw, who recently moved into the area.
There is only one write-in candidate for Precinct 2 on Grand Ledge City Council. Michael Doty is the only person who filed for the position, City Clerk Gregory Newman said. Doty serves on the Parks and Recreation Commission, according to the City of Grand Ledge website. All it takes is one person to write Doty’s name on the ballot for him to be elected, Newman said. However, people walking in to vote have to know about Doty beforehand, because city employees cannot say anything about write-in candidates.
The City of Grand Ledge is one step closer to getting rid of its 53-year-old charter and implementing a new one. Many of the sections are old and out of date, Charter Commission Chairman Robert Doty said. The proposed commission updates those things. “It definitely needed changes after 50 some years,” Charter Commission Member Lyle Clark said. “We wanted to get the procedures straight as far as policy and things like that.”
A new initiative, called Little Free Pantries, which aims to help food insecure people, will be discussed by the Grand Ledge Planning Commission Thursday, Oct. 5 . Grand Ledge resident Kimberlee Klatt said the pantries are small wooden boxes where nonperishable food is left for people to take what they need, whenever they need it. The first step in bringing Little Free Pantries to Grand Ledge is discussing possible zoning ordinance changes at the 7 p.m. meeting. “We thought this would be great,” Grand Ledge resident Kimberlee Klatt said.
Grand Ledge is a city where the predominant race is white. With only 5.56% of the population being minorities, Grand Ledge senior Desirae Storball said she doesn’t really fit in. “I’ll go to events, and I’ll feel like I’m apart of the picture of it but then when I think about it, I’m like oh, I’m not really standing and talking with all these people,” Storball, who is African-American and Caucasian, said. “But, you can feel that your presence isn’t really wanted sometimes.”
Storball said she has encountered uncomfortable experiences in class. “It just made me feel really uncomfortable because the way the people were talking about racism in the past, they were making jokes about it, and then I said something,” Storball said.
Local business Grand Air Aviation Inc. is offering free opportunities and a low-cost program for youth interested in exploring aviation. Corporate Sponsor of ExploringPeter J. Kamarainen said the Young Eagles program also allows children eight-17 to take a free airplane ride. “Then, they will be allowed to have a free ground school which is a $200 value,” Kamarainen said. “Their first flight lesson is free as well.”
Kamarainen said the program is designed to get kids excited about aviation. “This program is designed to introduce the next generation of aviators, the next generation of aerospace engineers, or drone operators,” Kamarainen said.