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Village resident honored for 'making a difference'

Marie Havenga • Dec 27, 2016 at 10:00 AM

SPRING LAKE — As his last official piece of business, Village President Jim MacLachlan presented a “You Make the Difference” award to someone who has attended almost as many meetings as he has.

Lee Schuitema, a village resident, looked shocked when MacLachlan called him to the front of the room to accept the award at last week’s Village Council meeting.

Village Manager Chris Burns said that, in her four and a half years as chief administrator, she remembers Schuitema missing only two council work sessions and one council meeting. Council refers to Schuitema as “an honorary member of council.”

“Lee is, by far, the most educated citizen in Spring Lake when it comes to local government business,” Burns said. “Council frequently asks for his input at their work sessions because they know he has his finger on the pulse of the community.”

Schuitema is also a member of the village’s Parks and Recreation Board.

“He is a very wise soul,” Burns said. “At a time when people are not seemingly engaged with what goes on in their local community unless it is greatly sensationalized, Lee pays attention. He gets both sides of the story. He is really a great guy.”

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