Past controversy for new SL manager

Somebody is apparently attempting to air Christine Burns' dirty laundry - red flannel underwear in this case - in the Village of Spring Lake.
Marie Havenga
Jun 26, 2012

Burns, who has worked as city manager in Cedar Springs for the past five years, is expected to start as Spring Lake village manager on July 30.

Several village staff and community members said they recently received anonymous notes and phone calls regarding Burns' treatment of Cedar Springs' Red Flannel Festival.

After a budget recommendation by Burns, Cedar Springs City Council last year voted to drop in-kind services to the festival — such as the Department of Public Works and police services — estimated to be worth $8,000. That apparently caused a red-flannel rift that tore up the town.

The Red Flannel Festival Committee has since requested that the city pay up to $8,000 for the use of the red flannel logo, which the city has used prominently for years.

During her June 2 interview with Spring Lake Village Council, Burns said her recommendation to Cedar Springs City Council to stop subsidizing the 73-year-old festival caused much division in the town of 3,500.

“It was the last sacred cow to be cut,” Burns said recently. “Council voted 7-0 in favor of the cuts. There wasn't a choice. Ever since then, it's gotten ugly. I've taken the brunt of it and that's OK. I'm (council's) shield.”

Burns said if she had it to do over, she would make the recommendation again.

“I think there are some folks in the festival who think once I'm gone, their problems are going to go away,” she said. “They're going to have budget concerns long after I'm gone.”

Spring Lake interim manager Roger DeYoung said he received an anonymous letter earlier this month with a Grand Rapids postmark.

“It had something to do with a festival committee member being upset,” DeYoung said. “It seemed like it was somebody who was disgruntled because they cut the Red Flannel Festival funding. People were upset about that. But it's one of those things where if they don't sign it, what credibility does it have?”

DeYoung said he ran a background check on Burns and manager search consultant Bill Baldridge checked her references.

To read more of this story, see today’s print or e-edition of the Grand Haven Tribune.



Oh boy... Roger DeYoung completed a background investigation on Mrs. Burns... Maybe they should of done one on him... I'm sure Mrs. Burn's will do a fine job in Spring Lake... Maybe she can cut some of the BS out of the village budget.


As a long time resident of the Village of Spring Lake all communities have challenges, they may be different but the character or individual personalities of the communities are very similar. No matter where you go, or live you will have a very few negative individuals that only voice negative comments regarding local government.
As for the Village I will stand with any administrative village employee, they are the best and Chief DeYoung is an out standing professional. The former Manager Mr. Cotton was a key personal and an outstanding professional Manager with high ethics, the residence of the Village of Spring Lake can be assured. You do not get employees like these by not doing a professional lengthly background investigation, I am convinced that the Village Council and those involved did just that and Mrs. Burns will make a great Manager for the Village.


newspaperlawyer, I think they must of done a background investigation on Mr. DeYoung since it is required under law. If you are a lawyer you should know this. I really think you have no clue by your comments.


It is really good to have reference background. I think it would be safer. I hope everything will be okay soon. - Missed Fortune


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